What's Wrong with Current CRMs and Future of CRMs in 2022

Satish Patil, PhD (Founder and CEO), Mitibase Technologies Pvt Ltd | Wednesday, 19 January 2022, 13:17 IST

Dr Satish Patil, Founder and CEO, Mitibase Technologies

There is a fundamental problem with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms. CRMs are typically built with a focus on the customers, leads, and prospects. However, our network connections are more than just customers and leads. Traditional solutions like CRM systems aren't designed to manage and track this network of relationships effectively. Your network is always moving and growing, so constantly staying on top of all the data is crucial.

The key challenge companies face today is avoiding any dropped interactions and relationships. And many unknown but already existing relationships are relevant to us that we don't know we should be searching for. The result is that companies miss out on key opportunities that they should have captured while also wasting time searching for intel that should have been at their fingertips.

The pandemic may not have stifled the industry as a whole. Still, to overcome the rapid changes to quite a few business functions, organizations had to find ways to continue operating. In this environment, the CRM that organizations choose and how they use their networks can make or break their success. Almost all industries have gone remote. Organizations need to connect with an increasingly global network of clients, investors, partners, vendors, and allies they can no longer meet for business or social. Business leaders can't afford to lose out on opportunities because they can't get the right introductions, they've lost track of relationships, or they've crossed wires with colleagues. And they can't miss a deal where their competitors' speed of deal execution outweighs the value they can provide. Out-of-date or incomplete relationship context from traditional CRM tools that many companies rely upon means they lose precious hours or days chasing down the data they need, rather than staying focused on their highest-value activity: building connections. Automated relationship intelligence technologies give companies a complete look at their network, so they can focus on turning valuable relationships into their next hundred opportunities.

Challenges and opportunities for Companies

Before the pandemic, people could quickly meet and connect with other business folks at business offices and attend in-person events — building relationships and communicating the value they could provide. Today, in the post-pandemic world, the working environment includes more email and Zoom meetings and far fewer opportunities for face-to-face interactions.

Reports show that things won't change back any time soon because people are relocating, too. But, in a hybrid world, where virtual communications and transactions are more common and less in-person, getting quick access to relationship insights can give firms a competitive edge. This is where automated relationship intelligence technologies come into play. Organizations have some of the largest networks in the world. So the opportunity to use a CRM to build better relationships is vast. From automating data entry to seeing instantly if someone in your network can make a warm introduction, a CRM with relationship intelligence technology is how companies will compete nimbly at a global scale in this new world.

Why the traditional relationship information management is poor — and how automation fits into the new paradigm

With the landscape changing this quickly, organizations' agility and flexibility are more critical than ever. Unfortunately, the traditional CRMs force people with manual data entry. And the complex manual entry tasks often get pushed to the back burner, making the data inaccurate and unreliable and putting relationships at risk. Even if all the company's employees consistently log all contacts and interactions, it's still not a complete picture of all connections in the organization's network. There's no visibility of how contacts are connected to one another or if a colleague has recently been in touch with that person. The entire history of a relationship remains buried in email archives and online calendars. The inefficiencies and crossed wires that come from this lack of relationship context led to missed opportunities for companies. While companies catch up and try to track down relationship intelligence missing from their traditional CRMs, firms with this insight at their fingertips continue harnessing and fostering relationships. And they keep winning.

How CRM systems with accurate relationship intelligence can compete

Spend your time on building relationships — not doing data entry

As a company, your highest-value task will always be building relationships. When you have robust, active relationships within business ecosystems, you can spot and close deals faster. And one can do it at scale with automation. Automation is solving the ongoing data entry problem instead of spending hours logging contacts and interactions. By automating the data entry, capturing every interaction, and auto-populating sales pipelines, your company can more easily maintain important relationships with clients, partners, investors, etc. This ensures that every contact has a great experience with you and your company. As a result, you will instantly know the strength of every relationship, so you can stay nimble and drive competitive returns. Instead of relying on memory and guesses, you are leveraging rich data for superior insight at speed.

Eliminate data gaps and automate history capture

There is a virtual trail of your interactions with contacts, and even many companies miss critical parts when they enter the data into their CRM. With an intelligent CRM, capturing this history is automated, instant, and complete. You won't lose track of what is happening with your clients, partners, investors, and allies. If you could know in a few clicks if anyone in your company already has a solid relationship with your target person or has already been in touch with them. You could more quickly identify the next best move. It virtually eliminates the inefficiencies and data gaps inherent in using traditional CRMs. The entire company will have access to a trusted single source of truth that includes the network's entire history. In addition, real-time relationship insights instantly answer questions about your network capabilities, giving your organization an edge when other firms are circling the same opportunity.

Discover new connection paths

The faster you identify and build relationships, the better off your company is when competing against the new accelerated business environment. When you spot an opportunity, instantly understanding who has the right relationship to make an introduction puts you way ahead in the game. There is no room for silos in a company that wants to compete. With an intelligence CRM, you can also identify direct introduction paths at a glance and gain insight into who has the strongest relationship with the company or contact you want to reach. It is time to stop relying on your memory, the memories of your colleagues, and the interactions archive for relationship insight.

CRM with intelligence on organization's collective network is a force multiplier

With an intelligence CRM, your company can track every interaction and have a data-driven approach to making decisions while staying focused on your network daily — minus the manual data entry. What's even more powerful for some growing companies is that this smart technology can surface relationships you didn't even know you had. Today, innovative companies are leveraging automated technology to identify thousands of warm introduction paths. They are using data to identify, track, and execute transactions more intelligently. With this forward-thinking approach, you can better develop solid relationships that will pay off for many years to come.