How to Make the Most Out of Your CRM System
By Nick Rojas
CRMs have tremendous potential, but many of the businesses that own CRM software use only a few of the features it offers. Not only can this reduce the value of a business’ investment in CRM software—it can also result in that company being less versatile than its competitors. If you want to make the best possible use of the CRM system you’ve purchased for your company, implement some of these suggestions in this blog post. You’ll learn how to improve your data entry, take a holistic approach to caring for your CRM system, and discover how CRMs can be used to improve far more than mere sales.
Understanding the Potential of Your CRM
CRM software is designed to help you control the relationships between your company and its various customers. As such, collecting and organizing information on your customers is one of a CRM applications (CRMs) most essential functions. Most CRMs use back-end analytical engines to help the companies that use them gain critical insights into the people who are buying their products and services. Other analytics tools can help users predict upcoming business opportunities based on existing data,and refine customer service strategies to maximize satisfaction during engagements.
Three Ways You Can Improve Your CRM Use
CRMs can occasionally provide an “embarrassment of riches”—so much potential that their users don’t know where to start. As such, many companies stop exploring their CRM systems after mastering a few basic functions. You don’t have to be content with scratching the surface, though. Try these tips:
- Use Your CRM to improve your marketing. Too many companies assume that CRMs are simply there to help your sales team keep track of leads, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, your marketing department can gain a major boost by using data from your CRM to improve their efforts. CRM info can tell your marketers how successful their last campaign was, how customers are responding to new products and services, and how the opinions of your customers may be related to your profits.
- Support Your CRM Data by Bringing in Data from Other Sources. CRMs aren’t the only ways to collect important information from your customers. You can also pick up a lot of data from social media and search engines. Use programs such as Google Alerts or Twitter Firehose Data to find out when your customers are talking about you (and what they’re saying). Then cross-reference this information with your existing CRM data so that you can gain a clearer picture of where you stand with your audience.
- Integrate Your CRM with Other Software Apps. CRM software shouldn’t just be used in tandem with other programs—it should be integrated directly into them. For example, if you’re you building a mobile app, you should ensure that it collects data automatically and sends it to your CRM. This can be done via software development kids (or SDKs), which are coded into most mobile apps. Implementing new SDKs can be time consuming, but platforms such as Enhance can speed up the process considerably, condensing it into a few minutes.
Chances are that you can do more than you think with your CRM, so make sure you explore its full potential. Use the recommendations above to do more with your CRM software, and you’ll quickly see the results reflected in the success of your business.
– – – – – – – — – – – – – –
Nick Rojas is a small business consultant and business journalist, currently splitting time between Southern California and Chicago. He is an occasional contributor to ISM’s blog. Please visit Nick’s twitter account: @NickARojas.