Thought leadership

Maximizer has published a new study on the success measures that small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are achieving from their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions

The CRM vendor commissioned analysis of research undertaken with 300 SMEs within the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region  to provide an independent benchmark on the experience of organisations  in obtaining business value and success from their CRM solutions. The Benchmark Study, titled Measuring Value and Success from CRM, consists of two results reports plus a practitioner’s workbook, with the Part 1 report published today and the other 2 publications available in the coming weeks.

In a move to help fill the knowledge gap on SME CRM usage, the results have been published to provide SMEs with a clear understanding of how their peers are deploying CRM, what objectives they are setting for their CRM investment and what main benefits and business outcomes they are gaining and measuring.

The study has revealed that 84% of SMEs regard ‘improving process efficiency’ as the primary business objective for their CRM deployments.  This is a very clear tactical benefit from CRM solutions, delivering measurable hard cash savings.  On the other hand a significant minority – 31% – of SMEs have adopted the objective of strategic business growth and are putting their CRM at the heart of their business. The research highlights the growing evolution of CRM, with businesses adopting the solution as the ‘go to’ platform for delivering customer experience and linking it with other IT systems. CRM is now being employed as a company-wide repository for customer intelligence, and that intelligence is used to drive growth in every aspect of the business. The study also looked at key benefits achieved by CRM and confirmed that the centralisation of customer data is a key advantage as stated by 87% of respondents with 70% also achieving improved data quality and value from their CRM.

Mike Richardson, Managing Director EMEA at Maximizer comments: “Too little is yet understood about the return-on-investment that SMEs are actually gaining from their CRM. However, there could not be a more appropriate time than the present to establish a Success benchmark for SMEs – the sales techniques of the past have rapidly changed; nowadays customers embark on a new ‘journey’ where they start with their own research. This means businesses need to be seen as informative and helpful as the customer progresses along their journey to purchase – CRM solutions have become the critical tool for understanding the customer and is the new hub to which all decision-driving company information is relayed.”

Alison Smith, Head of Marketing EMEA at Maximizer adds, “It is the intention that this annual benchmark report will be an important first move in filling the information gap for evaluating return on investment from CRM deployment. The aim of the peer evidence within the reports is to help SMEs measure and deliver successful CRM that actively contributes to their business growth. ”

Part one of the Maximizer study looks closely at the critical business objectives that SMEs typically have for their CRM investment and the top 5 key operating benefits that result from successful CRM. Part two of the study looks at the key product features and the top 6 business outcomes that are being achieved through the use of CRM. The third and final publication of the study is a practitioner’s guide providing a series of practical value and success measures based on the top strategic business objectives identified in the study.

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