As we mentioned in our previous articles, every business operates better with CRM software. From handling customers to outlining a marketing campaign, you simply cannot do without the utility and the data that CRM software provides. But, depending on what type of company you are running, there are different aspects of CRM that you might require. A small business usually has a much different relationship to customers than an enterprise. And, with that in mind, small businesses require different CRM solutions than those of an enterprise. So, in this article, we are going to take a more in-depth look into small business CRM vs enterprise CRM.

How small businesses make use of CRM

For a small business to succeed, it needs to find a way to engage the market. And do so in a cost-effective, time-efficient manner. The most straightforward way to do so is to outline a target market, and then try to engage it. As a small business, you simply can’t afford to cast a wide net and catch whatever customer happens to be there. Instead, you need to carefully pinpoint who you are targeting, and then engage them in a well-thought-out way. Luckily, CRM helps with both.

Finding target audience

It is a common misconception that figuring out your target audience is a one-and-done deal. To find the people that your company resounds with, you will need to experiment a bit. Of course, the more research you do about your target audience, the less you have to experiment. But, no amount of research in the world will help you if you don’t apply your knowledge. The only way to test the fruits of your labor is by building a relationship with customers, that will ideally become your target audience. Well, this is where CRM steps in.

A person doing research while working on a laptop.
Finding a target audience is often a difficult endeavor.

By using CRM software you can carefully monitor your audience’s behavior, and see whether you have any way to engage them. Ideally, you will find a fresh, creative way to reach your audience, as that is the easiest way to break the ice. If your data shows that you don’t have much rapport with a specific audience, don’t shy away from trying a different one. You need to come to terms with failure in order to learn. And with CRM you are bound to learn as much as possible from any potential failures.

Monitoring your online presence

Even once you find your audience, you will still need to build and maintain a relationship with them. This goes beyond simply answering their questions and requests, which is a feat in its own right. You also need to predict customer needs and make the right offer at the right time. This is done by gaining an understanding of your customer needs, and by implementing data gathered from CRM.

If you know what to look for, your CRM data can tell you all you need to know about what your customer is after. Every demographic has a certain pattern when it comes to making purchases. And the sooner you figure out your pattern, the sooner you will be able to properly set up your online presence. Furthermore, with CRM, you’ll be able to track your performance and see whether you need to change something.

Dealing with customers

CR staff in an enterprise working on a problem, showing an important aspect to keep in mind when comparing Small Business CRM vs Enterprise CRM.
An important distinction to make when comparing small business CRM vs enterprise CRM is the amount of CR staff that enterprises have.

Small business owners often think that they can manage their customer requests without CRM. After all, they don’t have that many customers. So why pay for software if you won’t use its full potential. Well, as with all things related to business, here you need to think ahead. Sure, almost every start is slow. But, once customers start coming in, you will soon see the need for CRM. The problem then will be to update your data so that it is CRM compatible. Depending on how you gathered it, this can sometimes be impossible. Even small businesses can have terrific use out of CRM software from the very start. So, there is little reason in avoiding it.

How enterprise companies use CRM

Contrary to small businesses, enterprises usually have to worry less about finding an audience. Since these companies have reached enterprise status, they probably know what they are selling and who they are selling it to. The problem now is to how to retain customers, and how to ensure that their every need is met. This, as you might guess, is impossible to do without robust CRM software that can support a large-scale enterprise.

Handling customer data

Large office buildings.
Enterprises often outsource CR due to the amount of work needed to maintain a good response time.

The amount of customer data that enterprises have is often staggering. Even a quick glance will show you that the daily input is not something any person could handle on their own. This data is precious, as there is hardly a business decision that won’t depend on it. Everything from sales to marketing is connected to customer response. And the only way to monitor that response properly is with CRM. Only by doing so can you come up with a decent retention strategy, and ensure solid conversion rates.


Handling standard customers is usually one aspect of an enterprise. Most also deal with other businesses, at least when it comes to supply and transport. Now, small businesses can do away without CRM when it comes to business-to-business practices, as they probably don’t have that many partners to worry about. But, even a modest enterprise can have hundreds of businesses collaborating with it. To keep track of all that info, you absolutely need to have a CRM.

Final thoughts on small business CRM vs enterprise CRM

The comparison between small business CRM vs enterprise CRM is potentially endless. Depending on the type of company, the needs and implementations of CRM can be manyfold. But, the most important distinction that we would like to outline is that the larger company becomes, the more important CRM software is. Up to a certain point, small businesses can afford to be stingy with getting CRM. But modern business trends and customers’ expectations facilitate the need for CRM, whether you are big or small.

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