If you are a CRM (customer relationship management system) user, we want you to be as successful as possible. Here are some quick tips that come in pairs.
Whenever you enter an activity you’ve completed (phone call, email, face-to-face meeting), always remember to schedule the next task. These entries should come in pairs. Even when you successfully close business, you’ll want to reach out and follow-up in another three to six months. Schedule it in your CRM database, so that you don’t have to remember to do it. Stay in touch! It is easier (and less expensive) to keep good customers than to find new ones!
Contacts & Account/Org Pairs
Whenever you enter a contact, always make sure to start by entering an account or organization first. You’ll want to track both. (In the non-profit world, your contact will have a household.) This step is important, so that all CRM users understand those relationships. Most accounts, orgs and households have more than one member. If you are interfacing with multiple members, you’ll want to see them connected at the account or org level.
Pair of Monitors
If you consistently work out of an office, you’ll want to have at least two monitors. Your CRM can remain open on one screen while you conduct all your other business on the second. This will enable you to efficiently look up contacts and follow-up on tasks. With good email integration, you can save time by clicking email links in your CRM to initiate correspondence. Likewise, good integration with your phone system can help save time with calls.
Start and End
One great tip I’ve learned is to start and end your workday in your CRM – especially if you are an outside sales rep or in meetings throughout your day. At the beginning of your day, your CRM will remind you of activities that are assigned. At the end of your day, you can record any key information that needs to be captured and make sure you are prepared for the next business day. This is good discipline that many excellent sales professionals have adopted.
Computer and Mobile Device
In spite of the proliferation of mobile devices, most people still have a laptop or desktop computer. Your CRM database should be available on both. Having a smart phone or tablet when you travel will help you capture or look-up key information on the go. Your computer-based CRM system should have all the same information and will be easier to use if you have lots of data to read or record. This pair of tools is key for anyone who travels.
Training and On-going Support
It is not enough to simply have a CRM, to be effective you need to have great training for all users – certainly when implemented, but also when new team members come on board and as new capabilities are added. Likewise, you need to have great support for your team. The last thing you want is for your colleagues to stop using the system because of technical challenges that can be easily addressed by the right support organization. Setting your team up for success means giving them the tools they need to be both productive and engaged. Ensuring the system is consistently accessible will increase productivity. Offering quality training to help users understand “what’s in it for them” will improve adoption. TopLine Results provides both CRM training and on-going support, so you and your team can focus on growing your business.
Process and CRM
Any innovation needs to include aspects of people, process, and technology. If you are using your CRM for sales, you need to thoughtfully map out your sales process before implementing the stages and steps in your CRM. Likewise, if you are using your platform for customer service, you need to be strategic and think through your customer service process, so the software can support the way you want to work. Process is important, which is why we have a consulting group that specializes in helping you get this right.
CRM and Digital Marketing
Once you have invested in your CRM, you will want to keep your pipeline full of qualified leads. Driving new leads can be done with some great digital marketing tools. If marketing automation is integrated with your CRM, you get the best of both worlds, and your ROI on both investments increases. Our digital marketing team is prepared to help you optimize your marketing plans with your CRM database, so that you drive predictable growth.
Now you have eight “practical pairs” for making your CRM users more successful. The final pair is you and TopLine Results. We would love to connect with you to help your company succeed. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-880-1960 to discuss pairing up with TopLine Results. We are at your service!
About the Author
Melanie R. Varin specializes in business process consulting for organizations across many industries. With more than 30 years of business expertise, Melanie focuses on providing clients with winning strategies for improving their sales, marketing and overall business processes from assessment to implementation.
Melanie’s certifications include: Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Silver Certified Microsoft partner and Registered Salesforce partner.