Use CRM Software to Break Silos Within your Organisation

Barriers in communication within an organization can often lead to underutilization of resources and increase the share of unproductive activities. Organizations big and small often find it a major challenge to ensure smooth vertical and horizontal communications and this is exactly where an highly effective CRM solution can do wonders. With cloud computing making data management and storage affordable to one and all, CRM solutions are bridging gaps between the customers and businesses as well as between various verticals in organizations.

It is essential for any firm to identify silos that exist in the form of closed verticals and LOBs before deciding on an agenda that would help break them. Silos can be defined as close structures within which a particular department works. Due to the watertight nature of certain division there is a tendency to develop an isolated approach that may not contribute to the overall growth of the firm. If such a plan is not executed to perfection, a measure such as this could lead to serious misuse of vital data and even breach of privacy. The important thing to keep in mind therefore while breaking silos within an organization with the help of a CRM system are:
  • There is consent of all departments 
  • The shared data is authentic 
  • There is verbal communication within and among departments to back the data sharing exercises 
  • There is no impact on the primary objectives of the company (live projects of individual teams, revenue growth, etc.)
With growth comes confusion
Every successful organization will grow. While growth in every positive aspect of the firm is always welcome, it brings with it several challenges. As a small firm reaches out to a larger market and begins to increase its foothold, it also needs to expand in terms of departments and size. A very small firm can operate in following broad departments- sales, marketing and operations. A larger firm however has a larger number of departments and therefore there is a greater chance of friction, miscommunication and overlapping of responsibilities.

In a larger organisation, often various product lines and operations work in silos, where on e department is not able to leverage the efforts of other departments. For example in a larger bank there are separate teams for asset products, liability products, credit cards, third party products etc. Due to silos cross selling becomes difficult. Also there is very limited visibility of information which leads to average level of customer services. Since customer data lies in multiple systems, no one is able to provide true information to the customer. If the work of each department is completely compartmentalized, there is a strong chance that its members will not to communicate with other departments. This will impact the overall objective of the firm and may not be in line with the company’s growth plans.

Avoiding silos
Introducing a CRM solution that tackles all such silos is therefore a highly strategic move that involves not just the top management but also managers of each of the teams. It is a cultural change that needs acceptance at all level of the organisation. It is after all the platform that would not just allow real time data sharing but also allows everyone to respect and understand the company’s, team’s and department’s objective individually and as a whole. Making all the silos work together as one and in line with the company’s objective therefore becomes easier.

In sectors such as banking, insurance, retail, pharma, and IT the silo structure is a common phenomenon when a company becomes larger than 40 to 50 people. Breaking them down could thus have its share of challenges and implementing a CRM solution that is customized to address these needs is therefore a critical decision.

If one looks back at the history and case studies of CRM implementations in some of the largest and most successful mid-sized firms in the world, it is clear that CRM solutions could go a long way in solving some of the burning communication issues within an organization.

Monitoring users
While CRM solutions can in fact break down barriers in communication within an organization, it also increases the risk of sharing crucial information with the wrong team. Sensitive information therefore needs to be tackled very carefully and therefore at the onset of the CRM implementation program there is a need to make a trial run of the system while documenting and monitoring the access privileges of the various departments and roles.

CRM solution providers thus have the massive responsibility of training and hand holding the various stakeholders with privileges and access to the information in the system. An effective system and the right implementation methodology can break the silos and channelize efforts across the organisation which can result in exponential benefits and growth.