Getting the Most from CRM – Top 10 Tips
June 2, 2016

Customer Relationship Management software has been around for a while now. In fact, if your business undertakes customer facing activities of any kind, chances are you’re already using some form of CRM system. However, we know that not every CRM system is the business changing holy-grail it’s touted to be, so here’s our Top 10 tips for getting the most out of yours.

1. Choose the Right System to Begin With

 
This probably isn’t what you want to hear if you’ve just spent thousands of pounds on a new CRM system, but we’re afraid it’s a harsh truth. There’s no sense in rushing in to a system without appropriate research just because it’s in vogue, or your competitor has bought one. Instead you need to choose the right system for you, based on your specific business needs. It is also vital to have a strategic set of goals for what you actually want your CRM system to achieve.
 

2. Keep it Simple Stupid (Kiss)

               
When implementing a CRM system, you’re first priority should be to establish an effective workflow, using only essential features and data-fields. There’s no point in having a feature-heavy system which your staff can’t use because you need a Computer Science degree to understand it. Once you’ve established a workflow, you can then consider implementing additional features to build on this.
 

3. Train Your Staff (and Tell)

 
This may seem obvious, but you need to make sure your staff know how to use your CRM system. They also need to understand why they are using it. If they can’t operate your system, or they don’t see the benefit, then they will quickly revert to using a spreadsheet, or worse a pen and paper. Updates to systems, or changes in workflow will also necessitate continuous training, to ensure your employees are making the most of your system.
 

4. Consistency is Key

 
Not the most exciting, but it is essential that you establish a clear and consistent naming convention across your customer data. Setting conventions, and ensuring that they are followed will help minimise the chances of mistakes being made by your employees, which could reflect poorly on your business.
 

5. Your CRM is Only as Good as Your Data

 
Even the best CRM system won’t do anything for you if you have poor quality data. It is essential for sales staff to keep customer details, including email addresses and phone numbers up to date, and to keep good records of all customer interactions. Similarly, marketing staff should be using all of the data at their disposal, including analytics tools to inform their decision making.
 

6. Integration, Integration, Integration

 
We can’t say this enough. Your CRM should be integrated, as far as possible, with any other systems you are using. Integrating with your accounting system will minimise errors in data transfer. Integrating with your Email campaign system will help your marketing team maximise conversion rates. Integration with your communication channels, including Skype and Outlook with make it easier to track customer interactions. We mean it, everything!
 

7. Be Social

 
While we’re talking about it, your CRM should also be integrated with your Social Media channels. Social Media is increasingly pervasive, and can offer you a wealth of insights into your customers’ behaviours and interests. You can also integrate with Social Listening tools to stay on top of what people are saying about your brand, and follow up quickly on any negative sentiments.
 

8. Mobilize

               
A cloud-based CRM solution will allow access through a variety of mobile devices. This will allow you to keep track of all of your customer interactions anytime, anywhere. This is especially beneficial to companies with employees who are constantly on the move, such as travelling sales reps.
 

9. Make it New

 
Staying up to date with updates and upgrades to your CRM system has the obvious benefit of affording you a wealth of new features and functionality. More importantly, however, it allows you to keep your precious data protected. Data vulnerabilities are constantly being addressed in updates from software vendors, protecting you against your data being stolen or compromised.
 

10. Sit Back and Watch the Money Roll In

 Ok, maybe this one is a little optimistic. In any case, if you want the best possible return on investment from your CRM system, you should be measuring its results, both good and bad. This will enable you to identify issues which may be preventing you from getting the ROI a great CRM solution can provide.
 

Check out our CRM and You blog!

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