Why is Microsoft ignoring CRM for small businesses? Do you recall the Outlook Contact Manager for Business? That was Microsoft’s attempt to introduce customer relationship management to its Office-using small company customers via contact management. In the year 2020, that product was phased out.
Why is Microsoft ignoring CRM for small businesses?
Do you recall Microsoft CRM? That product has been renamed several times, and it is now classified as a subset of the company’s Dynamics product line.
Microsoft heavily pushed its flagship CRM system to small business customers through its small business division during that period, which lasted around 15 years. That is no longer the case. In truth, Microsoft no longer has a “small business” division. It’s only the “business” division that’s different.
Microsoft does not offer a CRM system specifically for small businesses. My company is a Microsoft Partner, therefore I know this. So, is the software behemoth ignoring CRM for small businesses? In a way.
If you’re a small business searching for a CRM system that works with Office 365 features like Outlook and Teams, the company’s AppSource platform has a lot of third-party possibilities. You can try Nimble, a fantastic product from the same people who created GoldMine. If you’re a non-profit, try Mission CRM. If your firm wants anything built on SharePoint, you can use SP CRM.
You can also try to make Microsoft Dynamics’ solutions more user-pleasant by using items like CRM Starter Pack and CRM Alerts. For small enterprises, there are literally hundreds of options.
However, there has been no official response from Microsoft. So, no, Microsoft isn’t disregarding the needs of small businesses. However, when it comes to CRM, the corporation is adamant about not getting involved. Why?
Because Microsoft rightly predicted that the vast majority of small firms do not require CRM. They don’t need the Dynamics product line’s substantial modifications, workflows, integrations, or scalability.
For most small firms, this is excessive. So, what are the requirements for a CRM system for small businesses?
The majority of what we require is contact management. We want a database that has information about everyone who interacts with our company, and we want it to be simple to use for our few workers. We want thorough and accurate data so that we can send emails, schedule jobs, and call our prospects and clients on occasion. Oh, and we’d like our systems to be able to communicate with our email and calendar systems as well. A typical small firm can only provide you with so much.
And there’s no problem with that. This is why there is a whole universe of CRM applications aimed at small businesses that include these functions. Even then, the majority of my clients are unable to achieve their goals.
However, many do, and a portion of them will outgrow these requirements. More automation, workflows, and customization will be desired. They’ll broaden their scope to include advanced marketing and service management. They’ll be in a circumstance where they’ll require assistance with lead management and consumer behavior analysis. When those few small enterprises reach that level, Microsoft’s Dynamics will be ready.
In the meanwhile, the business hopes to keep users linked to Office 365 through third-party CRM services on their AppSource portal.
It’s not a ridiculous plan. That’s because Microsoft is in business to generate money, and selling three and five user licenses isn’t going to make the corporation a lot of money. And a ten- or twenty-hour initiative isn’t going to help its partner community much. These are the projects that make or break a small business, and Microsoft should leave them to niche players and smaller consulting groups (like mine).
So, no, Microsoft isn’t completely unconcerned about your little business. When it comes to CRM, they simply don’t want to be bothered with you. However, if you expand and have a budget, you’ll be warmly accepted into their Dynamics community.