Best CRM for Project Management
Traditionally, businesses keep their CRM and project management software separate. However, information kept in teams or in departmental silos does not serve other teams like sales, marketing, and development well. With the common goal of meeting customer demands, companies have realized the importance of having their business data connected in a single platform. In fact, combining CRM, project management, time tracking, and other tools can provide companies a multitude of benefits.
Table of Contents
- What Is CRM Software for Project Management?
- Best CRM Software for Project Management
- Types of CRM Software
- Features of CRM Software for Project Management
- CRM Project Management for Specific Industries
What Is CRM Software for Project Management?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a business application that enables users to manage potential and existing customer information and interactions to improve business relationships. A CRM helps companies connect to customers, keep them engaged, and provide them a delightful experience, so they buy repeatedly, become loyal customers, and make referrals. On the other hand, project management software supports best practices and processes to achieve project goals efficiently.
So, CRM project management software is a solution that brings together two business applications in a single platform to unify data and achieve the common goal of serving customers and keeping them satisfied. The CRM keeps the focus on the customer, while the project management tools help define tasks, identify resources, and track efforts through to completion.
Best CRM Software for Project Management
Today, teams and companies looking for online CRM project management software can find a wide selection of solutions. Vendors offer different approaches, strategies, and technologies. It can be challenging for some due to common features available in both CRM and project management software. The best CRM for project management are solutions that allow users to meet customer experience expectations, scale easily to different levels of company growth, and maintain processes with ease of use, affordability, and simplicity of maintenance. Here is a list of our CRM project management software recommendations:
Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM platform for businesses of all sizes. It is an integrated platform that connects sales, service, marketing, e-commerce, and other products to provide users a single source of information. The CRM is scalable and flexible and can provide applications to any company with speedy implementation.
Salesforce offers a CRM project management approach through its app-builder platform. Users can choose low-code builders with a point-and-click interface to quickly build modern cloud and mobile solutions. Alternatively, programmers can use any coding language to build their project management apps. The platform also provides the AppExchange marketplace, where ready-to-use components are available to integrate with Salesforce. The app marketplace includes dozens of project management apps and components with free and paid options.
Wrike is a versatile project management application that teams can use as a simple CRM. Users can customize the PM software to help track sales leads and manage projects seamlessly. When configured properly, the software can help businesses acquire, organize, and update leads and contact information.
Wrike provides teams a single platform to keep all contacts, project timelines, and communication in one place. It streamlines the process of determining goals, identifying priorities, organizing customer folders, delegating tasks, setting deadlines, and tracking leads and clients. Useful features are client list views, custom status, automated updates, intake forms, shared calendars, Gantt charts, and various reports.
Asana is a work management platform with project management features. It has tools useful for different teams in marketing, sales, product development, and operations. Sales and account management teams can use the software to define processes and improve efficiency, so team members can focus on engaging prospects and winning customer loyalty.
Asana can also improve collaboration across teams. Users can turn processes for closing deals and onboarding clients into templates. It has status reports that quickly turn data into charts and other visual highlights. The PM software also has features to streamline pre-sales requests, automate onboarding of new customers, and monitor real-time status of accounts.
monday.com is an online platform that allows various teams across the organization to manage and collaborate on work visually. It is simple to set up, quickly giving users a CRM with tools to capture and manage leads, manage contacts and pipelines, create customer projects, launch marketing campaigns, and track teams and tasks.
monday.com has a flexible drag-and-drop interface, custom automations, industry-specific templates, and powerful integrations to help teams build an application for their exact needs. Its CRM project management solution creates alignment between project, marketing, sales, and support teams. It also promotes visibility, so sales and account managers can see project progress in real time.
Insightly is CRM software with project management features. It helps align teams across the organization by providing unified customer data that is valuable for marketing, sales, project management, and service activities. With an integrated approach, it gives users all the information they need to build a complete view of the customer across the entire buying lifecycle.
