Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Using Customer Relationship Management Software

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 17, 2008

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) plays a critical role in any industry. There are a number of software options to help manage CRM functions, but traditional versions are not always suitable for small businesses. Furthermore, many of the current CRM systems are too expensive and rigid for the small business marketplace.

In order for CRM to be effective for small business owners, the following is a checklist to use when considering a CRM tool or system:

1. CRM needs to manage the dynamics of customer transactions and the associated business processes, not just the customer relationship.

2. It is critical that CRM help small businesses know in real time whether they are being productive and effective with their business processes.

3. Don’t get caught up in all of the features. Small business owners should evaluate the company and employee needs of CRM. Be sure to:

• Identify the key components or functions that the people who run your business need from CRM.

• Decide if an entire Sales Force Automation (SFA) system is critical or if a lead generation and management tool is more important and will do what you need it to do. It could be you only need a marketing campaign generator.

• Decide what features you need and what you can do without.

4. Evaluate through a demo. Take a test drive of CRM features you need. Conduct hands-on product comparisons to determine which has the functionality and ease-of-use you and your team will use and enjoy the most.

5. Call references to find out:

• If it was easy to install.

• How long it took them to get up and going with the product.

• How easy it was to modify, configure, or customize to business processes.

R. Dean Taylor
Vice-President for Marketing & Channel Development
Salt Lake City

Reader Comments

Josh Aronowitz

August 28, 2008 10:54 AM

A good option for small businesses that are looking for a CRM system along the lines of ACT or Goldmine, but is cost-effective as well, is They offer a free web-based contact manager, with ACT-type functionality, plus a business network. They also have other great free business services like free teleconferencing.

Post a comment



Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!