Investing in CRM software is an important decision for a business. It requires large investments of time, money, and training – but if used well, it can also offer a huge ROI. Optimizing your CRM usage means that customers are happier, frontline departments run more smoothly, and the entire company has access to better, more up-to-date information.
So how do you achieve this optimization? Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your CRM.
Invest in training for all levels of the company, from CEO to entry-level.
Most companies have no problem setting up training sessions for their sales or marketing departments, which are the departments that typically use the CRM the most.
However, to achieve true optimization of any system – not just a CRM – you need buy-in across the entire company, especially at the executive level. And how can you and the rest of your leadership team embrace a product that they don’t know how to use?
It’s true you may need to save the more in-depth training sessions for the people who will be using the system daily, but everyone can benefit from an overview of the system and knowledge of the benefits that it will bring to the company as a whole.
Encourage and reward consistency.
For a CRM to be really effective, data must be entered in a consistent manner. That means salespeople and others who use the system should be entering their customer information on a regular basis, in the same format.
Salespeople also need to make sure they’re capturing the right data: are they getting email addresses each time they talk to a new client? Are they converting leads to contacts when appropriate? Make sure to recognize individual or departmental successes in this area, especially when your company is just beginning to use a new CRM. Incentives, even small ones, can go a long way toward encouraging people to use the system consistently.
Integrate your CRM with your other systems, as possible.
If you really want to get the most out of your CRM, integrate it with your other software systems. This could include an ERP, an accounting system, or any other software system you use to help you run your business.
You also want to integrate your CRM with your social media platforms, if possible – many CRMs today have this option available out of the box. What this option does is allow you to detect social media profiles that are associated with customer email addresses, which in turn lets you see where those customers like to hang out online. Having this information will help you serve them even better, as you can target the profiles and platforms they use most.
Keep data clean and current.
As useful as a CRM is, it’s essentially an aggregation of data. Therefore, if you want your CRM to really help your business, that data must be kept current and clean.
When email addresses are invalid, they should be flagged. When customers move or change their relationship with your company, that should all be noted in the system. You can – and should – encourage your salespeople to stay on top of their lead and contact data, but it’s also a good idea to schedule a regular data purge and clean-up.
Instead of seeing this as an obstacle, treat it as an opportunity for your salespeople to re-connect with your customers. Salespeople can reach out to their customers quickly and briefly to correct any mistaken data. If the interaction is handled well, chances are the customers will come away with a positive feeling about your company.
When optimized, the benefits of CRM software can greatly enhance the quality of your business operations. If you’re considering switching CRMs or adopting a CRM for the first time, TGO has the expertise to help – learn more about our Customer Relationship Management consulting services here.