Data from the United States Census Bureau shows that around a third of US households are more likely to work from home than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 61.7% of households reported that at least one member switched from personal work to teleworking.

Many Americans who have moved to remote work are realizing the benefits. No commuting and a pleasant working environment. However, working remotely comes with some challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining high levels of communication and productivity.

Both large and small companies are announcing permanent or partial relocations to remote workers, which makes the need for first-class technology all the more important. Because of this, adopting a unified CRM for your remote teams can be a smart choice.

Remote work challenges

Let’s start by discussing the challenges many remote teams face.

Information silos

The transition to cloud-based systems was underway long before the pandemic. There are many benefits to managing business information in departmental web applications, but it can lead to data silos. One system for deals, another system for marketing campaigns, and yet another system for delivery make it difficult to get a complete picture of the customer journey and connect data points to accurately measure business performance and ROI.

Bad communication

Virtual meeting fatigue isn’t the only communication-related challenge remote teams face. When business information is distributed across multiple systems, it makes collaboration difficult for employees. Instead of talking about how best to serve the customer, team members are faced with conversations about how data gets from point A to point B.

Distance selling

Selling under protection adds complexity for your sales force. Customers want to do business with people they really like and trust. But how can your company build trust when remote teams don’t line up with sales? If your sales rep says one thing but your marketing emails and collateral materials say otherwise, or the delivery doesn’t match promises made at the time of the sale, your customers will get confused, stop engaging, and lose confidence in Your business.

Distributed advertising budgets

Trade fairs, a traditional pillar of corporate marketing, are still on hold in many industries and geographical locations. For digital marketers, it means more money spent on email campaigns, content marketing, SEO, paid search engine ads, and other online advertising and initiatives. However, managing a dozen different marketing programs requires continuous tracking and performance measurement. Compare this to a live trade show with a timeline, lead list, and relatively known budget.

How a unified CRM solves many remote work challenges

Organizations often try to alleviate the challenges of working remotely by building CRM integrations with the tools they use. While this approach can work, not all integrations are created equal. Each team member has to juggle multiple usernames, passwords, login urls, and user interfaces. Data syncs take time to configure and are routinely broken, meaning someone needs to fix them. And there are the security and privacy risks associated with keeping customer data in too many places.

In contrast, a unified CRM for sales, marketing, and delivery solves many of the challenges your remote teams face. Employees spend less time jumping back and forth between systems and more time focusing on what matters: generating business value. Here are four specific reasons why unified CRM can be a smart choice for your remote teams:

1. One system for sales, marketing, delivery and support

A uniform CRM creates a coordination between your lead management activities and other parts of the customer journey, such as B. Your email marketing campaigns, customer onboarding, delivery and ongoing support. Employees from multiple remote teams can use your CRM to do their day-to-day tasks, which means they spend less time jumping back and forth between systems, juggling passwords, and synchronizing important data. You can view reports and create real-time dashboards in one place and spend more time using the data instead of trying to create reports from scratch and manually share them with others.

2. A look at the customer journey

Aligning sales, marketing and operations under one roof offers a broader view of each customer. Customer email interactions, website engagement, conversations with your sales teams, and purchase history can all be consolidated into one record in your CRM. This means your remote teams don’t have to search for data in isolated databases. Providing a single view makes it easier for demand generation teams to understand the customer and develop new advertising campaigns and outreach initiatives that maximize customer lifetime value.

3. Improved accountability

A CRM with built-in productivity features – such as projects, milestones, and tasks – adds a new level of transparency and accountability that is not possible when every team is working in a vacuum. Automated follow-up tasks keep sales reps up to date on important deals. Kanban-style project boards help marketers prioritize digital ad campaigns and stay on budget. Converting booked deals into projects in your CRM helps operations teams streamline customer onboarding and avoid unnecessary confusion and delays.

4. Flexibility to maintain business-critical integrations

Not every challenge can be solved natively with a uniform CRM. To stay competitive and grow your business, you may need other business-critical apps. Your accountant will still need a third-party accounting system to keep track of revenues and prepare financial statements. If you’re an ecommerce store, your shopping cart software won’t go away. Be sure to review how your Unified CRM handles app integrations. For example, Insightly recently launched AppConnect, a no code CRM integration tool that provides over 500 pre-built connectors for commonly used apps. You don’t have to be a programmer to use it, and it only takes a few moments to create each integration.

Remote teams thrive when they are united

Remote team management is not an easy task. It requires a proactive strategy, leadership commitment, and the right tools and technology. As you work towards better alignment among your remote workers, you should at least consider how unified CRM could alleviate your specific challenges.

Learn more about Insightly’s unified CRM here.