While small businesses are still using the personal touch throughout their sales cycle, enterprise businesses are relying on more scalable channels, per Copper’s CRM Benchmark Survey Report [download page], which surveyed more than 2,500 professionals across small, medium-sized and enterprise companies globally.
Roughly two-thirds (65.5%) of enterprise companies are using CRM platforms, making this their top channel in the sales/relationship cycle. A strong majority (84.6%) of small businesses, however, are using the more one-to-one method of the telephone as their channel of choice (vs. 58.6% for enterprise), with 66.3% also using conference calls. Small businesses are also much more likely to visit prospects in person, compared to their enterprise counterparts (78.6% vs. 60.3%).
By contrast, while 55.1% of enterprise respondents say they use chat for sales, just 33.1% of small businesses do so. Enterprise respondents were also more likely to use slides (45.2% vs. 33.1%) and project management tools (40.5% vs 27.4%). These differences may be indicative of the shift to inside sales that was seen a number of years back, as larger companies look to improve margins and make the best use of technology solutions.
That being said, the use of such scalable approaches may result in a higher number of issues among enterprise firms. Almost a quarter of enterprise respondents said they had felt embarrassed in front of a prospect, customer or manager stemming from CRM-related issues, compared to just 14% of small businesses. Even so, CRM woes produce annoyance at co-workers at a consistent rate regardless of company size, with a third of all professionals admitting they have been upset or annoyed at a teammate.
CRM platforms are used for various purposes, but not surprisingly, separate research has shown that companies typically use basic CRM functions more often than advanced ones. This is reflected in Copper’s study, where two-thirds of the total respondents reported using CRM for contact management. This is the most common use of CRM by small businesses, with nearly 80% using the contact management function.
And while smaller businesses may be more inclined to take a more personal touch, the percentage of this segment using CRM is almost on par with larger companies, with more than 3 in 5 using these platforms.
The report is available for download here.
About the Data: The CRM Benchmark Survey Report is comprised of data from a blind survey of 2,502 full-time professionals from companies around the world. The company sizes vary, with 1,116 respondents working at small businesses (1-50 employees), 1,021 at medium-sized businesses (51-1000 employees) and the remainder working for firms of more than 1,000 employees.