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How to Make the Most of Your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) Tool

In a previous post, we talked about how to tell if your company is desperately in need of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

If you have since decided to take the plunge and are now a proud owner of a CRM system, congratulations! You are probably very excited, but also possibly a bit overwhelmed. Working with new systems or technology can be a bit daunting if you aren’t exactly sure of all the tips, tricks, and best practices.

To make sure that you are able to take full advantage of this investment (and not become increasingly overwhelmed in the process), there are a few things to keep in mind.

If you’re a CRM rookie or even a long-time user looking for a refresher, here are some ways that you can make the most of your CRM:

1. Get Buy-in from your Sales Team

Make sure that your team is ready to tear themselves away from their sticky notes, spreadsheets, stacks of business cards, etc. that they are currently using to keep track of their sales leads. If your CRM is going to be a success, your whole team must be ready to get on board.

2. Get Proper Training

Most CRM companies, depending on the level of service you have purchased, give you access to a CRM training representative. Make sure that you avail yourself of this resource and get proper training for your team members. If training is not readily available from a CRM representative, make sure you have a designated in-house expert who can train the rest of your team (and by an expert, I mean someone who is handy with Google and willing to take the time to do some research).

3. Take Advantage of Integrations

One of the great things about new technology is the ability to integrate with systems you already use. Most CRM systems will give you the opportunity to sync with your email, calendars and dozens of others apps or services that you are already using as a part of your sales process.

4. Automate

Take routine tasks, like follow-up calls and emails, and automate them through your CRM. You can set up your activities to fall on a certain cadence so that you do not have to worry about knowing when to follow up on an account. This eliminates human error and allows your sales team to focus more on the sales process and less about the details.

5. Customize

Most CRM systems will give you the ability to customize your experience within the CRM to fit your business needs. This will allow you to use your own industry jargon that relates to your business, create structures that make sense for your sales cycle and more.

6. Reporting

Do some research into the reporting capabilities that your CRM system has available. There is a wealth of information that you can take from your sales process, and with all of your data in this centralized hub, you can capture valuable metrics on your sales performance. Use reporting to prove value to your stakeholders, improve the sales process or look into other ways to help your business grow.

7. Continue to Learn

Once you have trained, set up your automation rules and made your customizations to your CRM system, your journey isn’t over just yet. Make sure that you continue to learn more about your CRM capabilities through your CRM sales representative, online forums, help centers or through blogs and webinars. As is the case with most things in life, the more effort you put in, the more you get out.

Your Turn…

What tips and tricks have you been using to make the most of your CRM?

Originally posted on Channel Chatter, submitted by Lauren Phelps

Lauren is an experienced marketer with an extensive knowledge of various industries and marketing capacities. She is currently working as a Customer Experience Analyst, giving her the ability to assist channel partners in solving their marketing challenges through channel marketing automation solutions.

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