Customer relationship management (CRM) software providers pitch themselves as the solution to all of a business’s data and customer relationship problems.
But while CRM software enables organisations to make the steps towards change, they will only see results if they’re willing to make a serious commitment to changing their processes.
Whether their CRM solution is new or old, here are ten data commandments companies should be making in 2017.
1. Choose the right CRM for your team and business
A CRM solution is not a one-size-fits-all piece of software – what works for one business or team won’t work for another. Find a system that can be completely customised to suit your business needs, and take the time to truly understand your processes before rushing into purchasing.
2. Be data smart
Data is one of the most valuable assets that your business has – the information is a treasure trove and defines how you sell and market your products. Your data should be clearly organised and able to be reported on with ease. Poor data will do little to enhance your business.
A top-down approach simply won’t cut it in most areas of business these days, and certainly not where your CRM is concerned. A good CRM allows your business to become more transparent and helps to inspire collaboration. All data aspects should be available to all team members to see. The more they can see how it works, the more likely they are to invest in it.
4. Educate and train
Any new piece of technology requires a certain amount of buy-in from employees, and your CRM is no different. Educating and training your employees on how to use the CRM and the benefits it brings to their role and the business is imperative to success. Take the time to share how it will impact and improve their individual tasks, as well as the rest of the business. In layman’s terms, it improves customer relations, meaning they are more likely to be retained, thus improving the business’s revenue and job opportunities for employees.
5. Learn from failures
In order to improve your CRM use and results, it’s important that you are able to identify the reasons it has failed, or is failing, and learn from these. Take the time to understand what’s wrong with the current solution or processes you have in place and how these can be improved upon.
6. New CRM, old processes
You may have identified from lesson five that you need a new CRM solution. However, simply investing in a new CRM, without updating your processes, could mean you are quickly left with the same issues you previously experienced. Changing your system is a good time to rethink how you utilise your CRM, evaluate your processes and improve its efficiency.
7. Social listening
While data is fact based, you should be listening to what your customer database is telling you directly, and incorporate this into your CRM strategy. Understanding what your audience are saying about you in the wider world can greatly enhance how you utilise the fact-based data that you have available.
8. Marketing automation
Your CRM becomes much more powerful when you use it in combination with a range of other business tools, and in particularly marketing automation software. If you want to create strong results then sales and marketing should be two departments that work in harmony together.
9. Use data in all business areas
Use your data. Far too often businesses end up sitting on a ton of valuable data and fail to use it to their advantage. Integrating your CRM with marketing automation can provide you with a wealth of knowledge about your customer, leads and business processes. Data gives you insights into how to engage with your customers and ultimately sell more.
10. Trust your CRM
Trust your CRM to do the job in hand. If you do, you’ll see an overall improvement in the relationships you build with your clients and your business. To trust your CRM completely, you of course need to ensure that you’ve taken the right steps to create high-quality data. This means you’ll need to incorporate data management steps such as cleansing data regularly, conducting dedupe routines and introducing picklists and mandatory fields.
Sourced from DMC Software