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CRM Manager Guide: In-House vs. Outsourcing

What is a CRM manager?  

A CRM manager role can vary from one company to another. Generally, CRM managers are in charge of creating strategies that will enhance the relationship between a company and its customers, using sales, marketing and customer service to identify customer needs and how best to address them. They often take charge of the implementation of CRM software programmes and technology, making sure it runs smoothly and is being utilized most effectively. 


Why are CRM managers important?  

CRM managers focus on fostering strong customer relationships, improving customer satisfaction, and driving business growth much easier and quicker. Not every company that uses a CRM software tool has the budget to invest in a CRM manager, but those that do invest can save money in the long run — CRM tools are costly, and squeezing every last pound or dollar’s worth of use from these platforms does require hiring someone who knows exactly how to implement them best. 


What does a CRM manager do? 

On a day-to-day basis, a CRM manager does the following:

  • Update client accounts in the CRM system/software  
  • Handle customer complaints and queries 
  • Monitor CRM strategy implementation 
  • Analyze customer behavior  
  • Co-manage the customer service team 
  • Supervise customer service repsThis is an extensive array of responsibilities, and a CRM manager should have a skill set that reflects this. They need to be multitaskers who understand the customer perspective well and are comfortable liaising across the sales and marketing departments.  


Why companies need CRM managers 

Putting aside a sizable portion of their sales or marketing budget for a CRM manager can seem inconvenient for businesses, but it’s a mistake to dismiss the idea altogether. Here’s why investing in a CRM manager is beneficial for a company and why hiring one can significantly contribute to business success.  


Why invest in a CRM manager?   

Companies that outsource or employ an in-house CRM manager can enhance customer retention, increase sales revenue, improve marketing effectiveness and better decision-making processes based on customer insights.  

Effective CRM management helps businesses know their customers better and anticipate their needs precisely. This in turn leads to greater customer loyalty, and considering that research has shown a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to nearly a 30% increase in profits, it would seem that investing in a CRM manager can pay for itself.  


Do CRM managers help businesses succeed? 

 Check out these real-life examples of how CRM managers have driven game-changing results:

  • Dell used a CRM team (headed by CRM managers) to solve the fact that 70% of the B2B contacts on their mailing list were inactive. Their strategizing, alongside help from CRM software, led them to segment the inactive contacts and target each with specialized messaging and offers. The result? Their email open rates soared to 45% and increased conversion rates, ultimately leading to 6% higher revenue.  
  • Amazon has perfected effective CRM marketing. Their CRM managers created a strategy that has revolutionized how data analytics can open up communications with current and potential customers. Quite simply, their strategy was to require that a customer set up a personal account before purchasing. From the first moment an account has been set up, CRM systems personalize recommendations for users using their imputed information, and CRM managers continue to strategize how to use the data from their accounts to sell more products.  


Challenges of hiring a full-time CRM manager 

 While undoubtedly a major asset to your sales and marketing teams, CRM managers aren’t cheap and there’s a risk of losing valuable expertise if one person holds all the knowledge about how your CRM works. The alternative option is to use managed service CRM – where your CRM provider takes on the hard work of managing your CRM for you.  Let’s assess the challenges of hiring a full-time CRM manager and dig deeper into the benefits of managed service.  


What are the common challenges?  

 Glassdoor estimates that the average yearly CRM manager salary is around $108,000. This does not include bonuses, commissions, tips and profit sharing. While an experienced CRM manager with high levels of expertise and knowledge can end up paying for themselves in customer retention and engagement increases, they also come expecting a competitive salary. On top of coughing up over 100k every year for their salary, recruitment costs can be high when trying to find the right fit. This means that hiring a full-time CRM manager is expensive 

Once a full-time CRM manager comes to start at your company, the first step to getting them settled is of course onboarding. Except onboarding a CRM manager isn’t like any other role — it takes a long time. The new manager will have to become well acquainted with your CRM system, interdepartmental processes and customers before they can begin their work. This means that another challenge for this type of hire is the lengthy onboarding process. 

The CRM job market is competitive. Capable CRM managers can be a rarity everybody wants to get their hands on one. This can lead to high turnover, which takes you right back to square one, spending more money and taking more time to recruit and onboard somebody new.  

Another challenge that can crop up has to do with scalability. Scaling CRM operations with a full-time team is all of the above and then some. A CRM manager you hire to facilitate this may not be equipped to manage the array of workload fluctuations, adapt to the evolving business needs or allocate resources effectively to accommodate the growth. Plus, once a full-time team has been scaled and implemented, relying solely on them can lead to limited access to specialized expertise and higher overhead costs.  


Benefits of outsourcing CRM services 

Don’t let these challenges put you off because there’s a simple alternative to hiring a full-time CRM manager — outsourced CRM or managed service CRM. There are many advantages to this: 

Firstly, cost efficiency. As we’ve just discussed, maintaining an in-house CRM infrastructure is expensive. On the other hand, outsourcing CRM management eliminates the upfront overheads and allows businesses to have better CRM services at a fraction of the cost.  

Not only is outsourced CRM management cheaper than in-house, but in most cases, it’s better too. This is because when a business outsources they can tap into the expertise of CRM professionals whose skill-set directly suits the CRM for their service or product.  

Outsourcing firms employ seasoned professionals with heaps of experience across diverse industries, and when businesses leverage their expertise, they can benefit from innovative approaches and unique industry insights.  

 Outsourcing CRM management also tends to offer increased scalability and flexibility, as they can adapt quickly to changing market dynamics, customer needs and business priorities. Outsourcing firms can easily adjust their resources and services to accommodate any fluctuations in demand, thus making them better if you’re planning on scaling up in a short period.  


How Workbooks’ Professional Services can help 

 Through Managed Service we can take on the hard work behind the scenes to give you everything you need from Workbooks – from custom reports and dashboards to data imports. This means you can save time and focus on your business results. And you can have total peace of mind in your CRM management.    

 More on Managed Service 

We also offer CRM implementation, customization, data migration, training and ongoing support to help your business manage CRM initiatives as smoothly as possible. Plus, we rated the highest of all global CRM vendors for customer satisfaction by G2 for seven out of the last nine years. 


How we’re helping organizations like yours 

Don’t just take our word for it — the following case studies show our dedication to streamlining CRM processes across industries.  

  • SAV Systems, a provider of energy-efficient heating and ventilation solutions, upgraded its CRM to support growth. They aimed to improve decision-making and customer service by gaining a comprehensive view of customers and market insights. With 60 users across four sites, they prioritized a cloud-based system. Since reaching out to us, and implementing Workbooks CRM, turnover increased from £7m to £25m over four years.
  • CSols Ltd, a software company specializing in laboratory solutions, upgraded to Workbooks CRM for centralized, cloud-based access. Previously using multiple copies of Sage Act!, they faced data fragmentation. With a distributed support team, Workbooks provided the ideal solution with its comprehensive services and flexibility. 


Making the right choice 

Whether you’re looking for a CRM to help you get the best possible sales and marketing outcomes or you need some guidance on how to run your CRM effectively, we’re here to help.  

Take the first step by visiting Workbooks’ demo page to experience the difference firsthand.