AMS Trend #3: The rise of the CRM

Loretta DeLuca | 07.29.15
Topics: AMS - Data - Membership

If you’ve been following my posts on the top 5 trends in association management systems (AMSes), you know we’ve already covered the importance of integration and the question of where your AMS lives. Now we’ll explore the AMS/CRM relationship.


An AMS is a customer relationship management (CRM) system with association-specific functionality built on top. However, the traditional AMS may not be as strong as CRMs like Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Salesforce in terms of marketing- and sales-related activity tracking.

We’re seeing growing interest in CRM systems: associations are increasingly more focused on activities rooted in the sales process, and staff are using workflows to build engagement. In response, many AMS vendors are offering systems with baked-in CRM functionality.

And, some new vendors are jumping into the association market. They’re building new AMSes on top of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Salesforce platform. The AMS functions in these systems may not be built out as richly as they are in traditional AMSes, but give them time and they’ll get there.

Many third-party applications have been built for the Salesforce platform, giving users access to lots of powerful solutions. Consequently, you have more integrations to consider. You also will have to pay licensing fees to both your AMS vendor and to Microsoft or Salesforce for the right to use their software.

If you thought you were already overwhelmed by the number of AMS choices, the rise of the CRM is giving you even more to think about. We can help you sort it all out, so you can relax, with confidence in your path forward.


Flickr photo by SenselAlan

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