Having a well-organized and up-to-date CRM system can significantly improve the relationship between your company and your client. It is important to keep in mind that no software or tool will remain useful and reliable forever unless they are updated as technology advances. That is why CRM optimization is one of the most crucial elements to the success of your business. In this article, we will cover five ways to improve your current CRM platform to ensure managed and stable workflows within the company.
Why Is It Important?
The benefits of a properly established CRM software are endless and keeping your CRM system up to date will allow for:
- Increased staff productivity
Routine tasks are quick and easy to accomplish, which makes it possible for your employees to focus on key operations.
- Better relationships with clients
Your service delivery process will improve, increasing your company’s reputation among customers. As a result, your sales and brand awareness will grow.
- Money and time savings
Automation and integration provide employees with a single workspace and help to cut time and costs spent on manual tasks. Besides, this helps to reduce human errors.
- Valuable insights and analytics
Your company can now make data-driven decisions based on the analytics and reporting gathered by the system in real-time.
- Enhanced security
No data will be lost and no changes can be implemented to the information.
Signs You Need To Optimize Your CRM
Chances are your CRM needs updating as soon as possible if you recognize some, most, or even all of the following signs in your company workflows:
- You’ve Become Too Big. You may have kept things small up to this point, having only a dozen employees and working with a limited CRM functionality. But over time, you employ more people, get more clients, and, subsequently, need more powerful solutions and tools to manage your sales efficiently.
- UI/UX Has Become Cumbersome. If you haven’t updated in a while, that may mean that you’re using an outdated or suboptimal user interface. If employees, especially newcomers, feel that navigation takes more time than they prefer, consider optimizing your CRM product.
- Employee Feedback Is Negative. Connected to the previous point, you need to listen to your employees. If you’re consistently getting complaints from your sales or marketing department about how your CRM is ineffective, too complicated, or even non-functional, then you definitely need to update it.
- Overcomplicated Features. Lastly, one of the most important things about CRMs is that having a wide variety of features isn’t always good for sales performance. It’s not uncommon for companies to overestimate their needs in terms of CRM capabilities – if most functions are either not being used or make simple tasks difficult, ditch them.
How to Improve Your CRM System?
A properly managed CRM system helps to better understand your customers’ preferences and needs and deliver the products or services they are actually looking for. It helps to enhance key business activities that result in sales growth and build trust for your company. Since the needs and moods of your customers change with time, so should happen with your internal process. There are several ways of CRM optimization process:
1. Define clear workflows and processes
First of all, make sure your sales, marketing, and customer service processes are well-defined and mapped out. Knowing how things now work can help you pinpoint places where the CRM system can assist and improve on these workflows. Additionally, with this activity, we can remind ourselves and the entire team of everyone’s role in the company, which, in turn, increases consistency in performance.
2. Use automation tools for repetitive tasks
You’d also be recommended to list time-consuming and repetitive tasks like data input, lead assignment, and email follow-up before the update takes place. This will allow you to not waste time when deciding which workflow automations are high priority during the update process. And in the long run, this will allow your team members to concentrate on more important and strategic tasks that call for their expertise while also almost eliminating the possibility of human errors.
3. Customize CRM to fit business needs
On top of that, remember that all CRM updates happen differently in different companies, and for different reasons as well. It’s crucial to identify what unique needs or pain points the update needs to address. Those could be adding new fields, changing layouts, establishing new workflow rules or reorganizing vital data.
4. Regular data analysis and reporting
Speaking of data, it is one of the most valuable assets any company has – that’s why periodically reviewing the information kept in the CRM system is key. You may want to update your KPIs every once in a while – regularly create new reports that give a clear picture of your sales, marketing, and customer service performance and make informed decisions.
5. Keep your CRM system up to date
No update ever happens just once – even after some patching, it’s essential to keep up with your CRM vendor’s most recent changes and releases. Make sure that your CRM system runs smoothly and remains as secure as possible by not missing out on software upgrades, bug fixes, and security patches.
6. Make sure of seamless data migration
CRM data migration can be a complicated process and should be well thought out before any transfer of data or migration from current systems occurs. Thinking through what information is pertinent to your business will allow for a smooth transition without interruption to your daily workflow.
When mapping out your data and business processes it is important to segment areas such as customers, leads, contracts, notes, history and other custom information unique to managing your business. If done properly the migration will provide a holistic view of your business relationships from the start.
