What CRM software is best for a small startup?
Organizations facing these harsh external and internal changes have to implement strategic change in ways that are:
Customizable and manageable
Unconstrained by technology limitations
Free from other unrealistic expectations
Will handle administrative activities that are all-consuming
Express money – appreciate customers
Organizations that are large enough to have multiple, disparate IT teams are in a much more challenging position. Of course, having different IT teams can work fine — we recently adopted a data center roll-out by building out a master data center platform — but to have different teams involved in different IT disciplines requires tremendous attention to detail, says Chris Peisneros, senior vice president of products at LimeHR, a provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. And when things go awry, things can get messy very quickly, because no one person or department can resolve issues that affect so many people.
There are certain benefits that large organizations have over small ones. But even then, it’s a tradeoff many startups are willing to make to get their systems up and running. As software becomes a standard feature across an entire organization, it becomes a much bigger ask. It’s not a matter of convenience, since everyone’s doing this today, but it’s one of necessity to retain customers. Unfortunately, larger organizations already overspend money on the technology they use, and they’re already stretched thin on resources.
How do we avoid the trade-off between cost and ROI?
Chris recommends making a baseline budget to start, then asks, “Are we doing everything in this budget that we can do to the best of our ability?” He then determines whether that budget should be adjusted to meet current requirements or set aside to meet more urgent needs down the road.
Unfortunately, startups with lots of different IT disciplines aren’t able to do a quick and large project. To that end, Chris suggests using solutions like Squarehug as a bridge between the main IT staff and the SMBs they serve. The upside is that you can have it done quickly and easily. Having separate teams for each of the IT functions is a natural silo-busting issue, says Cisneros.
Using your main IT team to focus on application development, architecture, documentation, and validation have its advantages, too. The main IT team, on the other hand, becomes the go-to account when problems arise. That said, when the main IT team performs implementation and takes up its schedule and time with little effort on the part of IT staff, that can leave the IT team with low morale. It’s hard to operate a company without employees who are well-motivated and satisfied.
Ultimately, Chris suggests designing your SaaS solution around the organization’s needs and minimizing the IT vendors’ role as a resource. In order to accomplish that, you need to evaluate your new IT vendor’s methodology, goals, and partnerships. Do they view the overall goal as more efficient IT — or as an initiative to help the business? If it’s the latter, does it involve the full organization, or just IT? Does it pay employees in full and then reimburse the company from retained funds? For a company that is looking for short-term and inexpensive help, a reduced cost percentage can also work for them.
How do you help employees stay in the game?
Cisneros says a critical piece of his company’s HR strategy is retaining employees. “Every employee knows they can come and talk to him or her about anything,” says Cisneros. The HR team there is limited in the initiatives they can take to retain employees, says Peisneros, but in the end, each employee is a human asset. To nurture that, make your company visible to your employees, and make sure their interests are aligned with your company’s interests.