6 CRM Best Practices for Your Small Business


If your business has invested in customer relationship management (CRM) tools, you want to make the most of them. This system, which is used to collect and organize customer data, can often integrate email, documents, jobs, faxes, scheduling, and sales/profit spreadsheets. Everyone needs to use it in order to make it a successful and usable tool for your company. Here are 6 CRM best practices to make this happen.

1. Consider the training period a seminal moment in your small business’s growth.
Employees often treat training programs as they would treat required school courses — one part waste of time, the other part a chance to relax. Don’t allow this to happen in your office. You’ve making a considerable investment in your CRM and you should insist that everyone takes the training process seriously.

2. Use all the features of the system instead of resorting to other ones.
Excel, Microsoft’s classic spreadsheet program, is a favorite of sales teams everywhere, but you’ve invested in the CRM tool, so you may as well use it. Encourage everyone to ditch the Excel documents and any others that are part of your CRM to make sure you get team members respecting the investment you made. To help, ask those training your staff on the CRM to highlight the ways this new tool surpasses old system capabilities, helping employees cut the cord for good.

3. Process all new leads using the CRM system.
Once you believe your staff knows how to use the CRM system effectively, insist on processing every new lead using these tools. The transition period from other office technology can be stressful, but it’s best to integrate the system immediately.

4. Talk to the most active users about refining the system.
Whenever you introduce technology, there are usually one or two team members who instantly embrace it. Talk to these employees about what works for them, what they’d like to see improved, what features they like/don’t like, and any difficulties they encounter. With their feedback, you’ll discover what you need to make this system as ideal for your company as possible.

5. Try a system that engages the customer directly.
Because CRM best practices focus on the client, consider direct engagement as you refine your usage. Find out things like if your customers like the updating their information with you or giving you more details in their profile. In this social media age, you’ll likely find that many customers respond to this level of engagement.

6. Cross-reference with client social media profiles.
Some CRMs can track social media buzz about a company and/or its products. If this applies to you, your CRM best practices should include bringing clients and social media together at every juncture. As client relationships grow, collect details from their social media profiles to help foster long-term relationships.

By investing in CRM systems to make your sales team more productive, you demonstrate a commitment to your business’s success. These CRM best practices can help you ensure your effort is rewarded.