How to Effectively Use CRM? 3 Tips
By Amer Wilson
Every organization implements CRM system with a desire to streamline their business processes, improve the quality of customer service, explore new business opportunities and hunt for new customers but only a few succeed. Why? Because they do not adopt CRM best practices which leads to low return on investment. After all, CRM is just a technology and its success ultimately depends on how effectively it is used by the employees. If you aspire to effectively use your CRM system so it truly gives a 360 degree view of customer relationships, keep in mind the following basic points to leverage the limitless potential of this technology.
1. Customize Your CRM As Per Your Business Needs
Having a CRM is the first step in trying to establish closer connections with your prospects and customers but an out-of-the-box solution will not be able to connect with every department of your organization. To get the most out of your CRM software, customize it according to your unique business needs.
Firstly, you should customize the theme of your CRM to give it an elegant and vibrant look as it is the first application that employees log in to and the last they log out of. Having a theme that aligns with your business model gives your CRM a rejuvenated look.
Secondly, every department be it sales, marketing, accounts or customer support would need plugins/third party apps that would empower them to carry out their business activities smoothly e.g. marketers would like the CRM system to be integrated with a marketing automation tool like Act-On, salespersons would desire to have a plugin like Twilio to call leads and prospects from within the CRM, accounts department would prefer to have Quickbooks software integrated so invoices could be generated with a simple click inside the CRM and multiple platforms need not be updated simultaneously.
Thirdly, you can add or delete workflows, modules and dashboards in the software as per your business’s requirements. If you are not satisfied with the default reporting module, you can always get custom reports built to monitor the performance of your employees as well as your organization.
Hence, the possibilities are endless and therefore you need to figure out what you want from your CRM in order to get the optimal customization done.
2. Update Information in the Database
“CRM is as good as the data available in your knowledge base”. The statement is vague, but it does throw light on the significance of entering accurate data into the database. The information is used across the organization for multiple reasons including campaigns initiative, customer service, marketing etc. You cannot risk having inaccurate or obsolete information so add every detail in your knowledge base straight away as updates happen.
A serious problem can arise if your sales reps do not have access to mobile CRM. Since salespeople are mostly out in the field, they often tend to forget to update the information in real-time about clients. Even if they come back to the office and then enter the details, chances are that they wouldn’t remember the granular details and hence the information will not be entirely accurate. Therefore, you must ensure that your CRM supports mobile functionality so sales reps can collect information at the source and update it into the CRM in real-time. This results in the data being organized, accurate and error free. An updated database inevitably boosts the results drawn from CRM software.
3. Train your Employees
At the cornerstone of your CRM’s success is your staff so equip them with the essential knowledge and skills needed to utilize the CRM system to its fullest. Initially, the employees will not be very receptive to the idea of undergoing training in order to use a new software. Many would think CRM would make their processes more complex and they are better off doing things the old way. If the CRM is too complex and cumbersome, employees will not embrace the technology with an open heart.
To revel in CRM’s utmost advantages, train your employees and educate them about how their input and use of the system can boost their own productivity and enhance their performance. It is recommended to deliver trainings on departmental or team basis and focus on the functionalities rather than the process.
Review your CRM practices and make use of all the three considerations mentioned above and let CRM software work for you.
A lot of businesses struggle when it comes to getting the desired ROI from their CRM implementations. The reason is that they simply jump on the bandwagon and purchase a CRM but fail to adopt CRM best practices. You should remember that deploying a CRM would not make your business grow by leaps and bounds overnight. It’s part of a long-term strategy that requires you to know the technology inside out to unlock its true potential.