State of the CRM Market 2019

28 Nov 2019 12:47 PM

Guest blog by Martha de Monclin at Workbooks.

Reading, UK, 7th November 2019 — More than half of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK have changed customer relationship management (CRM) supplier according to the State of the CRM Market 2019 Report from Workbooks.  The company also found that a quarter of SMEs have yet to be persuaded of the benefits of CRM and have not yet bought any system at all.

The research found that the main reason for changing supplier was a poor fit in terms of the business requirements – 48% of respondents thought this was a problem. “The responses show that there is much to consider when looking at CRM including business strategy, technology, budget, change management etc,” explains John Cheney, CEO and Founder of Workbooks. “A CRM project requires a focus on technology, people and processes; only when all three are in harmony will you truly maximise your ROI.” 

Workbooks already gives users the ability to synchronise emails, meetings, contacts and tasks between the Microsoft Exchange and Workbooks CRM through the Workbooks Exchange Server Sync (WESS).  Following user feedback, WESS has now been extended to include additional functionality via an Outlook Add-In for WESS.

The Add-in provides a user interface directly inside Outlook that allows users to create, view and edit records in Workbooks CRM, including people, organisations, activities, cases and opportunities.

The Outlook Add-In for WESS is deployed via the Office365 or Exchange server. It is designed to make it easier for users to interact with and derive benefit from CRM, by more closely integrating Outlook with Workbooks.

Related to this were the 38% of businesses who thought that their chosen CRM system was not able to scale according to their needs.  The issue of cost was a less significant factor with 28% of respondents having changed CRM software because the cost was too high, the same proportion that switched because their choice didn’t integrate with other business applications.

There were some concerns around cost, however. The Workbooks survey revealed that SMEs found it difficult to ascertain the return on investment of their CRM applications: three-quarters of British companies surveyed found it impossible to quantify the value of their CRM investment. US companies found it even more difficult: 85% of them couldn’t accurately calculate their ROI.

Very often companies find it difficult to measure ROI as CRM allows them to do things they never could before. There is no baseline to compare activity against,” explains John Cheney. “Companies can see it has made the business better, but find it  difficult to quantify. While it is great that so many SMEs appreciate what CRM brings to their organisations, there does need to be more work to ascertain this value.”

There was widespread appreciation of the benefits of CRM: even among those companies who had not chosen a CRM system at all, 46% said that they intended to at some time in the future. Reasons for not adopting CRM included the belief that it would not be an effective way to manage customers and failure to provide value for money.

Other key findings include:

“Supercharging the adoption of CRM is an important element to the digital transformation of all industries and sectors and key to increasing overall productivity and economic growth across the UK. The good news is there continues to be a steady flow of organisations beginning to recognise the value of CRM. However, many that still have not. We must do more to promote the positive benefits and opportunities of CRM technologies while also continuing to identify and overcome remaining concerns and barriers to adoption, such as data migration and user resistance.” concludes Katherine Mayes, Programme Manager, techUK.

To download the State of the CRM Market 2019 Report, click here. 

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