23rd February, 2022

Enabling CRM for small businesses

While small businesses live and breathe customer relationships, for many, advanced solutions have been out of reach, until recently.

Understanding who your customers are is a fundamental part of doing business and it’s something that small and medium business owners think about every day.

Having a clear picture of your customers’ needs allows for better advertising and marketing, store layout and design and seasonal planning requirements like inventory management and forecasting, among many other things.

Today, there’s a wealth of information that businesses can glean from their customers based on direct feedback, survey responses and purchase details. But unless that information is accurate, accessible and all in one place it’s next to worthless.

That’s why customer relationship management (CRM) systems are becoming increasingly commonplace in mid-market and large enterprise businesses, and it’s why more small businesses are considering how to integrate specialist providers of these functions into their existing MYOB platform.

Connecting front of house with back

Staying on top of sales, bills and invoices creates a lot of daily administration for small business operators before they consider how to capture (and use) additional customer data.

For many operations, such as hospitality and retail businesses, these processes begin to get divvied up into the ‘front of house’, where face-to-face customer interactions occur, and ‘back of house’, where admin arising from those activities takes place.

But CRM capabilities such as those offered by Tall Emu, which directly integrate with MYOB, bring businesses a solution that delivers the value of a sales and marketing platform with the efficiency of online accounting – something that has previously only been in reach of much larger organisations.

“If you think of business like a football match, then MYOB could be seen as the coaching team, making sure your accounts stay within the boundaries and keeping track of all the key stats,” said Mike Nash, CEO of Tall Emu.

“Meanwhile, Tall Emu is a captain in your team, helping make those on-field, moment-by-moment plays and creating goal-scoring opportunities.”

By focusing on the delivery of solutions that allow sales and marketing activities to accelerate while communicating seamlessly with the accounting back-office, a new generation of CRM solutions are helping small business operators chalk up real wins.

Nash gave the following example of a real-life play-by-play:

“It’s Monday, 9am. Online retail orders placed over the weekend have already downloaded from Woo Commerce to Tall Emu, as well as a number of online orders from wholesale clients.

“Thanks to the pricing module in Tall Emu, any special customer pricing or discounts have been applied and the orders are in the system, ready to process – no manual entry, no copy and paste with Excel.

“You and the team verify the orders are good to go in good time as any issues with credit are automatically red-flagged and they’re sent to the warehouse to pick, pack and ship.

“Once shipped, invoices are crated, emailed and sent through to MYOB automatically – no need for the warehouse or sales team to intervene as it all happens based on the shipment.”

CRM generates the power needed to scale a business

In short, small businesses are crying out for updated systems that can affordably move them away from getting bogged down with managing their own data.

“Small businesses are often cash or resource poor and may have out of date systems.

“E-commerce may be helping sales, but that can cause fulfilment problems, double entries and other errors down the line.”

The sum of these parts often leads business operators to double down on admin activities, and Nash has seen it all, from “Excel-based price lists, stock lists, lead lists, customer lists – everything is all over the place and not tied together”, which inevitably ties up precious resources.

“Replacing all of these processes with Tall Emu and MYOB essentially gives small businesses a mini enterprise resource planning system, capable of handling customers from lead to post-sales service and beyond, at a price point any small business can afford.”

Making CRM and marketing automation more affordable

With MYOB’s recent acquisition of Tall Emu, CRM smarts for small businesses are becoming more affordable than ever, and with no integration required for the business operator, they’re easier to use as well.

But there’s even more to discover, with Tall Emu offering tools to assist businesses across a wide range of functions, from sales and marketing, inventory and warehousing, customer care and even a simple manufacturing management system.

“A customer using Tall Emu and MYOB together could save tens of thousands of dollars in integration and licencing costs alone when compared to large scale ERP/CRM systems, yet still get most of the critical features found in those platforms out of the box,” said Nash.

“This lets them set up good habits early, build up process and procedure and help them scale the business by ensuring all data is in one spot – not siloed or in Excel – where it can be used.”

Find more ways to extend the functionality of your accounting software with MYOB’s App Marketplace.