Does it integrate with [insert CRM system name]?
This is one question we are commonly asked at the beginning of a new engagement. Often the particular CRM system name being a household one you will all be aware of. It made me think why the world (or rather sales people) is/are so wedded to independent CRM solutions when the idea is such a fundamentally bad one.
Let’s go back to basics. A CRM system is there to help you make sales to both new and existing customers and also to retain existing customers. Well, really the latter is just about trying to upsell them more stuff so it’s back to making sales.
Forget all the other stuff, that’s why you buy one.
The funny thing is, most CRM systems do not allow you to make a sale, only model the engagement process leading to hopefully closing an opportunity. At the point the customer is close to buying, the CRM system does exactly nothing. At this critical point, it is even likely to be out-of-date unless you have a sales call to attend because you are busy closing the sale not updating the CRM system.
So, really, what most people use their CRM systems for is to help nag the sales team to keep the opportunity list up to date and generally keep track/trigger follow-ups for dormant opportunities, not for what they thought they were buying it for.
Plus, it gives you the problem of duplicate customer/contact data. Although the CRM system is likely to know about the customer first, the customer master record is likely to be in your accounting system and the contact data between the two drifts apart all the time.
Then we add in the problem that not all sales come from opportunities you have to work. Often an existing customer will simply call someone in operations and order something directly, bypassing the sales force and the CRM system completely. Once they get to hear about it, it’s happened already and so doesn’t get modelled, making reporting meaningless!
So our answer to the question is “No”, we don’t integrate with CRM, we replace it with an area that is a complete part of the sales execution process. You actually use Harmony to make (all) the sales and the data is automatically aligned because it just happens to be the same data.
So, stop defending your sales teams’ expensive data island and start thinking lead to order in one seamless solution.
About the Author: Harmony Business Systems Ltd (HBS) is the company behind HarmonyPSA, the most complete cloud PSA software on the market. Developed with functionality to cater for even the most complex needs of MSPs, VARs, ISVs and Professional Services organisations, HarmonyPSA truly is the next generation of PSA systems. HBS is an independent company based in the UK. Follow HarmonyPSA on Twitter