In our post that explores What is an all in one CRM?, we find that the term is perhaps somewhat misused by a number of CRM vendors who just focus on Sales and Marketing functions, or Sales, Service and Marketing. In this article we’ll use the SMOPS definition of an all-in-one CRM – meaning one that covers Sales, Marketing, Order Management, Project Management and Service Management.
So given that, why would some organizations need a CRM that covers all those five departments, while others find a better match with a CRM that just covers Sales (S), or Sales and Marketing (SM), or Sales, Marketing and Service (SMS)?
The answer to that lies in two areas – the size of the organization, and their business model.
If we look at a Fortune 500 business, the typical solution we might see there is Salesforce for their CRM, linked to an expensive ERP system custom-configured for them by SAP. This reflects the fact that in larger organizations job functions are more narrowly defined, and access to data tends to be more segregated and siloed. (It also reflects the fact that large businesses have large budgets for their management systems!) So the large firm splits operational management off into the SAP system, leaving Sales & Marketing as the domain of the CRM.
Conversely, smaller organizations benefit from close and quick communications between departments, and typically their staff have broader responsibilities. In these smaller organizations you will benefit from Sales seeing if Customer Service has a big issue in one of your accounts, and Service benefits from noting a large Sales opportunity for an account with an issue they are currently addressing.
So as we explore the properties of businesses that may want an all-in-one CRM, we see that the first qualifier is probably “smaller than a Fortune 500 business”. How much smaller? A reasonable dividing line is that an organization (or a business unit of a larger organization) of under 1,000 staff is more likely to find an all-in-one CRM appropriate for their needs.
Next we look at the business model. For an all-in-one CRM to be fully utilized in an organization (and we would note that it can still be a cost effective solution if not fully utilized) it should have some need for Project Management, Service Management and/or Order Management to be integrated within the CRM.
Typically a business needs project management if some of the staff are billable, providing professional services, keeping timesheets, and billing clients for their time. Don’t have people like that in your business? One less reason you might need an all-in-one CRM.
Does your business get a significant number of customer support calls, to the point where you need to track and manage them, and have staff specifically responsible for that function? If so, then that’s a reason you may want an all-in-one CRM – and if not, it’s another vote against one.
Does it make sense operationally for your Sales and front-office staff to be preparing quotes, sales orders and even invoices for clients? If so, then that’s a big red flag telling you that an all-in-one CRM might be essential for you. If not, maybe a simple Sales & Marketing CRM will be a better match for your organization.
Here is a simple chart reflecting the discussion above:
While your deliberations over your CRM selection will likely be more nuanced than the process above, we can see some clear guidelines above. If your organization, or independent business unit, has under 1,000 employees, and has a need for one or more of Project Management, Order Management and Service Management within your CRM, then you are a good candidate for an all-in-one CRM solution. If so, you should look at some of our other articles, such as Which CRMs are all-in-one Solutions, and The best all-in-one CRM solutions in 2020.
Looking for more information? Read our Ultimate Guide to All In One CRM Solutions.