More Services Firms have CRM than PSA. Why isn’t CRM Enough?
CRM systems, particularly Salesforce CRM, with almost 35% market share are prevalent among professional services firms. They must be able to consistently target the best clients and be able to quickly and efficiently assign the best available resources to solve their complex business problems. In new research commissioned by FinancialForce.com and conducted by SPI Research the case is made that too often both the sales function and its supporting CRM applications are disconnected from service delivery and finance, which means vital client conversations and information are lost. Dennis Howlett posts a video of Jeanne Urich from SPI Research discussing the results of the survey. Some key findings are illustrated in this chart below: Dennis writes: “What should be obvious is that Salesforce.com, with the largest market share among professional services businesses also generates the second highest level of billings per person BUT has one of the lowest levels of integration with professional services automation solutions. It should also be clear that in this sample, Salesforce customers are, on average, among the largest of organisations. What is also interesting is that NetSuite customers have the highest levels of integration but are among the lowest earners. Does that mean PSA has no impact? Does it mean Salesforce alone can carry organisations through? Is earnings potential a function of scale?” It’s an interesting thought, but one that SPI disproves later. Indeed, average revenue per project for Salesforce.com customers is 53% higher than those who do not use Salesforce.com while projected margin for time and materials projects is 7% higher. So, the combination of revenue and margin edge mean that overall, Salesforce.com users are more profitable. The key findings, however show that in addition integration between CRM, PSA and Financials helps improve every important KPI and ensures sales, project and finance teams have shared visibility into project status, pipeline, cost, budget, and billing information.