Using Software To Combine CRM with Project Management

Custom Application Development Company | Business Software

The most successful businesses in the world know how to deliver the best customer experience with each interaction, from initial contact with potential clients through the delivery of excellent solutions and services. With a combined CRM/project management strategy, companies can efficiently predict and manage customer needs and expectations, taking advantage of the benefits of both management solutions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Combining CRM and project management software improves the entire consumer purchasing process for both the consumer and the organization.
  • Before selecting the right software approach for integrated CRM and project management, it’s important to evaluate the advantages and potential challenges associated with implementation.
  • Several key areas benefit from a combined software approach, such as scheduling, project organization, and external and internal communication.

The right software can help create an exceptional customer experience, but when implemented ineffectively, it can sabotage your company’s success. Let Watkyn work with your team to create custom management solutions to increase growth and customer satisfaction.

The Definition of CRM Project Management Software

With a combined CRM and project management strategy, you take the best functions of each management approach to inform decision-making.

Customer Relationship Management Software

CRM software is what companies use to keep track of new leads and opportunities to generate sales. It stores lots of data about their customers, clients, and prospects and allows both sales teams and management to see the company’s sales pipeline and measure the results of sales efforts and activities at any level of detail. CRM reports provide insights about specific sales reps, market segments, products, and lead sources, which can help you to improve your sales function and identify new opportunities.

Project Management Software

Now that you’ve closed a sale, you’re responsible to your customer to plan and execute the project skillfully. Project management software allows you to define deliverables, milestones, tasks, and timelines, to assign staff and other resources, and to estimate and track costs, all while keeping your eye on the budget and deadline. 

The Benefits of CRM Project Management Integration

For project-based businesses, integrating CRM and project management systems can be key to your reputation, profitability, and maintaining happy long-term customer relationships. With access to the project management system, your sales professionals can make sure they don’t make promises your company won’t be able to keep. They will be able to check in to make sure key milestones are being met to maintain open lines of communication with the customer. And your production teams can make plans based on what they see coming through the pipeline.

Furthermore, efficiently managing projects puts your company in the perfect place to develop the trust of your customers, as efficiency generally translates to lower costs, timely delivery, and positive workplace morale.

Happy employees, quality products, cost-savings, and organizational transparency create satisfied, loyal consumers. Beyond this key benefit is the organizational support offered:

  • One central location for comprehensive data management: a single source of truth
  • Improved deliverables based on real-time insight and consumer feedback
  • More efficient use of resources with centralized time and money management
  • Heightened cross-department alignment with accessible data and real-time communication tools

CRM project management tools give your company the power to manage projects (and their impact on the customer) effortlessly.

The Challenges of CRM and Project Management Integration

While there are many benefits to a combined software approach, certain challenges can reduce their effectiveness. These are the three C’s to watch out for.

  1. Cost

Many companies struggle with the cost of implementing the right integrated project management tools. Some believe that the initial investment isn’t worth the return or may decide to purchase off-the-shelf (OTS) solutions and force them to work for the organization.

OTS software may have lower initial costs but can be a disaster and ineffective if you don’t understand what your company really needs. Don’t make a decision based on what your competition does if you need a customized solution designed to match your unique processes and the performance outcomes you need to achieve.

      2. Confusion

Unless your company clearly defines objectives for your CRM and project management platform, you’ll spin your wheels trying to make sense of data that has no measurable value and forcing functions for use cases that aren’t well thought out or applicable.

Successful integration requires careful planning. Consider the following questions when deciding what CRM and project management features to choose:

  • What problems are we trying to solve?
  • What processes are we looking to improve?
  • What functionalities are necessary for the departments using the system?
  • How will we evaluate the return on investment or benefits of the platform?

Since you are taking two separate organizational approaches and combining them into a single solution, it pays to be as clear and specific as possible to choose a software option that can handle all your needs.

      3. Capability

Because an effective CRM project management tool should directly address your unique core company objectives, relying on mass-produced OTS products will almost invariably leave gaps in function. Moreover, as your organization grows or changes, your CRM and project management needs may change, and an OTS product may lock you into a predefined way of doing things that is costly or impossible to change

As your business grows, you will need a software solution that is scalable, and you also need a development partner that can make changes as issues come up. It is needlessly expensive to try to force a generic solution to meet your needs when you can work with a software developer for a proprietary platform that you can alter and adapt at will. In many cases, except for the smallest companies, this will also result in the lowest total cost to the company over a 5-7 year period.

You also gain more hands-on help with planning and integration when you work with a development partner. This can increase the efficiency and performance of your employees as they receive training to understand the skills necessary to successfully use the platform.

Steps for avoiding challenges with CRM project management implementation

The Key Areas of Integration With CRM Project Management Software

Although these management options may appear to have different operational objectives, there are several areas where a combined approach delivers exceptional results. Here are some integration opportunities.

Schedule Management

Both project management and customer relations are closely tied to the clock and the calendar. Scheduling project work in the system allows the customer service team to answer customer questions about project timelines or expected delivery quickly.

Because it is a collaborative tool, sales teams, support staff, and management can see the schedule and make decisions accordingly. It is easy to put additional projects on the agenda or organize meetings when all invitees can attend.

Email Integration

Email is a primary form of communication both internally and externally for most organizations. Numerous emails are sent throughout the course of the project life cycle and among a number of different parties. Integrated email puts all communication in the same place with access for all those who need it.

Project Organization and Tracking

It’s important to have clear deliverables set for each project, and within an integrated platform, key participants can track the status and details of a project. The sales team can more effectively make delivery estimates and schedule projects, and customer support teams can access the same information for accurate responses to consumer complaints.

Within the platform, the team strategy remains aligned. Real-time project details, accurate information, and convenient communication keep everyone on the same page and present a unified response to the consumer.

Partner With Us for CRM With Project Management Software Integration

When you’re ready to move forward with CRM and project management combined, Watkyn is a leading development partner specializing in custom business software such as CRMs and project management systems. Contact us today for a CRM project management solution to bring efficiency and improved performance to your organization’s processes.

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