Owners of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been encouraged to invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software.

According to Nadia Finer, founder of smartli.co, the amount of client data a business needs to manage will increase as it grows.

Writing in the Guardian, she suggested that SMEs might therefore benefit from seeking an alternative to "relying on lots of different lists and spreadsheets".

Instead, Ms Finer recommended they use a CRM system, as it will keep all their client details in one easily accessible location.

This, she stated, will eradicate the chances of files going missing, omissions and mistakes, as well as prevent unnecessary repetition.

Ms Finer also pointed out that SME owners will be driven to distraction if they try to remember every single person's contact details, as well as when certain people were spoken to and what was discussed during these conversations.

"Don't waste your brain power on this stuff – put a CRM system in place so you can focus on greater things," she commented.

Ms Finer described CRM software as a "handy tool" that enables companies to both manage and nurture their relationships with customers.

"A CRM can also help you grow your business and keep customers happy by keeping track of interactions and tasks – and giving you a clear view of your sales pipeline," she said.

SME owners were advised that strong client relationships are fundamental to the success of a firm, which means they could fall by the wayside if they forget to make a crucial call or follow up on earlier enquiries.

Ms Finer said a CRM can prevent these kinds of mistakes occurring as it will enable firms to remember key actions and deal with potential issues before they escalate into something more serious.

This, she said, will ultimately allow companies to deliver a great service and adopt a highly streamlined sales process.

Bosses were told that if they know which stage every lead is at, they can focus their efforts accordingly so they can close the deal.

Customer engagement white paper