Back when you chose your customer relationship management (CRM) system, what did you expect to get out of it? Maybe it was less time spent on admin, a more productive team, more streamlined processes – and even a positive impact on your business's bottom line.
Expectations and reality don't always fully align when it comes to software purchases. Sometimes you can get different results than you expected. But here's the truth about CRM: it really should help your business perform better, serve your customers in the best way possible, and bring in more profit. The average ROI for CRM is $8.71 for every dollar spent (Nucleus Research).
A CRM should keep track of the personal information, purchase history, preferences and other information associated with every one of your contacts. It should also provide one convenient central location for anyone in your team to access that information immediately. CRM success isn't only down to the software and its features, though... you need to have tip-top business processes in place too.
Here's how to know when your CRM is set up for success and how to increase your chances of getting the highest ROI from it.
How to know when your CRM is set up for success
If you're following CRM best practices, you'll be able to nod your head reading these:
- Your contacts are the same in every tool
- You get more done in less time
- Your teams use it every day
- You've streamlined your work
- It's replaced other tools (and strengthened those you've kept)
- You have more data on how your business is performing
- You can't imagine not using a CRM
- It's easier for your business to turn a profit
If they sound familiar, congrats! But if you still have some room for improvement, fear not.
We've compiled some of the CRM best practices that successful businesses have in common. Keep reading to identify how to adopt them and adjust your CRM processes to get the best results.
7 CRM best practices to get the highest ROI
1. Choosing the right CRM for you
It all starts with finding the best CRM system for your business. Small businesses and large enterprises have different requirements, as do law firms, startups, and non-profits.
Before selecting any piece of software, it's important to identify what you really need to get out of it – and keep that in mind during the whole selection process.
2. Train your team
The businesses that get the best results from their CRM tend to have effective and simple processes in place. They should be effective enough to boost your ROI and make a real difference to your business, but simple enough for anyone in your team to understand and remember every time. Create crystal-clear processes and make sure your team receives useful training and documentation to answer their questions.
3. Collaborate across departments
One misconception is that CRM is just for customer-facing roles. To get the highest ROI from your CRM, make sure your marketers, management, analytics and operations roles are active users too. Ensure they can locate a customer's record, find out more about them and use the tool to make their job easier without needing rescuing.
4. Set up effective handovers
One of the best advantages of a CRM is the seamless handovers you can set up between departments. From marketing to sales and onboarding, your contacts can flow effortlessly through your business processes.
Make sure you've looked at these handovers up close to ensure there are no bottlenecks to trip you up and create extra work – or worse, give your customers a bad experience.
5. Let automation work for you
CRMs work best when you let them do the heavy lifting. That's easy-peasy when you have automation set up. Take advantage of the automation features that your CRM offers wherever possible; from confirmation emails and nurturing workflows, to creating new tasks and notifications, to live chatbots and help desks.
Look closely at how automation can save you time, reduce the risk of human error, and ensure a seamless and prompt customer experience.
6. Avoid data silos
Data silos are the enemy of productivity, efficiency, and ROI for any business! A data silo is a collection of information in an organization that is isolated from and not accessible by other parts of the organization.
An example of a data silo could be your marketers lacking oversight of your sales leads, or your salespeople not knowing why their closed deals are churning.
To avoid data silos, make sure your tools are in sync. With PieSync, you can connect your customer data two-ways across hundreds of tools and ensure that when one tool is updated, others catch up straight away.
7. Make use of the data at your fingertips
The top CRM systems on the market all offer valuable analytics and reporting features. To get the highest ROI from your CRM, make sure to pay attention to the data it gives you – and act on it.
Dashboards are one way to make trends easier to identify and do something about. Set them up to show the data you care about, such as conversion rates or efficiency across stages of key business processes.
Get the best results from your CRM
The best practices we've shared above require:
- Setting up your CRM thoughtfully and focusing on the most important features for your business
- Creating simple and efficient processes
- Training and collaborating with your entire team
- Making use of automation and two-way data syncs to save time and get better results
But your CRM isn't something you can set and forget about, either – every quarter or so, take a quick look at any stumbling blocks that are affecting your team's productivity and performance.
With thoughtful implementation and occasional small adjustments, you can get the highest ROI from your CRM and the rest of your tech stack.