Enterprise relationship management (ERM) platforms are changing the game for organizations of all types and sizes. Indeed, businesses around the world are realizing the value—including monetary gains—of understanding and using relationship maps and intelligence to tap into their relationship capital.
With the instant visibility today’s ERM tools provide, companies are using their broader networks to move they needle farther and faster. These tools not only help garner warm introductions, fast track sales, and identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities, they also reduce churn and improve marketing and technology adoption and ROI.
But today’s relationship intelligence industry is also in flux. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools are acquiring ERM platforms at a rapid pace. The result? Risk for organizations that count on their ERMs to succeed.
Will support and investment for your chosen ERM platform dwindle? Will service costs rise? What if your ERM vendor is acquired by a CRM tool you don’t use? Will your company feel pressure to abandon a previous investment and switch to the new owner’s CRM?
Choose a CRM-agnostic platform
If you want to take advantage of all the business benefits that come with an ERM platform, without fear of putting your CRM tech stack investments at risk, your best bet is to select—or migrate to—a vendor that remains independent. Your first priority should be finding an ERM partner that is tech agnostic, and continuously investing in their product roadmap.
Find a partner that can grow with you
Maybe the feature you’re looking for right now is signature scrapping. But what about down the line? When signing on the dotted line, make sure your partner can grow with you to provide a full host of ERM services. Your ideal fit will also support various CRM, business intelligence and sales and marketing technologies.
Other factors to consider
Whether you’re migrating to a new ERM system or researching an initial investment, keep an eye out for tools that offer these six key features.
1. A meaningful relationship score
Look for ERM tools that offer a relationship score based on more than simple volume (i.e., account ABC had 25 calls with your organization this quarter), going beyond count to factor in the value of each communication.
2. Comprehensive data enrichment
Some ERM tools provide data enrichment solely from email signature scrapping. Others (like Introhive) can fill out your sales and marketing database with information from multiple sources, including subscription services and internet searches.
3. Third-party integrations
Has your organization invested in business intelligence or marketing tools like Marketo, Eloqua, Tableau or Einstein Analytics? If so, you’ll want to make sure any ERM system you select can work with your existing tech stack.
4. A product roadmap
When exploring solutions, be sure to ask vendors about their future plans. How often do they push new product releases? Do they consult with customers regarding new features?
5. Strong data privacy, security
No organization wants to be the focus of the next data scandal headline. When dealing with sensitive contact data, and a host of regulations around the world, it’s paramount you choose an ERM with stellar data security credentials.
6. Reliable customer support
From initial user to training, to ideas for feature enhancements, to the occasional snafu, it’s important to know your ERM vendor will be available to help—whenever you need it. So, be sure to read the fine print regarding support parameters and availability.
Demand more from your enterprise relationship management platform
There’s an acquisition-spurred flux taking place in the relationship intelligence arena. But a strategic investment in an ERM platform remains a smart choice for organizations looking to raise the bar on marketing, sales, business development and customer service.
So, if you’re interested in investigating a platform that can meet you where you are, then grow with you and remain CRM agnostic, it could be time to speak with Introhive.
Because we’re an independent, privately funded, tech agnostic platform, you can count on us to unearth your hidden relationship insights and automate your CRM data—without fear of market consolidation or pressure to change your existing CRM tech stack.