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While you might not see the topic discussed regularly in CRM software reviews, end users frequently ask when CRMs are going to go away once and for all. After all, the industry is rife with tales of ineffective CRM systems and failed implementations. However, digging deeper indicates that the problem isn’t inherent to CRM. Instead, CRM software is only as good as the way that it is implemented and tied to the sales and marketing process.
Traditionally, as covered in many CRM software reviews, applications do an excellent job of tracking contacts with clients and prospects. When the sales team can be convinced to join the marketing team in updating the CRM, it provides a single repository of data that can be useful for gauging the status of the relationship, planning future sales and marketing actions, and ultimately influencing the client to take action.
However, for CRM to work, it requires extensive data entry. While marketing teams are used to doing this type of exacting work, sales teams are sometimes more focused on maximizing their contact levels rather than reporting on past ones. Furthermore, while the data in CRM is invaluable, many organizations face challenges in pushing the data back to the sales team so that they can close more effectively.
In the face of these problems, it is not surprising that some CRM users might want the software to go away. In response to real user needs and negative CRM software reviews, some application developers are finding a different approach to CRM. These new applications leverage automation and inter-departmental communication to fully leverage the power of customer relationship management.
One example of this new breed of applications is the new HubSpot CRM. This CRM starts from the ground up with a marketing system that automates much of the marketing phase of client contact. With automated software driving contacts, much of the data in the CRM system is populated without the need for human data entry. This gives the best of both worlds — lots of information with little effort.
The next solution that this new breed of CRMs offers is an automated hand off to the sales department. Right now, CRMs typically aggregate data and wait for someone to manually go in, identify a lead, and then forward it to the sales team. This new breed of CRMs connects sales and marketing, integrating both together and automating the process of letting leads flow back and forth. This increases efficiency and, more importantly, makes it easier to close for new business. At the same time, it also lets the marketing team track sales activity and stay involved in the process to continue building the brand and supporting the sales team’s mission even after the lead is theoretically “handed off.”
As new CRM solutions, like HubSpot CRM that integrate sales and marketing come onto the market, you can expect the tone of many CRM software reviews to change. To learn more about these new technologies and how CRM can improve your company’s bottom line, download our CRM Software Reviews eBook.