The biggest limitations of a sports CRM solution


m-hancerecently ran a sports marketing survey to professional sports organisations from every major sport and division in the UK. The results revealed the many pains that Sales and Marketing teams face dueof the limitations of their current sports CRM solution. Here are the most recurring issues that we discovered:

Lack of Integration

3 in every 10 organisations surveyed identified integration with other solutions as a desirable feature that they don’t currently have.

Although a CRM system is primarily the tool for Sales and Marketing, in sports organisations ownership and involvement is not so clear cut. CRM ultimately takes demands from other departments. Facilities and security management occasionally want in, naturally the ticket office want to eradicate any risk from their operation. And retail, hospitality and third party membership initiatives all want the CRM to complement their specialist solutions too. By the time your organisation has a club-wide list of requirements, it feels like the only card left on the table is a single bespoke solution that factorsin everything. However, the issue with this is that it ultimately leaves senior management unhappy or offers a future legwork connecting the dots, which then results in department heads being equally frustrated.

But there is an answer.

Microsoft Dynamics 365is designed to provide leading Sales, Marketing and Customer Service features and toseamlessly integrate with third-party software of all kinds. The third-party software does what it does best, for example, providing specialist functionality for whatever it may be, access management, ticket production, omni-channel retail etc, Microsoft Dynamics aggregates the data into a visual dashboard that management can then use to make better informed decisions.

360-degree view

As covered in a previous article, a 360-degree single supporter view is another recurring feature that is desired, but is not really a reality for the sports organisations that took part in our sports marketing survey. The aforementioned integration capability is the key to obtaining a 360-degree supporter view. And it quickly becomes a sales and marketing essential once you do have it.

The benefits of a 360-degree supporter view that clubs and associations feel like they are not currently exposed to boils down to more accurate segmentation, which can, in turn be transformed into personalised on-point campaigns. A recent report on US sports by Deloitte saw that œMy Hometown equated to a 40% driving force of fan loyalty. Things aren’t that much different on this side of the Atlantic, so you can believe that a well-executed campaign still has a great chance of success outside of your expected demographics.

Social media management

Mastering social media is thin ice that many sports organisations fear to tread. Not joining in the conversation when times are good because you don’t know what to say when a series of events don’t go your way seems to be the common stance. That leaves the social media activity being a one-way communication channel, which instantly tightens the reigns on the marketing reach of your campaigns. Pioneering Sales, Marketing and Customer Service managers recognise the magnitude that social media has on the sports brand. They demand that social media should be managed from within the same dashboards as all the other business critical metrics, and not at arms-length in remote systems.

Bringing social media into your CRM solution means your department is ready.

But ready for what?

Every potential customer enquiry imaginable hopefully. Microsoft’s Social Engagement tool, which is a native part of Microsoft Dynamic 365, monitors the sentiment of posts across multiple social media platforms and can automatically assign tasks to specific internal users to action accordingly. You may not have all the answers to all the questions being asked at first. But at least you know that you’re being spoken to.

Selecting the right sports CRM solution

Professional sports organisations typically have a CRM solution for around 7 years. At the latter stages of that life-cycle, there are bound to be limitations, frustrations and shortfalls between new trends and out-dated reporting capabilities. To select a CRM that’s right for your organisation, you don’t have to accurately predict the state of the world in 7 years’ time. You just have to be confident that the solution you pick now is capable of integrating with yet-to-be-invented third-party solutions in the future, this way you can be sure you will forever have an accurate 360-degree real time view of your existing and yet-to-be-converted supporter base.