Lisa Falcone | September 2, 2015

6 Great Tricks to Get More Out of Your Company's CRM System



1. Provide Great Training to All Workers

CRM software

How many workers have been hired or promoted into positions
that use the CRM since you offered training on the system?
How many workers have simply forgotten everything it can do?

A common mistake when implementing a new CRM solution is to train workers immediately, but to become lax as new workers are hired or moved into positions that require working with the CRM. Periodically offer training to refresh those who have used the system for awhile on its features and educate those new to the software.

2. Supplement Your CRM Data With Social Media and Other Data Sources

The customer data in your CRM is only a partial picture of your leads and customers. Teach sales staff to use Google Alerts, Twitter Firehose data and other sources to get a clearer, fuller picture of your leads and customers before making contact.

3. Keep Your CRM Up to Date

Updating and/or upgrading your CRM software to the latest version isn't just so that you can benefit from all the nifty new features and functions -- it also helps to maintain the security of your system. Data vulnerabilities are constantly addressed by software vendors, but you don't have that protection unless you have the latest patches or version. (Bonus tip: companies that choose cloud-based CRM software always have access to the latest, most secure version.)

4. Integrate Your CRM with the rest of the Software Apps your Business Uses

CRM software is usual sold as a stand-alone product, but it is most useful when integrated with other data collection, management, and analysis systems across the organization. For instance, CRM is a natural companion to ERP software, marketing automation tools, e-commerce platforms, etc. When integrating software packages, live by the rule 'the more the merrier'.

5. Encourage Consistent & Regular Data Entry

This is an issue most organizations like to keep hush-hush, but it happens in virtually every company. There may be one or two workers who decide that they can opt out of using the software and develop their own little DIY customer management system, usually on an Excel spreadsheet, but occasionally in a poorly organized Word document. It's not unheard of for such a worker to keep the data scribbled in a notepad on their desk. Find these folks. Train them. Establish consequences for failing to use the system. CRM is only as good as the data entered into it, and nobody gets any benefits from the data hoarded in hidden documents or a grease-soaked, crumb-laden notebook.

6. Share the CRM Information & Responsibility for Data Entry Across the Organization

CRM software

CRM shows its true power when leveraged across the organization.
Be sure that each department participates both in sharing
information into the CMS and gleaning information from the software.

On a related note, CRM isn't just the sole property of the sales department. Everyone can benefit from this product, including marketing (how well did that last campaign go?, finance (how profitable is this quarter so far?), research and development (how well did that product go over with customers?), production (is our quality holding up?), and others. CRM is like kindergarten: everyone's better off when you share.

Is your business using the right CRM software for your needs? Has your organization learned to integrate other CRM software with the rest of your apps to become a true data-driven company? Visit Bedrock Data to learn how to keep you CRM data in sync with the rest of your business apps.

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