CRM, or customer relationship management, is a process used by businesses to manage and analyze customer interactions and data. When delivered correctly, a good CRM strategy will help businesses increase sales, improve customer satisfaction, and better understand their customers. However, implementing and adopting CRM can be a challenge for some businesses.
Here are five CRM best practices for implementation and adoption.
1. Do more with automation
Repetitive tasks are to be automated at all costs. The popularity of automation has soared as data-driven decisions drive business leaders to seek more functionality from their automation tools. Business automation is about doing more with less, and this includes reducing the amount of data and time spent on manual processes as well as streamlining workflows. By automating less, businesses can focus on automating more essential processes.
For example, instead of automating tasks across the entire sales cycle, automate only the essential tasks such as creating a sales proposal. This will reduce the amount of time spent on manual processes and enable sales reps to spend more time selling.
2. Know your users strengths and limitations
When choosing which CRM tools to use, it’s important to first identify where in the customer journey you currently are.
Are you handling customer concerns directly? Do you provide a product? Are you trying to influence the decision to buy ? Knowing where you are in the customer journey will help you determine which CRM tools are appropriate for your business.
Next, you’ll need to understand your users’ strengths and limitations. For example, do sales reps have knowledge of how the product works? Do they have personal relationships with customers? If they don’t, can they build them? How committed is your workforce to improving customer relationships?
Finally, you’ll need to determine how much data you have to work with. Some CRM tools have free trial periods, which allows you to test the product without paying for a subscription.
Other tools have limitations on the number of accounts you can use before you have to pay for another subscription.
Data management is crucial when it comes to CRM. Too little data and you’ll limit your options when trying to find a solution, while too much data and you’ll spend more time managing the data than using the tool.
3. Automate security protocols
If you’re running a business, it’s essential you protect your customer data. Cloud-based CRM tools are especially vulnerable to security breaches.
If someone unauthorized accesses your network, they could gain access to your customers’ data as well as your own. By automating security protocols, you can ensure your network is protected and your customers’ data is secure. For example, you could automatically block suspicious emails or texts from entering your network.
You could also automate the process of responding to security breaches. For example, after a security breach is detected, you could create a formal report with details of the breach and send it to the relevant team members. With the appropriate security protocols in place, you’ll have a better chance of protecting your network and recovering from any breaches.
4. Analyze your business processes
A business transformation effort often includes the automation of business processes. When choosing business automation tools, it’s essential to first identify what processes you want to automate. Remember that not all tools are designed to automate the same tasks. For example, spreadsheets are more prone to automation than word processors. Once you’ve identified the processes you want to automate, evaluate the tools available in the market.
Some CRM tools are better at automating certain business processes than others. For example, sales teams prefer automation over emails, while customer service prefer chat. Once you’ve chosen a tool, make sure you set up notifications so you’re notified as soon as a new version of the tool is released that could automate your processes.
5. Collaborate, train and connect with team members
Inside most business organizations, there are various teams each with their own process and system. It’s important to stay connected with team members inside and outside of work. A tool that enables you to do this is Teams from Microsoft.
Teams is a free tool that enables you to create online meetings with colleagues. You can share files and notes with your team members, collaborate on projects, and engage in one-on-one chats. Teams also allows you to create a “portfolio” of your work which can be shared with the public.