You’ve probably heard about customer relationship management systems. You might even be using one to work your capture process. But, like all technology, capture management is dynamic, not static. As new ways of processing data become available for cross-industry applications, new systems, such as automated capture solutions, hit the market. Do you need to make the switch to an automated business solution or is a CRM platform enough?
The quick, but not so simple answer is that it depends.
Automation vs. CRM
Taking a process-based approach to business allows for customized solutions designed to mesh seamlessly with your existing systems. An automated capture solution manages real business processes to save time and money.
By breaking down every level of customer engagement, these solutions drive growth. Compared to CRM systems, automation can be deployed in a way that is highly specific and strategic. You can automate individual processes to increase efficiency and enable better information tracking.
Is the CRM Obsolete?
A CRM has its uses but is still, at the end of the day, generic. It gathers some customer information, but not all of it, and sometimes it misses important facts. CRM systems act as a database to gather and sort data, but without a process in place, the information just sits there. And no process means no action.
Another potential risk with some CRM solutions is scalability. Not every CRM can scale, leaving you with a capacity issue that may wear on your organization and as time goes on. So even if the CRM platform you use is still valuable, you may outgrow it.
Automation Buys Time
Time is the one commodity that you can’t just get more of. There’s no way to order up an extra hour for peak times, so the best solution for increased capacity while controlling the budget is automation. Automation takes out the human element and runs on autopilot.
For some, their business models are based substantially on automation. Drop-shipping is one of the best examples, where one business acts as the seller but outsources all of the fulfillment.
In your business, the goal is to strategically automate as many tasks as possible, leaving you more time to focus on complex issues and things that need human oversight. If you don’t need to spend hours sorting through your CRM database to find good leads, you spend those same hours creating great marketing content or interacting directly with customers.
Manage Your Processes with Automation
One of the biggest disadvantages of CRM is that it’s often designed to appeal to collecting customer information and not giving management a view of their business. With an automated solution, every piece has been created to improve a process your entire enterprise team uses.
For example, if a landing page generates a lead, an automated process might automatically send a personalized invitation to a webinar or links to related blog posts, nurturing the lead on behalf of a sales representative. After all, the system already has an idea of what the customer is looking for based on the landing page that captured the information.
By automating some of these contact steps, and adding in personalization, you overcome some of the biggest challenges of CRM. You get the same access to data without the wasted time as departments decide what to do with that collected data. And with automation, not only do you reduce the need for manual oversight, you can avoid mistakes and oversights consistently in your processes in future.