Implementing a new CRM system is a lot like Christmas. It takes months of planning and research, but in the end, “unwrapping” your new system makes it all worthwhile.

Now that the system is in place and you’ve done the hard part, what’s next? Getting the most from your CRM system should be the next thing on your list of tasks related to CRM. Many companies purchase and install a CRM system but fail to use it to its fullest capacity.

The following list, compiled from experts throughout North America, shares best practices, tips, and tricks to enhance your use of your new CRM system. You’ll probably add more to the list as time goes by, but this is a good starting point to get the most from your CRM.

  1. Offer ample training: Training should take the form of initial large group training, smaller groups, and specialized training. Breaking training up in this method ensures that you can adequately target the learning needs of various groups and individuals. You can also choose an employee to become a power user or super user and receive extra training so that if staff have questions about the CRM system, there’s an in-house expert to talk to for more information.
  2. Reward teams who use the CRM: Reward teams that use the CRM system and provide them with praise during company meetings. Measure use in ways that make sense to the company, such as support tickets solved or information sent, and offer a visible reward for teams in your company that is using CRM right.
  3. Adjust metrics to fit the new model: It’s important to change and adapt metrics for your sales and marketing to the new CRM model. Older ways of capturing information may not be inadequate with the new system in place. Mapping customer touch points and measuring the effectiveness of them over time is a better measure of success than time on a call, the number of customer service tickets closed in a week, and other productivity measures.
  4. Think twice before customizing: Think twice before making customizations to your system. Chances are good that the system can do everything you want it to do. You may not know how to get it to do the task you need. Before making changes to the CRM system, consider whether change will impact efficiency, effectiveness, or operational impact. Only if it changes one or more of these three areas should a customization take place. You can fall into the trap of changing a CRM system that is perfectly fine, simply because not everyone on the team understands how to use it properly. Only if the system changes will make an impact on operations, service, or effectiveness should they make the list of things to hone.
  5. Listen to your customers: A CRM system is a great way to gain insights on what your customers truly want from your company. Monitor calls, emails, texts, and other messages that flow through the CRM. Note any requests or problems that occur frequently, as these can represent opportunities for improvement.
  6. Clean your data: Make sure that you develop a data dictionary and quality guidelines from the start of the project and follow up to make sure that everyone using the CRM system is adhering to both. To keep a CRM database clean, everyone must adhere to the data rules. Assign someone to guide users through data entry and make periodic checks on data entry to fix any errors. It’s better to keep data clean than to have to go back into a large database and adjust multiple entries.
  7. CRM is a strategy, not a software: CRM is a mindset that builds a brand and helps your company acquire, retain, and create loyal customers. Treat CRM as a business strategy rather than a software system for maximum impact.

If you’re looking for a new CRM system, Accounting Systems Incorporated offers CRM that integrates with Sage 100, a comprehensive ERP system. Sage 100 provides powerful accounting, financial management, human resources, payroll, warehouse, and inventory management functions that enable you to manage all of your business processes from one central system. It gives you the power to manage your business, your way.

Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI)

Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI) provides ERP, accounting, and other software and systems to help your company grow. We focus on helping small to mid-sized companies improve operational efficiencies through the power of software and technology. Software such as Sage 100 provides the business intelligence you need to grow your company. For more information, visit our website, or call us at 803-252-6154.