Social CRM - Part 2: What's the Benefit of a Social CRM vs. a Traditional AMS?

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Social CRM - Part 2: What's the Benefit of a Social CRM vs. a Traditional AMS?

Quite frankly, it’s about business.

Does this sound familiar? Your membership is growing, you want to add new lines of business, and your staff is more focused on processes than members. Your 25 year old association management software (AMS) has data in different areas; you don’t know what is working and what is not working and nothing is integrated. Your present system is failing, yet it takes the work of developers to get anything done. And it’s expensive, very expensive, due to huge upgrade fees and paying for patches to lingering problems. 

Dealing with these frustrations can feel like a continuing nightmare.  Today most organizations want a system that makes member collaboration and member commerce easy.  What many don’t realize is that such a system exists within the context of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. A “true” CRM supports dues billing, event management, fundraising, certifications, etc. without needing to pay for a customized system. (See Social CRM - Part 1: It Says It's a CRM, but Is It Really? For definition)

The following are examples of easily integrated CRM functionality.

Basic Association Functions

Most associations and nonprofits expect their AMS systems to provide the following: 

  • Membership Management/Tracking
  • Events Management
  • Certification Management
  • Fundraising Management
  • Chapter Management 
  • Committee Management 
  • Web Portal
  • Mobile Ready

CRM includes the management and integration of all those functions as well its very robust accounting functionally, but the focus of this article is on the features typical AMS solutions do NOT provide. 

Sales and Enterprise Marketing Features

CRMs are designed to drive revenue by strengthening customer relationships; therefore, they have tremendous sales and marketing capabilities. They manage the entire marketing process from multi–channel brand and campaign management, event marketing through demand intelligence to complete analytics. In addition to marketing systems built directly into CRM, there are many specialized marketing apps that cover many specialized needs.   

Sales managers can very quickly review membership drives, event registrations and monitor progress to answer questions and thwart any possible problems before they become an issue. 



Social Media Engagement
Your strongest members may be the ones you can’t hear.  Social media's impact on everything from issue engagement to fundraising is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, the 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report stated that 78% of nonprofits worldwide agree that social media is effective for online fundraising. Microsoft Social Engagement is a tool that integrates easily with CRM. It allows users to monitor the feedback and sentiment that their constituents across multiple channels and allows for immediate feedback. Fortune 500 companies are currently using this tool to boost their customer engagement while associations and nonprofits are slowly embracing this new technology. Don’t be behind the curve, take a test drive today.  
•    Take a social engagement test drive
•    Take a social engagement personal tour using Association data


Service and Support
Microsoft Dynamics® CRM comes with advanced service, case and knowledge management systems built in and ready to use.  Members are empowered to use any channel they wish to resolve issues, and you can be ensured that service cases are consistently managed so your members are happy and empowered.  Microsoft Dynamics® CRM service has hundreds of features; you can automatically track and monitor member support and knowledge to be ensure each member is receiving the proper care.
•    Take a test drive as a customer service manager


New Lines of Business Not Supported by an Old System
Is your organization dynamic, changing and growing?
If your industry is constantly changing, if your board is looking for new revenue streams, if you have constantly changing regulations, then you need a CRM based AMS system.  We speak to many organizations that cannot implement new programs because their systems cannot manage it without tremendous investment in programming stop gaps in their legacy systems.  Fluidity and change are exactly what CRM software was designed to accommodate.  

Driving the business processes behind revenue.   

CRM is designed from its inception to help manage the business process behind new revenue streams.  From creating the messaging, marketing, communications plan, data, website, consistent business processes, planned activities, resource scheduling, accounting rules, the revenue recognition, etc.

CRM is designed to quickly adapt to new business requirements and plans.  Configuration is light years faster than old legacy association management systems (AMS). 

In summary, if you are a dynamic organization, then don’t settle for a stagnant AMS.  Take a deep look at CRM and Altai.  We automate simple and complex business processes. We have clients that provide complex professional certifications with hundreds of requirements. We know business processes, we know how to automate them in CRM and we know how to setup CRM for a dynamics business.  We have your back!


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