5 Tips for CRM Optimization
Is your team struggling with your current front-office strategies but afraid of investing time and money into a CRM system? Fortunately, with the advent of cloud computing, it’s easier than ever for SMBs to implement CRM and take advantage of their superior cost-saving and process-streamlining abilities. However, your business needs to use CRM smartly in order to truly reap its rewards; software that’s poorly utilized or full of erroneous data won’t do anything to help your business. You need a well thought-out and thorough strategy for your CRM.
Instead of letting your CRM stagnate, you should be looking at your software with a critical eye constantly. Is it achieving the goals you had in mind when you started the implementation? Are your employees truly using the system to maximize its effectiveness or are they doing the bare minimum? You can only really be sure that you’re maximizing ROI on your software with constant strategy improvements and diligent planning.
So, whether you’re looking into a new CRM system or merely want to reinvigorate your current operations and employee engagement, these five tips will help you to improve your CRM software strategy and ensure your investment is doing exactly what you want it to do.
1. Set Clear Goals
CRM software can become old news to many users—either something that’s simply "there" or a burdensome duty that must be attended to every so often. Even companies that are initially excited about their CRM system can let it stagnate as more and more of the team become ambivalent about the technology and question its usefulness. Setting clear goals from the get-go and making sure your users don't forget them can prevent these attitudes.
When you have well-defined goals and measurements for success, it will be much easier to convince your staff of the value of your software and the returns it is providing for your company. After all, if employees feel like something isn’t benefiting them or making their life easier, they won’t use it. Don’t give them that chance—show them just how CRM actively improves their day-to-day job tasks, and set metrics to track if goals are being met.
2. Incentivize User Adoption
Another way to foster constant and enthusiastic engagement with your CRM? Incentivize it. As adults, we never really grow out of that gold-star sticker mentality that is always seeking recognition for a job well done. Whether it’s meeting sales quotas or managing customer data, sit down and draw out individual goals and rewards for your team members to strive towards. A bonus, a gift card, extra time off—big or small, a reward goes a long way towards encouraging users and stirring up excitement for your system.
However, it’s critical that you remain careful about how you leverage these kinds of rewards for CRM usage. After all, you want proper entry and engagement to be the norm for all your employees, not something extraordinary. Set rewards for exceptional users or make them less frequent so your colleagues don’t become reliant on prizes to commit to CRM regularly. Otherwise, as soon you take away those rewards, you will see that usage drop dramatically.
3. Get the Entire C-Suite On Board
You probably already know that getting an executive-level sponsor for your project before it even begins is simply CRM best practice. But you shouldn’t stop at just that one sponsor. It’s absolutely imperative that your entire executive team adopts the CRM and continues to use it throughout that product’s lifetime.
When it comes to enterprise software, change must happen from the top-down. If employees notice that some of your more senior team members are getting away with not using the CRM, they will begin thinking that they can get away with it too. User adoption spreads quickly—and so does user abandonment. Don’t let this happen by making sure all levels of your organization are on board and involved with your CRM software strategy and implementation.
4. Regularly Review Your CRM Strategy
You likely underwent a thorough business process modeling program when you first implemented that shiny new CRM software, going through all of your operations and paring them down to eliminate waste and unnecessary activities. However, business process modelling should not be seen as a one-time, pre-implementation kind of deal.
Instead, you should be actively reviewing your processes to pursue business growth. Set up regular periods for a detailed, company-wide look at how your team is interacting with the CRM system and whether the goals you set for your software in the first step are really being achieved or if everyone is just coasting by on the minimum engagement required. Good CRM software strategy never really has an end-point—a savvy project leader is always focused on improving the software and the way employees interact with it every day.
5. Think Beyond CRM
The most well-developed and successful CRM strategies extend beyond mere data entry and reporting. Are you combining the data that CRM provides you with information you get from all of your other applications or enterprise systems, like ERP? The information you can glean by connecting the two is invaluable, so it's imperative that you think about connecting your front and back office enterprise systems. Luckily, Datix has Unity, our flagship product which integrates CRM, ERP or eCommerce software into a streamlined system that increases efficiency and ROI.
Moreover, you might use CRM to log sales calls, follow-ups and contact information, but you should also be tracking where you are collecting your leads from, the response rate on your marketing campaigns and lead nurturing (and leads that you may have lost). Your sales team certainly doesn’t work in a silo, so it’s obvious that your CRM shouldn’t. Map out how your system is interacting with all of your other departments, software systems and business processes, and ensure that those links are not leaking data or slowing down certain processes.
Smart CRM software strategy is absolutely crucial, starting at the beginning of a CRM software implementation and continuing right through to everyday use of that system. Employees should be encouraged to interact with the system and use best practices while your IT and support teams should be constantly checking that everything is operating as they should be. Careful planning is just the first step of a successful software implementation—what you do once that software goes live is just as important.
For more information about CRM software and implementation or advice on how to make your current system work better, contact an expert at Datix today. A certified partner of both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, we can help you select the right solution and create smart strategies to make the most of your CRM investment. We have 20 years of experience in crafting enterprise software solutions to meet your specific business goals!