I’m going to start this with a little bit of a confession, I have been neglecting my CRM
Probably in the same way that it is easy to neglect a gym membership.
You make the commitment, you understand that having access to this product or service is going to help you with your goals, but then you leave it at simply having access.
Having a gym membership and then never going to the gym is not going to help you get any fitter and healthier than you already are.
Likewise, having Customer Relationship Management software is not going to help you build your business if you are then not using it.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been neglecting my customers this whole time, I have been simply making things harder on my self.
I have been relying on email threads to keep me up to date, paper notes left on my keyboard to remind me of tasks that need to get done, and good old-fashioned memory to try and stay on top of everything.
Eventually this system will hit its outer limits of just how well you can operate.
Sure, it will feel like you are staying on top of things, but you are also putting unnecessary burdens on your own ability to recall things.
For this reason, I really focused on some actionable steps that I could take that would help me more effectively utilize my CRM.
Tip 1: Take the Time to Explore Your CRM’s Functionality
It can be far too easy to fall into the trap of not using all functions of your CRM, simply because you weren’t even aware that it could do some things.
Probably the biggest hitter for me was under utilizing my CRM’s Deal function.
It has an amazing ability to track a new deal from conception to execution, moving it along the various stages of the lead’s decision-making process, and tying it all in nicely with the contact section of the software.
All of this can be then projected into a dashboard that gives me a great overview of the potential deals that I am currently working towards, and what stages they are at.
I vaguely knew about this function, but had never really looked into how to use it or what some of the benefits would be.
When your CRM offers to give you an overview or demonstration of how it operates, actually take the time to watch the videos and tutorials, and pay attention to what it can offer!
It may seem like a waste of time to watch the intro, but it is an intro to a product which saves you time in the long run! Knowing how to use the product to its best capabilities makes it a solid investment of your time in the beginning.
Tip 2: Keep It Open Whenever You are at Your Computer
It is amazing how easy it is to find yourself keeping time sucking webpages, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, open all the time.
It’s human nature to get distracted easily.
Having a tab open makes it so easy to just pop in quickly and take a look at what is going on and what updates are there.
The thing is, if every time you wanted to check in on social media or the cricket score, you had to log in to something or find the website; you probably wouldn’t do it as often.
The same is true for your CRM!
Keeping it open as a tab simply makes it easier to navigate to whenever you need it.
If every time you have something you should be adding to a contact’s notes, or a deal’s notes, you had to open up and log into your CRM; then you would never end up doing it.
This tip is about breaking down the barriers to use. Not having the program open at all times is a significant barrier to you using it when you should be.
Tip 3: Sync your CRM with your Email Service
Ok, so the last tip was a pretty basic one about keeping your CRM open, so that you can access it and update notes as needed with fewer obstacles.
This tip however is a little more advanced, with the benefit of reducing the number of times that you need to scroll into your CRM and manually type something in.
You probably realize that your CRM should be the main place for you to record all the touchpoints you have with your leads and customers, one of which is certainly emails.
Depending on the CRM that you are using, you should have the opportunity to sync your emails with your CRM, so that when you send a contact an email it is already in the CRM profile for them.
It may seem like only a small gain to not have to type up a note about the email you have sent to a client, but it also records the entire email that you have sent into their profile.
Rather than digging through your inbox next time you need to check up on how a deal is tracking, you can skim through their CRM entry.
Not to mention, you are saving a solid 30 seconds to a minute worth of manual data entry!
Tip 4: Use Your CRM to Save Frequently Used Email Templates
Now, I’m not talking about massive cold calling email templates that are representative of the frustrating spam that always finds a way of creeping into our lives.
However, templates do have a place within any business communications.
Take this follow-up template for example:
Now you may be thinking “but surely having those first few sentences pre-written for this common message theme, does not actually save me much time at all”
But the reality is that a busy sales person may be sending hundreds or thousands of emails every single week, and every time they have to preface a correspondence with essentially the same opening sentence, they are wasting time.
Your CRM should be able to store and edit these templates (and then make them very easy to access)
From there, you can easily alter the template in your email server.
Every second of time that your CRM saves you, is further allowing you to get the most out of it!
Using a CRM is a valuable time saving method for businesses across the globe! Using the wrong CRM can be an invaluable time suck and a strain on businesses across the globe!
Find out everything you need to know about using Customer Relationship Management software from our free Ebook!