Carmen Nel's World

The battle is on, or is it?

To choose between CRM and SharePoint is like making the decision when buying a new car. Let’s say you have to choose between a SUV and a saloon, they both have pro’s and con’s the one could be altered to do the same thing as the other, but should it?

Let’s first look at the strong, 4×4 strengths and features of the SUV we call SharePoint:

  • SharePoint was designed to store unstructured data
  • SharePoint was built to:
    • Organise unstructured information
    • Build portals, intranets and extranets
    • Manage documents
    • Use metadata to enhance searchable documents and information
    • Manage business intelligence
    • Search and search some more
    • Collaborate and share in one environment
    • Manage and automate processes via workflows
  • SharePoint Supports:
    • Content management
    • Project management
    • Sales and marketing management
    • Contract management
    • Reporting and dashboards​

Now that we have the features and extras of the SUV let us have a look at the sleek, comfortable features of the Saloon:

  • CRM Manages front office business processes
  • CRM was built for:
    • Lead tracking management
    • Opportunity management
    • Marketing management
    • Sales management
    • Customer service
    • Relationship management
    • Offline Sync with Office and Outlook

On their own, these products work like a charm, the OOB features are extensive, but now the question, which one do I need to satisfy my needs. The answer is not that simple.

If you do not have SharePoint environment at all:
If you want to purely manage your customer relationships and nothing else, go for CRM because this is what it was built for. You can build a lite version of CRM on SharePoint quite quickly but to add all of the features and relationships to the project will take quite a while. 
 
If you do have a SharePoint environment:
As mentioned before, you can build a full CRM solution in SharePoint but it will take extensive development. Here is the good news, integration between CRM and SharePoint is easy and seamless which means you can have your bread buttered on both sides if you have the budget for both solutions. These products work well together because the one compliments the other.  

Example of where CRM and SharePoint work well together:
Let’s say I just sold a car that needs to be manufactured in my factory, I will use CRM to manage the sales process of the car, then I will integrate it with SharePoint to manage the project, make use of document management pertaining to the product and I will use SharePoint for collaboration between team members who are part of the manufacturing process etc.

In the end, when you have to choose between your SUV and Saloon, I would suggest, get both! They go together like fuel and fire and will change your sales and management processes into a masterpiece.

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