A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is probably one of the most valuable systems that any small business can implement. It is as important as the people that are hired and will have a more significant effect long term than any one employee.
Recent studies show that companies with a fully utilized CRM software can increase sales by 29%. But, any system is only as valuable as the information that goes into it. How do you get everyone in the company to use it and provide real time data?
1. Make it simple. The biggest mistake most companies make is they try to implement a CRM system that is too complicated for employees to use. They track too many pieces of information. Any CRM system only needs: Prospect information, when and what was talked about last, follow up date/reminder and action, who it is assigned to, and what is the dollar value of the opportunity.
2. Make sure it integrates with other company systems. Is it complementary to what is already being used? Can data be easily imported and exported from the CRM? If a CRM is an island, it will be less impactful.
3. Train them over and over again. Make it easy to use so they can get their jobs done. Show them how to use it from their smart phones or tablets. Identify people that are “super users” and can be advocates for the CRM system. Give rewards for employees that use it most effectively.
4. If the activity isn’t in the CRM system, it never happened. Every company needs to treat their CRM as the only repository for history. No one gets credit for anything if it is not written about here. Every executive in the company needs to use it too (or no one will)!
5. Reports. Make sure you can get real time reports from the data. Answer questions like: What did Sales Rep A do last week? What are the top sales opportunities? Are we going to hit our sales target this quarter?