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Last week we talked about CRM systems … why we need them and how to evaluate them.

Today, we’re going to look at 8 best practices for using a CRM.

  • Make sure everyone is in the system. They’re not a prospect if they’re not in there.
  • Create follow-up tasks for everybody. Even if the action item is six months out, you don’t want a critical action to get lost in the system.
  • Establish realistic expectations regarding “close potential” and possible dates, to really reflect the customer’s behavior, not our actions.
  • Set up relevant reporting based on specific roles. For sales, it should be action-oriented. For marketing, it’s important to focus on lead sources. For executives and management, you will want to take a look at strength of the pipeline, especially for forecasting.
  • Use fields and filters to sort things out for marketing. You can gain valuable insights into messaging and be able to measure different efforts to determine what’s working and what’s not.
  • Rely on marketing automation as much as you can. You want an auto-reply for every kind of download or any kind of reaction.
  • Use the data for evaluation and decision making. It’s a great source of strategic information. So set it up and use it.
  • Integrate all your sales and marketing efforts. Digital, social, traditional, even phone calls need to be documented in your CRM system to get a full picture of what is going on with that client.
  • Bonus! Buy-in from the top down, because the CRM system is so powerful for all aspects of the organization.
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