Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems require careful implementation and constant evaluation. Do you have the resources and technology to manage the work internally? Or would you prefer that it’s delegated to a third-party provider so you can focus on other important aspects of your business? To help you decide, here are the pros and cons of outsourcing the implementation and maintenance of your CRM system to a managed services provider (MSP).
Do away with all the complexities
A CRM system cannot be rolled out by the IT team alone. You will need to form a core CRM team and involve top management and senior executives of marketing, sales, and customer service. This demands organizational design, data management and analysis, marketing planning, campaign management, staff training, and more. The required functions are extensive and the system itself has so many facets that it has become extra risky and time-consuming to implement.
If you decide to push through, the core team must design result-oriented training programs so everyone can use it effectively. Once implemented, it is important that your working culture realigns around it. Processes must also be reviewed to avoid any ambiguity. Otherwise, your CRM system may ultimately lose relevance. Worse, it can take its toll on your employees that they may find it hard to adapt to future changes.
It helps reduce overall expenditure
For smaller businesses that can’t invest in the necessary time and resources to deliver five-star customer experience, outsourcing CRM is a sensible choice. For one, the process of recruiting and training employees can be quite expensive.
If you decide to manage your CRM system in-house, you will have to undergo extensive trainings and purchase all the technological tools required to accomplish the job efficiently. This can be a challenging task, especially for a small business where the IT personnel is usually in charge of a wider range of roles as opposed to outsourced personnel with more focused and specialized skills.
When you outsource your CRM, you don’t have to worry about purchasing all the technologies that go with it. You also don’t need to spend extra on monthly expenses such as servers, maintenance, power, cooling, and rent. All of these savings add up to furthering your bottomline.
Leverage previously unavailable expertise and technology
Not every company can excel in all aspects of the business. Imagine doing something you aren’t trained to do or implementing technology you aren’t completely familiar with. This can easily drain your company’s time and resources.
In addition, finding top-caliber consultants who are willing to monitor and make sure your CRM systems are operational 24/7 can be difficult. Therefore, companies turn to MSPs.
MSPs like WhiteOwl have a team of experts that specialize in many IT disciplines, including CRM installation and maintenance. There is no need to worry about getting additional equipment, software upgrades, and the training needed to learn them.
Improved productivity and better management of customer information
With an outsourcing partner, you have skilled and experienced employees working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These highly trained professionals use their technical know-how to ensure efficiency. That means your company can provide five-star customer service day in and day out without being bogged down by complicated IT issues.
Ensure business continuity
Reputable MSPs store CRM data in cloud servers equipped with cutting-edge intrusion prevention systems and are backed up constantly. This means that if a disaster strikes your business, your data will still be safe and sound in the MSP’s cloud servers. In fact, as long as you have an internet-enabled device you can retrieve your CRM data anytime, anywhere. Developing a proper recovery plan for your CRM system is a lot to manage by yourself, but thanks to managed services you can be prepared for any form of disruption.
Privacy and confidentiality
Entrusting company data and customer information to a third party always comes with risks so it pays to exercise vigilance and enhance your cybersecurity measures. Just this March, sports apparel giant Under Armour announced that data from around 150 million accounts from its diet and fitness app, MyFitnessPal, have been compromised.
As businesses, you should learn from data breach cases of the past, especially those that were linked to third-party negligence or incompetence like the example above. It is essential that your CRM partner has top-notch backup and disaster recovery practices and has outlined what data they are authorized to see on their service level agreements.
Given all the risks involved, finding the right CRM provider is just as crucial as deciding whether or not to outsource it. Your CRM provider should be transparent in its communication and allow unlimited secure access to your data while keeping strict compliance to data standards laid out in ISO 27001. Research on their security procedures and check for past data breaches and how they were addressed. Better yet, turn to reputable companies like WhiteOwl.
While at first glance, it may be tempting to implement your own CRM system, digging deeper into it would prove otherwise. In fact, your CRM partner can work as an extension of your organization. Sure, there’s always a possibility that they may not have a full grasp of your requirements and business functions, but this will only happen if you hire the wrong people.
With a competent MSP, you have a company that holds extra accountability as you maintain control. They will only commence any planning and execution upon your approval. The bottomline is, the MSP works for you. It would help to be more deliberate on what exactly you are outsourcing and how it fits into your business.
Entrust sensitive information only to a top-caliber MSP with all the necessary certifications and a proven track record. At WhiteOwl, for example, you have a team of professionals with years of experience implementing, configuring, and maintaining CRM software like Microsoft Dynamics for Customer Service. Get in touch with us today for any inquiries.