Why CRM in Project Management Is Important for Business Growth

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Every project management team needs critical customer information and collaboration from other departments to be successful. But getting the relevant departments to play ball is sometimes easier said than done. Using a CRM in project management could be the answer you need for ultimate inter-departmental cohesion.

Bringing sales, marketing, customer success, and project management teams together with a solid CRM software integration improves company-wide success and growth. How? Keep reading to learn more about CRM project management and what it can do for your team’s productivity.

What is CRM in project management?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software makes it easier for sales, marketing, and customer success teams to gather and extract customer data. These systems help these teams understand customers and deliver better experiences.

But the reality is that your project management team needs the same data, which means that all teams must communicate with each other to accomplish their respective tasks and goals. Running these departments on separate software systems can create confusion and inconsistencies from one department to the next.

That’s why using your CRM for project management is beneficial. It involves integrating your project management and CRM software solutions to bring teams together and combat departmental silos. 

While some CRMs offer workflow automation and other helpful tools, you can also integrate your existing project management software with the CRM for a holistic solution. 

Bringing critical data and processes together improves information sharing and collaboration across departments. It fosters a powerful synergy between your sales, marketing, customer success, and project management teams, leading to greater customer satisfaction. 

Looking for an easy-to-use CRM with all the features you need to boost sales?

Nutshell has what you’re looking for.

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CRM vs. project management software

Merging your CRM and project management software gives your team all the tools to nurture and support customers before and after their first purchase. But it’s still important to understand the difference between the two and their individual functions.

Let’s take a closer look at the main differences between project management software and CRM software.

Customer relationship management software

The following elements are specific to a company’s CRM software:

  • Core attributes: Reputable CRM software will include features for building pipelines, adding and automating tasks, scheduling meetings and calls, and communicating with customers and team members.
  • Primary applications: CRMs typically help teams manage and engage with leads and contacts, supporting strategies like prospecting, lead tracking, and email marketing.
  • Key objectives: The main goal of CRM software is to help your team find and secure leads, develop better customer relationships, and deliver efficient customer support.

Project management software

Project management software serves a slightly different purpose, including:

  • Core attributes: Most project management apps include key features to assign and track tasks, monitor project timelines, manage deadlines, oversee budgets, and automate workflows.
  • Primary applications: Project management software is for project and task management related to project plans, budgets, stock, deadlines, and team members.
  • Key objectives: Your project management software should promote planning to achieve project goals, completion of projects on time and within budget, team communication, and customer satisfaction.

Can you use your CRM system for project management?

The short answer is yes—Integrating a CRM with project management software can definitely benefit your business.

A good CRM app can be a potent, stand-alone solution to support your sales, marketing, and customer success teams. With it, your teams can use valuable insights into customer behavior and leverage automation features to convert leads into customers.

But your project management team comes into the mix once the lead becomes a customer and the goal shifts to customer retention. Despite this, understanding your customer’s wants and needs and how they engage with your product or service is still vital.

Your CRM continues to be the source of information crucial to meeting your customers’ needs no matter where they are in the customer lifecycle. 

The project management team needs this information to deliver on their promises and impress customers. This data makes your CRM a critical part of all facets of your business, including project management. 

Combining your CRM and project management software gives your team access to the information and support they need to ensure positive customer experiences. It also encourages collaboration across departments, providing a smooth onboarding process for the customer.

The benefits of using a CRM in project management

Using multiple apps and software to run a business seems to be the norm. But that’s how departmental silos and inaccuracies occur. Here are some of the benefits associated with deploying a CRM in project management:

  • Improved data cohesion: With all your information on the same system, teams from across your organization can access and share accurate information in a flash. 
  • Increased quality: Teams responsible for different aspects of the customer experience, like product development, will have access to vital feedback that can help with product and service improvements.
  • Enhanced efficiency: Bringing everything together into one system will make cross-department communication more time-efficient and should help you save on software costs.
  • Better organization: Instead of saving mission-critical information in different places, which leads to duplicates and inaccuracies, everyone shares the same information managed and stored in one place.
  • Elevated customer experiences: With improved collaboration and access to quality information, rallying the right team members to address queries and manage expectations is easier.
  • Streamlined onboarding: With your combined CRM and project management solutions, teams can facilitate a smooth transition from lead to customer.

