Employees that are working on large projects face a number of challenges, one of which is information sharing. Too often project members do not have a complete picture of customer data or information about the progress of the project and time is wasted trying to coordinate information from disparate sources. A CRM project management system helps to alleviate many of the information sharing problems by pooling data from variety of office systems into one interface.
Customer Contact Information
Contact information is the most important piece of data that a team needs when working on a project, since it allows the team to ask questions of the client and of other members of the team. Without a CRM system in place, the data is split between several different address books or customer data sheets and few people have access to all of the data at one time. A CRM system synchronizes all of the customer data into one screen and allows for the easy correction of incorrect data, and can be used to delete irrelevant or redundant data. A pooled customer data sheet also means that every member of the project can see all of the customer data at any time, so there is no time wasted waiting for a returned email or phone from another member of team.
When working on a large project, employees need workflow checkpoints in order to ensure all of the work is completed in a timely manner. Using a CRM system permits workers to delegate tasks among the members of the project team and see when parts of the project have been completed. These workflow checkpoints give guidance to the employees so that all essential elements of the project get done, while keeping each member of the team accountable to each other and to management. When the elements are done, other members of the team can see the completed tasks and interact with the completed elements. In addition, these guided workflow checkpoints can be converted into repeatable project templates that employees can use any time a similar project is assigned to them.
The utilization of a CRM project management solution is a boon for managers because they are able to see how projects are progressing. Because employees have to use the guided workflow checkpoints, managers can ensure that work is being completed when the data is needed. In order to meet deadlines, managers can impose a schedule on the workflow checkpoints and check in with the project at any time to see that the checkpoints have been met. Managers can also use the CRM tools to give instantaneous feedback on projects while the work is being done. Management can see which members of the team are not pulling their own weight, which members constantly keep the project from moving forward, and which employees complete their assignments on time. This is invaluable data when it comes time to evaluate employees for raises or promotions.
CRM project management tools are a necessary part of working on a large project. For employees the system provides tools to give guidance about where a project should be heading and a schedule for when checkpoints must be met. For managers, the project management tools allow them to monitor progress and give feedback when needed.
My name is Chris Harper and I didn’t have the money when I started my business to afford a CRM solution, but when I finally did I went with SugarCRM, because of their great project management end. I highly recommend that if you have the money to spend, get a CRM started for your company earlier. It’s great to be able to look back and figure out what you did, or even leads that you had and you forgot about.