Customer Relationship Management software, also known as CRM for short, is a system of software, technologies, strategies and procedures that are designed to facilitate customer interactions, and manage and analyze customer data. Bottom line, it’s all about improving your business by improving customer service, which, of course, means increased first-time and repeat sales.
That’s all well and good, but how do you get the most out of your CRM software? Here are five tips on how to maximize the ROI of your CRM system.
“Do As I Say, AND As I Do!”
Nothing turns employees off more to using a business resource than seeing the higher-ups not use it themselves. There are too many examples out there of CEOs and other execs investing in some software or technology, making it mandatory for everyone to use as they claim it will “really make life easier”, then they don’t touch it. If you’re going to have an effective CRM in place, then EVERYONE has to use it. The leadership needs to set an example here.
Train, Train, Train! Then Train Some More!
This concept cannot be drilled too much into everyone’s head. The best way to get the most out of CRM, or indeed any tool, application, gadget, or whatever, is to get a full understanding as to how it works, what features it offers, and what it can and cannot do. Furthermore, as the article “6 Great Tricks to Get More Out of Your Company’s CRM System” points out, make sure to have refresher training sessions in order to not only keep the established employees sharp, but also to bring new hires up to speed.
… But Introduce It Slowly
Training is paramount, yes, but you will get the best results if the CRM process is brought in gradually. Rather than having your staff drinking from the firehose, start them off small, say, by entering their sales contacts. After they have that down cold, move on to sales tracking, and so on. By starting out slow, people can focus on learning that one process inside and out, and can then move on to the next one.
Listen To Your Employees’ Feedback, Change When Needed
It’s tempting to assume that, after spending so much money on a CRM system, that it’s going to work perfectly first time, every time, and be the end-all, be-all solution for everyone at the company. The harsh reality is; no software system is rolled out and immediately becomes all things to all people. Even the most versatile, user-friendly system needs to be tweaked and adjusted, based on the needs of employees of any given company. That’s why people need to be encouraged to provide feedback, suggestions, complaints, whatever, and then action should be taken to address those comments. Otherwise, you’ll see employees refusing to use the tools because the latter aren’t working properly or not doing what the sales team needs them to do.
Keep It Up To Date
Like other types of software, CRM systems roll out upgrades and add-ons sooner or later. Make sure that you keep on top of new versions, patches, and other changes, since these all contribute to you having the best possible iteration of the CRM system.
Incidentally, it also helps to keep abreast of other CRM-related matters. For a good start, check out “Salesforce Acquisition by Google – More Than Just A Buzz?”.