Choosing the right CRM for your business is no easy feat and you’re bound to feel a sense of relief once you’ve finally come to a decision.
However, this is just the beginning of your CRM implementation process and it’s important to remember that if you want to get the most out of your investment.
Your CRM system will always be a work in progress because there will always be new obstacles which arise and new adaptations required to overcome them. But that’s the beauty of it. Your CRM system will grow with your business and can be customized to ensure that you gain the best possible reward from your investment.
By adhering to these CRM best practices for your business, you can ensure that you continue to get the most out of both your CRM product and your team.
1. You Can Customize It, So… Customize It.
You’ve already been sold on the benefits of your new CRM – that’s why you installed it – but it’s also important to make sure that your CRM works for your business.
Before rolling your CRM out across the company, you should consult with each department to identify the key fields and reports which need to be mapped out in advance. Of course – further customizations can be made as you go along, but this initial prep will save you and your employees a lot of time and money.
2. Provide Proper Training
You’ve already made an investment in your CRM, so it’s important to also invest time and resources into training your employees.
The more adept they are with using the new system, the more likely they will be to actually use it, making it less likely that your investment will go down the drain.
3. Commit To Getting Fully On Board
There’s little point in installing a CRM if your team is going to be doubling up on an excel sheet.
A new CRM can be overwhelming, especially if it’s jampacked with new features, but it’s important to really make the transition from your old way of working to your new CRM process. And that means embracing the CRM features that will best benefit your business.
4. Get Your Data Organized
Sure, you can import your data automatically, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to look pretty.
There are bound to be a few duplications, errors, and typos, and you really need a human on board to oversee the process. Otherwise, your CRM will be a hot mess from day 1 and your employees will be on cleanup duty for the rest of the year – which they won’t thank you for, trust me.
5. Don’t Shy Away From Automation
Many of repetitive tasks on your CRM, such as data entry, can be automated. It’s important to take advantage of this and automate wherever possible, as it will free up more time for your employees to work on priority tasks.
Automation will also take human error out of the equation and cut down on any mistakes within your system.
6. Stay Ahead Of The Curve
It’s important to keep an eye on your processes and analyze what’s working and what isn’t.
You can do this by arranging regular team meetings to get feedback and make changes where needed.
7. Embrace Mobile
Your sales team should be able to access the CRM from any device; if they can’t, then you might want to rethink your CRM choice. Your sales reps need to be able to access your CRM on the go or they’ll start to revert back to their trusted notepads.
So, not only should you adapt to mobile, you should actively encourage it.
8. Don’t Forget About Your Analytics
Getting feedback from your employees is crucial, but you also need to keep track of your data. If you’re using all of the features provided by your CRM, this will be simple and automatic.
Using these reports, you can gain valuable insights into how each department is doing within your business.
9. Promote Collaboration
If you’ve ever called up a call centre and found yourself passed between 5 different departments – before finally speaking to someone who still can’t help you, then you’ll understand why it’s important to promote collaboration across departments.
By ensuring that up-to-date customer information and necessary programs are available to all employees, you’re going to seriously increase your customer retention levels in the long run.
10. Don’t Be Afraid To Admit Defeat
This sounds a bit negative, but really it’s the best thing you can do if your CRM isn’t working out. Sometimes, a company will choose a CRM that just isn’t the right fit for their business and it’s better to figure that out sooner rather than later.
Maybe your business has outgrown your current CRM, or perhaps you just jumped on the first CRM choice available without assessing its suitability. The important thing is to identify why the CRM didn’t work for you and use that information to find a system more suited to your business needs.
Give It A Proper Go
Remember, a properly implemented CRM will do amazing things for your business, but a poorly implemented CRM will simply sit and gather dust whilst your customers go elsewhere.
You can avoid this by putting these simple practices into place and really ‘giving it a go’, as opposed to installing a CRM just because you think you should – and then neglecting to actually use it.
Are there any key practices that help your business to get the most out of your CRM? Why not share them with us in the comments section below.