Insightly allows users to customize standard processes of contact, lead, and opportunity management with custom fields, objects, and apps. It also has dynamic page layouts, calculated fields, and lambda functions. Its unified CRM and project management tools enable users to quickly convert closed opportunities to projects, set milestones, clarify order details, check inventories, and assign tasks.
vTiger is a CRM solution for SMBs with free and paid online plans, as well as open-source downloadable editions. It has an intuitive and fast interface that users can easily adopt. It provides a comprehensive view of the customer and valuable insights from its built-in AI tools. The software can also integrate with many popular third-party applications.
vTiger CRM helps streamline operations and enhance the performance of teams across sales, marketing, and help desk. It has integrated project management tools, so users can quickly build projects related to customers, deals, or cases. It offers Gantt view and Kanban board view. Users can break projects into tasks and subtasks, assign them to team members, track time spent on tasks, and automatically pull time data into invoices.
Accelo is a cloud-based CRM for professional services. Its automation helps boost productivity and profitability across service businesses. Sales automation updates the CRM with every client interaction. It helps drive the process and send alerts when things are getting off-track. Other features include team scheduling, client records, team inbox, and automatic tracking and sharing.
Accelo can convert any quote into a project in one click. Built-in project collaboration tools help teams reach deadlines, whether working on sales leads, support issues, or campaign projects. It has drag-and-drop Gantt charts, task management, expense tracking, and a client portal. The software also has automatic time tracking, flexible invoicing, and easy reporting.
Bitrix24 is an all-in-one platform that includes CRM and project management tools. It enables collaboration through group chat, video calls, shared calendars, and an activity feed. The free CRM application helps users grow their sales with features like an unlimited customer database, tools for lead and demand generation, sales funnels and pipelines, analytics, automation, social media integration, and email marketing.
Bitrix24 also comes with integrated project and task management that streamlines task assignment and delegation. It comes with automatic time tracking, reports, reminders and notifications, and deadline control. Other advanced features include specific task management roles, filtering by roles, task templates, task dependencies, recurring tasks, checklists, and custom fields.
Daylite by Marketcircle is a Mac CRM for small business. Designed specifically for macOS and iOS, Daylite helps teams and companies to grow. It is ideal for organizations with 100 or fewer employees using Apple devices and Apple apps. The CRM is valuable to companies in the professional and creative services spaces, as well as manufacturing and other client-facing businesses.
Daylite supports day-to-day work, from managing calendars to sharing tasks and collaborating on projects. As a CRM, it keeps track of communications and suggests next steps. The built-in project management features help teams collaborate and execute on client projects. It organizes tasks, people, decisions, and emails in one place. Users can easily see schedules and due dates, with automatic reminders showing what’s due, coming soon, or overdue.
WORKetc is web-based business management software that includes CRM, project management, and collaboration tools. The integrated cloud platform enables companies to use a single solution to manage teams across the organization. It consolidates multiple apps, lowering total cost. It is accessible through web and mobile apps and can integrate with email and other productivity tools.
WORKetc enables users to capture sales leads from web forms, mobile devices, and email. It can automatically assign and track leads with customized sales processes. The sales pipeline allows users to monitor and report on business. With the same software, users can create projects with triggers and dependencies. They can view client projects in Gantt chart, tree, or timeline views. Other features include project templates, custom fields, and built-in budgeting tools.
Types of CRM Software
Maintaining financial growth is a critical goal of any business. Understanding the customer is key to achieve this growth. CRM software enables companies to find new leads, convert them to customers, and retain them. With a wide array of available solutions, CRM software generally falls into three types; project management functionality contributes significantly to all of them.
An operational CRM system helps streamline processes so users can better visualize the customer journey. It provides tools to help the user manage multiple touchpoints and interactions with the customer. Together with automation, project management features allow operational CRM software to efficiently create tasks that teams perform to identify the leads that are most likely to convert into customers. Also, operational CRM project management software can turn any issue or request into a task or project to ensure customers are supported and satisfied.
An analytical CRM system uses data analysis to help businesses determine better ways to serve the customer. It has features to gather customer information, help set business methodology, and analyze KPIs to improve the CRM’s effectiveness. CRM and project management features can help teams identify the best channels to gather information, create tasks to monitor how each channel performs, and then generate reports to help users decide where to focus their efforts.
A collaborative CRM system facilitates the sharing of customer information across the whole organization in an accessible way. Every department can understand better how they can help to the overall goal of fulfilling a customer need. In the same way, client projects that involve cross-functional teams are able to collaborate better with features like comments and file attachments alongside tasks to provide proper context. Task dependencies can also help identify the location or responsibility that is causing the delay.
