This is the first edition of the CRM Headliner. In the world of CRM there is a constant flow of new and exciting things happening. There is so much new innovation happening all of the time that it really is hard to keep an eye on it. What I’ve decided to do it for every week until the end of the year is host the “CRM Headliner”. These are the hottest headlines from the week as it pertains to SMB and CRM / business software along with my take on the impact for your business.  We’ll see how things progress and then into the new year we may add some new stuff or tweak it.  I would love to hear your feedback.

BEST TAKE ON SMALL BUSINESS USING CRM

I love it when there’s an article that references back to the 80’s and in this case, the origins of CRM for small business. ACT!, which launched in 1986, is claimed as one of the first CRM’s out there that was financially affordable for small to medium sized businesses. If you were an enterprise, you were dealing with big business like SAP, Oracle and IBM.

This article hits it right. Although, it’s typical click bait I hate (4 reasons for success!), it does nail down four things that scare SMB’s when it comes to CRM. The first is that CRM innovations complicate CRM for most small businesses. Too many bells and whistles complicates things.  Upstart vendors have forgotten about what the heart of CRM is: relationships.  Enterprise corporations spend millions of dollars understanding the impact of relationships but SMB’s don’t have this budget luxury.  We need vendors who are concerned about helping businesses make the relationships SMB’s have with their customers stronger.

The author also mentions overcrowded databases (which I disagree with, you can manage this), inability to qualify leads (this isn’t a CRM problem, bad implementation though) and finally the thought software cannot manage a meaningful relationship. I disagree. I think software can manage a meaningful relationship but it’s who its managing is the problem. Good CRM’s are programmed to help guide the sales or service person through the process. This best take though is right at the outset though, CRM is a problem for SMB’s.

BIGGEST WARNING ON PRIVACY IN CRM FOR SMB

Privacy is a big deal and I promise you will hear more of it. When you have Apple founder Tim Cook calling for more GDPR like initiatives from Europe in the USA, you know it’s a matter of time. It’s also why vendors like SugarCRM spent a lot of time building out their own GDPR capable functionality inside of their latest release of Sugar 8.

This article is on a significant announcement on privacy and that’s to do with legislation impacting the state of California. The privacy of 2018 in California (passed June 28th) specified a few specific items. First, this only applies to businesses with revenues greater than $25 million USD amongst many other qualifications. So why talk about this if it doesn’t impact the typical SMB? Because, it will. Soon.

Privacy is a big deal. As more governments move to pass their own forms of privacy and right to be forgotten protections targeting towards the Internet many of the tools you use today will be impacted. Considering that most of the influencers in CRM are based in California, it’s worth nothing that this is coming. Maybe not today, but soon.

BEST LIGHT – COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP OF CRM AND CANNABIS

It’s obvious that everybody is trying to get on to the cannabis CRM bandwagon. As a Canadian company, we are hearing a lot about it because of the recent legislation allowing legal sales of marijuana across Canada. This specific article brought in the CEO of PipelineDeals, which I honestly don’t think is the ideal platform for building a Cannabis business around. I think it will depend if you’re in retail, distribution or producer. Out of those you could use a CRM in so many ways and sales might not be the only focus. Make sure when you’re working with a CRM that it can be molded to meet the needs of your business.

No matter what though, this article does highlight the need for more attention on the growing cannabis industry, specifically within North America at this point which is why the best light award goes to these guys!

BEST MOMENT IN CRM LEADERSHIP

At Eligeo, we do some work with Salesforce but this isn’t entirely about CRM. SFDC’s Co-CEO Marc Benioff can be a polarizing figure and it’s no different than in his support for homelessness in San Francisco. Being from Vancouver, we have our share of homeless problems but San Francisco is even greater than what we face here. This is definitely a salute to Mr. Benioff and his recognition that affordability is not just a public issue but also a corporate responsibility.

IT’S A WRAP

That’s it for this weeks Headliners.  I hope you enjoyed it and please feel free to share some feedback on these topics.