Are you using a Customer Relationship Management application (CRM) to enhance your sales and increase your revenue? CRMs are designed to automate the sales process, not just record it. If your CRM is not helping to refine your targeting, reduce manual effort, shorten your sales cycle, and increase your close rate, you might have the wrong CRM, or you may not be using the power that’s built into it.
There are dozens of CRM platforms on the market right now, and some are better than others. Several of the more common email marketing and transactional email platforms, like Constant Contact and MailChimp, are also beginning to incorporate CRM functionality too. The features of every CRM can differ from almost every other application out there.
They all claim to be the best for your company and easy to use. While they are easy to use, how effectively they work and how much of an impact on your sales and marketing efforts they have depends on how well the system is set up. Choosing the right CRM for your company – or moving to a new one – is not a minor consideration. There is an investment of both time and money anytime you implement or change technology. Getting it right is important.
CRMs are one of the tools that help cross the divide between marketing and sales functions. The right CRM will help you move smoothly between marketing to prospects and closing business. That’s because they are designed to facilitate the creation and growth of the relationships that lead to sales. Here are a few tips for using a Customer Relationship Management platform that will help you get maximum benefit from it:
- Ask for demos when choosing a CRM. Make sure you understand what each can do and, more importantly, what it cannot do.
- Before you choose a CRM platform, map out your sales and marketing processes and see which one supports and facilitates your process best.
- Don’t buy more features than you need or can use. Features drive up the cost.
- No application will fit 100% of your process steps as well as you’d like without customization (which can get expensive). Choose the CRM that fits most of your needs.
- Look for a package that was designed for businesses that are the same size as yours, not just those that are in the same industry or one that a colleague is using.
- BONUS TIP: If someone tells you they recommend the same CRM to all their customers, that doesn’t mean it is the right tool for all of their customers.
At the end of the day, if your CRM is not making your sales process easier or helping to improve your closing rate, you either have the wrong CRM or you’re not using it as it’s designed. Marketing Technology is emerging rapidly and that makes it difficult to keep informed about all the possible choices and nuances of the available technology. It may well be worth the investment to bring in someone who can help you select and set up the right tools for your business.
I hope these tips were helpful. If you still have questions or want assistance in choosing the right CRM solution for your company, please feel free to set up a complimentary 30-minute meeting with me. Use this link.