3 Steps to Enhance Operational Efficiency for CRMs

Find out how to boost operational efficiency while delivering modern, engaging user experiences with communications APIs.

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As a CRM focused on delivering exceptional customer experiences, it’s difficult to put a price on improving the customer journey. With evolving customer demands and rising industry competition, your resources must go towards the most relationship-strengthening initiatives, such as building innovative solutions to solve your customers’ pain points. You must take the necessary steps to improve operational efficiency within your CRM.

Unfortunately, tedious administrative tasks weigh many CRMs down and get in the way of quickly adapting to customer needs. In fact, workers waste an average of one hour and 42 minutes per week simply scheduling and rescheduling calls — costing businesses in the U.S. $1.85 billion weekly. 

The key to enabling your users to maximize output while maintaining a lean budget lies in identifying inefficiencies, building a strategy, and utilizing the proper tools so you can refocus resources to stimulate growth and differentiate your business. 

Recognize costly user challenges 

The first step towards strategic cost reduction is to find gaps in your business that technology can help remedy. For example, let’s look at your sales representatives’ obstacles. Today’s B2B buyers are more self-directed than ever before. When prospective customers decide to interact with sales, they expect an uninterrupted, seamless, and personalized experience — which comes as no surprise to you as the experts in customer relationships. 

Sales teams need to know where buyers are in their journey and provide the information they need to progress. The time it takes having your users move from your CRM to their email inbox to retrieve the context necessary to respond to a customer inquiry adds up, costing you money and putting you at risk of losing the prospect altogether. The human attention span is only eight seconds, after all. Additionally, the increasing adoption of conversational messaging in CRMs furthers customer expectations, with 13% of U.S. consumers expecting companies to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media and 76% expecting a response in the first 24 hours.

Implementing bi-directional email, calendar, and contacts APIs will enable your end-users to natively send and receive communications directly to and from their customers and track email conversations without leaving your CRM. Whether it’s readying sales and customer service teams for client interactions or empowering marketing organizations to send personalized emails directly from your CRM, mitigating context switching is one area ripe for eliminating inefficiencies. 

Decide on an implementation strategy 

Once you’ve identified tasks and processes within your business that could use an efficiency tune-up, it’s time to determine how you will integrate productivity-enhancing solutions. While some CRMs may believe building productivity features in-house will be more financially friendly, using your limited developer resources to build from the ground up can be a massive undertaking. 

In addition to developer time, other costs businesses may not consider include maintenance — monitoring and supporting the solution, building test cases, and other ongoing responsibilities —, infrastructure, and hosting, which can quickly accumulate.

When deciding whether to build versus buy, real estate CRM LionDesk looked at the potential cost of adding productivity features to help their customers stay on top of vital communications. The company determined it would have spent 28,242 hours and $1.8 million to build communication integrations across multiple popular service providers themselves. With Nylas, LionDesk’s engineers could bypass the time and money it would have taken to construct integrations and focus on developing other high-priority features such as AI-assisted texting and follow-up.

“It was actually one of the biggest reasons we went with Nylas. We don’t want to build our own stuff to support all the different versions of Microsoft. Just leave it to the experts, right? It’s much easier for us to build and test one integration than individual integrations with each email provider.”

– Lee Ling Yang, Director of Product at LionDesk

Even if your CRM was born during the peak of the digital age, there’s a good chance you won’t have in-house expertise in all modern development technologies, such as implementing email and calendaring solutions. And if you do, you’ll likely still have a few questions going through your mind: What happens if the developer who builds our solution leaves? What if we need to upgrade our functionality and the engineering team no longer has the bandwidth to support this project? Buying a specialized solution helps your application scale and perform better, more easily adhere to policies, and get to market quicker.

Choose a compatible partner 

Purchasing a purpose-built solution can make introducing productivity features exponentially more manageable and efficient when you select the right partner, especially if they are experts in their respective fields. The best-case scenario is when a company can help you with your software development, alleviate pitfalls, recommend solutions that best fit your needs, and ultimately make your life easier and your business more efficient. 

“Every second you spend working on infrastructure takes you away from spending time on the things that provide business value. Every engineer has built something that has haunted them. Trying to build email connectors in-house will be one of those things if you embark on it.” 

– Isaac Nassimi, Chief Product Officer at Ciense

Nylas APIs save businesses an average of one-and-a-half years of development time for a team of seven engineers and approximately $2 million in costs related to hardware and staffing. 

Additional benefits for CRMs that partner with Nylas include the ability to: 

  • Power your application with a secure, reliable integration with your users’ communication data to centralize their contact and email workflows
  • Quickly build a front-end scheduler, streamlining users’ scheduling processes without the back-and-forth
  • Extract real-time data from communication channels like email, providing analysts and engineers an easy way to categorize, structure, and consume customer information

To learn more about improving operational efficiency for CRMs, find more resources here, or attend an upcoming Nylas 101 webinar.

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