Must-have CRM for project management features

For the best CRM and project management merger, you need software that’s customizable, agile, easy to use, and packed with valuable features and tools.

Essential CRM project management tools

When on the hunt for a CRM that fits the CRM project management bill, look for a solution that offers the following essential tools and features:

  • App integration options: A CRM with multiple integration options makes incorporating your project management software a breeze.
  • Team collaboration: If the CRM simplifies and records team and inter-departmental communication and information sharing, you may have a winner.
  • Task management: With your integrated CRM and project management software, teams should be able to manage and automate tasks across departments.
  • Activity scheduling: Scheduling meetings and calls with customers and team members through your new CRM should be hassle-free.
  • Notifications and alerts: Choose a CRM that notifies teams about task, project, and customer updates, and alerts you of vital communications and deadlines.
  • Lead generation tools: Look for a CRM with tools to help you bring in new leads via landing pages, social media, email, and more.
  • Pipeline management: Make sure you can build custom pipelines and track leads, goals, and tasks related to each pipeline stage.
  • Process automation: Your CRM should let you set up workflow automations, saving time and making tracking tasks and activities easier.
  • Reporting and analytics: Your CRM should deliver detailed reports and metrics useful to all departments, including sales figures, other conversion numbers, customer behavior metrics, and email open rates.
  • Marketing tools: A CRM with notable marketing tools, like creating lead-generating landing pages and sending newsletters and broadcasts, is a must.
  • Email synchronization: Ensure the CRM offers email and calendar synchronization so all your communication and appointments live in your CRM app.

Other important CRM project management software features

Although the tools and features directly related to workflow and tasks are crucial, a few other features make the overall CRM project management experience more manageable. These include:

  • Adaptable solution: Whether you’re a small, medium, or large business, your CRM project management solution should let you tailor elements to your needs and scale as your business grows.
  • Positive user experience: Software that’s easy to set up and use goes a long way to favorable team adoption and experiences.
  • Mobile app access: Ensure your team stays on top of deals and projects while on the go by choosing a CRM with mobile app access.
  • Secure system: Prevent your customer and project data from falling into the wrong hands with software that offers advanced encryption and data protection.
  • Responsive customer support: Make sure your CRM offers prompt, reliable, and knowledgeable customer support to overcome issues seamlessly.

Factors to consider when shifting to CRM project management

There are a few things to consider when moving from a stand-alone project management approach to an integrated CRM project management system. To ensure you select a system that aligns with your business, ask yourself the following questions.

How many team members should I cater to?

Knowing the size of your team will help with a few central decisions when choosing and implementing your CRM project management software. The number of team members could influence your software package size and budget, which may dictate the features included.

How easy will it be to onboard the team?

Consider that your team will experience a transition period and require training. To reduce the risk of downtime and issues, formulate a plan for onboarding teams systematically. 

Integrating that software with a CRM may be reasonably quick if your project management team is already familiar with project management software. But it’s best to allow the team time to get used to the new system and gain some experience.

What features does my team need?

The features you need may come down to the nature of your business and how your teams function. Think about the features that will improve your current processes and those that may help you incorporate new ones to boost your productivity.

Separate the essential features from those that are nice to have and consult your budget to find the best fit for your business and team.

How Nutshell makes CRM in project management easy

Nutshell is the all-in-one CRM trusted by 30,000+ professionals and is ideal for your company’s CRM project management needs. Opting for Nutshell as your project management CRM gives you access to numerous customizable features, including:

Choosing Nutshell is as easy as signing up for our 14-day trial, which gives you access to the full Nutshell app—no credit card required. Give it a try and discover how Nutshell can elevate your CRM project management system.

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