Features of CRM Software for Project Management
When companies invest their budget in one area of software, it can mean taking budget away from another. On the other hand, consolidating processes can result in efficiency. So a CRM software with built-in project management features provide companies who need such a solution additional savings to invest in a single software solution. Also, teams use a single application that unifies their company data and processes, making it easier to use. Here are some of the essential features to look for in a CRM project management solution.
It is common for CRM software today to contain comprehensive and up-to-date information for every customer. The best CRM for project management software adds project and task details to the customer information, so teams know exactly at what stage customer-focused projects are in. A single source of truth allows teams to provide customers consistent information.
Ease of Use
CRM software that enables teams to manage projects and tasks should be intuitive and simple to use. Users need more time to work on tasks for the customers, rather than working on the software itself. In fact, the software will be taking on some of the users’ work load so they can spend more time finding leads, managing accounts, and helping customers. This is possible with intuitive design and navigation, point-and-click tools, and drag-and-drop builders.
Collaboration tools within CRM software can expedite communication between teams. Tools that allow teams to exchange files, post comments alongside tasks, and even invite external partners and clients for feedback and approval can streamline the process, ensuring quick delivery of the right product or service.
The bulk of the work may happen after the user closes the deal with the customer. So seamless integration between the sales or service process and project management process is essential. The CRM software should be able to transform an opportunity, deal, or issue into a project or task without duplicate data entry.
Teams using CRM software are familiar with pipelines. In a similar way, teams should be able to track project tasks in a visual way. Whether using a web app, desktop, or mobile device, teams can readily give updates to one another, as well as telling customers how their inquiries, requests, or issues are coming along.
Customization can range from project templates and custom fields, to creating new workflows and building apps. Customization can serve to improve processes, provide more insights, or improving customer experience.
Dashboards and Reports
Dashboards and reports should be easy to generate. These should include information about project status and progress, task completion and details, and other metrics related to marketing, sales, and service. Users should have options for how to visualize their data, such as charts, graphs, and plots.
Marketing, sales, and service teams may need to quickly set up projects without going through project management training. With available project templates in CRM software, users can choose setups, processes, or workflows that are similar to the ones they already use. Teams should be able to customize these templates easily and save them for repeat use.
Automation and Integration
Most CRM solutions today have automation features to alert and remind users of important events for their leads and customers. Automation features should extend to task management, such as managing recurring tasks or reminding users of deadlines and milestones. The software should also have direct integration to other productivity tools and apps.
CRM Project Management for Specific Industries
Some industries are able to maximize opportunities with their clients via CRM solutions with built-in project management features.
Professional Service Organizations
Professional service organizations (PSOs) need CRM project management software to leverage their relationship with clients.
Centralized Data: PSOs need to keep their network of contacts updated, including information on current projects, progress, and problems, if any.
Collaboration: Messaging tools that can convey information alongside proposals, presentations, and tasks simplify communication internally with other teams, as well as externally with partners and clients.
Ease of Use: PSOs such as law or accounting firms may employ professionals that are not as technically inclined as others. Software solutions should be easy to learn and simple to use.
Software & Technology
Software and technology companies are relying more on CRM project management solutions as other businesses and industries turn to them for answers and support.
Process Integration: Tech companies need a flexible CRM project management solution that ensures seamless hand-off from sales to operations, or from help desk to engineering.
Customization: These companies need the flexibility to adapt to changing needs, and the ability to customize software to fit new workflows.
Automation and Integration: Technology is ever expanding, so users in this industry are always exploring new ways to interconnect systems to their advantage.
Public Relations & Communications
PR and communications firms rely on CRM software to manage interactions with both current and potential clients.
Collaboration: PR firms need a unified CRM project management solution to manage correspondence and get the latest information in a more organized way than an email inbox.
Visual Tracking: A modern CRM solution allows a PR firm with multiple clients to easily track and monitor communication projects visually, without getting lost in documents or spreadsheets.
Project Templates: With standardized processes, PR firms can provide a consistent strategy that helps clients, but also allows customization for every unique situation.
Read next: CRM Strategy & Uses for Small Business