It is common that I hear from executives that feel they are spending a lot of money on CRM and not utilizing all it has to offer. The majority of the time, they are right.

CRM for most is a sales tool for salespeople and sales managers to provide sales metrics. Which is great because it is all of those things. But after working with CRM over the years, I believe that it is really a platform to build your business on top of.

It provides the interface, security, workflow automation and many of the features that you would see in other software solutions. The catch is that someone has to have the platform mindset in order to utilize all the features and get the ROI.

Companies without the platform mindset are always looking for the next piece of software to add instead of reflecting on what is already in place. With a platform mindset, the organization would first look at SugarCRM and ask, can this solve our needs?

Let’s look at an example:

A company was looking to add services to their business which would complement online sales. They would need software to manage the services and provide insight into the various aspects of the services organization. They started off looking at industry specific service software that provided all the possible things that their services business would need. Adopting this software would also add software costs, integration costs, increase training and all the other expenses that come with adding a new software package to the business.

As they were looking at solutions, a light bulb went off. One person in the business decided to ask if SugarCRM could provide what they needed. After analysis and some discussion about how it would work in SugarCRM, it was determined that SugarCRM with some Admin level customizations would provided everything that they needed. One week later, their new services department has the software that they required to manage their needs for the foreseeable future.

It took someone with the platform mindset to ask the question as to whether the business already had something that could solve the needs of the business. All too often, CRM gets boxed in to being the sales tool that people forget just how easy it is to serve other functions.