What is more important: data or process? Well, it depends on who you ask. Traditional CRM systems are born data-driven. The user enters information into standard modules that represent data types like accounts, leads, or opportunities, and then figures out the necessary processes later. However, process-driven CRM, while lesser-known, is starting to gain traction in the market; and if the theories it’s based on are correct, the future of CRM could see a great demand for it.

As the name implies, process-driven CRM’s establish processes first, and then incorporate the necessary data to fill in the gaps of those processes.

So what’s so special about a process-driven CRM approach? Why is it changing the way we think about CRM?

Let’s say you create a process based on your CRM data. Over time, that process changes. Now, you have to dig through the data to determine what still applies and what needs to be thrown out. The data is not contingent on the process.

Now, look at it from a process-driven perspective. When you build the process first, you are creating rules that the data has to follow. If the process changes and a particular set of data no longer fits the mold, the process simply stops using it. There is no digging and vetting and questioning the data’s relevance. It is responsive to the process you’ve given it. This simplifies data governance immensely and creates transparency so the user can see which data is being pulled for each process without having to work backwards.

Most CRM’s allow collaboration between departments, but process-driven CRM makes that collaboration even easier. Process-driven CRM goes beyond storing, tracking, and reporting to help ”drive”  the “processes” of the business itself. It combines the best features of CRM, BPM, and marketing automation into one, simple platform with complete transparency (or as much as you’d prefer). 

A user can jump from the marketing platform into the service or sales platform with a few easy clicks. Every pocket has the ability to create mapping and monitor the customer journey, and the information won’t be redundant in any of the other sections. One of the most established players in this process-driven realm is Creatio. Creatio has end-to-end process alignment that bridges the three departments so users don’t need to log in to multiple programs for their departmental tasks.

For example, instead of having to integrate your marketing automation with your CRM, your marketing automation is actually part of your CRM. You can build templates, set up campaigns, set schedules, view metrics, and perform other marketing tasks within the platform. The user interface has the look and feel of social media, which makes it easier to adopt and understand.

Process-driven CRM also harnesses the power of BPM software. When a sales associate finds a process that works, they can replicate it and distribute it universally. That’s where that transparency comes into play again. The process-driven approach lets departments collaborate organically, with less friction, so they can reap the full benefits of each other’s knowledge.

This all-encompassing approach is well-positioned to take over as the next big thing in CRM. However, even though process-driven CRM has some incredible capabilities, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily for everyone. We still recommend vetting ALL your CRM options before you purchase anything (and using a technology advisor, like ourselves, to help you narrow your best options). The right CRM fit depends on many factors: your industry, the size of your team, your budget, your business processes, etc. The search can be overwhelming! Technology Advisors can get you started with a CRM platform that suits you best. Explore our website to learn more about Creatio and our other CRM-related offerings.  

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