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Organisational design | Apr 12

What SMEs should consider when considering a CRM system

Organisational design | Apr 12

In this article, Karsten Smet, CEO of ACI Group and Oomph, details the benefits of CRM implementation for an SME

Karsten Smet

Karsten Smet CEO, ACI Group

Reading Time 4 minutes

At its core, every business is about people. Whether it’s an international manufacturing giant or a small online gift company, a business has to buy from and sell to people. Even in the detached online environment of today, when a business can order a shipment of raw materials from the other side of the planet with a few taps of a smartphone, there will still be a person making that critical purchasing decision. And so, the relationships a business builds with its customers are the most precious resource it can possess, and they must be managed as such.

Effective customer relationship management (CRM) software is absolutely essential for achieving this in today’s fast-paced modern market. No customer wants to feel like a number in a database somewhere, and the personal touch will always be appreciated – something that is even more pronounced given the often cold, clinical nature of interaction in an online-focused world. SMEs should look for a CRM solution that enables them to balance personal touches with efficiency. 


The key to achieving a balance between a customer relationship and efficiency with a CRM is segmentation. Advanced segmentation is crucial to ensure any communications with customers remain relevant, which, in turn, is critical in maintaining a productive relationship with them.

This is particularly useful for businesses that work across multiple sectors. For example, here at ACI Group, we work with the food, pharmaceutical, and construction industries, among others – three very distinct industries with wildly different needs. And, within those industries, we work with suppliers, manufacturers, and many other organisations in the supply chain.

Segmentation enables us to focus on a particular segment of a very broad customer base and even gives us the opportunity to hyper-personalise our communications if needed.


Another benefit of segmentation is that it enables businesses to better anticipate their customers’ needs. It becomes significantly easier to sell to someone – or just to have a conversation with them – once you understand them. 

An important feature to look out for is how easily CRM systems facilitate tracking across the entire customer journey, which means sales teams can spot patterns that emerge and quickly react – and in many cases, pre-emptively act – to deal with potential issues or roadblocks to sales. This puts SMEs on the front foot, enabling them to be proactive, rather than reactive, which can save both time and costs in many cases. 

For example, if a business becomes aware of a fault with a particular batch of its products, it can contact anyone who purchased that batch and resolve the situation before it impacts their customer.


The benefits of CRM extend much further than simple crisis management and problem-solving. A good CRM system can enhance every line of communication a business has with a consumer.

It enables highly relevant, even personalised newsletters, with unique discount codes or trade pricing for different segments of the customer base. This functionality unlocks many new possibilities. For example, it can be used to send event invites to customers from a particular industry segment. Without a well-designed CRM process in place, this would require a substantial amount of manual work to collate the relevant data, but the power of CRM means it can be accomplished in a few clicks.

This approach fuses the personal approach of a bespoke invitation with the speed and digital efficiency of a mass mailout.


A well-designed CRM process shouldn’t just facilitate external communication, though it should improve communication within the business too.

It has the potential to turn individually successful projects into business-wide strategies by ensuring every member of staff has total visibility of the information they need. When implemented correctly, the regular annoyances of missed emails and forgotten meeting minutes can be entirely eliminated from day-to-day operations.

By reducing the risk of human error in this way, a good CRM system can actually put people at the heart of the business, enabling them to work more effectively with customers and clients to provide a better experience.

In short, it’s important to look for a CRM system that enhances what your business is best at – its service. Customers can buy from a business based on any number of criteria, but the service they receive is what will keep them coming back.

Karsten is the CEO of CRM solution, Oomph. To find out more, visit www.oomphworks.com.

Karsten Smet

Karsten Smet CEO, ACI Group

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