It's Not Just About Your CRM. It's How You Use It

Stories abound relating how sales teams brought in a new CRM or Customer Relationship Management software and their sales skyrocketed. Any experienced sales team knows that there are a lot of details missing from that tale. While it is true that a CRM can help your sales team boost sales, just installing the software and giving it to the team does not guarantee success. Like any important tool, you get out of it what you put into it. CRM is there to assist sales in doing their jobs, but it needs to be used properly. Here are some tips to help you get the ROI that you need from your CRM.

1. Don't expect miracles

The CRM is a tool that can help your sales team, but it is not the be-all and end-all of sales management. If that is what you are expecting, well . . . enjoy your dreams.

2. Keep it clean

Don't weigh down the CRM with loads of clutter, apps and data fields that you never use. Maintain a pristine system to that will give your team exactly what they need at their fingertips.

3. Keep it simple

This rule is similar to keep it clean. Decide on which fields provide the data that sales people need to maximize their productivity, and then don't add any more. This way, you team can access the CRM, find the information they need and get back to contacting customers.

4. Focus on functionality

Sales people work hard and are very busy. When adding any functions or apps to your CRM, make sure that they are necessary to maintain the focus on selling. Without a streamlined, focused system, sales people will flounder or get bogged down in the details. Distractions are time wasters in sales.

5. CRM is a sales tool, not an administrative tool

One of the most difficult concepts for an executive team to understand is that not all of the cool tools are for them. It is important to realize that the CRM system is primarily installed to help the sales team, not to churn out reports for the execs. While it can run reports, the main function of the CRM is to facilitate, assist and grease the relationship building process that turns prospects into customers. By focusing on how the CRM will make your sales team better, you will get the type of ROI that you need from the system. Anything else is secondary. If you can show your success through revenues and profits produced by sales, the executives in your company will be thrilled.

Benefits You Should See from your CRM

As you focus your CRM toward helping sales, here are the benefits you should see.

  • Understanding which customers provide the most profit
  • Get a clear picture of buying patterns
  • Increased profits from customer interactions

In the end, the results you achieve from your CRM are only as good as the data you enter and how it is used. It is up to you to make the system work for you.

Chris Vendilli
About the Author
Chris is the founder and CEO of Vendilli Digital Group. In his free time, you’ll find him camping, fishing, or playing beer league ice hockey with a bunch of guys who refuse to admit they’re already over the hill.
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