Launching a new customer relationship management (CRM) system is a major undertaking for any company. The process of getting the CRM up and running is often time-consuming and expensive. So after the rollout, most people on the implementation team will be ready to take a break from tinkering with the software. While this desire is completely understandable, it can also result in some missed opportunities that are pretty significant, in terms of overall efficiency.
Even if the CRM is working perfectly, are your teams using it to its full potential? Once a CRM is implemented, there are also tweaks that can be made to improve the user experience. By making minor operational changes and adapting old workflows to accommodate the new system, your company could see substantial boosts to your ROI. In this post, we’ll be looking at seven simple steps you can take to dramatically improve your CRM results.
Do your sales meetings tend to feel like wastes of time? At many companies, sales meetings are little more than off-the-cuff progress reports on various deals. These round-robin discussions can feel like show-and-tell for sales reps; they’re not the most efficient or effective ways to manage a team.
Now consider a CRM-driven sales meeting. First, the sales manager pulls up the sales pipeline report, so he or she can instantly see every rep’s progress on every deal. The CRM allows the manager to look at the locations of opportunities along the pipeline, which makes it possible to discuss deals that are nearing the closing stage. So if a deal is stuck, the entire sales team is readily accessible to provide ideas for ways to move it forward.
Every sales report is now instantly available to the manager, which allows them to ask specific questions, identify issues, and move toward solutions.
Your CRM software is designed to be a comprehensive and highly specialized sales tool, but it’s not intended to exist in a vacuum. It’s an incredibly valuable warehouse of customer information, so sales organizations may instinctively want to protect it by isolating it from other parts of the company. Fight that urge!
When valuable customer information is kept in a silo, it becomes less useful. For example, by integrating your CRM data with your help desk software, both teams now have access to the most up-to-date information about your customers. These integrations can be powerful, create new sales opportunities, and build deeper connections with your customers. An added benefit: you increase efficiency by no longer having two different people inputting the same content into two systems.
One of the biggest challenges during every new CRM implementation is user adoption. When a new CRM is launched, many employees only see the steep learning curve ahead of them. To them, it looks like something that will make their jobs harder, not better.
As a result, the CRM becomes a stumbling block to be resisted, rather than an opportunity to be embraced. This problem shouldn’t be taken lightly. A staggering number of CRMs fail because the users refuse to adopt it.
But what happens after this knowledge becomes rewarding? An action as simple as offering $10 gift cards to sales reps who complete their CRM training can be highly effective. You can utilize the CRM itself to run sales contests, so it becomes a leaderboard, rather than a way to calculate sales or prospects that haven’t been entered into it. Then the resistance to adoption should quickly fade. Even the process of learning the CRM can be gamified in this way—by using tools such as Intelestream’s Splash engine. Whether this be simply having a contest in the system for whoever adds the most new contacts into the system, or creating challenges to target specific business, like closing five deals by the end of the month.
Even a well-designed CRM has room for improvement, particularly when it comes to the user interface (UI). There’s a reason why huge companies such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook invest hundreds of millions of dollars into testing the UI of their products. It’s not really about removing a single click from the process. Rather, it’s about creating tiny efficiency boosts that will streamline the entire user experience (UX).
After you implement the CRM, does it take four clicks for each sales rep to make a single phone call? Do they have to scroll halfway down a page to make a note on a customer account? Is the mobile version of your CRM confusing or awkward for your field reps? A few small changes in the CRM’s UI can result in significant improvements to efficiency. They’ll save a surprising amount of time and money in the process.
Is your team failing to hit a specific mark in a task? No matter how clearly you communicate its importance, they just don’t deliver the right results. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? But what if the problem isn’t the team? What if the workflow or the training is broken? Or what if the issue is something in the CRM itself?
Take a step back, and ask your team to walk through the details of the problem. Let them show you their side of the story, and listen to their pain points. Perhaps there’s a problem with a CRM module, or they simply haven’t been trained to correctly use this part of the system. By making these adjustments, even the most frustrating issues can be resolved.
One of the biggest problems for any CRM is “dirty data.” This issue is most obvious at the very beginning of a CRM implementation. At this point, you import the customer information from the previous CRM or another database. This import could populate your pristine system with outdated, incorrect, or even corrupted chunks of information. If you clean up this data right off the bat, it can become an essential part of the CRM launch process, so it isn’t meant to be a one-time thing.
To get the most out of your CRM, you need to practice good data hygiene. In other words, you need to keep your customer information up-to-date. You need to make sure you correctly import or enter new data.
For instance, B2B companies should regularly change their buyers and decision-makers. Additionally, every sales rep’s job should involve staying on top of those changes. These updates need to make it into the CRM, and users should know the right way to enter that data. These tactics always need to ensure that the information is as accurate as possible.
Your business is always growing and evolving. For instance, successful sales teams may be split into multiple teams over time. Each of these new teams will have their own products, customers, processes, structures, and priorities. So as your company changes, those updates will need to be reflected within the CRM. By regularly refining and updating the CRM, you can ensure that everything keeps running smoothly.
It’s easy to make changes to the code, the workflow, and the UI. It’s also inexpensive, particularly compared to the lost efficiency of using a system that has fallen out of sync with the day-to-day sales process. By regularly checking in with your CRM implementation partner and making small, incremental improvements, your software will keep delivering the great results you’ve come to rely on.
To learn more about the right technologies for improving sales at your company or better CRM results, contact Intelestream about getting a free consultation.