An optimized CRM will look different for every business. In some cases, businesses will utilize lots of automation to take care of tasks in customer service, sales, and marketing. In other cases, businesses will need a CRM that has lots of organized and updated lists for their targeted marketing emails. There is no doubt that an optimized CRM will help you and your team create a seamless, organized marketing strategy no matter what type of business or organization you are part of.
But every CRM can follow these best practices in order to assess what kind of CRM optimization they need. These steps will work for any business’ CRM, no matter what kind of business they have. CRMs that are not optimized can be clunky, and will give you inaccurate data that does not serve your business well. These easy steps will not only make your CRM easier for you and your team to use, but will also pave the way for better marketing and sales strategies.
Step 1: Get Support for your CRM
While CRMs may have some features that are easy to use, utilizing a CRM to the best of its ability will require some expertise. Many CRMs market themselves as easy to use, and while that may be true, experts are able to take your CRM to high levels while you are still learning the ropes. You could utilize the CRMs built in support system, but keep in mind that they may only be able to offer limited support, and support that is not specific to your business needs.
A CRM agency can help to diagnose problems with your CRM that you didn’t even know you had. They can offer real, long term solutions rather than just quick band-aid fixes. Whether you are just starting out with a new CRM or you are dealing with a legacy CRM, an expert's help can be transformational. A CRM expert will usually offer 24/7 support, while keeping your data safe and secure. If your teams struggle with keeping data up to date, a CRM expert can provide that service for you so all you really need to worry about is having the most optimized strategy possible.
Keep in mind that your CRM is an investment in both time and money. The CRM requires active participation from all of your team, from executives to managers to associates. They will need to be properly trained, and this is something else a CRM expert can provide. If you need CRM help, click here to get started on optimization in your CRM journey!
Step 2: Integrate, integrate, integrate.
Odds are you are using more software for marketing besides a CRM. The best way to get the value out of all the software you have purchased is to integrate it with your CRM. Depending on your type of business and organization, you are most likely using Google docs, sheets, slides, analytics, as well as other Google suite software. Additionally you may be using Airtable, Facebook ads, and Zapier. These are just a few of the popular integrations with popular CRMs such as HubSpot.
These listed software are easily integrated into CRM because they have built-in API. API is an application programming interface. It’s defined as “a connection between computers or between computer programs. It is a type of software interface, offering a service to other pieces of software.” While many popular marketing has built in API for integration with CRM, if a software you are utilizing does not have an API, you can actually create your own with the expert help of a computer programmer. This way, you are integrated as much as possible. This creates a much more seamless and optimized CRM, and saves lots of time too. Instead of spending time on importing or data entry, you can work on improving strategies.
Step 3: Put CRM at the Center of your Marketing Strategy.
CRMs are a powerful marketing tool. You may not have thought about involving your CRM in your business or organization's marketing strategy before, but the data that CRMs provide are a powerful tool to help you create and manage campaigns. When CRM is at the focus, it will allow you to see and visualize what strategies are successful and what needs to be improved. If you use CRMs for your sales strategy, it makes sense to use it for your marketing strategy as well. The information you gather during sales will inform your marketing strategy and vice versa.
By putting your CRM at the center of your marketing strategy, it makes you and your team more CRM focused. This means more data, and more consistent data will be entered into your CRM, which will give you useful feedback on your efforts. In order to make your CRM the most effective marketing tool in your arsenal make sure you have invested in the marketing side of your CRM software. HubSpot, for instance, has several different Hubs for different purposes. If you use HubSpot as your CRM, I highly recommend the marketing hub. Sending marketing emails, tracking marketing emails, creating marketing campaigns could not be easier or more effective. Click here to learn more about marketing hub and how to get started.
Step 4: The more unified your data entry is the better.
Data is important for every type of CRM. This is what allows your CRM to work as well as it possibly can. But data can potentially harm your CRM’s effectiveness if the data that is being entered into the CRM is not consistent and spread across all teams. CRMs rely on consistent updates, whether it is email logging, profile updates, conversation logging, etc. If teams are not fully trained on CRM they may feel the need to have sales and marketing conversations outside of the CRM. This will eventually make the CRM give feedback that is inaccurate the the reality of your business.
For instance, if one team member is logging emails, conversations, etc. but is not closing sales; and another team member is not logging emails, conversations but is closing sales, then the CRM will believe that the conversations and emails are the problem, rather than uncovering the true issue with the first team member’s strategy.
A CRM should effectively manage your relationships, provide insight, feedback so you can focus on best practices. Hopefully these steps will get your CRM to be as optimized as possible. Remember, there's always help if you need it. Getting your ROI on your CRM can be easier than you think. If you need to know if your CRM is optimized click here for a free portal audit.
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