CRM Best Practices

Your business is growing, and that’s a great thing, but with it comes more work and responsibilities. On the technical side, you need better organizational tools, one place to keep all your records in. You’ve been thinking about a customer relationship management system (CRM), but it just seems like an impossible mountain to climb. No need to worry, we got you. Listed below are all the best practices that will help your organization be more efficient and organized.

1. Choose CRM that fits your company’s needs

Before you decide to adopt a CRM, ask yourself:

  • What challenges will CRM solve for me?
    Manual data entry, misplaced or duplicate data, lack of collaboration between teams, multiple data spreadsheets that are not synced, difficulty managing data, and difficulty measuring your sales team productivity might be some of them.
  • What other tools do I want to integrate it with?
  • How much data do I have?
  • How much will it cost, and how many people will use it?
  • What processes do we lack that we need to include to make the most out of the CRM? Discipline, consistency, and accuracy in data entry should be your priority.

Once you've answered those questions, you'll have a better understanding of what exactly your company is looking for in a customer relationship management system. With a clear picture in mind, you will be ready to start exploring the market for different solutions.

2. Train your teams well 

To ensure the highest return on investment, all members of your organization that will use the CRM have to be on board. That means they should receive proper training.

Help them understand all the dos and don’ts, and take the time to explain in detail all the features of your new system, and why it is essential to be consistent.

A shift in thinking is the most important—a brand new system might be scary for some members. Offer support as they transition from spreadsheets to CRM, be there to answer any questions they might have. Organize weekly training sessions to improve and optimize the process. The less time your team members spend on the technical side of CRM implementation, the more time they can spend making sales and bringing revenue to your organization. Training your workforce on how to use your CRM properly is imperative. If your team is poorly trained, you might not get the best results, and it might be more damaging than helpful in the long run.

3. Set rules for everybody to follow

Make sure everybody is on the same page. I can’t stress enough how crucial it is that your teams collaborate and follow the same rules when importing and managing the data in your CRM. All the quality data you collect means nothing if you don’t have a system in place to tell you what to do with it. If your team members are not consistent in how they import, manage, and disposition data, you are back to square one—lost, duplicate data in multiple places that is impossible to track.

4. Collaboration between teams

Defining a set of rules for using CRM goes hand in hand with collaboration. How your teams talk to each other and work together is equally important. You might find it hard to bring together all the teams and their specific needs, but that’s what your CRM is for. You can tailor it, so each team has the most use of the system, and it is easy for them to complement the data, all from one single dashboard. By collaborating, your teams can easily create a full customer profile that consists of the data from all your business segment—sales, marketing, and operations.

5. Make the most out of automation 

 You adopted this brand new system to dedicate more time to what matters to you and your organization. Whether that is spending more time on sales, perfecting your customer service, or simply growing your business, the automation that CRM offers is there to make your job easier, so use it. Integrate the apps and tools that you use, set up triggers, and let the magic happen.

6. Analyze your data

Once you’ve gathered a significant amount of data in one central location—your CRM, you should start analyzing it to ensure the quality. If your CRM allows call recording (we strongly recommend getting one that does), you should make a practice of listening to calls your SDRs make. Your call plan might be flawless on paper, but hearing it being said out loud might give you a different perspective. And when it comes to listening to calls, you don’t have to listen to all of them. That can be a lot of data to go through. Listen to calls where the prospect was Not Interested, as well as those that were successful in sales or setting appointments. That way, you can compare what went wrong and what went well and adjust your call plan accordingly.

If your prospect is:

Not Interested - Try to understand why your prospect was not interested. Is it something within their company? Do they have an existing contract with a different vendor? Are they even the right person to talk to? Does your prospect have deciding power, or is that somebody else in their company? Maybe they are satisfied with the product they are currently using, or your call plan isn’t clear enough. Listen to those calls and gather information. Make meaningful changes that will turn “Not Interested” into appointments.

No contact - According to The Bridge Group’s 2018 SDR Metrics Report, it takes 9.1 attempts to get a cold prospect on the phone. Cold calling is not dead; it just takes longer than ten years ago. Be persistent but respectful.

Not a fit - Not a fit would be any company or a prospect that is not your target customer. If you get a lot of Not fits, you might need to make changes to your list.

Appointment set - That conversation went great! You have managed to book a meeting with a possible future client that can bring you revenue. Study what was said and what the prospect reacted to, so you can apply it to your future calls. Try to find a pattern in things that triggered the prospect to agree in meeting with you and then do more of that.

Call back - If you find yourself struggling to reach multiple different prospects at a particular time of the day, take a step back and reevaluate your call plan. Maybe you are calling during their lunch break (around noon), or when they are usually in the meetings (in the mornings and afternoons). Explore your industry before making calls to find optimal calling time. If your prospect says they need to consult with somebody else, see if you can get a referral to someone else you should talk to. It is possible that you’re not targeting the right people, and you might need to make adjustments to your call list.

7. Segment your data

Not all prospects on your list will have the same value to you. Some of them are influencers, some are authority, and some are delegators. Typically, influencers are the gatekeepers that can influence the authority to meet with you. They are easier to reach as they are usually in lower positions in the company. Authority is the one you want to speak with and should invest more time and money into. The delegators decide on the budget and priority, but usually don’t execute the task. Instead, they push it down to authority, who then has the power to decide about purchasing your product. It’s useful to have them all in your CRM, but you should focus more on authority and influencers.

Now that you’ve read this post, you should have a better understanding of what it takes to master your CRM. Simply put, CRM allows companies like yours to maximize efficiency by getting rid of manual spreadsheet entry and duplicate data. Follow the steps, make a habit out of it, and you will be a rockstar in no time!

P.S. Share with us how your company uses CRM!

Dora Fredenburg

Hailing from Croatia, Dora is best known in the office for her deadly side-eye, her love of Instagram dogs, and her relentless pursuit to help her clients grow faster in a way that is both sustainable and good for their customers.

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