Software Advice’s annual CRM Buyer View report is now available! This year the report goes beyond USA customers and for the first time there is an Australian report giving us an insight into our local market.
The questions asked of small business CRM buyers unveiled the following:
- What small business CRM buyers’ top-requested applications, features; and
- How CRM buyers’ requirements evolved since 2013?
Key Findings for the Australian Market
Commentary from Jay Ivey, market research associate at Software Advice, a company that reviews and compares CRM systems.
The vast majority of small-business CRM buyers are still looking for basic contact management, with 62 percent seeking a standalone application for sales force automation (SFA).
Surprised? You shouldn’t be! SFA is typically the first step for businesses to organise their customer data and track customer interactions across the sales funnel. As such, it’s long been the first thing small businesses look for when it comes time to adopt a real CRM technology strategy.
Many Australian buyers (34 percent) are also beginning to request an integrated suite that combines Sales Force Automation with marketing automation. Businesses are increasingly looking to implement a full, end-to-end CRM solution. They want to better align marketing and sales. They want to enable sales reps with access to lead nurturing data and interaction histories from across the sales pipeline. This means growing opportunities for vendors that offer a broader small-business-centric suite of sales, marketing and service applications, and for vendors of standalone solutions that offer integrations with popular services such as Gmail, MailChimp and Zapier.
When asked by Software Advice, small-business CRM buyers in Australia commonly said that they were evaluating CRM software to learn more about how the software could help their business in general or how more robust systems might improve upon their current solution. These responses are consistent with Gartner’s research which suggests that an increasing majority of buyers are citing “self-driven information search” as their most preferred method at every stage of the buying cycle. This makes it extremely important for all SFA and marketing automation partners to get their web-based and digital marketing right.
Here are the key findings for the Australian market:
- The top requested CRM features were email marketing (100%) and interaction tracking (78%);
- Twice as many buyers requested an email integration feature such as Outlook or Gmail (65%) when compared to the U.S.;
- 55% are currently using manual methods such as spreadsheets and paper (9% higher than the US); and
- Nearly two-thirds are confident they want a cloud-based system (70%).