Many companies are still not making the best of the technological structure of their CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Their operations are often based on a few files spread among their employees or centralised in a document manager, even in the best-case scenario. And other companies might have reached the embryonic phase of adopting a CRM solution to meet their immediate needs, but without having considered their company’s medium to long-term requirements, in a more or less self-taught or unstructured way. And this too could be a challenge.
To help you clarify the basic considerations for getting the best out of your company’s CRM solution, we aggregated some deliberations, the result of years of experience in the field, into a convenient article so that you can validate the advantages of one approach over another for yourself.
So, without further ado, let’s see which approach suits your organisation better when implementing a CRM platform:
Vertical, by industry
There are several fields of industry that, due to their extended interactivity with this type of system, already make it possible for providers in collaboration with organisations in these industries to create a database based on best practices and their current needs. Some examples of these sectors are:
👉 Financial services;
It is a fact that no two companies work in the same way; because either they have very different basic models of operation, or their unique company culture extends considerable influence over day-to-day activities, among other examples.
Suppose that your company operates in a sector where a CRM system has already been organised and executed. In this case, a vertical system should be a hypothesis to consider as the basis of the solution.
Horizontal, by department/team
Another approach to consider is a departmental or team management view of the company. The need here is not so linked to an end-to-end system but rather in line with the organisational, planning and performance needs of every department. In these cases, you can take a horizontal approach, where a platform module is chosen as the basis of the solution. The most traditional aspects are:
👉 Sales, traditionally dedicated to commercial teams, where the base solution already includes customer management, opportunities, insights over the sales funnel, and budgeting components, among others;
👉 Marketing, for teams that need to understand how the company is interacting with customers and potential customers (that is, leads) and that need a platform on which to organise various data, such as landing pages, forms, campaigns and ads, as well as planning the customer journey or implementing scoring models;
👉 Customer Service, where the focus is usually on after-sales teams or clarifying customer doubts. In this component, you can count on a knowledge base engine, that is, a database prepared to help respond to problems that have been reported and analysed previously, with distinctions between internal and external Question/Answer articles, ticket monitoring, and with or without an SLA (Service Level Agreement). This way, you will be able to prioritise any customer and allow your customer service teams to know where to concentrate their attention);
👉 Field operations, offering the teams that operate in the field the necessary tools to help them be more productive, generally centred around the assignment of tasks/work to be carried out at specific addresses, with route planning for this work or perhaps optimising resource allocation;
👉 eCommerce platforms are as exciting or more interesting from the point of view of customer data as any other component mentioned above because it is through these that we can understand the tastes and inclinations of our customers. Whether they take longer looking at a particular product, for example, tend to favour one colour above another, make choices and add them to the cart but then go shopping at the store, or save specific items to a wishlist, amongst other information.
Functional, for particular needs
Finally, we have a more functional vision. We need a particular characteristic to bring employees closer and encourage cohesion within a team, department, or even across the entire organisation. Some examples are:
👉 Collaborative, where the aim is to give employees more information from different sources and break down data silos;
👉 Analytical, where the main feature is that the system stores all the information in order to present it in the best and most cohesive way;
👉 Interaction Management, giving the team a tool to record external and internal interactions so that everyone is on the same page;
👉 Document Management is a bit like interaction management, but this time sharing is based on documents, such as budgets or advertising material.
As we have seen, a CRM solution is more than just a work tool. It is a fundamental source of data for the operation and function of any organisation, and we can and must choose to always look beyond implementation. Have a thought-out, well-planned strategy that comprehensively addresses the company’s processes, needs, and teams and how they work.
👉 If you are in a sector that focuses on the customer, you can opt for a vertical solution, taking advantage of the best practices of the industry in which it operates;
👉 On the other hand, if the need is related to increasing the productivity and efficiency of a specific department or team, then the base must be thought of horizontally, using the available modules;
👉 If what you are looking for is related to specific functionality, then the base should be a system that provides this functionality, and generally also combines one of the previous aspects;
Regardless of the basic approach to be used, every solution must be configured and customised to suit the organisation individually, in order to facilitate the adoption of teams so that in the end, we can achieve fewer information silos; greater collaboration between teams; and greater and more precise information from diversified sources!