When it comes to managing an organization’s relationship with its customers, customer relationship management (CRM) software systems are invaluable. From the time leads are generated to the time a customer makes their first purchase, CRM software systems are invaluable in providing after-sales follow-up and nurturing future sales opportunities.
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But what happens after the sale, when it comes to overseeing the project? As a result, it is critical that deliverables are managed precisely and effectively. Coordinated input from many departments is required for effective delivery of deliverables. In the first section of this piece, we’ll go over some of the most prevalent solutions that organizations are employing (and their shortcomings). During the second part of this article, we’ll talk about a better option and how it might assist firms involved in project delivery.
Project Management Solutions That Are Used Frequently
The majority of firms employ some type of project management (PM) system to ensure that each activity of the deliverables cycle begins and ends on time and within the budget constraints. Methods vary widely, but they frequently rely on a variety of software tools, including spreadsheets such as Excel, the calendar component of apps such as Outlook, and physical tools such as whiteboards and paper documents. The usage of similar tools in more organized ways may be similar, but they will follow more tightly to the methodology used by the project management industry. But each of those approaches are riddled with difficulties ranging from data duplication and human error to the logistical difficulties of keeping many independent monitoring and recording techniques up to date and synchronized. Organizations can manage their projects with the use of dedicated stand-alone project management software in order to avoid or mitigate these potential risks.
Project Management Software that is dedicated to a certain project
Because even seemingly straightforward projects have a large number of crucial and interrelated parts, project management software offers considerable benefits. Three of these advantages are particularly noteworthy:
- PM software simplifies otherwise complex processes, resulting in increased efficiency in a variety of steps. When taken together, these efficiencies will help to minimize the overall duration and expense of the project.
- Human error, particularly in the area of scheduling, is significantly reduced when project management software is utilized. It provides the project team with significant information about the project’s progress at every stage and alerts them to potential problems such as delays or cost overruns well in advance of the project’s completion.
- Project management software provides real-time and detailed visibility into the status of a project. This will boost the team’s confidence while also decreasing stress levels, resulting in an even more efficient project implementation overall.
Some stand-alone solutions have disadvantages
Project management software is not appropriate for every type of organization, and many stand-alone solutions are unnecessarily complex. As a result of the terminology used in the interface and the methodologies employed, it is assumed that users have specific project management qualifications and experience in the supervision of extremely complex projects such as highway construction, aircraft assembly, or large-scale domestic appliance manufacturing before using the interface. For the vast majority of organizations, however, this level of sophistication is unnecessary, resulting in confusion while providing no meaningful additional benefits or advantages. As a result, team members may become discouraged by the complexity of the software, which can lead to decreased job satisfaction and decreased productivity.
So, those are the constraints of a basic customer relationship management system, as well as the limitations of a standalone project management system. Keep an eye out for part two, in which we’ll provide an integrated solution that will handle both simple and complex project management of deliverables, all within the software that you’re already familiar with.
We previously discussed the constraints of a simple customer relationship management system as well as the benefits of a dedicated stand-alone project management system for controlling project delivery. Let’s now spread the good news about the benefits of a comprehensive solution by introducing the term “integrated.”
There are several advantages to using integrated project management tools.
The effectiveness of any Project Management (PM) software depends on a variety of elements, but one in particular is critical: the accuracy with which users enter information into the platform. One of the reasons why PM software that is integrated with a CRM system makes so much sense is because it saves time. In addition to having all of the advantages of standalone project management software, it has the additional advantage of having much of the information already available through the CRM; it does not require further data entry. This saves time, boosts efficiency, and significantly minimizes the likelihood of making a mistake.
As a result, once a sale is confirmed, the accompanying implementation project may be started immediately utilizing the same software suite and data that was obtained during the sales cycle, which saves time and money. The only new information that has to be entered is the information specific to the project in question. Most of the time, that information and any updates are entered by the customer’s project team leader in conjunction with other important team members. As a result, data integrity is maintained, while the entire team is kept fully informed about client expectations, project progress in terms of tasks, scope, milestones, budget projections and completion dates.
The ability to obtain much of the nitty-gritty information that the project team requires by directly consulting the data that was recorded in the CRM system during the sales cycle is another significant advantage of an integrated PM system. As deliverables are being worked on throughout the project cycle, the project team can obtain much of the nitty-gritty information that it requires by directly consulting the data that was recorded in CRM system during the sales cycle. This should contain any notes taken by the salesmen, any emails exchanged with the customer, any records of phone calls and meetings, and any bids supplied to the customer before the sale. The project team’s efficiency is increased as a result of having direct access to the customer’s contact history, which reduces the number of times they must contact the sales team or the customer.
An integrated solution is suitable for a wide range of business kinds
In today’s corporate world, project management software that is connected with CRM is beneficial to a wide range of organizations whose common trait is that they sell services or goods whose delivery is project-based. Their services or products have a total budget, are created independently or as distinct blocks, and their production has a specific start and end time, as well as the ability to be split down into related but discrete activities, as described above. Deliverables are created within specified parameters, and the project as a whole is finished on time thanks to the use of integrated software. Additionally, the time-entry component of the software ensures that the project and individual tasks are completed on time and within budget, as well as keeping track of hours for invoicing and cost accounting requirements.
A key reason why the CRM integrated project management system works is that it is a simple to use, highly efficient end-to-end solution – one system manages the entire client connection from the initial lead contact to the fulfillment of deliverables. No project management qualification is required to use it; a new user can become proficient in just a few days thanks to its uncluttered, intuitive interface and timesaving inline editing, which allows users to quickly edit data while checking the project’s tasks and milestones in the data grid view, rather than opening individual records.