LancasterThriving_Summer2017 - 15

options provided to them. In total, 25 different CRMs were
reported as being used by our audience. Market leader
Salesforce was the top platform, being used by 20% of
respondents.
In that regard, Central PA isn't much different than the rest
of the US. A 2014 study by Gartner estimated Salesforce
owning 19% of the market, while the smaller players not
named in our survey market accounted for just over half.
Nationwide, the number two CRM provider is SAP, which
barely registered on our survey results. That said, SAP's CRM
solution is mostly targeted to large enterprises, which make
up a fraction of the businesses in Central PA and only 13% of
our survey respondents.
Before we move on, though, probably the most important
statistic was that nearly 84.5% of all respondents had some
sort of CRM in place. Even accounting for confirmation bias,
that's pretty clear evidence that for most of us, CRM is in use.
And not only in place, but important. A whopping 63% of
respondents said their CRM was much more important than
it was to them just three years ago.

TAKEAWAY #2: There have never been more CRM
options on the market, so if you're considering one,
realize evaluation could take a while.
BUT USED FOR WHAT?

Not surprisingly, respondents felt that CRM's most vital use
case is for storing customer and prospect information. While
a few respondents tagged it as being "somewhat important,"
all others labeled it as either vital or very important.
In addition to storing contact information, most also rely on
CRM as the best way to track customer communications.
Respondents indicated a strong reference for tying email
into their CRM so that as much information as possible is in a
central location.
And not just email. At Intulse, phone calls are also logged
and recorded to the CRM. VP of Sales & Marketing Keith
Goodling explained.

While some use a multitude of CRM features, there are
others who admit to not using many of them at all. For
instance, while a fifth of respondents consider their CRM
vital for collateral and proposals, an equal amount don't
store collateral or proposals within the platform at all. The
same could be said about meeting planning and campaign
management. At RETTEW, Director of Marketing Shawn
Barron said while their CRM is a valuable tool for business,
their organization handles proposals and marketing outside
of the CRM, while activities within the CRM are more
constrained to tracking of new and ongoing opportunities.
"Ideally all of these would be integrated," said Barron, "But
we've come up with valid reasons to manage proposals and
marketing elsewhere and until the benefits outweigh the
barriers, we'll probably keep things the way they are."
When asked about forecasting, only about a third of
our audience found it vital to their success, but maybe
more should. In fact, among the 14.5% of the audience
that reported "greatly exceeding target," 87.5% of them
considered forecasting to be a very important or vital
CRM feature. Simply put, those companies that embrace
forecasting are more likely to be crushing it. Correlation or
causation? You decide.

TAKEAWAY #3 & #4: Recognize that even though
CRMs have a lot of features, your organization might
not use them all, and that's ok. That said, those that
use their CRM for forecasting are more likely to also
be exceeding targets.
WHAT'S HOLDING US BACK?

Despite the virtues and obvious importance of CRM,
respondents agreed that CRM isn't without its challenges.
On the plus side, only 22% of respondents felt that
data quality was a major pain point for them. This was
also backed up by the fact that in a separate question,
respondents gave much higher data quality ratings to all
categories than in a national report published last year. For

"Because we sell telephone integration, it's second nature
for us to think about how to integrate conversation into
everything, and that includes the CRM. For users, that
integration means saving the time it would take to manually
log the call."
Opportunity & Pipeline Management serve as the number
two and three valued features in the survey, and are also a
key component in how Intulse uses their system. Like many
respondents, Goodling tracks new leads into the system, as
well as time spent in each stage of the sales funnel.
But moving on from these core features, we found CRMs
being used (or not used) in very different ways.

PA 010620

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15


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