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Why you should integrate your project management tools and CRM system

Many companies are looking for a solution to integrate their CRM system with project management tools. Here are some reasons why you should make the same decision. 

When there is no integration

Let's warm up a little bit with a story about a pizza restaurant.

The restaurant has two departments:

  • Office, which takes orders 
  • Kitchen, which makes pizzas

The customer orders ten pizzas to be delivered to her address, on her name in 45 minutes and agrees to pay in cash during the delivery.

The office sends the order to the kitchen. 

One hour passes and customer calls to ask where her pizzas are. The office employee does not know anything. He has to ask the customer's name to check the order number and contact the kitchen. He learns that the kitchen has been really busy - they got the pizzas in the oven just now and it will take another 30 minutes to deliver. 

When the office tells the customer that the pizzas will take another 30 minutes, the customer gets upset and cancels the order.

The end result? An unhappy customer, a lost sale, wasted time and resources.

As we saw here, the pizza restaurant did not have one central system. They used a CRM system for recording their customer data (maybe for sending them pizza discounts later on). And they had an ordering system, which alerted kitchen about the order.

Sounds sufficient?

No.

The problem was that the two systems really did not ‘talk to each other’, especially about the customer’s needs.

CRM system versus Project management tools

Some people might say that there are more differences between a Customer Relationship Management system and Project Management software than similarities. In a way this is true - they offer different functionality to the businesses.

The CRM system focus on the external activities. Like sales. Marketing. And customer support. They are designed to manage customer information and customer relationships. It holds the customer’s order requests, sales history, and contact information.

Project management software, on the other hand, is about internal business processes - the data about the value you are giving to the customers (work progress, invoices, planning, budget, timeline, etc.). And it might only be accessible to some of your teams.

The knowledge gap

Keeping clients up to date on projects has been an endless shuffle between multiple systems, employees, teams, and departments who all have limited visibility into each other’s work, knowledge and data.

They have limited access because the data and the knowledge is being kept in separate systems. Maybe even in personal mailboxes and Excel sheets.

Have you ever witnessed that the latest crucial information you NEED is in your colleague's mailbox and you can’t access it because he took the evening off and is not answering your phone calls?

I have.

This kind of complicated communication between business departments often causes confusion and misinformation for the customer and the business.

For example:

  • Answers take longer and make less sense
  • The relationship with your customer is weakened
  • The customer is not happy
  • Which all means that probably you are not happy either

I don’t know about you, but for me, this seems time consuming, error prone, and frustrating.

We are already fixing many internal work-life problems by using Atlassian tools. But we are missing an essential element: our customer information.

The benefits of integrated CRM and project management tools

Many companies are therefore looking for project management software that is integrated with a CRM system.

When your project management is connected with your CRM system, you can:

  • Track leads
  • manage sales
  • communicate and collaborate with your co-workers
  • and deliver the project — ALL within the same software

There are a number of benefits to linking CRM data with project management.

By bridging the two systems, the software provides you clear visibility to sales, marketing, service, development, and operations teams.

Integration connects the dots so that you can get more :

  • the holistic view of your customers
  • get a history of communication
  • and eliminate the need for duplicated data entry

Connecting the two systems will help you to get rid of the information silos and gives you 360-degree visibility.

Desired situation

Imagine moving seamlessly from a won deal straight through to delivery of the project within the same system without retyping details.

Your customer projects and issues will be alongside your customers, contacts, and deals. This itself can in itself deliver advantages. Not only do you increase visibility and communication but you have a single place for reporting and accessing the data. You can spend less time on gathering the customer intelligence which allows you to dedicate work to other business activities.

Overcoming the resistance of new software adaption

Let's not forget the importance of easy software adaption. Resistance from employees is one of the biggest problems businesses are facing when they are implementing a new software. One of the solutions is choosing a CRM system which already works seamlessly with your existing project management software.

There are many solutions on the Atlassian Marketplace, where you can find a CRM system suiting your needs. 

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