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Maximize Your CRM With These 4 Tips

| On 01, Sep 2014

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Keeping up with customer data can be a messy process. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution can simplify this task —but only if it has the right features.

At its heart, a customer relationship management solution should make everyone’s job easier.

The right program can provide clearer data for the top brass, help the sales team concentrate on selling instead of admin work, and keep prospects moving through the sales cycle. If it’s working properly, it’s the oil that keeps the entire sales process frictionless.

But if your CRM isn’t up to par or you’re still trying to find the best solution for your startup, you might be doing more harm than good. The trick to maximizing your CRM is choosing one that best suits your startup’s needs.


Tips for Choosing CRM for your startup - Get the Most Out of Your CRM

Using a CRM shouldn’t feel like a chore for your employees. And collecting data from it shouldn’t either. To make your CRM work for your startup, concentrate on these four key points as you shop around:


1.     Appeal to employee wants and needs.

Because top executives usually purchase CRM solutions, there’s often a disconnect between what the C-suite values and what the sales team needs. While your personal choice may provide the data you want, if your salespeople don’t want to use it or it slows them down, the end result will be problematic at best.

The first priority when picking a CRM is finding one that makes your employees happy. [tweet this]

If the employees see a clear benefit, they’ll be more likely to use it regularly, and your data will become significantly more valuable.


2.     Update relevant data regularly.

Ideally, your CRM should be pulling in data from all corners — phone calls, emails, social media interactions, contact information, etc.

As a general rule, if information is important to customer relations, the CRM should include it. A good customer relationship solution will reduce the amount of maintenance and administrative work your team does, not add to it.


3.     Keep information organized and easy to extract.

This is the real challenge of a good CRM. It may have all the data you need, but if you can’t find the right information at the right time, it becomes useless.

Sales, customer service, and the product division should be able to quickly sift through this information to get what they need when they need it. Searchable, organized information is a key component of a truly useful CRM.


4.     Never stay satisfied.

Your startup isn’t a static entity. It’s growing and changing, and employees will come and go. What once worked might be stale or incomplete now, so it’s important to reassess your CRM frequently.

Talk to your employees, and find out what is and isn’t working for them. Then examine the data you’re receiving and see if it matches up with the information other sectors are giving you.

Experimentation is important, too. Some sales teams prefer a gamification layer to their CRM, which creates internal competition that keeps employees on their toes. Others might prefer something more straightforward — a no-nonsense kind of interaction. Keeping a close eye on how your CRM is working and employee preferences can save it from stagnation or ineffectiveness.

If your CRM is more of a hindrance than a help, it’s time to reexamine why you chose it in the first place and see where your priorities lie. With the right solution in place and a focus on making end users happy, your CRM can make the workplace a better place.



Zvi Band is the founder and CEO of Contactually, a relationship-marketing platform that maximizes value and drives greater ROI from personal and professional networks. Zvi frequently participates in thought leadership panels at Tech Cocktail, WordPress DC, DC PHP, and DCRUG events. He loves solving new problems and building new products and services.

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