Project Management and CRM software: The SME guide
Project Management and CRM software
For SMEs, every opportunity to carry forward business operations, however small it might be, is a stepping stone towards entrepreneurial success. As a small business owner, it is imperative to have clear hold and control over your marketing initiatives. Clients and customers are the forces that keep the business moving ahead. Therefore, it becomes utterly necessary to ensure that the business practices implemented within your SME donot fall short of the expected mark.
Keeping track of your SME business projects is the first-hand solution to achieving the initial stepping stone. CRM and PM software often come to the rescue. CRM software in its most comprehensive meaning is a strategy—a set of processes, technologies and methodologies—that enables businesses to manage customer relationships in a better, more coordinated and organized way. On the other hand, project management software helps enterprises manage every minuscule aspect of projects from start to finish—the budget, resources and team communication.
According to a survey by Nucleus Research, as of 2012, companies still had not taken advantage of 80% of potential benefits from CRM use. Integration, extension and collaboration are major areas where ROI can occur.
SMEs and Integration
SMEs, since they operate on a smaller scale, are often apprehensive of walking the path of integration. However, it must be kept in mind that there might be several instances where the sales and marketing team of your SME would want to know the progress of a customer’s deliverables. This type of information related to marketing status is typically stored in a project management system. By integrating your sales and marketing projects with CRM, you can help your SME in managing the entire lifecycle of your clients and customers – right from generating leads to closing deals, and executing projects – all in one place.
“Sustainable customer relationships are worth more than the company’s products, stores, factories, web addresses, and even employees. In order to survive in the increasing competitive environment, a company’s strategy should focus on how to find and retain the most profitable customers possible instead of just providing superior products or service.”
– Kalakota et al 2000, P169
It is a misconception that only large organizations, courtesy their expansive business processes, should opt for integration. SMEs too can reap the benefits of automation which would help in maintaining a cordial relation with customers.
- Improved communication process – There will be visible improvement in the communication process within the company. Different teams and departments working together on a customer or client project will have access to real-time status of various sales and marketing activities.
- Breaking down of data silos – Sans integration, different departments will have records of information related only to them. Therefore, sharing or accessing required data with other departments becomes a hassle. With integration services, management and tracking of crucial data becomes simplified. Data integration ensures all involved departments have due access to relevant data that is hosted on the same platform.
- Sales productivity improvement – Since required data is always readily available and there is better communication amongst the members, productivity of the sales team is inadvertently enhanced.
- Better client / customer interaction – All interactions with customers and clients can be carried out in an organised and precise manner. Feedback can be accurately captured that helps in enhancing service. This assists in improving the overall customer interaction and customer relation.
Is integration the answer?
A fast growing organization like an SME, typically needs to run disparate applications across different processes and functional areas. Absence of an integrated business application system might lead to process inefficiencies and potential loss of revenue. Evaluate the business requirements of your SME and implement an integration application like Deskera to increase profitability.