The Importance of Having a Flexible CRM Solution

Written by – Patricia Jones- ConvergeHub

Why your CRM should be flexible and what do we get out of a flexible CRM? A discussion that will enlighten the SMB’s of the need for a good integration solution. We know – In a time when business success is dependent on customer satisfaction, a cutting-edge CRM solution is the key to ensure the smooth operation of any organization. And we also know that to gain the benefits of CRM in rea-time, we need to choose a CRM platform that can closely support  the needs of the business.

Is doing that difficult? Not really. Although options are plentiful and we are faced with hundreds of options when it comes to choosing a CRM vendor, emphasis on the right selection criteria helps to easily navigate through the process.

So what are the typical factors to consider while choosing new CRM platform or, alternatively assessing the performance of the system already in use –

o    Decision between on-premise or cloud based system

o    Company business requirements

o    Number of users

o    Ability to integrate with third party applications

o    Mobile access

In spite of the above-mentioned factors, experts suggest that there is no one-size-fits-all answer as to what type of a CRM solution is best suited for any given organization. Ideally, as a business grows and matures, its CRM must be able to do the same. This is where the factor of “change agent” comes into the picture.

Why should the CRM act as the change agent inside the company?

Most organizations have fixed goals – let’s say acquiring new customers, retaining the existing customers, providing on-time excellent customer support, driving revenue and controlling cost. But then the path to the accomplishing these goals changes regularly due to the micro and macro level trends.

o    Macro-level trends, namely – market economy, the explosion of new communication channels etc affect how your organization reaches its goals.

o    Micro-level trends, namely – Change in executive management, internal process enhancement, customer demand response etc

Frequent occurrence of the above-mentioned trends forcefully brings change within the operations of an organization. As a result – there are high chances of organizations to get bewildered and bogged down at all levels and lose focus on their goals.

To tackle this, many organizations have invested on what is called the – internal “change agents”. These professionals are visionaries who help see the proverbial curve in the upcoming road. They help companies adapt to changes smoothly and quickly.

CRM  works as the internal change agent

In the words of a technological expert – ‘’Many organizations get stuck trying to achieve their sales, marketing and support goals, because their CRM technology is not forward thinking. Businesses need to understand that while common selection factors (think: social, mobile, cloud) is important to consider, what is paramount is CRM flexibility.’’

Very few CRM applications actually offer the strategic advantage of being deeply flexible and channel-agnostic. Fundamentally the CRM should enable companies to adapt to the changing tide in a strategic and cost-effective manner before other features to address those issues can be released.

Is flexibility more important for the small businesses?

For a small business, perhaps the most important feature to look into CRM should be more conceptual. Given the fact that they undergo rapid change and are under the phase of unpredictability, fundamentally for them the most important thing a CRM application should offer is flexibility.

Apart from efficiently handling the volatility that small companies go through, having a flexible CRM also prepares the SMB owners to traverse through their economic cycle i.e. growth – downturn – back to growth. They get more alert to changing trends in sales, marketing and customer support traction, to find the most productive niche and concentrate resources accordingly.

Final Thoughts

So, when you think about deploying or upgrading your CRM, think about its potentiality as a change agent. Do think about how you can adapt to organizational changes with the CRM you are thinking to deploy. Remember, goals will stay the same but the path will constantly change.

It’s important that your CRM is flexible enough to be a change agent seeing the curves far ahead in the road and helping you adapt to them hassle free.

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About TimeLinx
TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.