Business software is one of the fastest growing industries today. According to some estimates, CRMs (customer relationship management) are already worth more than $40 billion. Marketing automation solutions are expected to hit the $25 billion mark within the next few years.
ERP (enterprise resource planning) solutions have similar outlooks, with their evaluation set to reach $47 billion within the next three years. It’s clear that business software has great potential, but what exactly makes it so popular?
What makes business software popular
This question can be answered in a single word: efficiency.
Business software represents highly efficient solutions that improve the work environment, increase productivity and most importantly, reduce costs. With limited funds and desperate need for profitability, many small businesses are finding the perfect ally in marketing automation platforms, such as Hubspot, Pipedrive or Simply CRM.
In addition to that, these programs are becoming more affordable and powerful than ever. Even the basic versions of their software come packed with numerous features and their prices can be as low as $10 per month per user.
This means that companies can test these solutions with minimal investment.
However, their affordable prices have had a negative impact on the adoption rate of the CRM and ERP platforms. While just about anyone can try out these platforms now, a considerable percentage of business executives and staff employees still have very little knowledge on how these programs work.
Consequently, business software options have one of the lowest adoption rates, with the number hovering around 26%. That means that three quarters of people who test CRMs, ERPs and marketing automation platforms give up and stop using the software.
Considering these appalling numbers, you may understandably be concerned that this just the latest fad in the tech world. You may be thinking that these types of software will quickly fade into history once the buzz dies off.
However, we’d argue that won’t happen any time soon and we’ll now explain why these solutions will fuel businesses for decades to come.
The advantages of CRMs, ERPs and automation software
There’s a number of factors that will play into the growing popularity of business software, and we’ve already mentioned some of them.
For instance, their affordable prices and their positive effects on the workplace. That barely scratches the surface, though.
CRMs and marketing automation software are proven to increase the company’s return on investment. It’s estimated that $1 spent on CRMs returns at least $5, with some arguing that this number grows up to $8.71, when the software is used to its full potential.
Additionally, a recent study found that the number of salespeople who meet their quotas can increase by as much as 300% when the company uses mobile CRM systems.
Unsurprisingly, business software also improves the conversion rate. Cloudswave claims that 75% of companies don’t have a structured process for processing and nurturing leads. CRMs and ERPs allow companies to automate these processes with high-quality templates.
Combine that with the incredible amounts of customer data that this software can hold and businesses will be able to fully streamline their marketing efforts, as well as provide a more personalized approach for their customers.
This means that CRMs can indirectly improve customer satisfaction and retention. For small businesses in particular, more personalization means more revenue.
CRMs and ERPs can restructure an entire business
All of the benefits we mentioned so far pale in importance next to the fact that business software has the power to redesign and restructure an entire business.
This is because CRMs and ERPs act as long-term platforms for companies.
Once you decide to implement them in your company, you will need to rethink your approaches, and hopefully, make them more efficient. This is actually the main reason why their adoption rate is so low.
Most business owners prefer to keep things running the same way, rather than invest an incredible amount of effort that is necessary to move your business to the cloud.
Once the business fully incorporates cloud technology, there’s no doubt it will be in a better state, but this also creates a new dependency. Unless you want to spend extra time moving to a different platform, your business will be heavily dependent on the CRM or ERP system of your choice.
That’s why we recommend doing your homework and researching the CRM platforms in depth before choosing any system. A wrong decision could cost you hundreds of hours of lost work.
Business software is slowly taking over the world of business and this is unlikely to change in the near future. However, for all of their benefits, these systems bring in potential drawbacks as well, especially if they’re not configured properly.
If you’re contemplating introducing a new system in your organization, remember to do your research before committing to any solution.