9 Tips On Using Your CRM Effectively

Just purchased a new CRM and want to make sure you maximize its potential?  Here’s a few tips to help you.

  1. Don’t skimp!  You can spend months building your own CRM system only to find that it is full of flaws and you have no one to turn to for help.  This won’t be very effective if you are trying to run a successful business so leave it to the professionals who have tried and tested it relentlessly.  Decide on what you expect to gain from your CRM and let them know so that they can customize it to your businesses requirements.
  2. From the day of purchase make sure that everyone is involved in the project, including the boss.  It needs to be acknowledge and accepted by everyone within your business  because there’s nothing harder than trying to get someone to agree to change when it’s already been implemented.  You have to be aware that not everyone will be willing to participate because as you’ll find in every business, there are those that are part of the furniture and see change as a threat.  It is your responsibility to teach them that this is a fantastic step forward that will not only maximize their efficiency and time, it will also make their lives a whole lot easier having information to hand and all in one place.  No more overflowing filing cabinets full of unwanted paperwork because everything will be neatly stored in your new CRM making it accessible to those who need it from wherever they are.
  3. Provide training for everyone involved because you want to ensure that your CRM keeps running should your staff leave and that everyone is using it to its full potential.  There are a lot of smaller details in databases that can easily get overlooked and yet when you use them, you wonder where they have been all your life! Customized dashboards or favourite accounts are two that spring to mind.  It’s all about making it work for you, not the other way around.
  4. Allow plenty of time for migrating your data.  Prioritize what information needs to be first and foremost and then work on filling in the gaps.  Do not assume that this will take ten minutes when it could in fact take a week and decide if it should be done in several smaller chunks rather than all at once.  It might make the process more manageable and results show faster.  It’s always nice to see results!
  5. Simplify CRM by making sure that you create guidelines of the information that you’d like captured, how the process with the customer should work and what results you are expecting at the end.  This makes it easier for those using the CRM to establish check points where they can assess their workload and the situation with the customer.
  6. Have a designated expert in your team that learns CRM in depth.  This person should stay up to date with changes to the software, developments for the future and the general use of the CRM.  They will become invaluable to your business as they become the go-to person for your staff team when they have questions.  Of course the expert help is always on hand but it doesn’t hurt to have someone in house that has extensive knowledge of your brand new CRM.
  7. Select a project manager that keeps track of everything in the database such as picking up on a new account that’s missing an address.  These are the little things that when you decide to send out something such as Christmas cards, you will find it very frustrating and time consuming if there are gaps.  The project manager will be there to identify if someone isn’t using the CRM effectively and be able to help.  This will go a long way to making the database efficient and ensuring that reports are as accurate as possible
  8. Plan for disruptions because they are inevitable.  Whether it be due to human error or a computer glitch, there is always at least one occasion where something goes wrong.  Being prepared will make it more manageable as you’ll already have a strategy in place for proceeding.
  9. Finally, ask the experts if ever you need help.  That is what they are there for and they can provide you with quick, simple instructions on how to proceed rather than you spending hours trying to figure it out for yourself.  You have to make the most of every minute after all!

I hope that these few tips guide you in the right direction for getting the most out of your new CRM.  You’ll never be able to turn back once you have yours working at its full potential!