Maximize Your CRM Capabilities With These Best Practices

Regardless of the scale of your business operations, CRM software has become a must-have tool to meet your customers’ demands and keep them happy. With customers becoming even more knowledgeable and demanding, it is tough to meet their expectations without a customer relationship management solution.

CRM has become a necessity for businesses, both large and small. It helps you build a strong relationship with your customers. The more you use CRM software, the better you can serve them. Of course, the better you can serve your customers, the more likely they are to remain loyal.  

However, just having a CRM system in place cannot solve all your problems. To reap the full benefits of your CRM solution, you need to organize your CRM and follow best practices. We had covered the topic of organization in our blog post – “Organizing Your CRM for Success” – but the latter requires some explanation in order for you to maximize the capabilities of your CRM. And that is what we intend to do now.

Automate Your Processes

When you start using your CRM, make sure you always update customer information. A CRM system is effective only when it provides up-to-date data. Your sales and marketing teams should be aware of the correct information. And when you have updated information in your CRM, it becomes easy for your sales team to upsell and cross-sell. With purchasing history in front of them, your sales staff can sell more to your existing customers.  

Another way to maximize your CRM capabilities is to analyze customer behavior and trends. You can learn from analytics what your customers prefer, want and how you can reshape your strategy to suit their requirements. For example, if you see a spike in some of your products and services during the holidays, you can more aggressively sell them the following year. Also, you should use your customer data to shape your marketing and sales strategy. If you are not using your customer data to your advantage, you can miss out on opportunities.

Data management becomes extremely easy and efficient with a CRM system in place. A CRM solution allows you to automate your data entry tasks. You can automate your processes to make things simple and easy for your sales and marketing team. You can eliminate repetitive and time-consuming functions by using the workflow automation features in CRM apps.

For example, when you add a new lead to your CRM, you can program it to send follow-up emails, promotional offers and other marketing news to your customers to keep them engaged and make your business top-of-mind.

Automating processes not only eliminates repetitive tasks and saves you time, but also keeps your customers engaged throughout the sales process.

Despite the advantages CRM automation offers, many businesses still don’t automate, as they think it will take a great deal of time to implement.

So, why do businesses need to automate?

It is crucial to understand that customer engagement is not a one-time job. It is an ongoing process, which at times can prove to be overwhelming. However, having a CRM system in place can make this journey much easier.

Task automation is one of the most useful CRM features businesses need to explore. For example, when you use this feature, your sales agents don’t need to schedule calls – instead, you can set your CRM to complete this task.

You can also send automated emails to new and existing customers, forward them to your knowledge database and perform various other automation activities to save your sales representatives time and have them engage in more crucial tasks. 

Many sales automation functions are included in your CRM. You need to identify and use the features that best suit your organization. For example, eZnet CRM can automate most of your sales and marketing functions, allowing your sales staff to do what they do best – selling!

Integrate Your CRM Software with Other Business Tools

Another step you can take to maximize your CRM capabilities is to integrate your CRM software with other business tools.

When you incorporate your CRM software into other programs, it can offer you more benefits. For example, when you integrate your CRM software with accounting software, it combines customer data and financial data, giving you more insightful reports and eliminating superfluous manual data entries. You can also use a CRM alongside a VOIP system to provide the relevant customer information from multiple databases on a screen when they are making a call to the customers.

So, why is CRM integration essential?

If you use other sales, marketing and help desk tools, you will connect them to your CRM without any question. However, you can integrate your CRM system into your ERP solution and add a fully automated inquiry management process for all your clients. Your CRM solution can also work in tandem with your calendars and email service providers, which can eliminate duplication of efforts.

You should also connect your CRM to your social media profiles. After all, social listening is extremely vital, as it can impact your brand’s reputation. That is why you need to know what people are saying about your brand on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. In addition, you can gain insight on products/services/features that your customers like, dislike or want to see offered.

Create Uniform Guidelines for Data Entry

Data is the most important element you need to factor in when you think about optimizing your CRM. However, as mentioned earlier, you need to focus on current data. Unless your data is up-to-date, you cannot reap the full benefits of the CRM system. Only relevant information should go into your CRM. If your sales team members enter the data, they should use only the updated data so that people in your organization get a clear picture when they look into the reports.

Regardless of who maintains the data, you need to create uniform guidelines for data entry so that your staff and leaders can get the most out of the CRM solution. It is crucial to have pre-set rules because everyone cannot be in charge of data entry. If everyone starts entering data into your CRM, duplicate data will clog up your system.

You can have a code for CRM processes such as:

  • Tracking calls.
  • Logging conversations.
  • Scheduling calls.
  • Adding deal notes.
  • Setting appointments.
  • Assigning follow-up tasks.

It is difficult to run a report on customer interaction when you have different ways to record a conversation. That is why you need to have a uniform way of entering data into your CRM. When you have uniform data entry guidelines, you can generate precise reports, which you can use to improve your sales process through the insights you gain.

Also, when you have uniform parameters, you can evaluate the performance of your executives more accurately. You get to know who is performing well, and those who are underperforming.

Moreover, uniform data helps you get the bigger picture for your organization in the following ways:

  • You learn the average number of sales conversations required for making a sale.
  • You can learn why you lose deals.
  • You will learn the length of your sales cycle.
  • You will learn the average deal size.
  • You will learn the overall win rate.
  • You can learn the total pipeline value.

The more you organize your data, the more you can get out of your CRM and better your return on investment from your CRM.

If you are looking for a CRM system that can meet your requirements and help you build strong relationships with your customers, eZnet CRM is a cloud-based CRM solution that can provide you with the best return on your investments. It can integrate well with your existing applications, and its social CRM feature helps you keep in touch with your current and prospective customers socially. Contact us to learn more and start your free 30-day trial.

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