For many of us, project management and CRM (Current Relationship Management) are two distinct processes that are largely different from each other. However, in reality, they aren’t. 

The range of activities carried out under both these management disciplines tends to achieve a common goal, that is, to satisfy customers and stakeholders alike.

Most business leaders and even the individuals working in different project management and CRM roles fail to recognize the common ground between the two. As a result, the lack of coordination among the PMOs and CRM teams becomes obvious and it’s the business’s output that suffers the most damage.

So, what organizations need to understand is that they need to align project management and CRM to make the business more profitable. By collaborating, it becomes possible for both project management and CRM departments to accomplish their objectives effectively.

Now, let’s quickly recall the roles of both project management and CRM in an organization

Project Management

Project management focuses on utilizing various techniques that help you to organize and manage the resources available for completing a project. Additionally, project management also includes planning, distributing, executing, and controlling tasks associated with the project.

As a project manager, you have the responsibility to lead and coordinate the team working on the project. The focal point of project management is to make the optimal use of resources and ensure timely completion of projects.

CRM

CRM or customer relationship management combines various ways with which you manage and improve the business’s relationship with its potential and active customers. The ultimate purpose of CRM is to drive sales and thus, set the growth of the business in motion.

A CRM manager’s day-to-day activities include the development and refinement of channels used for interacting with customers, devise new customer relationship strategies, and identify ways to improve customer loyalty and retention.

How PMOs and CRM Teams Can Align Themselves?

For any business, the PM and CRM teams must work hand in hand to satisfy the needs and expectations of customers in the best possible way. Also, when customers are happy with the way their projects are handled, the business expands and the interest of stakeholders stays in favor of the business.

Whether you are a project manager or a CRM manager you will need to take the initiative to bring your business’s PM and CRM teams together.

Here are some tips that will help you assure that your PM and CRM departments are on the same page: 

Communicate team objectives

Communication acts as the core of collaboration and when the aim is to establish and maintain a strategic alliance between two departments, nothing can be better than developing effective channels for interdepartmental communication.

And what you need to make sure is that your project management department communicates its objective with the CRM department and vice-versa.

This will make it possible for both the departments to plan their actions in a way that is beneficial for each other.

Prioritize customer needs

For most businesses, it’s imperative to keep the needs and demands of customers at the top of their priority list.

While a CRM team convinces customers that your organization can handle their project efficiently, it’s the project management office (PMO) that has the responsibility to meet all the expectations of customers.

Both departments have to concentrate on the needs of customers and at the same time, address their issues and concerns with the ongoing projects.

By prioritizing the customer needs, both PMO and CRM will automatically align with each other for improving the overall customer experience and satisfaction. 

Use project management and CRM software

To create a meaningful synergy between both the departments, it would be great if the managers of both departments share their teams’ real-time updates.

For this to happen, all you need is to make use of leading sales CRM and project management software.

With the help of such software, you will be able to view what is happening in the other team without the need to schedule any meetings.

For instance, if you are a CRM manager, you can access the project management software of your organization to view the progress of each project in real-time and communicate it with the clients.

Benefits of aligning Project Management and CRM

You may now have got some clear-cut idea of the importance of uniting project management and CRM. So, now we would like to discuss some of the key benefits that your organization will get from this cross-department collaboration:

Business objectives become visible

The success of most businesses is largely dependent on the performance of their project management and CRM departments. When these two departments work closely with each other, it becomes easier for everyone on both the teams to stay focused on the business’s goals and objectives. Also, both departments can help each other to minimize the risk of underperforming and capitalize on opportunities.  

Increased efficiency

As both the departments share some common objectives such as satisfying the needs of customers, sometimes replication of actions becomes evident. The multiple actions to achieve a single objective lead to the wastage of efforts. However, when PM and CRM teams coordinate with one another, it becomes possible to put a curb on duplication of efforts and you can observe a spike in the efficiencies of both departments.

Faster completion of projects

Since a bridge is formed between the team that is coordinating with clients and the team working on their projects, tasks can be executed faster. This is particularly true for projects that need frequent feedback from clients. 

Strategic alignment

The collaboration between project management and CRM is extraordinary in the sense that it takes your organization one step forward towards strategic alignment. As a result, the business’ performance improves because of the optimum utilization of resources and putting efforts in the right direction.

Improved customer satisfaction

Both departments emphasize customer satisfaction and put efforts to ensure that customers are happy with the products/services of the business. By combining the efforts of both PM and CRM teams, your organization can take customer satisfaction to a whole new level.

Rapid business growth

The alliance between PM and CRM units helps your organization to finish projects on time and ensure that customers are happy with the work. As a result, your organization’s reputation will magnify and more customers will approach your business to satisfy their needs. Eventually, this will generate more revenue for your business and it will grow. 

Conclusion

For every business that has separate teams/departments for project management and customer relationship management, it is important to make them work together. By aligning these two, your business will be in a better position to become successful and realize sustainable growth. You can easily align the PM and CRM in your business with the help of tips that we have discussed in this write-up.

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Author
Vartika Kashyap

Vartika Kashyap is the CMO at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2018. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click.

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