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It’s no secret that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an essential part of growing your business. But what can feel like a secret is the thing that may sabotage your CRM strategy. It’s easy to find these ‘secrets’ online, but a little more challenging to uncover the ‘so what do I do.’
We want to help you find solutions. Let’s unpack two categories of secrets and get these CRM secrets explained!
Secret No. 1: CRM data is more important than the system that holds it.
Your CRM is only as good as the information it contains. While many CRM vendors may not tell you this, it’s true that data quality and quantity are a critical element. CRM decision-making is still an important consideration on many levels, both as an activity and as an organizing system and process. But without including data management in the process, your results will be less than they could be.
Secret No. 2: The more users entering data into your system, the more robust the analytic capabilities of the system will be.
At its simplest, a CRM system is a way to manage your leads and customers, maintain their contact information and automate communication. At its most robust, a CRM can help you to analyze customer behavior, customize marketing and sales campaigns based on customer data and create customer service strategies that are truly aligned with your customer’s needs and values.
It is true that more is better in this case, although the quantity of data must maintain quality as well (more on that in secret #3 below). Look for opportunities to collect more data at every customer touch point. Invest time to train employees to enter data correctly. Create a team of ‘data champions’ who are committed to consistent data input. As you work together, your CRM can become a unifying force inside your company.
Secret No. 3: Data Quality can be costly.
Your system is only as good as the data that’s put in. Be sure data is clean and accurate before being entered into your CRM. While capturing and documenting data does require a commitment of time and focus, the costly part is when data is inaccurate or missing. These are the gaps to be aware of and create solutions for.
Secret No. 4: CRM Can do 1000 Things.
Well, maybe not 1000, but CRM CAN do a lot of things. But the important question is, ‘How many things do you need it to do and do well?’ The implication here is that with so many functionalities available to you in CRM, it can be difficult to focus on the important activities.
Just because your CMR can do many, many things, it doesn’t mean you have to—or even should—use all of them. Develop a clear, simple CRM strategy. Think about automation and communication. Use CRM to focus on the activities that will connect with and nurture your prospective customers most effectively.
Success Secret No.1: Simplicity
Keep it simple. While any CRM robust enough to handle the volume of information needed to make it worthwhile is likely a complex organism, it also needs to be a simple, streamlined design. If it’s too complicated, no one will use it and that means you won’t gather enough data to produce positive outcomes.
Look for a system that is clean, clear and easy to navigate. The process for data entry, reporting and modification should be simple—even easy.
Success Secret No.2: Customization
As you identify areas of improvement needed in your CRM, you’ll need to be responsive and adaptive. Your CRM should be flexible to adjust as your customer base grows and adapt based on your unique customer trends and behaviors.
Success Secret No.3: Integration
Integration with Outlook, MS Office and other platforms like practice management systems is key. Make sure your CRM is compatible with both current systems and those you’ll need as your business grows and matures.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. --Winston Churchill
Success Secret No.4: Planning & Strategy
Launching CRM in your business is a valuable decision to grow. Be sure to invest time in planning for CRM. Develop a clear strategy to begin well. Engage employees through communication about the importance of CRM and devote time to train the team to use your CRM tools effectively.
When you put CRM to work for your business growth, the only secret will be why you waited so long.