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How Many CRMs Do You Need?

Source: Microsoft.com

Managing relationships with people is the heart of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, whether they are customers, vendors, business partners, constituents or other people. So in that sense, there is hardly any organization that doesn't do CRM even if they don't own CRM software such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Salesforce.  The most common way to manage people is in your email such as Outlook contacts, or Excel spreadsheets with lists of people to whom you send mail or emails.

What we often find that our clients inadvertently end up with more than on CRM, because the same information on people is tracked in multiple systems.  Universities, for instance, may have separate systems for applicants, students, alumni, donors, and parents even though over time these may be the same people. Similarly, organizations that recruit members or employees end up tracking the same people over a long period of time.  The more overlapping CRM systems you maintain, the greater the risk of data inconsistency.

If your CRM consists of Outlook and Excel, ask yourself when you might outgrow this approach. Moving to a mature CRM product gives you much greater control over your data and provides the ability to do automated marketing outreach, sales tracking and much more than you can expect from a spreadsheet.

If you have multiple CRM systems that overlap, ask yourself whether the benefits of consolidating and standardizing these systems is worth the cost and the effort.  You could potentially save on software licensing as well as reduce the cost of training and support by moving to a common CRM platform.


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