Are you a business owner who has attempted to implement a CRM system but continues to use spreadsheets?
You’re not the only one.
We often work with business owners who have tried to set up a new CRM on their own, get it going, but fall back on old habits because they haven’t fully configured the CRM to match their business’s needs.
Before implementing a new CRM, it's essential to discuss what processes need to be established, how the user should use the CRM, and how using the CRM will benefit the organization and help achieve its goals. One of our goals is to eliminate the need to track information for client, vendor, or partner information, in spreadsheets.
It makes sense that you don't feel your CRM's full value if you still have to use a spreadsheet to track your CRM data. It is frustrating when the CRM feels like it's more work than it is worth, and you still don't see the information you're seeking.
So what do you do?
Capture the Right Data
First, let's take a step back and review what you want from your CRM. We need to know what information you're looking to review and then make sure you set the CRM to capture those details.
Not all data is created equal, so is the information you’re capturing valuable? I have compiled a detailed list of questions to consider for each of the main records in a CRM. Included are some examples of how these questions can help you to make strategic decisions for your business.
As you read these information, remember that this is the type of work that we can help you with. You don't need to feel overwhelmed. We can help you to fix your CRM configuration and get your team up to speed on how to use the CRM. With the right data in your system, you can get the reports and dashboards you need to move your business forward.
- Will it help if you review the industry category of the organizations that you provide services or products for? If you identify that 𝑥% of your clients are from the strong manufacturing industry in your region, your marketing team can help you create a campaign to target manufacturing clients specifically.
- Does it help to know the number of employees each organization has? If you know that most certain clients have a minimum of 150 employees, your sales team can target those organizations.
- Would it help you to know the approximate annual revenue of your potential clients? If you know that 𝑥 number of your clients have annual revenue greater than 𝒚 amount, and they are easier clients to work with, then you can target more prospects similar to them.
- Is it helpful for you or your business to see the account lifetime revenue for each of your clients? This information will reveal your most valuable clients.
- What contact profiles are relevant for your organization? It’s crucial that your business track and segment your clients and suppliers in your database.
- Are you taking advantage of the relationship with past clients? When you're preparing to launch a new product or service, it's helpful to promote your launch to your past clients and reactivate that relationship. It is easier for someone who has already spent money with you to spend more than to convert a cold customer.
- Can you identify all your referral contacts in your CRM? It's important to know who is referring business to your organization and maintain a relationship with them. They are your biggest fans, and you should include them when offering new products or services. Your CRM also makes it easy to send them a thank you note or gift card to show your appreciation.
- Can you generate reports based on your contact fields? When contact profiles are well configured, you can easily pull reports and target contacts based on specific details you have gathered about them. Your marketing team will love you if you give them a list of warm contacts who are your target audience.
- Are you capturing the lead source for your contacts? You can track the lead source through automation and identify which marketing initiatives generate the most revenue. Most CRM’s have web-to-lead forms that can automatically fill out the lead source field in a contact record. For offline leads, you should have an efficient method, for example, using an internal form to add the lead source information during the discovery call.
- Can you easily identify the number of opportunities from brand new clients? This information will help you generate a report to track the revenue generated from new clients versus existing clients’ revenue.
- Do you use different business processes depending on the product/service packages? Suppose your organization has a direct-to-market strategy and partner channel. In that case, your sales through partner channels likely follow a simplified sales process compared to selling directly to your end customers.
- Can your CRM classify the type of product/service for each opportunity? Not all CRMs will allow you to track products, though some can be customized to do so. If you're selling several products that you want to track, you need to evaluate if your CRM has this capability. If your CRM does not have this capacity, you might need to consider using a different CRM. Another example is selling two different types of services: an online course and a consulting package. Your online course sales are transactional in nature, while your consulting services require a discovery call, proposal, and proposal follow-up before you can convert them into clients. Knowing the amount of revenue from the online courses versus your consulting services' revenue helps you make informed decisions about where you should focus your business.
- Do you know your leads? Some CRMs have a lead source field in the opportunity record; this is helpful when a contact has been in your database for a long time. Not all leads will be ready or in a position to work with you right away, but when that day comes, your CRM can show you what enticed them to reach out to your business in the first place.
Answering these questions will help you identify gaps in your data and focus on your marketing initiative. Most CRMs will allow you to customize your database and add custom fields to track the information to help your business in the long run. However, one of the most common mistakes we see is adding custom fields to the wrong type of records, so be careful.
This is only the beginning. After you have determined which data points are missing from your CRM, you still have quite a bit of work to do.
- Update your CRM configuration and fix your data.
- Train your team to use the new fields in your CRM. This is an excellent opportunity to share how this information ties in with your business goals.
- Develop a process to review new data with your team regularly. Your business will benefit when you leverage the data to decide how to invest your marketing budget.
It’s never too late to start capturing information moving forward. It feels great when you work with your team and review information together. You will have insights on which segments to target and how to spend your time and marketing budget more efficiently. Let’s grow your business!
We'll help you to take your business to the next level with a CRM that is customized for your business!