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December 5, 2013

Getting the Most out of Your CRM

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Customer relationship management (CRM) is evolving almost on a monthly basis. What it’s taken to get here is almost unbelievable in terms of programming, technological progress and boundary-pushing software innovation. Over the last few years enterprise has been adapting to this tsunami of information, learning how to filter it and implement what they learn.

The utilization of business-based metrics is absolutely critical in our modern hypercompetitive environment where 70% of the consumer journey takes place online. Within a few years from right now hundreds of millions of people will join the internet marketplace as well. By then, CRM efficiency will have increased ten-fold.

Here are the three ways to increase the amount of bang you get for your CRM buck moving forward.

#1) Develop a Holistic Data-Driven Approach

Part of bringing your CRM systems to their full potential is allowing the data to become a transparent part of everything. From top to bottom the business needs to become holistically data-driven. That’s not to say completely cold. It means that hard data needs to be at the forefront of all sales and marketing decisions.

  • The sales team is likely accustomed to this mindset already, but how about everybody else within the organization?
  • All internal activity can be tracked now, and used to increase efficiency. Measure. Train. Optimize.
  • Because data now governs the marketing world, both online and otherwise, it must be layered throughout all initiatives and mediums.

#2) Choose 5 Primary-Focus Points

It’s almost too easy to drown in information. Or, spend a fortune on digital mountains of data that at the end of the day your organization really doesn’t need. Instead of trying to overwhelm yourself into metrics oblivion, choose 5 primary focus points. Don’t think you’re stuck with the five you choose, because to survive these days takes consistent adaptation.

  • Start simple rather than going for the most complicated and expensive forms of tracking information.
  • When choosing which metrics to focus on, ascertain which provide the most insight and bridge the most gaps between you and your clients or customers. What provides the most visibility, and accountability?
  • Three of the big hitters for modern companies are going to be volume, overall and specific sales funnel conversion rates and the speed at which platforms are expanding.

#3) Merge Sales & Marketing Forces

Because the sales and marketing environments are progressing as the modern world does, it’s important to define them as you go. Where is the line between them? As Bonnie Crater puts it,

“Have clear definition of stages, steps, processes, and hand off. Be sure they are well understood and documented. It is time for sales and marketing to become BFFs.”

CRM is quickly becoming one of the most powerful and influential tools for modern businesses. No brand can expect to “wing it” and compete without serious CRM. Everything is being tracked, and this information is critical! Through implementing these three tips and then growing as your CRM grows, you can get the most out of it.

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