Why Isn’t a CRM an Effective Tool for Customer Success?
We get asked this question a lot. So, we thought we’d take the time to provide some education around the many types of tools that businesses use to manage their customer (and prospect) relationships, and why, specifically, a tool for sales doesn’t work for customer success.
First, some basic definitions:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): a comprehensive term that refers to all the ways a business manages the data of their business relationships
- Sales Force Automation (SFA): a tool specifically designed to manage sales pipelines. Its primary functionality is built upon tracking opportunities.
- Customer Success Management (CSM): a process which is dedicated to managing the work associated with delivering continuous value to customers. CSM platforms manage work around best practices for Customer Success, and are built around customer engagement models.
Consider all the account data accessed throughout an organization, and the multiple tools used to keep track of that data:
All of these functions rely upon much of the same data, but have different vantage points and needs. For instance, salesforce automation (SFA) is focused on opportunity management, while customer success management (CSM) is focused on managing customer journeys. Not only do the functions within the organization differ, but the tools designed for these functions operate differently. SFA tools are not designed to manage the flow of activities, while CSMs are (or should be).
Here are a few examples of the functionality of an SFA and a CSM tool *.
(*based upon the functionality of SalesForce and Bolstra)
As B2B companies make the move to build Customer Success teams, they are asking important questions about what resources (both human and technology) they need. Just as the people who comprise a CS team have unique talents, so must the technologies that support them be unique to their daily work needs. The tools required to support Customer Success are designed around the work required of CSMs. This is work that is defined by best practices and supported by a platform that automates those practices. Triggered automation of activities within a lifecycle isn’t found within SFAs or other CRM tools.
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