Combining CRM with Project Management to Maximize Efficiency and Productivity

Fireberry Team
Fireberry Team

It’s no secret that platforms power nearly every department in modern businesses. Gone are the days of relying on spreadsheets to track everything — now, there are a wealth of cloud-based tools purpose-built for specific departments and needs.

Two of the most popular categories of these new platforms are Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) and project management platforms (PMs). Both of these platforms help customer-facing departments and development departments stay on top of everything that needs to be done.

Typically, CRMs and project management solutions are separated. Even though they both help teams stay productive, the needs of these teams vary, necessitating different capabilities from the platforms they use.

However, it’s possible to merge CRMs and PMs in one platform, increasing productivity and efficiency for both customer-facing teams and developers. Beyond that, you’ll also facilitate customer-centric development and enable sales teams to convert more leads into customers.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how a CRM and PM can transform your organization.

The Power of CRM with Project Management Capabilities

Customer-facing teams, such as sales and customer support, use CRMs, while developers and administrators use Project Management platforms. Traditionally, these two platforms had a more narrow focus and limited capabilities that make them more widely applicable.

Fortunately, you can now combine both of these use cases within a unified platform that provides benefits throughout your organization. So let’s explore both platforms separately and then how they can be combined to increase efficiency and productivity.

What is a CRM Platform?

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform centralizes all customer data, tracks interactions, and allows customer-facing teams to communicate better and collaborate.

CRMs replace legacy methods, typically spreadsheets and email chains, that aim to keep track of lead pipeline progress, trouble ticket resolutions, and all other customer contacts. A CRM enables every employee to provide customers with a better experience, whether that means tech support or closing a sale.

What is a Project Management Platform?

A Project Management platform (PM) is focused on collaboration and communication, systematically completing various tasks. Developers often use PMs but they can also be used by marketing, accounting, and any other department with task-based workflows.

Similar to CRMs, a Project Management platform replaces legacy systems for communicating roles and responsibilities for a given project. Now, the project manager and everyone on the project can more easily share information, review the overall status, and stay on top of past-due tasks.

How Are They Combined?

CRM and Project Management platforms can be combined to improve the productivity and efficiency of every department involved. Additionally, it can help refocus the development workflow on what customers need while allowing sales teams to provide greater detail to help close sales.

Even if one team only uses CRM-like capabilities, it’s still valuable to unite the use cases so that if they ever do need project management features, they’re readily available.

Ultimately, these platforms are centralized and cloud-based, making uniting them into one platform a powerful way to further enhance the operational excellence of every department.

Top Benefits for Combining CRM and Project Management

What will adopting a unified platform for CRM and Project Management achieve? What benefits will you see throughout your organization as a result? Is it all worth the effort?

Let’s explore the possible benefits of combining CRM and PM in one platform.

Destroy Organizational Silos

Perhaps the most immediate benefit of unifying your platforms is destroying the silos that separate different departments. Using separate systems creates silos that hinder communication and collaboration, instead relying on emails or instant messaging for these teams to communicate.

A single platform enables better information sharing and collaboration, increasing efficiency and productivity. Workflows can be streamlined, and many tedious tasks can be entirely eliminated.

For example, let’s say a developer needs to discover if any customers have reported an issue with a specific capability. Instead of contacting customer support, they can search for trouble tickets to find the answer. This eliminates taking time away from customer support while also allowing the developer to quickly find the answer.

Close the Gap Between Project Delivery and Sales

Sales teams and developers often work closely together when delivering a new or updated project. Closing this gap by integrating CRM and PM platforms allows for seamless communication between these teams, ultimately benefiting the customer experience.

As an example, some SaaS platforms provide customized options for enterprise users. Now, if a sales rep is working with a new lead, they’ll need to communicate effectively with developers to provide the custom solution. A unified platform makes communicating these needs and checking statuses much simpler than other methods.

Take a Customer-centric Development Approach

Destroying organization silos allow developers and engineers to stay on top of customer issues and requests, which in turn creates a customer-centric development approach.

The example we gave earlier demonstrates that developers can more easily find customer concerns, but that’s only the beginning. More examples include:

  • Developers can easily send out customer surveys about what features they want or the top pain points they still have.
  • Engineers can examine reported outages or downtime to better identify potential infrastructure issues.
  • Quality assurance testers can find specific bugs reported by customers to further investigate.

Features Designed for Scalability with CRM in Project Management

Each of the following benefits creates a more scalable organization. So what features do you need to realize each of those benefits and build a more scalable business?

Any prospective CRM for Project Management needs to have some key features to accommodate the needs of every team using it:

  • Real-time data: Data needs to be immediately available once it has been captured so that it’s available to the rest of the team or to be integrated into analytics.
  • Integrations: Integrations are necessary for any CRM to work with the rest of an organization’s tech stack. The goal of using leading-edge technologies is to reduce jumping between systems, so your chosen CRM should accommodate existing platforms.
  • Lead and task management: The goal is to unite CRM and task management under one roof. The right CRM won’t narrowly focus on lead management but also allow for adaptable task management. Being able to manage tasks that are not directly related to customers is vital to project management. 
  • Workflow automation: Automation can help every user, from developers to sales reps, eliminate tedious tasks from their workflows. Workflow automation allows employees to set specific rules for a given task, and when those rules are met, another action takes place. As such, there is much less time spent manually handling minor tasks.

Successfully merging these two types of platforms depends on having the right capabilities; otherwise, you’ll fail to reap the benefits we explored above fully.

Partner with Fireberry for an Industry-Leading CRM

Combining CRM and project management in a unified platform can significantly benefit your entire organization. You’ll break down silos, increase sales processes, and embrace customer-centric development. Then, your teams will develop a product that provides more value to customers and enables sales teams to close more deals.

However, not every CRM or PM can easily accomplish both purposes. It’s crucial to carefully evaluate all available options and find the right option with the capabilities of both a CRM and a project management platform.

Fireberry is one of the leading customizable CRMs with comprehensive integrations and the flexibility necessary to combine CRM and PM capabilities in one.

Ready to discover how Fireberry can transform your operations? Reach out to us today to speak with one of our CRM experts.