How to Use a CRM System to Maximize Sales and Growth
Getting a reliable CRM system to help manage your business is a great tactic if you want your company to grow and develop. And stats definitely support this claim.
Namely, the average ROI of implementing CRM software is more than $8 per $1 invested. Also, 91% of North American companies with 10 or more employees have some kind of CRM system in place. It’s becoming a necessity not only for major businesses but also for smaller ones. There’s a number of ways it can help your company grow and speed up all kinds of work processes.
However, this will happen only if you’re very careful about setting up and maintaining the CRM system of your choice. Let’s go through some of the basic guidelines you should follow in this process, step-by-step.
Choose the right CRM software
Naturally, every CRM system is different and emphasizes different aspects of a business. Which one you’ll choose depends on which of these aspects you want to focus on and reinforce. You should do some meticulous and detailed research before making this decision.
There are numerous online reviews that can help, and getting some first-hand info from other owners, executives or managers who use these systems can also be valuable. Moreover, there could be people on your team who are already familiar with some of the software and their opinion should be taken seriously as well.
Finally, pay special attention to how different CRM software or different plans offered by the same software fit the size of your business. You can save a lot of money by going for the right plan, and if your business consists of only a few people you can likely find free CRM software which will suit your needs perfectly. At least for now.
Importance of proper training
The point of implementing a CRM system may be automating the workflow and letting the software take care of a ton of stuff humans used to do, but without capable, properly trained people it won’t bring any impressive results.
After all, people ultimately carry out key tasks, such as making sales calls, writing content or handling complaints so if they don’t understand how your CRM works it’ll be all for nothing. For some departments of your company, CRM software will be the heart of all daily operations. Thus it’s vital to have a consistent training program in place for new hires as well as your current employees.
Make good use of customer data
Another huge advantage you get with CRM software is collecting, processing and organizing large amounts of customer data. This can affect your sales significantly, as data accessibility shortens the sales cycles by 8–14 percent. It will improve the efficiency of your sales team in general — when salespeople have access to your customers’ personal info, preferences or browsing history it makes their job much easier. They can use these pieces of information to intelligently customize their offers, prioritize their leads and perfect their reach-out timing.
Your marketing team can also benefit hugely if they let the data work for them. They have to utilize these data to get familiar with different target groups, track feedback and create persuasive personalized messages that will intrigue their recipients.
Streamlining and automating workflow
If used properly, even a free CRM software will help you a great deal with smoothing and speeding up all kinds of business operations. Use it to connect different teams and streamline the communication between them, as well as between different members of the same team.
Try integrating CRM with all the other relevant apps you use for internal communication, communication with customers and generating customer data. Having all these handled from a single dashboard will save your employees a world of effort and make them more efficient in managing their daily routines. You should also automate task sharing and delegating to save time, but only to a certain extent — some crucial aspects of this job still require a human touch.
Monitoring employee activity
As it was already mentioned, CRM software lets you track the activity of your customers and prospects in great detail. But it’s equally important that it enables you to monitor the performance of your employees as well.
By looking at these data, you can easily deduce how each member of the team handles which types of tasks. You can see who’s on top of their game and who’s falling behind. Leverage this knowledge when you delegate important tasks or when you make decisions about promoting and rewarding the most successful employees. If they know that you can track their performance and that you’ll be rewarding competence and hard work, they will undoubtedly be motivated to do their best.
To conclude, it’s clear that installing and setting up a CRM system is just a first step to using its full potential. The efficiency of the system will depend on the people who use it — their professional capabilities, work ethics, ability to work as a team, as well as your managerial abilities.
You’ll also have to follow the described ground rules and guidelines. But it’s definitely worth it. With CRM, you’ll be able to improve several areas of your business. It just takes a bit of patience, persistence and smart use of resources provided by CRM software.