What's the difference between ObjectiveManager and a CRM?

ObjectiveManager users who are unfamiliar with the software can often ask about the difference between ObjectiveManager and their CRM software for client intelligence. Here's a breakdown of how the two systems complement each other to provide strategic and tactical support to Client Partners, other account team members in the firm and its BD & Marketing professionals.

Objective Setting vs CRM

Objective setting is the strategic planning process which allows an organisation to align its strategic objectives to the objectives of people within the business, getting everybody focused on the right things, to achieve overall business growth. OM is the tool which allows you to effectively manage this process and high level strategic information, bringing all the objectives together in a way which brings accountability and action. It helps you achieve business growth, whether you are looking at clients, people, processes, technology, infrastructure etc.

The difference between CRM & Objective Setting

CRM, whether using software or not, is your primary operational business process for recording and maintaining information relating to leads, prospects or existing clients. A typical CRM system (e.g. Interaction/Microsoft Dynamics/OnePlace) will record operational data related to clients (e.g. contacts, names, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, locations, campaign histories, etc). CRM is focused on acquiring and nurturing customers. The primary differences are:

ObjectiveManager (Strategic)

  • Focus on all Strategic Growth Objectives (People, Clients, Geography, Sectors etc)
  • Align Client Objectives to Overall Strategic Plan
  • Cascade Objectives to Fee Earners for Execution
  • Track Progress & Actions against Key Objectives
  • Align Business Development & Performance Management
  • Bring Transparency & Collaboration to Key Client Plans

CRM (Operational & Strategic)

  • Contact Management & Relationship Information
  • Manage Marketing Events & Budgets
  • Creating Transparency around Appointments (linking to e-mail)
  • Manage Email Comms & Email Marketing Preferences/Subscriptions
  • Holistic Client View (includes Fees)
  • Proposal Generation
  • Pipeline Management
  • Tracking Referrals


Complementary not Duplicative

In terms of systems, all of our law customers have an objective setting programme and a CRM programme/software. In practice, there is no detrimental overlap between the two systems. On OM, users record their achievements against objectives, not the day to day contact type data (which is what the CRM system might need). It is also worth noting that

a) Users’ objectives are typically a mix of People, Clients, Technical, Leadership (a balanced scorecard) and only about 10% of objectives relate to specific clients; and

b) If users do add updates about clients, against their objectives, in many instances they would not have put that into the CRM system in the first place (this is why OM is often complementary to a firm’s CRM process because it captures data which would not otherwise have been captured or shared).

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