OMI’s CRM team are experts in leveraging best practices required for ensuring data transformation and quality assurance to your new CRM platform. We guarantee your new CRM will be business ready for end-user adoption.
7. Integrate your CRM with other tools
CRM integration is another complicated but yet valuable process that will help your company to create a single customer view.
Integration with the entire technology stack, whether it’s email, payment, ERP or POS systems, will help you deliver the right services or products to the right customers when they need it. Proper integration makes it simple to track customers’ data and interactions. Besides, you get valuable insights and real-time reporting to evaluate your current business model and adjust it to your clients’ behavior and requests.
8. Ensure strong security
Whether your company licenses on-premise or SaaS Cloud-based CRM solutions, both systems will require professional assistance in architecting role-based access and data security. Remote attacks and malware are more common and pose a real threat to your data. So make sure you enable several layers of CRM security. Business units should be properly organized and users need to be assigned roles that provide access only to certain business-relevant functions in the CRM. It is important to put the right change management workflows across record level and report historical data changes across the organization.
Best Practices for Implementing CRM Optimization
Whilst updating and optimizing your CRM, also make sure to follow the below best practices:
1. Prioritize user adoption and training
Paying a lot of attention to user adoption and offering thorough, role-specific tutorials are essential for effective CRM optimization. Practical training sessions, workshops, and easy-to-read documentation make team members feel massively supported and empowered by the CRM system they use. That’s why you need to educate everyone on the significance of CRM and how to get the most out of it.
2. Regularly monitor and analyze data
As we’ve mentioned before, another key to successful CRM optimization is data. You can learn a lot about customer behavior, sales trends, and overall performance by routinely monitoring and analyzing the data stored in your CRM system. This will also help you in identifying opportunities for development, making wise decisions, and maintaining an edge over the competitors.
3. Continuously improve and adapt CRM processes
For better or worse, CRM optimization is a practically neverending stream of activities, as developments on the market always call for process improvement and adaptation. To identify bottlenecks and streamline workflows, it’s usually a good idea to gather input from team members across numerous departments, including sales, marketing, customer support, and IT.
4. Collaborate with teams across the organization
Finally, effective CRM optimization requires cooperation. You need to foster a culture of sharing thoughts, problems and wins so that your team always has open lines of quality communication. Only with the help of a collaborative approach and the collective expertise of your team can you maximize the potential of your updated CRM system.
Metrics to Measure the Success of CRM Optimization
Lastly, once the optimization process is all but done, you’ll need to have certain benchmarks in place in order to identify how successful it was:
1. Sales performance and revenue growth
Arguably the most obvious one – make sure to get insights into how your CRM optimization affects your sales success and revenue growth by monitoring conversion rates, average deal size, and sales cycle duration. Comparing how these metrics grow against each other can help understand which sides of your sales cycle benefited the most, and which still need addressing.
2. Customer retention and satisfaction
It’s also critical to monitor client retention rates and collect feedback via satisfaction surveys. A strong customer retention rate will indicate that your CRM is successfully assisting your long-term relationship-building and client retention tactics. In turn, the lifetime value of satisfied clients rises because they are more inclined to keep doing business with you.
3. Team productivity and efficiency
On top of that, we can also observe how our CRM is affecting the success of our team by tracking important productivity indicators like the number of sales closed, calls made, or activities finished. What’s good about these KPIs is that they are mostly quantitative and easy to measure; typically, the more – the better.
4. Cost savings and ROI
Finally, it’s strongly recommended to evaluate numerous cost savings gained through improved resource allocation, simplified procedures, and less manual work. And although calculating ROI on something such as CRM optimization isn’t needed immediately after the update, you may want to get some insights on your financials after a certain period of time passes.
With over 20 years of expertise, OMI has empowered businesses with various solutions like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics and delivered over 250 successful CRM projects tailored to meet our clients’ exact goals and needs. Learn more about our services here!
Choosing the right CRM platform can be the difference in a meaningful return on investment or a frustrating experience with a lack of user adoption. Following a disciplined plan with the above recommendations will deliver greater results and minimize risks and errors in the setup process. Any CRM, no matter how modern it is, should be adjusted in accordance with your business goals to produce measurable outcomes. To learn more about OMI’s kick-start CRM optimization services, contact OMI today! Our experts will be glad to assist you in choosing, implementing, or ongoing maintenance associated with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We Make CRM Work for your business!