The Case for Vertical Market CRM Skill Sets

By:  Will Kelly

The customer relationship management (CRM) market is growing increasingly more specialized, so it’s important to realize that the time for vertical market CRM skill sets is now. It’s no longer enough for CRM developers or administrators to know the platform: They’re going to need to know about the industry and so much more.
Here are a few reasons why.
CRM Isn’t Just About CRM Anymore
Once, CRM was about serving a system of record for current and prospective customer data. Now, we see CRM platforms from major vendors being stretched into vertical market applications like:


  • Case management solutions for government, law enforcement, health care, and insurance applications;


  • Citizen relationship management applications for local, state, and federal government agencies;


  • Patient management applications used in hospitals and clinics; and


  • Financial services customer management platforms for streamlining compliance and industry-standard processes.

CRM administrators and developers who have vertical market knowledge make good business sense in these scenarios because they’ll be able to work directly with business users to implement needs changes, updates, maintenance, and security to ensure that the CRM solution becomes a backbone for the business. Take, for example, a new CRM platform implementation in a health care setting. The organization’s CRM administrators will need to understand the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to ensure compliance for personally identifiable information and other data.


HIPAA compliance knowledge isn’t readily transferrable to another industry. The CRM administrator leaving a position in the health care industry will pretty much need to start over if he or she wants to enter the financial services market, for example.
Integration with Vertical Market Applications
CRM solutions got their start as a knowledge silo. Customer data went into the system for retrieval and reporting. Fast-forward to 2017, and CRM is just one part of an integrated solution that might include enterprise resource planning; financials; project management; and a slew of other back-office applications, including specialized vertical market applications. Today’s CRM administrators and developers are increasingly playing a part in specialized integrations that require vertical market knowledge that wasn’t a necessity back in the days when they could only run reports on CRM data.


Dynamicsfocus, LLC. is a leading recruiting firm for CRM talent across North America
Business Users Take the Front Seat
We live in an era of digital transformation, agile processes and workflows, and DevOps, even in highly regulated industries like health care and financial services. It was easy for a CRM administrator to be detached from the business when on-premises solutions ruled the enterprise.
Now, however, CRM administrators need a deeper understanding of their business users, overall goals, and industry rules to best serve their internal customers. After all, a key tenant in today’s digital transformation initiatives is digitizing the customer experience. A CRM solution is the best place to start that effort.
Vertical market knowledge can help CRM administrators and developers serve their business users well because they’ll understand the business concerns and how best to apply current and emerging CRM features and tools to market specific use cases.
Vertical Market CRM Skills and Your Business
Technology, market, and business factors like digital transformation make CRM a mission-critical application. CRM developers and administrators are the users best equipped to make this happen.


About the Author

WillWill Kelly is a technical writer and analyst focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device, and cloud computing. He has worked as a contract technical writer for clients in the cybersecurity, investment banking, Internet services, and broadband industries. Will’s other areas of technology interest include big data, collaboration, and enterprise social platforms. Will is a Studio B analyst.