SRM and CRM: If you’re thinking about getting a CRM system, you might be concerned about how well it can manage stakeholder data and encourage stakeholder participation.
After all, how different could these two systems be?
Which one is best suited to your requirements? Is it necessary to use stakeholder engagement software or a CRM? In this blog post, we’ll explain CRM and SRM, outline their key differences, and assist you in selecting the one that’s best for you.
What Exactly is a CRM system?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a software solution that assists businesses in managing and monitoring their relationships with customers. It’s a consolidated system for recording and managing client information, sales possibilities, and communication history.
A CRM system’s major characteristics are as follows:
- Tracking sales prospects
- monitoring client actions
- logging meetings and conversations
- generating new opportunities
- sourcing leads are all skills that must be mastered
CRM systems may also help businesses with email management, key performance indicator (KPI) tracking, and sales process monitoring.
Despite the fact that CRM systems are touted as a “do-it-all” tool, they were built from the bottom up to manage and nurture sales prospects and track revenue.
The revenue value is fundamental to all reports, dashboards, and actions, and its goal is to maximize sales. These functionalities are included in even customer-service-driven CRM systems.
So, while a CRM system may track meeting levels and activity, its primary objective is not to track or have complete transparency of interactions or contacts with stakeholders.
It is about producing opportunities, sourcing leads, capitalizing on those leads, and tracking a sales or customer service process to accomplish the intended outcome (i.e., a sale or a renewal), while also monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as meeting levels, calls made, forecasts, and produced income, among other things.
This implies that the emphasis on interaction and connection development isn’t as great as it would be in an SRM. It also implies that reporting possibilities for stakeholders are extremely restricted, and appropriately grouping and categorizing stakeholders is frequently impossible (including recording demographic features and reporting on them).
CRM systems are excellent performance-driven tools for salespeople, marketing teams, and customer support representatives. They enable tracking of individual vs. team performance, campaign management, customer complaint management, and can even be used as a competitive tool rather than a collaborative tool for transparency, connection, and engagement.
As a result, the overall system is frequently oriented around a relationship with the sales opportunity.
You can buy ‘bolt-ons’ to assist integrate communications tools in some circumstances, but any reporting is often centered on a sales value.
When it comes to managing or engaging stakeholders, you’ll notice that they don’t have a price, cost, or value.
Tracking and documenting their difficulties and feelings isn’t as easy as sending them along a sales funnel to be a ‘conversion, with varied viewpoints, campaigns, and shifting opinions offered by email, meetings, questionnaires, and one-on-one interviews.
What Exactly is an SRM system?
The goal of the Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM) system is to give you all of the tools you need to manage, engage, and enhance your interactions and relationships with stakeholders. SRM systems prioritize stakeholders.
It is a centralized solution based on your stakeholder database that provides you with transparency into all of your interactions and communication history with each organization and/or individual stakeholder.
This includes successfully mapping and categorizing stakeholders. So you can not only target and be strategic in your communications approach with these partners and stakeholders, but also group the many interactions you have with each of these stakeholders, rather than having one large list of interactions that nobody has time to look through (like a CRM gives).
For the purpose of efficiently managing these relationships, an SRM also includes a full communication suite (survey, text, event management tools, text messaging, email, newsletter, and project management tools) for automatically capturing responses from your stakeholders, including their thoughts and feelings (including sentiment tagging and issue grouping).
This provides transparency, allowing you to be more efficient as a team, capitalize on stronger, valuable relationships with your partners across the board, and improve internal communication within your organization by providing visibility on all interactions with stakeholders with less manual intervention.
An SRM system can do the following:
- Track discussions
- create surveys
- label concerns and sentiment
- manage comments
- organize events
- map stakeholders
- centrally manage messages (newsletters, emails, and SMS).
Consolidating numerous technologies such as Outlook (email), spreadsheets (database), Mailchimp (mailshots), Eventbrite (events), and Survey Monkey (surveys) into one location saves time and money by automatically updating individual stakeholder details.
The program may be used for internal stakeholder management (employee engagement), patient engagement in healthcare, public relations engagement, board associate assistance, decision justification, compliance, and ensuring transparency throughout the whole project or sub-projects you are conducting.
Key distinctions between CRM and SRM systems
While both CRM and SRM systems are intended to assist organizations in managing and improving their connections with customers and stakeholders, they differ significantly in terms of focus and capabilities.
CRMs are typically structured around revenue and sales procedures as opposed to engagement processes. SRMs are especially built for community and stakeholder involvement, including monitoring and fostering connections, grouping and categorizing stakeholders, and communicating and interacting with them strategically.
A CRM is designed to monitor where a contact is in the sales pipeline. An SRM is built on understanding stakeholder engagement—what they are saying to you, their requirements, priorities, and concerns.
An SRM provides you with an organized, segmented, and up-to-date list of your stakeholders, as well as ‘one source of truth’ insight into all interactions that anybody on your team has with your stakeholders.
With an SRM, you can keep track of important questions concerning stakeholder engagement initiatives. Who has been contacted about a specific issue? When and where were the consultation events held? What were the outcomes?
However, an SRM system allows you to undertake qualitative analysis and sophisticated reporting on your engagement initiatives. You’ll always have a pulse on your stakeholder connections and engagement!
CRM systems against SRM systems
- Are ideal for client relationship management, marketing, and sales.
- Used to move clients through a sales funnel or process as quickly as possible.
- Streamline the sales process to increase profitability.
- Stores client information, assists in the identification of sales possibilities, and manages marketing campaigns.
- Connects with other company apps to build customer connections and a database to find opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.
- Some companies may also automate administrative chores like data input and lead or service routing.
- Produces information and insights to assist you in understanding clients and preparing for outreach.
- Ideal for organizing stakeholder connections, concerns, obligations, and any other valuable information in one location.
- Designed to assist you in communicating more effectively with stakeholders by keeping track of all kinds of communication, such as phone calls, emails, meetings, Zoom calls, events, social media, and so on.
- Some may feature grievance handling functions.
- By running reports, sharing information for transparency, and offering a clear awareness of stakeholders and their demands, you and your team are empowered.
- Stakeholder mapping is a method of documenting your stakeholders’ influence, effect, and interest in your project.
- Log emails from stakeholders into the system automatically as interactions.
Can a CRM system be used to manage stakeholders?
The simple answer is, perhaps. However, your data may be faulty, and you can expect to spend a significant amount of time going ‘against the tide’ to obtain the reports you want.
Stakeholder Engagement and CRM software appear to be comparable on the surface.
They both handle complicated and perplexing relationships within and around a firm. They both keep information on communications, engagements, and contact information. They can provide both analysis and reporting on the status of connections.
Their fundamental distinction is what distinguishes them—their goal:
CRM solutions are intended to handle a single client. They are designed to aid in customer acquisition and retention. There is just one form of connection.
SRM systems are intended to track, analyze, and comprehend the purpose and substance of all stakeholder engagements and relationships of all kinds.
Selecting between CRM and SRM
While CRM and SRM share many functions, if your aim is to measure interactions rather than income, utilizing a CRM will make things difficult, if not impossible.
An SRM system is the best solution for tracking and responding to changing data, as well as engaging and communicating with stakeholders while being GDPR compliant.
A CRM can be used in place of a specific Stakeholder Engagement platform. However, it is more complex, time-consuming, and ultimately hazardous.
Whether or not they have a vested interest in a project, governments, religious leaders, and local business owners are all stakeholders. And an SRM system is the software that manages these connections and caters to the vast array of engagement tactics that must be adopted in order for a project to be successful.