Many companies, no matter the size and capacities, come to a point of dealing with information silos complicating agile collaboration. Information silos are the result of departments’ isolation and lack of communication/integration/collaboration within the organization. The most typical case of silos build up is between the sales and project management depts. There you have the sales guys logging data on leads, opportunities, contact information, order requests and sales follow-up history, in the best cloud CRM software. On the opposite army, you have the managers playing with their tasks, work packages, kanban boards and gantt charts and work assignments in their cloud project management software.
The result? You cannot keep your clients in the loop and up to date on their projects and deliverables as there is no cross departmental connectivity and visibility. And if you (the CTO) thing that you’re going to remedy this by building a third custom in-house app able to connect the two systems then you are flirting with money and resources loss. You have to comprehend once and for all that this is not a problem of systems interconnectivity per se but of data incompatibility which leads to misinformation and high response times.
No wonder, many CTOs are finding peace of mind in new cloud CRM Project Management and Business Intelligence capabilities and vice versa, as by having an all-in-one software (and I repeat here ONE) you force the necessary visibility across depts and teams. The benefits are:
- All customer strategic information from lead approach to project completion in ONE system
- Once separated teams are forced to collaborate as they handle tasks such as customer follow ups, budgeting, planning and reporting
- No key customer-project information is lost
- Productivity can easily be measured
- And obviously, you pay and maintain one instead of two+ systems!
Dave Kramer, Founder of AllProWebTools, simply highlights the obvious: “Combining a project management app with CRM works because it recognizes that the projects you work on for a customer are part of your developing relationship with them. For example, at AllProWebTools, we work on a lot of diverse projects for our clients. One client might have one of us working on writing a blog post, another working on his website, and a third developing a marketing campaign for him. Our software combines project management tools and CRM, so when we clock into that client, we leave notes about what we got done in the CRM. Our CRM vendor has a feature called the Workflow Timeline, which is a live feed of updates: new orders, client notes, and project notes.
The status of each individual project is clearly shown on that client’s page of the CRM. It’s great for transparency with the client – who can request a copy of their relationship timeline – but it’s also great for project managers and account managers, who can make sure everything is getting done according to schedule.”
Alessandra Ceresa, marketing director of GreenRop, advocates that project management and CRM software are a match made in heaven. She backs up her argument with the following two great points:
- Be able to associate projects and tasks with particular contacts. People are responsible for completing the tasks within a project, correct? So, why wouldn't you be able to associate your projects with people within your CRM. You can assign tasks to them, track their progress with these tasks. This is a great way to measure hours, progress, and more if you integrate the two.
- Be able to accurately relay project information to a customer. When you associate your projects with customers you can efficiently show them the progress of the project, as well as the team members associated with the project. It is also important for people assigned to that project to be able to view the contacts behaviors and activities, and see if any of those actions affect the outcome or progress of the project.
Androklis Mavridis is an expert in Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Real Options and decision making in S/W investments