Effective communication with your clients forms the very basis of the whole sales and support process. However, when staff need to spend a significant amount of time searching for and preparing various related documents, customers are liable to start losing their patience. That’s why every organization needs a central database that keeps all customer information and correspondence together.
Consider the traditional approach to document management for comparison’s sake: A client calls in seeking some post-sales support. In the old days, employees had to rifle through filing cabinets full of folders and documents to locate information about previous sales as well as any past correspondence with the client. Only with this information could they provide the relevant support the customer needed.
When computers entered the equation, document management and CRM became a whole lot simpler or, at least they did in theory. In reality, what happened, and continues to happen to this day, is that sales and support teams end up with a digital meltdown on their hands consisting of data stored in multiple locations and different programs. That’s hardly very conducive to maintaining an organized workflow.
How CRM and Document Management Are Related
CRM software offers an organized approach toward managing interactions with clients by providing a centralized and easily accessible database of contact details, past sales and other interactions with the customer. In other words, CRM uses data analyses to offer immediate insights that help sales and support staff provide a better level of service.
As we’ve seen, CRM is all about putting your business’s data to work. However, it’s also where this data comes from in the first place that’s important. Employees may manually enter data into a customer profile in a CRM platform, but a lot of the data is drawn from external sources, such as past email correspondence and, in more recent years, from social media chats and posts.
It’s the ability to extract data from a wide variety of sources that makes CRM such a valuable system in modern business. That’s where document management comes in. Your document management system contains a wealth of useful information about your clients and their past interactions with your business, which is exactly what your CRM platform needs to work to its fullest potential.
What Are the Benefits of an Integrated Solution?
Automating and improving client relationships is all about having quick and easy access to all relevant data. By making both systems work seamlessly together, your document management system can help populate your CRM database with useful information and allow you to work with related documents within the same program. That means less time spent manually looking for related documents and less time resolving customer support requests.
With an integrated solution, you’ll no longer need to get colleagues to scan and email documents or spend hours trying to find related correspondence. Instead, you will be able to pull up all related documents from within the CRM interface without having to open another program.
Modern document management systems even support industrial-grade scanners and optical character recognition to digitize printed documents and make them searchable. That means you will even be able to access postal correspondence when working with your clients, without having to scan in documents or search through filing cabinets.
Interoperability of both systems ultimately leads to having a centralized database you can use for optimizing workflows and organizing your business data. You’ll also be able to enjoy improved collaboration and much better control over your data, which translates into better security and data governance.