CRM vs BPM: which one is better for business?


The arguments about CRM and BPM have been around for decades as there is no consensus on which one is more effective in improving customer experience. Still, customer experience by itself is a process that needs to be supported by a program. Moreover, business owners agree that the biggest threat to enterprises is having processes that do not allow businesses to focus on end customers.

The two worlds of CRM vs BPM must strike a balance and merge in one powerful solution in order to help companies keep pace with rapid globalization, overwhelming mobilization, and the growing influence of the Internet, with the purpose of improving clients’ satisfaction and aligning the whole business functions with the demands and expectations of the valuable consumers.

CRM vs BPM: what is the distinction?

It is impossible to name a winner in the battle without knowing what the two are used for.

Customer management software (also known as customer relationship management or CRM) is all about keeping track of prospective and existing clients and their interactions with a company. Such a system enables customer service reps to have a 360-degree view of the key customers and target consumers and, hence, serve these clients according to their preferences with the only aim to build customer loyalty and establish long-term relationships.

CRM tools are used to manage a sales cycle, make sales targets, receive and handle complaints, control a pipeline, evaluate sales teams’ performance and everything that helps businesses better understand and retain their customers, deliver superior customer service, win more opportunities, and increase profitably.

Unfortunately, CRM software cannot orchestrate other business processes, such as purchase approvals, documents revision, finances auditing, employee recruitment, etc. These typical business processes can be executed by business process management software, but not by CRM, while good BPM software like bpm’online lets the users design and automate ANY business process including those of the customer service (more information about the vendor is available at https://www.bpmonline.com).

BPM tools are used to streamline business processes and provide for process mapping, simulation, analysis, and optimization. BPM is ideal not only for the design but also for the execution of the processes as well. Process execution is also called the ‘workflow’ – the set of logically connected activities (tasks) that must be executed to complete a process.

For example, financial institutions eagerly invest in BPM banking software to obtain flexible and manageable processes that will help them to eliminate manual efforts, handle risks, and optimize costs through end-to-end process automation. Also, online BPM empowers organizations to quickly and painlessly adapt in the shifting market environment, track the progress of business activities in the real-time, take proactive measures, and make changes with ease and flexibility.

Put it simply, CRM serves specific activities involved in the customer relationship management, while BPM systems can serve the eternal number of business purposes within and across a company. The CRM versus BPM question is no longer relevant in the modern environment as it is critical to have both of them in-built into your corporate technology, to know the customers’ concerns and manage key processes related to them.

CRM vs BPM: are they interchangeable?

When should companies replace CRM with BPM to drive desired business outcomes? The right answer is never. Only the smart combination of BPM and CRM helps achieve better Customer Service and Experience. Bpm’online, the pioneer of blending CRM tools with BPM capabilities, provides for achieving a holistic customer view and adopting business processes that feel like from a customer’s satisfaction perspective.

The integration of such multifunctional software will introduce consistency of business operations by aligning process stages with business rules to control the customer interaction and enable the participants to deliver personalized services tailored especially to the customers’ needs.

The real advantages of merging CRM with BPM are as following:

Great data management. CRM perfectly manages data related to customer accounts & profiles. But there is Big Data behind CRM employing numerous information sources. BPM can extract relevant data from these diverse sources to add them to the processes to ensure they comply with a company’s policies and industry requirements.

Quick customer issues resolution. When customers send tickets or call to complain, they want and expect their issues to be promptly resolved. In a case of a specific issue like a product delivery delay, an all-in-package CRM and BPM system can easily allow for an item tracking in order to pinpoint, which factors (or whose errors) hampered the product delivery. As such, a full-featured software embraces the tools for inventory management, order processing, and payment management, so it is easy to find what was the cause of the hitch.

More selling opportunities. With a CRM application, users get a better understanding of the customers, their spending behavior, and preferable touchpoints with an organization. Owing to smart business process management, companies have clear-cut sales objectives to be pushed by a marketing team. With CRM vs BPM working together in the single software, sales reps have an in-depth insight, which products/services certain audience of customers may need or be interested in what expands a company’s cross and up-selling opportunities.

Shrewd revenue forecasting. CRM can track different metrics including the number of won clients, the profitability of customers, sales/calls made throughout a sales cycle, the volume of orders/sold products (services), the length of time needed to close a deal, and so on. By performing all these CRM activities within a BPM system, the users ensure accurate finances tracking and simple revenue prediction.

Better business insight. The ultimate purpose of BPM is to support continuous improvement of business processes by designing their maps and automating workflows. By resolving a conflict of CRM vs BPM and integrating a smart program with the functionality of the two, the decision-makers can utilize customizable dashboards, user-friendly graphs, predefined templates and lots of other reporting tools. All of this will accurately evaluate the performance of individuals and teams, detect gaps and inefficiencies in the key processes, perform what-if scenarios, and develop strategies and campaigns, to which the customers are most likely to respond.
To drive key customer-facing processes, serve any business need, and ensure positive outcomes, advanced CRM-based BPM software provides a comprehensive feature set that includes:

  • Case management
  • Complete third party services integration and synchronization
  • Content management
  • Customer relation management
  • Knowledge management
  • Mobile process operation
  • Social collaboration
  • Task management
  • Visual process designer and user manager

Actually, the CRM vs BPM battle is irrelevant to the reality of the contemporary market. With a growing number of new business models and ever-changing legal regulations, companies need to have agile business processes to keep up with the trends and demands of their customers. CRM functions inbuilt into a BPM platform allow for creating end-to-end processes that focus on customers and prepare companies to execute their business strategy with greater effectiveness and compliance.

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