CRM, CMS Systems and Cloud Computing

Are you running your CRM system in tandem with a content management system (CMS)? Many have yet to see the simple need to integrate a CMS with their CRM initiative. But the basic benefits are clear:

-Place sales and marketing collateral into the hands of sales people with ease and allow them to change that data or presentations over time without version proliferation.

-Bring wikis and blogs into your CRM initiative, all managed from a central place and seamlessly integrated into your customer-facing web experience.

-Inject your e-commerce initiatives into your CRM processes, creating a more manageable purchasing system for both online and offline sales.

-Bring deeper product information into your CRM system.

A great case for the marriage of CRM and CMS has been posted over at DestinationCRM and was written by Mike Cassettari of Inmagic a knowledge management vendor.

But I think there is one more important need for CMS integration, one that has to do with the trend towards cloud-based CRM deployments. In cloud or SaaS deployments, space in the CRM system is sometimes limited or simply a premium. You do not want to clutter your system or “waste” CRM data space in your cloud deployment on storage hogs such as power points and PDFs.

Instead, pop these typically large files into a CMS system, and link to them in the CRM (you can do this via the documents module in SuagrCRM for example). This way, you can have a much higher set of documents, without compromise the storage space limits and the performance of your cloud-based CRM deployment.

For a quick overview of how to leverage a CMS system to enhance your CRM and e-commerce integration (hosted by yours truly) click here.

One thought on “CRM, CMS Systems and Cloud Computing

  1. I think you make a great point. Our firm specializes in the open source Plone CMS (free at http://plone.org) and we’ve had a need to integrate with SugarCRM and with Salesforce. I don’t know of a CMS that does a better job of it, and surely not a free open source CMS that does. You’ll find plenty of presentations on ‘plone and salesforce’ or ‘plone and sugarcrm’ by googling.

    We typically use the CMS to manage all site content, even shared marketing collateral, as in your example. This allows it to go through workflow, have proper permissions/accessibility, to be versioned, etc. as the CMS proivdes all this, and then leverage web services to put/pull data into/out of the CRM. It also reduces the number of full-fledged CRM accounts needed, thus reducing license fees, if using a SaaS version of CRM tools.

    Our clients see great value to what you’re recommending, and I have been surprised to not see more on this topic in the marketplace. Marketing folks’ eyes light up when describing the possibilities.

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