3 Steps to a Solid CRM Strategy

Posted by on September 5, 2013 in Business Software [ 2 Comments ]

customer relationship strategySales teams and marketing teams need a CRM (customer relationship management) system in order to close leads and market more effectively. Without a solid strategy in place, leads can’t be nurtured and personalization of marketing messages can’t take place. Many businesses chose to use a CRM software solution to keep track of current, past and potential customers. However, some fall short when it comes fully utilizing the solutions they’ve invested in. Before you make a purchase, make sure you’ve developed a strategy for implementation. Here are 3 steps to a solid CRM strategy.

Related: Is It Time to Reboot Your CRM Software

1. Train Staff Properly

A recent study from Sage found that for 18% of businesses, staff training issues are the main barrier to successful CRM. As with every department and role within your organization requires, continuous training is a must. Make sure whoever will be using your CRM system is fully aware of the features and functionalities that are provided and how to use them. Training your staff properly comes from an initial overview and breakout sessions or short tutorials in each of your meetings. While covering use of all features may be a lengthy process, an introduction with periodic, focused trainings is a must to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.

Related: Get CRM and sales software quotes from one of our vendors.

2. Update Your Software

While it may seem obvious, many organizations overlook this basic step when using their CRM software. The Sage survey found that only 52% of companies are running the most current version of their CRM software. By simply updating the version of the software your business is using, you’ll find bugs and other issues are resolved or made easier to manage. Instead of determining who will be responsible for running and installing upgrades as they happen, decide on your procedure for updating the software before implementation. In doing so, you’ll ensure no update, employee, or customer gets left behind.

3. Build a Backup Plan

From compliance with data security legislation to data loss, there are a number of concerns for businesses using CRM software. There are great security concerns for those that use cloud-based CRM software. While understandable, there are steps a business can take in protecting their assets, including customer information. Security concerns are a main barrier in cloud CRM adoption according to 45 percent of SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises). If you choose to use an in-house CRM solution, make sure you are taking the necessary steps to ensure your company and customer information is secure now and should a data loss incident or cyber-attack take place.

Related: Merging Social Media with CRM

Your CRM solution is likely an expensive investment. While it can be time consuming to deploy in some cases, you need to have a strategy in place of how to fully optimize your software. Failing to do so could result in a loss of important information, an underutilized system, or even a decrease in efficiency. The training and resources available that allow you to fully utilize your CRM software should be a key component in choosing the right CRM software.

(Image: pakorn via freedigitalphotos.net)

2 thoughts on “3 Steps to a Solid CRM Strategy

  1. avatarBrad Hodson

    In addition to your first point, in order to effectively train staff, you have to be using a CRM that they will be able to learn and use. No amount of training will be able to turn a burning ship around. You must find a CRM that will be simple enough to learn and use by every member of your staff in order to assure that training is quick and effective, and that your data from then on will be complete.

  2. avatarErica Bell Post author

    Hi Brad,

    Great point. An intuitive CRM system with a user-friendly interface can ease some of the training necessities.

    – Erica

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