Do you believe that you could be getting a better return from your customer relationship management (CRM) software investment? The reason you purchased a CRM solution in the first place was to reap the benefits of a centralized database to use during the many departments of your organization. Perhaps you aren’t taking advantage of some facial appearance of your CRM software; maybe your employees aren’t using the software to its full potential. Here are five tips to help you get the greatest return on your CRM purchase.
One of the first things you can do to get better value out of your CRM software ensures that the software is up to date, which may mean purchasing an upgrade to the latest version. Contact your CRM provider for the most recent updates relevant to your unique business needs. Updating your CRM software also ensures that you get the latest security updates. If you’re using a cloud-based CRM solution, you should be receiving the latest security patches, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting the latest features.
CRM solutions are typically stand-alone products; however, you might find it helpful to integrate the software with other data-collection and analysis tools. For example, CRM and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can integrate e-commerce functions, marketing tools, and sales platforms. If you’re using the same vendor for both ERP and CRM, contact the vendor to see how you can integrate the two applications. You may have to include a large data migration in preparation for this combination, so do some research to see if the effort will lead to an increased return on your CRM investment.
Are all your employees using your CRM system? One problem many organizations experience is that some of their employees decide to avoid the CRM software and create their own little database of customers on the side in a separate database, database, or Microsoft Word document. Some workers may even go so far as to keep an old Rolodex on their desk. You could approach this lack of adherence in several ways, one of the most effective beings to enforce a strict CRM policy that forces everyone to use the system, with consequences for failing to do so.
CRM isn’t just for those in the sales department. Marketing can benefit from accepting what customers are buying, research and development can benefit from learning how customers are reviewing the company’s products, and quality control can benefit from pinpointing areas of your products that the company could recover on. Sharing CRM data goes hand in hand with integration. With an integrated CRM system, various departments can find a use for customer data.
If you decide to integrate your CRM and ERP solutions, you will need to train employees in different departments who have not used CRM in the past or had a need to. You can resolve this issue by offering quick training sessions on the basic use and functionality of your CRM software so everyone has a general understanding of how to use the system and how they can use it to improve their job functions.