CRM system owners — are you getting the most out of your platform for your sales processes and customer experiences?
You may have adopted a CRM thinking it’d be the cure-all for your sales and marketing teams, only to realize that adding another platform to your tech stack can lead to greater gaps in information, and eventually, department silos.
Silos make it difficult for teams to communicate and collaborate — especially when it comes to managing projects in real-time.
If that’s the case, then it’s time to consider how you can use your CRM tool across departments.
Let’s take a look at how you can use your CRM software with project management to reach your marketing and sales goals.
Why use CRM with project management?
CRM (customer relationship management) platforms are designed to help businesses manage their customer interactions and customer information by enabling easier communication and behavioral tracking.
So what does a CRM have to do with project management?
Well, the purpose of project management is to ensure tasks and projects are completed in a timely manner. That could be internal projects, product releases, or marketing campaigns. If your goals are not completed on time, you could damage the trust of the clients you’ve earned.
In short — a CRM has a lot to do with project management, especially when it comes to learning about and appeasing customers.
By adopting a CRM platform into your project management, you can:
- Create strategic alignment between PM teams, sales, and customer service
- Allow sales and account managers to see where a project is in the process
- Promote quality control by allowing customers to see and approve deliverables (convert relationships into partnerships)
- Sharpen your marketing teams with insights about where sales leads and accounts are in the customer journey (develop triggers and personalized content)
- See customer activities while working on a project
- Bring clients to the software (create tasks, provide notes, etc.)
- Execute projects as soon as sales occur
- Mine data to improve deliverables
- Maintain contact management all in one place
Let’s take for example a small business that sells home electronics. Its marketing team focused heavily on creating a knowledge base with how-to tutorials for setting up systems.
But there was an area they weren’t covering — troubleshooting. Thanks to the CRM they adopted, they could see complaints about certain products not working properly. So, they decided to create troubleshooting guides to help resolve their problems.
These guides were also made available to customer support so they could email the guides during tech support calls. The marketing team kept track of who received the guides (via the CRM) and sent follow-up emails asking for an update (and feedback).
This improved the company’s reputation and helped drive more positive reviews (and business).
CRM vs. project management software
There are tools designed specifically for customer relationship management and those designed for project management. You can use the two together to improve collaboration and customer satisfaction.
But how do they differ?
Here are examples of use cases for each.
What is CRM software?
The purpose of CRM platforms is to collect data about customers, such as their contact information, conversation history, and purchase history.
Keeping customers happy is vital to ensuring business growth. 67% of consumers admitted that a brand’s reputation might have gotten them in the door, but it was earned brand trust that convinced them to stay.
Yet, this is a growing challenge in today’s digital landscape — building brand trust in 2020 has a minimal margin for error. This is because the online sharing economy places consumers in the power seat today — thanks to all the information at their disposal.
To stay competitive, brands have to stay in front of their content creation and customer relationship management. This is where proper integration of a CRM comes in.
Here’s an overview of the use cases for CRM tools:
- Sales prospecting
- Sales outreach
- Tracking lead/customer behavior
- Email marketing/segmentation
- Competitor tracking
- Creating customer profiles/personas
- Reducing churn rates
What is project management software?
Project management software is designed to help team leaders reach company goals. This includes delegating tasks, overseeing progress, and reviewing analytics reports.
Some PM platforms use a mix of boards and charts to provide a visual of what’s being done, by who, and by when. The goal of PM software is to improve project outcomes, which is essential when 9.9% of every dollar is wasted due to poor project performance.
Here’s a look at the use cases for project management tools:
- Product planning and strategy
- Event management
- Inventory management
- Business process management
- Agile software development
- Project tracking
- Construction management
- Daily task management
- Issue/bug tracking
- Product roadmapping
- Sprint planning
- Cross-team collaboration
By combining the two platforms’ capabilities, you can empower cross-departmental teams to work together to achieve company goals.
How to incorporate your CRM into your project management
There’s nothing like having all of your customer and project data on a unified platform. Combining the information from your CRM and PM software can remove communication issues caused by siloed departments (i.e., sales, customer support, and marketing).
But why fuss over a potentially complicated integration when you can take advantage of a platform that already offers both features?
This way you have a single digital workstation that does it all. Of course, you don’t want a bloated tool that’s too complex. Instead, you should shop for software that’s flexible, functional, and totally customizable.
So here are the four core features to look for during your search.
#1: Visual project management
A visual timeline of your project makes it easier to analyze your team’s progress. Some platforms offer this in the form of a kanban board, Gantt chart, or timeline.
It’s also useful for stakeholders who rely on one another throughout their workflow. Being able to view where a task is in the pipeline keeps everyone accountable and on track.
#2: Sales pipeline creation
Tracking the flow of leads and customers throughout the customer journey helps your teams understand what happens throughout the sales pipeline and how they affect it.
Your CRM platform should simplify lead management, customer relationship management, and lead handover.
#3: Easy communication between teams
Being able to communicate with team members across departments will remove unnecessary silos and data inaccessibility. The CRM software you use should allow assigned members to leave comments, attach documents, and host video calls.
#4: Data-driven insights
Why guess about the effectiveness of your projects when you can have data-driven insights to back your claims? This requires a CRM solution that gathers project and sales data to creates insightful analytics reports.
With a 360-degree view of customer data, you’ll be more equipped to make better business decisions.Putting together a tech stack for your marketing and sales teams is a delicate balance. You want to include elements that are easy to use, comprehensive, and work well together. Otherwise, your tools can end up creating more work.
By combining a CRM with project management, you can create a system that’s functional for teams across your organization. If you’re looking to eliminate silos and make data accessible to those who need it, then you need a holistic system.
You can get the best of both worlds and choose a CRM with project management features, like our intuitive client management template!