How to get the most out of your CRM

This guide from OGL Computer Services Group…

Investing in a CRM should allow your business to improve on its customer service, marketing efforts and sales opportunities. However, simply implementing the software won’t revolutionise your business. It’s important that the CRM users know how to fully utilise the software and that the business is making the most of its automated processes to boost productivity and drive the business forward.

Understand how a CRM should benefit your business but you don’t seem to be reaping those benefits? We’ve put together a list of things you can implement / change or test to get the most out of your CRM.

How to get the most out of your CRM:

Employee training

Without training and knowledge of the software’s complete capabilities, it’ll be impossible for your team to use the CRM to its full potential. Training doesn’t always have to be for new users either. Often, when you first begin using a new software, you’re bombarded with all the features and functionalities that it offers, and it can be a minefield to remember everything. So, it can usually be an advantage to have regular training sessions through the year to build on core skills. Once the team know the fundamentals, using the advanced features can sometimes take extra training sessions, so it’s worth keeping on top of a training plan. Plus, business software programs are usually continually developed, so there may be new features that are released that are worth knowing and using.

Set company guidelines

For maximum effectiveness from your CRM there need to be company wide rules and guidelines that make the data uniform. For example, if you target the janitorial sector and you profile your customers based on their business type, the data will be disorganised if the key that everyone uses to segment customers is different. If one of the sectors you target is hotels, for instance, and sometimes people use the key: HTL but others use: HOT, then reports and analysis of the data will never be accurate.

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Guidelines also need to be set based on processes and how the workload is managed. How do you make note of when to call customers, when do sales get involved in the marketing campaigns, what’s the target of calls to be made a day, is everyone utilising the calendar in the same way?

Answering these questions and setting guidelines will ensure the whole team is working from the same place, making your data accurate and reliable.

Data analysis and trend spotting

With full visibility of your customer information, buying habits and sales reps figures, it’s important to take advantage of the facts and figures presented to you in software. Without analysing the data and comparing it to past figures or viewing it against your goals, it’ll be difficult to see if your CRM is helping you to achieve your aims and if there are any further areas for improvement.

Spotting weaknesses in your processes isn’t a negative, it gives you the control to make improvements. To ensure you’re on the right track, regularly plan to review your current processes, check back with your initial goals and set future tasks for improvement so you’re constantly striving for the best results.

Analysing your customer data will not only give you the opportunity to improve company processes but it also gives you the opportunity to spot customer trends that will allow you to make better marketing and sales decisions. This information can provide you with marketing campaign ideas, better information for your sales reps when they’re out visiting customers and buying trends for up-sell or promotion opportunities. Plan to pull regular reports, or create a reporting dashboard that will allow all managers across the sales, support and marketing teams to view the same data to set tasks and goals moving forward.

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Team collaboration

A good CRM software will allow all departments within your business to communicate effectively. It will provide a platform for team collaboration that can inspire ideas and open sales opportunities. Communications between your customers and any member of the business will be automatically stored in your CRM, giving all your team full visibility of the customer’s journey including emails, phone calls, calendar appointments, marketing campaigns etc. Marketing, sales, and support can all access the same valuable information to improve customer service, help secure sales deals and ultimately improve the bottom line.

Are you using your CRM to its full potential so that all departments have total visibility of the data? A CRM should make collaboration easy and make the teams within your company function better as one in working towards the same goal.

Review your current processes

No matter how long you’ve had your CRM system installed, it’s always worth reviewing your current processes to see if you’re getting the most out of your investment. Sometimes, it can simply involve checking that all staff members are using the company guidelines, making sure reports are regularly pulled and that all CRM users are fully trained to get the most out of your CRM.

However, if you find your CRM is creating limitations for your business and it’s holding you back, it may be time to upgrade. If the software can’t handle your growing database or it’s not sophisticated enough in its reporting, or the system doesn’t supply you with the functionality you need for your industry, it may be time to review what other CRM options are available in the market.

If you’re a distributor, wholesaler or stockist looking for a complete ERP solution with fully integrated CRM, warehouse and stock management, finance and accounting plus digital integration options for your expanding eCommerce business, prof.ITplus may be the complete solution you’re searching for.

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