Is Your CRM System A Two-Way Street?

Older CRM systems were all about agents putting information into the system. This is an important facet of CRM, but most sales reps for example are left with a “what’s in it for me?” feeling if they see the CRM as a burden and data entry point.

However, modern CRM tools that leverage social channels and a fluid flow of data from external sources can be a tool that GIVES sales reps information. Instead of a productivity drain – the CRM system is a hub, and central area where sales reps learn about prospects, collaborate with partners and customers, and simply gather information supplied by other networks or sources.

(Look, I know a lot of traditional CRM use cases give a lot of information – i.e. reports. However this is stil based on static data entered by users for the most part.)

I like to think of modern CRM as a bank. You make deposits (entering opportunity data, logging calls, etc.) but you can also make withdrawals (leveraging embedded LinkedIn connector to find untapped relationships, monitoring Twitter streams right from Contact records or dashboards, aggregating data in one touch using Cloud Connectors, etc.).

In short, a modern, social enabled CRM system makes it a two-way street. Yes, the traditional tasks need to be performed – which helps management and executives gain visibility over top-level operations. But, the cool resources inside socially enabled CRM systems give the end users a lot of data, insight etc. to do their jobs better, make quota faster and actually enjoy using the system.

Martin Schneider is Director of Product Marketing at SugarCRM. In his role, Martin handles competitive intelligence, marketing positioning and analyst relations. Prior to joining SugarCRM, Martin held the position of senior analyst with technology industry research firm the 451 Group, headquartered in NYC. Martin covered the CRM landscape for the 451, analysing and consulting on such topics as Software-as-a-Service, business intelligence and open source applications. Martin also covered the CRM space as news editor with CRM Magazine in New York.