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  • Writer's pictureSaurabh Pangarkar

8 Best Practices for Maximizing Your CRM Potential

Business leaders are aware of the importance of tracking customer communication and analyzing data to build strong relationships. However, despite this knowledge, many businesses still need to rely on traditional tools such as Excel and paper to list their leads and log customer interactions. Other companies that leverage a CRM often use it only as a database and fail to draw value from the platform.

So why are we talking about this today? We think the guidelines covered in this article are still relevant today. Businesses that disregard some or all of the points covered are at the peril of prematurely selecting a new or dumping their old CRM. Read on.

According to a study by Nucleus Research, the average ROI of a CRM system is $5.60 for every dollar spent. A properly deployed CRM system can help businesses maintain a centralized database (single source of truth), know their customers better (data analytics), manage all communication and interactions with prospects, and automate data entry (workflow automation). By using a CRM system, businesses can streamline their processes, save time, increase productivity, and improve customer satisfaction.

Businesses need to evaluate the incremental ROI of a CRM system by measuring key metrics such as cost and benefits. The ROI formula is ROI = [(total revenue brought in by CRM – total cost of CRM) / total cost of CRM] x 100. By monitoring CRM KPIs such as average deal size, margin rate, and customer retention, businesses can calculate the net profit generated by their CRM system and determine its ROI.

Here are some important guidelines to consider during a new CRM implementation:

  1. Define your CRM strategy: To get the most out of your CRM, it’s important to have a well-defined strategy in place. This is often overlooked but is crucial for success. The first step is to identify your business objectives and set clear goals. Next, consult with your team to understand their experience with customer relations and data. Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, you can choose a CRM system that’s compatible with your objectives and goals. Sometimes the best CRM platform could still be the one you already have.

  2. Management Commitment: For a successful CRM implementation, it’s important to have management commitment. This means that management must be actively involved in using the platform and put up the right measures in place for the entire team to follow. The CRM platform is a product to be used by your entire customer-facing team, and it begins right from the top. Management must lead by example and encourage the team to use the platform. This will help ensure that the CRM system is used effectively and that the team can achieve its goals.

  3. Data Strategy: A well-defined data strategy is crucial for a successful CRM implementation. In a recent discussion with a customer, they mentioned that their CRM didn’t provide the right customer insights and value to the business. Upon looking at their system closely, it was identified that the customer data was all over the place. There were duplicates, unlabeled data, and even data with incorrect formatting. As the adage goes, “Garbage in, garbage out.” This highlights the importance of having a clean and organized data structure. By ensuring that your data is accurate and up to date, you can make informed decisions and gain valuable insights into your customers. 

  4. Personalization Focus: Customers cite a lack of personalization from their providers as one of the highest challenges leading to supplier dissatisfaction. Personalization is a crucial aspect of CRM messaging. It involves using CRM data to tailor interactions with individual customers. By personalizing your service, marketing, and sales efforts, you can speak directly to your audience’s needs and pain points, creating a much more targeted and effective message that resonates far better than a generic one. Personalization also allows you to automate many of your marketing and sales processes, saving you time and energy while ensuring that your messages are always on point and relevant to your audience. 

  5. Training and Documentation: Training is crucial to a successful CRM implementation. According to a study, trained users adapt to a new system 6 times faster than untrained users. A CRM is a complex application, and it is most likely that your CRM instance is unique to your business. Therefore, training and documentation play an important role in ensuring that your teams follow the right CRM practices. By providing just-in-time training, you can ensure that your team members are comfortable using the CRM system and can make the most of its features and capabilities.

  6. Product Updates: It’s important to keep your CRM up to date with the latest product updates. Leading CRM providers like Salesforce have multiple release cycles throughout the year, and you must be ready for these updates to be applied to your instance. By keeping your CRM system clean and up to date, you can ensure that you have access to the latest features and capabilities. It’s worth noting that several businesses still use outdated CRM systems and are potentially missing out on the best CRM features.

  7. New Technology Features: The use of AI, data analytics, and omni-channel communication tools is becoming increasingly important in achieving customer success. These tools can help you gain valuable insights into your customers’ behavior and preferences, allowing you to tailor your offerings to their needs. Having a team internally or through a partner can help ensure that you are making the most of these technologies. By working with experts in the field, you can stay up to date with the latest trends and developments and ensure that you are not missing out on what technology offers.

  8. Consulting Partner: Working with a professional consulting partner like Zime can be invaluable in optimizing your CRM experience. An experienced partner will work with you to understand your CRM needs and recommend the right solutions to optimize your CRM experience as well as the product license cost. If you already have a partner but don’t get the value, have a word with them and set the right expectations. According to a study, partnering with a CRM consulting firm can help businesses unlock the full potential of the Salesforce platform and achieve their sales and business growth goals.

Conclusion: Businesses that rely on traditional tools to manage their customer interactions may be missing out on the benefits of a CRM system. By deploying a CRM system, businesses can improve their customer relationships, increase their profits, and gain a competitive edge in the market.

About Zime: Zime is a Salesforce Consulting Partner. We work with leading SMB, Enterprise, and Product companies to maximize their business potential using CRM and the latest technologies. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation on how a CRM could be right for your business.

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