At its core, CRM software provides companies a solution intended for customer data management, and the automation of certain sales, marketing, and customer service related functions. But for some companies, their CRM software has become nothing more than a glorified phone book. When CRM software is used like this, it can make it difficult for companies to see the true value of their CRM investment. If used to its fullest potential, CRM software can be a serious game-changer! So with that in mind, we have compiled a list of 5 tips that maximize the value of your CRM software.
1.) Custom fields are your friend. Use them!
Your CRM software product should allow a system administrator to create custom fields based upon your unique business needs. Implementing these custom fields will allow your company to build more meaningful reports, provide better segmentation of your customer lists, and arm your sales team with the important information they need to be successful. Make sure you get input from your sales, marketing and customer service department (basically anybody that uses the software) to ensure that all relevant custom fields are being added into your forms.
2.) Be consistent and meticulous when importing customer data into your CRM database.
Far too often, companies will obtain a spreadsheet full of potential / current customers, and import those contacts into their CRM database without running a quality check before-hand. You should ensure that the information provided in the spreadsheet contains all the pertinent details, ahead of time, and that the format of this data is consistent. Otherwise you might end up regretting it later.
For example, If you’re importing a list of customers or accounts into your CRM database and you notice that there are multiple customers that have the title ‘Chief Marketing Officer’, then you’ll want to label all the Chief Marketing Officers’ in your CRM database consistently. You don’t want to have multiple different label types for the same position (I.e. CMO, Chief Marketing Officer, cmo, Cmo, etc.). Ensuring consistency will make it easier for your sales and marketing team to slice and dice your customer data. Otherwise you’ll have to add multiple filters for all the different title variants when you segment your lists.
3.) Look into 3rd party applications that extend the functionality of your CRM software.
There are plenty of 3rd party applications on the market that can fill any gaps that your current CRM software may have. Look for products that that can potentially extend the functionality of your CRM software, and maximize the future value of your CRM investment.
For example, we use ClickDimensions to help us build, track and manage landing pages, contact forms, email campaigns, email templates, nurture programs, and much more. Adding this functionality to our own CRM software has more than proven to be worth the investment.
4.) Integrate your CRM software with your email provider.
A lot of business is conducted via email, and tracking those email activities in your CRM database will arm your sales and marketing team with the essential information they need to more effectively sell your products and services. Plus, your team will be a lot more likely to log their email activities in your CRM database if it’s as simple as pressing ‘send’.
5.) Log and track all relevant activities!
Ideally, your company should be logging any relevant interaction they have with both current and potential customers. That means every phone call, social media interaction, in-person meeting, email, and instant message. If your team is reluctant to log their activities in your CRM system because it feels like ‘Big Brother’, then your other team members could be missing out on important information about your current / potential customers. The more information you log in your CRM database the more valuable it will become.
ITK can help your company configure your system to fully optimize the sales, marketing and service processes unique to your organization. Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] for more information. And to stay In The Know, check out more posts in our Knowledge Center and connect with us via social media.