I have been a CRM consultant and practitioner for over 30 years. We support both GoldMine Premium CRM and Zoho CRM along with various add-on applications. Whether you’re a GoldMine administrator, VP of Sales & Marketing or the business owner, the importance of CRM best practices can not be overstated.
Over the years I’ve seen the good, bad and the ugly with CRM deployments. Businesses that implement CRM do so with a range of expectations. Needs vary, budgets vary, the commitment of the management and the users to applying CRM best practices vary, so as you’d expect, outcomes vary.
In this article I will highlight those CRM practices which I have found are essential to success. In other words, a business either does these things OR their system will fail to achieve even the most minimal benefits that CRM is supposed to provide.
- Configuration of the system is done BEFORE data is imported and users start to use the system. This includes but is not limited to the creation, editing, configuration of fields, picklists, screen layouts, users’ rights and preferences, email settings, system menus.
- User expectations are spelled out and protocols are set to the extent the outcomes of tracking activities and records, sharing data, building lists and generating reports are to be based.
- Training is provided to help users get started, advance as needed and for achieving their performance standards.
- The system administrator is aware of and performs necessary system maintenance functions and ensures adequate security, back-up and virus protection.
- Cross departmental teams and users are integrated through the use of the CRM. Expectations for sharing data, delegating activities and using the system are communicated and adhered to.
- Data is used! If the data is not used day-to-day for purposes it is intended, including sales, marketing, service, management, it is not serving a purpose. Users will become disenfranchised and the system becomes stagnate.
- Periodic updates are applied as needed to maintain compatibility, security and functionality.
It’s one thing to read and understand this list. It’s another to apply them. If an organization lacks the resources inhouse to address any of these, that is where a CRM professional and solutions partner can be extremely helpful.
Contact First Direct Corp. today to discuss your needs.