A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can help you better meet customer needs. Use a CRM system to store all your vital customer information in one place and easily find what you need to enhance the service and experience you offer them.
However, it’s not enough to have a good CRM system. You need to use it properly if you’re to maximise the ROI of your CRM investment, improve data quality and the like. Here are my top 12 tips to help you do that…
- Ensure your CRM is the single source of data truth
- Collaborate with other teams to improve business efficiency
- Collect as much data as possible
- Prioritise user adoption
- Monitor your sales processes
- Use dashboards and business intelligence to improve sales forecasting
- Create a data management process
- Ensure CRM system training is an ongoing thing
- Review the CRM system regularly, post-implementation
- Audit your data regularly
- Segment your data
- Input clean data and keep it that way
Tips for good CRM data management
1. Ensure your CRM is the single source of data truth
Your CRM system should be one source of truth for all interactions made, whether that’s sales calls, website downloads, exhibition stand visits, sales meetings, social interactions or customer service/support calls.
Do this by ensuring your CRM system is integrated with your other business solutions. For example, if you sell items online and handle returns, a CRM-commerce integration allows data from one system to flow freely into another so you can spend less time looking for what you need and more time exceeding customer expectations.
2. Collaborate with other teams to improve business efficiency
By this, I mean share your CRM data management tips with the rest of your team and other departments. Don’t keep it all to yourself.
Let’s say a colleague leaves your business or changes role. A shared system will make it much easier for other team members to pick up on a prospect or customer and carry on the relationship.
3. Collect as much data as possible
From sales or support conversations and upgrade requests to social media engagement data and visits to exhibition stands, if they’re interacting, keep a note of it. The more detailed your records are, the better the quality of your CRM data.
4. Prioritise user adoption
A good way to ensure your users are following best practices when it comes to CRM usage? Get their buy-in first.
You’ll need an onboarding session for all users of your CRM system. If everyone understands the reasons behind installing a CRM system at your company and can appreciate the benefits of its use, they’re more likely to use it.
5. Monitor your sales process
Monitor your sales process closely with checkpoints at each stage – use tasks to set timetabled calls and activity. Are some sales managers or account managers more efficient than others? What are they doing that other team members could try?
Get your CRM system to manage your time better, not add more work to your plate.
6. Use dashboards and business intelligence for sales forecasting
Dashboards are a fantastic way to give you a snapshot of your leads and sales pipeline. For example, a dashboard could show where you are with opportunities in your pipeline, so that you can quickly see which opportunities are closing soon and which tasks or calls are needed now.
Again, it’s about using your CRM system to boost productivity.
7. Create a data management process
Look at what’s missing in your CRM system and fill in the gaps like a production line – concentrating on one feature at a time. Your sales team need time to sell; they shouldn’t be getting bogged down with administrative duties. Focus on reducing unnecessary CRM admin time:
- Make the system user friendly – if it’s hard to use, your teams won’t use it
- Ensure it's available on mobile - whether you’re working at home, office or at a client site
- CRM should load quickly, save quickly and not crash - especially if your internet goes down or you go through a tunnel on a train
8. Ensure CRM system training is an ongoing thing
Are you using all the features of your CRM system? Review your data management processes regularly to ensure they’re not only still working but they’re also:
- The most efficient they can be
- Being followed by all your users (and no-one is struggling)
Attending training courses and reading resources from industry experts could help you stay informed on tips and tricks of the trade. It’s also a great idea to stay in touch with your CRM vendor - they can update you on any new features or share some interesting but rarely used features of your system.
9. Review your CRM system regularly, post-implementation
The installation of a new CRM system is just the beginning – you need to know where to go from there. So, review your CRM system once it has been implemented and been used for a while. Are there any problems or pain points with it? Does it do what you need? Are some regular tasks just too slow or technical to do?
And ask your teams how your CRM system could be improved. As people who use the system every day, their input matters.
10. Audit the data regularly
A data audit saves you time and money.
You don’t want a database full of bounced emails – it will affect deliverability on email campaigns. You also don’t want incorrect telephone numbers in your database when your sales team call a client.
Quarterly data audits are a great place to start.
11. Segment your data
When your data is segmented:
- It can be easier to find prospects with similar profiles
- You can use commercial databases or research companies to find prospects who will be most likely to understand your value proposition and buy from you
- It can boost the effectiveness of your marketing strategies as you’ll have a better idea of who needs what information and where they are in their buying journey. With that, you can tailor marketing campaigns and enhance your lead nurturing efforts
The clearer your ideal customer profiles are, the easier it will be to sell to them.
12. Input clean data and keep it that way
The better your CRM data is, the more the software can do for you. In addition, clean, reliable data is essential for effective team collaboration and for getting everyone to use the system in the first place.
With your existing data, make sure you stay in contact with your contacts and customers. Data degrades every day so keep updating your information on them. Even email bounces should be followed up - find out new contact details straight away.
As for your new data, whatever gets added to your CRM system should be clean. Regularly check your data for import errors, integration problems or human data errors. Nip these in the bud. Get your technical team to fix any issues, tell individuals what they might be doing wrong and fix any configurations that might have gone array.
Want to dig deeper into tips on effective CRM data management?
Your CRM system is a vital business asset; it helps you to market effectively, nurture leads, close deals and create long and successful relationships with your contacts over time. The quality of your CRM data directly affects your sales and marketing efforts.
That’s why it’s important to maintain good data management practices. The better you can manage your CRM data, the higher its quality. Then you can use accurate, reliable information to make more informed business decisions.
We have a guide where we talk about all of the above data management practices in more detail. Check it out below if you’d like to dig deeper.