For stakeholder engagement and consultation projects, it’s crucial to keep accurate, consistent and complete records of all your stakeholder engagement efforts. While some organizations are considering using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for their stakeholder engagement record-keeping, this isn’t the best software for this purpose.
In today’s blog, we’re sharing three reasons why you shouldn’t use a CRM for your stakeholder engagement.
Reason 1: Lower user adoption rates
CRM software isn't made for stakeholder management
Customer Relationship Management software, or CRM, is made for managing customers, marketing and sales, not stakeholder engagement information.
By using a CRM for stakeholder engagement, you’re immediately at a disadvantage because you’re choosing software with technology that isn’t designed to help you and your team accomplish your stakeholder engagement goals. This will make your stakeholder management more difficult than necessary.
When software doesn't meet your team's needs, they'll avoid using it
When software doesn’t meet your team’s needs, they’ll avoid using it altogether, which leads to lower user adoption rates.
With fewer people using the software properly (or at all), the quality of your stakeholder data will be impacted. This leaves you with inconsistent data that you can’t rely on or properly report with, which will cause serious problems down the road.
If you want to learn more about how to encourage your team to use new software, check out our blog on 4 Tips to Gain Team Buy-in For Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM) Software!
Reason 2: Higher (often hidden) costs
Because CRM isn’t designed to meet stakeholder engagement and management goals, you’ll inevitably have to customize it for your team’s needs. But customization can quickly become expensive and time-consuming for you, your team, and your organization. Unlike CRM, Stakeholder Relationship Management Software, or SRM, has been designed with the information, workflows, and tools that just make sense for engaging with stakeholders and managing related info.
Software needs to meet your team's needs now and into the future
Even if you customize a CRM, it won’t improve over time with stakeholder-focused updates or added features. This set-it-and-forget-it approach often means you won’t get increased value from your system over time without spending even more money and time customizing once again.
Reason 3: Increased risks
Data gaps from lower user adoption rates
Earlier, we mentioned that lower user adoption rates would affect the quality of your data, leaving you with inconsistent data that may have substantial gaps, and these data gaps can leave you open to various unnecessary risks. For example, you could miss a high-risk stakeholder issue or fail to meet a stakeholder commitment because it wasn’t logged properly, or you weren’t able to track it adequately with the CRM and missed the deadline.
These types of situations can have serious consequences that are easily avoidable with the right software.
Missing important insights and information
As a CRM is made for managing customer relationships, sales and marketing, you’re at risk of missing crucial stakeholder information like:
- What concerns, perspectives or interests are your stakeholders communicating to your team?
- Where are you engaging the most? Is there an area you should be engaging stakeholders more?
- Are you missing any engagement opportunities?
- Are you able to prioritize your issues and identify risks?
- Can you run fast and organized reports on your various data to pull essential stakeholder insights?
Among many risks, without access to this kind of information, you can miss important opportunities, fail to resolve any stakeholder conflict before it escalates or miss the chance to prepare necessary resources to meet your project’s changing needs.
We mentioned this in the cost section, but a CRM won’t offer you the stakeholder engagement-focused updates and support you’ll likely need in the future.
While many CRM options out there offer great support and features, they’re to meet customer-focused challenges so you won’t gain the updates and improvements you’ll need to meet any changing requirements in the stakeholder engagement industry. This is risky for the future of your stakeholder engagement tracking, along with any current data you’re trying to record and protect.
Missing regulatory requirements
If you’re trying to meet any requirements (like Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)), without accurate data, continual updates, and organized insights, you can miss sharing stakeholder data that’s correct and complete, which is risky if you can’t back up your claims with accurate records.
Negatively impacting stakeholder relationships
Without access to stakeholder engagement insights, you can miss learning important and valuable information about your stakeholders and their perspectives, which can negatively impact how they view your organization and diminish any positive stakeholder relationships. Poor stakeholder relationships are risky for your project and your organization.
Want to learn how to de-risk your projects? Check out our blog on How to De-risk Your Projects with Stakeholder Relationship Management Software!
What's the best stakeholder engagement software?
If a CRM isn’t the best software for your stakeholder engagement information, then what’s the best option?
Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM) software is an unbeatable option as it’s been specifically designed for logging all your stakeholder engagements, tracking issues and commitments, pulling valuable insights, running useful reports and more.
An SRM is designed for stakeholder management and will help you build better stakeholder relationships and work towards more positive project outcomes.
Want to learn more about the difference between an SRM and a CRM? Check out our blog on SRM vs CRM: What’s the Difference?
Say hello to Jambo!
If you’re looking for a powerful SRM that’s fast and easy to use and will streamline your stakeholder management process, check out our SRM, Jambo. It’s been designed by industry experts to meet today’s unique stakeholder engagement and management challenges. We regularly add updates and continuously strive to provide the best user experience with our leading SRM software.
To learn more, check out this 2-minute highlight video to gain a sneak peek into what Jambo is all about!