The Best Sales Database for Small Business: How to Make an Affordable Choice

Published: 14th February 2011
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The rise of "cloud" based or online sales database software brings a new level of affordability to small business sales database solutions. The development of web-based solutions such as Google docs is just the start of a new evolution in the way business people and sales professionals interact. Now it’s possible to keep your sales database at your fingertips in an affordable way, no matter where you are and when you need it. Plus, the best sales database will bring even the smallest of companies the power previously reserved for large corporations.

Having a sales database designed to meet the needs of small business is the cornerstone that anchors all other customer interactions and data management – without the best sales database software for your company, the organization is still operating with a mishmash of card files, email programs and spread sheets that leave money on the table and keep opportunities in dark. The resulting cost is precious employee time, money, lost productivity and often lost business.

Choosing the best sales database software to match the specific requirements of small businesses is a mission critical decision that will have immediate and lasting impact on company profit. Questions to ask are: How much training is involved in using the product and is it available as online video? How flexible is the access to the sales database, does it work on any computer or browser? How quickly can someone import existing sales data and add new opportunities and activities? Is there a long term commitment or can the company simply subscribe to the software on a month-to-month basis? Are there free trial periods and how much of the sales database can the company use during that time? How current is the technology?

What is Best for Small Business?

Even today the biggest online sales database software products are based on 5 to 10 year old technology. This is because large corporations cater to the needs of other large corporations and rarely push the envelope in terms of what these larger customers are willing to except in terms of change. Would anyone buy a VHS tape player instead of a blue ray disc player just because large corporations still stuck with video tape?

The best web-based sales database software products are now so sophisticated that even companies of 1- 50 employees can subscribe and leverage their information to grow their business, get more customers and turn existing customers into increased sales immediately. Unlike in the past where sales database packages had to be purchased and installed on a series of computers, then employees needed a week of expensive training, the best sales database software can be accessed immediately over the web. Each employee can sit through brief training videos or work with an online trainer to learn quickly.

The best web-based or online sales database are used by groups gives the ability to collaborate on information no mater how far apart sales people are in the world. Company sales people can be in San Francisco, New York and Houston, with their support people in Seattle and all share the same information and interact from desktop computers, smart phones or ipads. These best sales database solutions are frequently referred to as SaaS (software as a service) or "Cloud" applications.

The best benefits of cloud based sales database software for small business are:

Tracking customer information – The best sales database information isn’t limited to just contact details anymore. Sure everything can be included from their phone number to the date of their daughter’s birthday but once can also track buying habits, budget dates, past purchases, relationships to other contacts and all activities any employee has had through the relationships history. All of that data can be searched and available during every sales or support call to keep the customer engaged and demonstrates the best level of appreciation for their time and business.

Reporting: Reporting is no longer simply limited to past performance and trends, the best sales database software brings you features like interactive pipeline and projections that let one see where your future income lies. Reports can bring to light opportunities that otherwise may slip buy. Reporting can also give you detail about the success of company email campaigns and more.

Integrated Email Marketing Campaigns and Form Letters – The best sales database solutions can provide a company with way more power than simple email marketing services and keep one in constant contact with company customers. The ability to create mailing lists based on specific information about customers such as location, last order date and more, then send personalized specific email to those lists will increase your success rate with your message. Features to let one track what types of email each customer tends to open and respond to can increase your sales and make your current customers more loyal.

The best web-based sales database software is the cornerstone for any small business to rapidly grow their income in today’s economy.

Choosing the best sales database that leverages all of the current web technologies and is designed to work the way sales people work is key for small to mid-size businesses. The biggest advantage one can have over competitors is customer connectivity and constant contact using email marketing and social services like twitter. Above all else having access to customer data anywhere, anytime will deliver the best return on investment at a low monthly subscription price that anyone can afford.

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