Linking your CRM to your back office – how easy is it?

There are different options out there… excel spreadsheets? Inclusive systems offered by partner businesses? Off the shelf CRM solutions?

All viable scenarios and each with their advantages and disadvantages.

Lets take a look at those options and how useful they are to your business:

Excel spreadsheets

The pros:

  • Cheap

The cons:

  • Convoluted
  • No mailing facilities
  • No storage of candidate files
  • Quickly outgrown by a successful agency

The go-to system for data entry, excel spreadsheets are sometimes relied upon by new start up’s as a cheap means of managing candidate and client information. Whilst they can work in the short term, ultimately most agencies will find that they quickly outgrow this solution as it is both navigationally and functionally convoluted.

Inclusive systems offered by partner businesses (typically finance providers)

The pros:

  • Included with finance provision costs
  • “One-stop-shop” solution

The cons:

  • Limited functionality
  • Data owned by the finance partner
  • “Locked-in” long term

A fairly recent development has seen some finance providers offer an in-house CRM system that provides limited mailing and sales activities for agencies. Whilst this does provide an all-in-solution that caters for both front and back office, it fundamentally limits the agency in their options moving forward. If their data is owned by the finance provider then they have no control over how it used. If the data is owned by the agency but stored on the external system what happens if the agency wants to change finance providers? Do they simply get an exported excel file containing all client and candidate information which they need to use to populate a new internal CRM system?

Agencies must also ask themselves how much time and money the finance provider has spent developing this system. Expert CRM providers will spend millions on R&D to ensure that their systems are the best available on the market place. Is a finance provider going to spend an equal amount to ensure theirs is competitive?

Off the shelf CRM systems

The pros:

  • Industry specific functionality
  • Secure
  • Agency owned data
  • Ability to upload documentation to client and candidate files
  • Mailshot and sales functions

The cons:

  •  Monthly cost

Most recruiters who elect to start out on their own will have experienced one of the off the shelf options available in a prior role. Some are great. Some are good. Some are plain awful. However all serve a purpose, that being to provide adequate and secure storage of data and a semblance of sales assistance.

The good systems offer a user friendly interface that enables business owners and consultants to manage their sales pipelines, live assignments, candidate databases and client interactions.

Despite the huge costs of creating and managing these services, developments and competition in the market place has seen these systems become available for minimal costs, starting from as little as £10 per month.

Believing that these systems offer the most suitable long term solution for front office streamlining and stability, Quba made the decision to develop API links between their back office system and the most popular off the shelf CRM’s, rather than developing a CRM system of our own. This enables our agency partners to select the CRM that best suits their business and have both ownership of their data and confidence that they can retain the system should they look to self-fund in the future (and therefore cut the ties to Quba’s back office).

Currently in place are direct links to Bullhorn, Zoho and Adapt, with developments in place for future links.

If you would like an informal but confidential conversation about this solution and how it can support your agency moving forward please feel free to call any time on 07795 572916 or email mike@quba.solutions.