What I am is a sales guy. What I am not is a “big data” guy. I’m a small business and I measure my success by the balance in my checkbook. Hell, I don’t even balance my checkbook. My focus is on making sales. Period. The rest takes care of itself. Of course, I am simplifying things, but not by much.
When I speak with other small businesses regarding CRM, they often ask for it to integrate with this or that or to generate this or that report. As a small business, they are also looking for a CRM that is easy-to-use and one that requires a cost-effective investment. AKA … not a lot of money. I guess that I have beer tastes to match my beer budget.
If you are a big business, they have CRMs made for you that will wash your socks and take out your trash. You will pay for these services and you may need dedicated staff to manage it. You must decide if the benefits outweigh the costs.
As a small business, I want a tool that will help me to sell more stuff. Nothing more and nothing less. The last thing I want to see is a bunch of trees messing up my view of the forest. I don’t need the distractions. And, properly used … a CRM has the potential to dramatically increase your sales!
Now, if all of this data and integration is that important to you, either invest in tools that will provide it to you, that are designed to do just that, and/or hire someone to extract that data for you. With all the sales you are making, you will probably be able to afford to do both!
IMHO, attempting to do all of this, maybe by yourself, with a low-cost CRM that does not tightly integrate data tools and your 3rd-party integrations means a lot of complicated workarounds and ultimate disaster.
Salesforce, for example, ain’t cheap and it is best designed for enterprise level businesses. These companies have the needed staff to maintain it and to manage the data that it is capable of delivering.
Because Salesforce is aimed at this market share, guess what? Other companies that provide other business applications, say accounting, will spend the money to program an integration between their app and Salesforce. This investment, for them, makes sense. The axiom … “Nothing happens until somebody sells something” seems to be applicable. Why? Because it always holds true! Without sales … nada. With sales … do whatever you wish. Simple.
I rant. Old people do that.
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