CRM systems. What are they, what value can they add to your business and what do you need to know to maximise their efficiency? Investing in customer relationship management (CRM) tools can be a smart move as good CRM systems can collect and organise customer data, integrate email, documents, jobs, faxes, scheduling, and sales/profit spreadsheets, allowing you to streamline your operations for maximum efficiency with minimum effort.
To ensure that you use your CRM tools effectively however, you need to get to grips with a few basics. We outline out top tips below.
Ensure ALL your staff are fully trained in CRM
Employees often treat training programs as they would treat required school courses — one part waste of time, the other part a chance to relax. Don’t allow this to happen in your office. You’ve making a considerable investment in your CRM and you should insist that everyone takes the training process seriously.
Make use of EVERY feature of your CRM system
Excel, Microsoft’s classic spreadsheet program, is a favourite of sales teams everywhere, but you’ve invested in the CRM tool, so you may as well use it. Encourage everyone to ditch the Excel documents and any others that are not part of your CRM to make sure you get team members respecting the investment you made. To help, ask those training your staff on the CRM to highlight the ways this new tool surpasses old system capabilities, helping employees cut the cord for good.
Use CRM to process all your leads
Once you believe your staff knows how to use the CRM system effectively, insist on processing every new lead using these tools. The transition period from other office technology can be stressful, but it’s best to integrate the system immediately.
Get feedback from your staff on how effective the system is
Your staff are going to be in the frontline when it comes to CRM use. Don’t let their experiences pass you by. Whenever you introduce technology, there are usually one or two team members who instantly embrace it. Talk to these employees about what works for them, what they’d like to see improved, what features they like/don’t like, and any difficulties they encounter. With their feedback, you’ll discover what you need to make this system as ideal for your company as possible.
Use CRM to engage with your customers directly
CRM best practices should focus on the client, so consider direct engagement as you refine your usage. Find out if your customers are updating their information with you or giving you more details about themselves in their profile and use this information to target suitable customers directly. In this social media age, you may well find that many customers respond to this level of engagement.
Cross-reference with client social media profiles
Many CRMs can track social media traffic about a company and/or its products. If this applies to you, your CRM best practices should include bringing clients and social media together at every juncture. As client relationships grow, collect details from their social media profiles to help foster long-term relationships. Obviously, you need to be aware of the legal implications surrounding data, so ensure you are compliant with the data protection act when using clients’ personal data.
By investing in CRM systems to make your sales team more productive, you demonstrate a commitment to your business’s success. These CRM best practices can help you ensure your effort is rewarded. For more information on CRM systems currently on the market CRM Software review provides a wealth of information here.