The prominence of CRM, customer or constituent relationship management, has increased greatly over the past few years as an approach for associations to expand and deepen relationships with members. Nearly all associations in the 2013 annual Lehman Reports study of association management software say CRM is an important consideration in their selection of AMS products, including one-quarter who say the strength of these capabilities is one of the most important factors.
That has led some to suggest that associations should consider using a standalone CRM application instead of an AMS. By a large margin, however, associations want these CRM capabilities as a part of the AMS, and are largely not willing to even consider adopting a standalone CRM application in place of an AMS. At best they’d be willing to consider a standalone CRM in conjunction with an AMS and if, and only if, it is integrated with the AMS.