As a Marketing Technologist, I spend a lot of time working with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. It’s an amazing tool and I personally believe all companies should use one in order to effectively build, nurture, and – eventually – turn leads into customers. However, any CRM consists of many moving parts and taking full advantage of them can be tricky and overwhelming. Here are 5 tips for using your CRM to the fullest.
Segment your contact list
One of the most important features of CRM is your contact database. Why? Because it’s the most important connection to get information from your marketing, sales, and customer service departments to the right clients.
You should segment your contact list for 2 reasons:
- You’ll have an easier time managing your contacts.
- It allows you to create a more personalized experience for your contacts.
By segmenting properly, you can send information that is fitted to the needs of specific groups rather than sending email blasts and hope something sticks to the wall. The most popular (and useful) segmentation parameters are:
- Stage in the customer journey
Integrate your existing technology with your CRM
CRM software can be integrated with most other technologies that your business uses, saving you a lot of time jumping between CRM and other tools. Keeping everything in one place is practical and you find things faster. If you don’t already know, go and find out which integration your specific CRM offers. Look for integrations in these areas:
- Social media
Save time with automation
A CRM doesn’t complain about repetitive tasks. It just executes what you tell it to do (until the machines will rise and revolt). Get your digital helper to perform mind numbing tasks while your team takes care of what can’t be automated like talking to actual human (i.e. clients).
With automation and workflows, you can schedule emails and personalize the experience your users receive following certain actions like opening an email or visiting a web page. It’ll be an integral part of both your marketing and sales in no time! Use automations for:
- Follow up emails
- Sending additional information
Create reports & evaluate your efforts
Reporting is one of the most important aspects of a project lifecycle. It gives you insights into what worked and what hasn’t worked in the past. Some reports even show future estimates to help you plan ahead. If you have connected your CRM to your website (see previous step), there are even more options for reporting. For instance, it can show users’ activity on your site.
For reporting rookies, the best way to get started is to take a look at default reports that your CRM provides. Determine if they are of any use to your team. Next, see if there is a way to customize reports to better fit your needs. Some reports to consider:
- Website visits
- Lead lifecycle update
- Campaign reports (email open rate, click through rate, landing page visits, and form submission)
Keep your CRM updated and clean
Treat your CRM like a living, growing organism. A healthy CRM needs to be monitored in order to be accurate and give you the results you want. Regularly check its “vital signs:” the status of your contact lists. Make sure your contacts still want to hear from you. For unengaged contacts, segment them into a list that doesn’t get emails regularly. For unsubscribed contacts, think about deleting them from your CRM. This cleanup not only prioritizes space and costs for more potential engaged contacts, but also keeps reporting more accurate.
Follow those steps and watch your CRM game go through the roof! And if you need a little help with the implementation, you know whom to call;).