Exploring the pros and cons of outsourcing CRM
At the cynosure of every successful business is a powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System that ensures smooth customer service and a strong brand reputation. CRM software has the biggest* software market in the world that is anticipated to reach a revenue of $80 billion by 2025.
The reason for this growth is that companies want to retrieve customer information in real-time. The quality of customer service is often a differentiating factor between brands and helps them to stand out in the competition. However, it can get quite exhausting to execute CRM with its multiple processes and tasks for a marketer. Therefore, companies choose to outsource these services to experienced email marketing agencies.
With innovative solutions and technologies emerging in the realms of outsourcing, businesses can conveniently rely on agencies to carry out their CRM processes. But, before you decide whether or not you can outsource your CRM operations, you must weigh the pros and cons of doing so.
Let’s start with the pros first.
Pros of Outsourcing CRM
1. With outsourcing, you can scale the requirements, as needed.
According to Chris Brahm, VP at Bain & Co., enterprises have a huge demand when the call centers are implemented. This demand withers down eventually. In such cases, outsourcing can help you deal with the expenses involved in variable demand and refrain from spending any money to handle additional requirements.
2. CRM outsourcing solutions enable automatic data entry
It is an unbelievably exhausting task to enter customer information manually. By using CRM, you can easily feed all the required details in the system and access it as and when needed. No wonder, CRM tools have significantly improved access to client information, thereby helping businesses to grow and retain the customer base for 75% of businesses.
3. Everything is automated.
CRM tools facilitate automation in every marketing task and some of the core activities. As an instance, consider that you are a SaaS company. By outsourcing your CRM, you can get an insight into how the customers are interacting with your marketing campaigns or responding to your emails. Besides, you can schedule meetings and phone calls without much manual intervention. According to the customer’s behavior, the sales team can prioritize communication with the leads which increases the likelihood of conversions.
4. Outsourcing CRM gives you more time to market.
More often than not, IT professionals working in-house are too overwhelmed with work.
Moreover, they cannot do it without the help of a dedicated CRM team, along with senior professionals from marketing, sales, and customer service departments. You also need to involve the top management so that everyone is on the same page. In case you make up your mind to outsource your CRM tasks, you will be able to avoid time-taking processes like training of staff, managing the data and campaigns, and setting up the infrastructure to name a few. Furthermore, it will help you formulate relevant CRM systems and your employees will be able to focus on more productive activities related to business growth.
5. You can cut down unnecessary expenses.
In case you choose to outsource your CRM activities, you will be able to save the expenditure of training the professionals and also the software tools that you might need. For small businesses running on a tight budget, it can get really daunting to take care of this additional cost. If they outsource to an agency, they can not only carry out CRM activities without burning a hole in their pocket but also ensure a flawless customer experience that would drive faster business growth for them. After all, recruiting employees, preparing the infrastructure, and purchasing all those technologically advanced tools can be a costly affair. By outsourcing, you leave the responsibility on the shoulders of the agency. Statistics reveal that for every dollar that you invest in such management, a company can earn approximately $5-6 ROI. Eventually, it will contribute to better profitability.
6. Outsourcing gives you access to expert professionals and advanced technology.
It is not possible for every company to find expert professionals who are familiar with every nitty-gritty of CRM tools. Whether it is segmenting an email list, pruning it for duplicates, or choosing the right segment for every campaign, you need a seasoned professional to do it for you. At times, companies might not have advanced technology at their disposal. In such a scenario, outsourcing to a specialized agency can be a blessing for your business. It allows you to work with seasoned CRM professionals who can take care of all your CRM needs. They take care of CRM installation, maintenance, software upgrades, as well as the core activities. Furthermore, the agency also handles the following four processes:-
- Customer-interfacing process
- Behind-the-scenes sales with marketing and service operational processes
- Data management processes with automation
- Customer journey process
7. Agencies take care of your confidential data.
In times of a disaster, an agency can ensure the safety of your confidential data. The advantage of working with an agency is that if you have access to the Internet, you can check the CRM data at a single click. An agency makes sure that you have a proper recovery plan, which can be an exhaustive process if you take it up in-house.
8. Outsourcing relieves you of the stress of “people” leaving.
Last but not the least, when you outsource, there is a low rate of professional attrition. This means that you will not have to worry about people leaving for greener pastures.
This brings us to the other side of the coin that is about the risks associated with outsourcing.
Cons of outsourcing CRM
1. It might pose a threat to the privacy of company data.
Whenever you outsource any operations, breach of security is always a threat. With the staggering increase in the cases of cyber crimes, it becomes difficult to trust a third-party service provider.
Solution: The solution to this problem is finding a reliable CRM provider and have all the service level agreement non-disclosure documents in place. Ask them about their data quality practices so that you can be sure that they can be trusted with sensitive customer information.
2. Outsourcing does not give you complete control over the business functions.
As outsourcing involves professionals working “remotely” without any face-to-face communication, it might not give you control over the functions carried out. Sometimes, the agency fails to understand the requirements or carry out the operations satisfactorily. Moreover, timezone or language barriers can also contribute to the problems.
Solution: Make it a practice to send out a clear brief and roll out a documented approval process. By doing so, the agency will have an idea of what you are expecting and you will be able to get the results that you are looking for. Make sure that the agency fully understands your business functions and requirements. Communication is key when it comes to successful outsourcing.
3. Difficult CRM processes might not be convenient to outsource.
If you have to deal with integration of data and processes between internal and outsourced applications, outsourcing might not be an option for you. Hosting might increase the cost and make it more complicated to integrate with other systems. In these cases, outsourcing is not an option to implement complex CRM processes like these.
Solution: If you want outsourcing to work for your business, your customer management processes should be easily differentiable from other business operations. You must be aware of your requirements beforehand and be sure that the process would not change even after scaling up the business.
As important as it is to have a good product, an impeccable customer service cannot be overlooked. CRM facilitates these operations for you and rather than doing it all in-house and struggling with hiring and training employees, it is advisable to outsource and make the most of the available resources throughout the world.
That said, you can gauge the advantages against the disadvantages and see what’s the best for you.