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What is a good CRM? What is a bad CRM?

You are working in Public Affairs? or in a Membership-based organisation?

We know the stories of unsaid pains and overworked staff behind the Secretariats’ walls.

Your current CRM is an everyday struggle for your staff.

Too complex, too expensive.

Your Contact Database or Excel sheets are never accurate, never up-to-date, not collaborative, not (well) integrated with your tools.

WHEN should you get a new CRM?

Now is the right time to get a new CRM system, if any of these 4 scenarios sound familiar:

1. Your Communications, Marketing, Membership, Operations, Stakeholder Engagement & Policy teams work in silos.

Poor cross-team alignment is another side effect of using a unique system for each department. Maybe your teams each rely on their own management system, which gives them poor visibility into each other’s goals and operations and makes for a poor hand-off between Membership Lifecycle Journey stages.

2. Your teams operate from multiple sources of data.

Your external stakeholders, your membership base, and your prospects, sponsors, project partner... data live in several tools or records, which means each team references pieces of the truth and fills in the gaps as needed.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that each department operates with incomplete or outdated information, leading to internal frustrations, inconsistent experiences, and upset your leadership and your members.

3. Your teams rely on manual reporting processes.

Without an great CRM, your teams are likely forced to use manual processes — like spreadsheets or a legacy system of record — to keep track of customer information and build various internal reports.

This approach means hours of tedious work and increases the risk of human error, meaning you’re likely missing out on critical insights.

4. You have identified gaps or data inconsistencies in your reports. Reports provide a detailed overview of how your teams perform (Membership, Communications, Policy, Events, Education, Finance...). They help you develop or improve campaigns, optimize Business Development processes, and strengthen member relationships.

However, if your reports are incomplete or simply not aligned with your goals and metrics, they aren’t effectively serving you, your organisation, or your members.

Important Note:

Getting a CRM just for the sake of it, with no proper Data Management Strategy and no 360° Data Integration, is POINTLESS. 😱

Money waste + Time waste.

What is a Great CRM?

1. A Single Source of Truth for ALL Teams in 1 CRM (Membership base + Stakeholder management + Comms & Marketing + projects...), integrated with your digital tools (Member Platform, newsletters, document repository, distribution lists, event & survey tools...)

2. One Intuitive UX, makes it super easy to work for ALL teams,(Membership, Comms, Policy, Events, Finance, ...). You also keep the control of access rights and editing rights, per user persona.

3. Powerful, but without feature overkill.

4. All data is hosted in the EU.

What is a Bad CRM?

1. Not integrated with your digital ecosystem, other data sources still remain in SILOs, different Excels, different database, different tools.

This leads to extra costs, data inconsistencies, data duplication, people missing your communications, ...

2. Clunky UX - Makes it hard to adopt.

Too slow, constant hiccups, too complex, bad interface, ...

3. An Inflexible code - Makes it complicated and COSTLY and SLOW to customize. AI-powered features and stunning automation? Keep dreaming about it!

If your data is fragmented, you can’t draw conclusions: ❌ You don’t know what is working and what isn’t working.

❌ Comms, Policy, Operations, Events, Membership, Education... teams are not aligned.

❌ You won’t get to know your prospects, your members, and target stakeholders properly.

❌ You can’t service members nor drive growth as well as you’d like.

How come?

The answer is simple: there is no single source of truth. ➡️ We, at Symantra, have moved many scaling Business Associations, nonprofits, think tanks, ... from bad (and dumb) CRMs software to a top-notch CRM adapted to the exact needs of membership-based organisations and public affairs professionals. ➡️ Smart integrations & hyper-automation allows our clients to lower operational costs by 30%. ➡️ We see our clients thriving and their growth being unlocked. 🚀

Want to check if you have a bad or a good CRM?

We know them all!

Get in touch HERE.


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