How to Get More Business Value Out of Your CRM

Updated: January 01, 2012

The first step is review the objectives you had when you first implemented your CRM. If this was in place before you joined, reaching out to peer executives, marketing team, and sales reps can answer this (hopefully.) Then assess your current workflow and usage. As a start, get answers to the following:

  1. Why did we implement a CRM?
  2. Did we meet that goal?
  3. What modules or functions are we using now, which ones are we not using?
  4. Do you use it primarily as a historical view or are we able understand future buying patterns?
  5. Is there a standard data entry process each team member adheres to?
  6. Are there data quality issues? i.e., multiple instances of accounts, inconsistent data entry, outdated records, etc.
  7. What reports are currently generated? Who currently consumes those?
  8. What type of automated functions are we using? Marketing automation, email campaigns, etc.

This exercise wil branch off into other questions, but knowing where you are is the place to start to see what options you have and where you want to go.

Once you are confident your system provides an accurate history of accounts, you can then explore ways to have it provide a view into the future. Some areas that your CRM would be able to surface for you are purchasing patterns, most profitable customers, better account management, identifying accounts in crisis, competitor displacement, and vertical industry trends.

To do this, visibility is key. Having mandatory fields reps should populate will help achieve this. A good start would be to at least have:

  • Existing platforms (use pull down fields for this so you can segment/sort on those later)
  • # Users (pull down fields)
  • Timing (pull down fields)
  • Account notes that are easy to find
  • Purchasing history clearly visible
  • Project history (regardless of win-lose) visible
You don't want to overburden the reps with fields and data entry because it will cost valuable time, so identify your most important data points and then see what would be tolerable for your organization beyond those. Much of this has to do with their workload, call volume, are they inside or outside reps, etc.

Featured Research
  • The Contact Center Conquers the Cloud

    Contact Centers have come a long way over the past few decades. Learn how this important asset has evolved into the cutting-edge offerings of today. more

  • The New SMB Phone Systems Comparison Guide

    Does your small or medium-size business need a new phone system? Then you're in luck! Our new, updated comparison guide helps you cut through superfluous information and narrow down your list of solution providers. Get the latest data on phone system features, pricing, and performance metrics in an easy-to-use format. more

  • Contact Center Software on a Budget

    Although contact center software is necessary for a modern contact center, it can be outrageously expensive. Many companies find that their budget bloats during the implementation process. more

  • How UC Can Help Your Business Survive the Holidays

    The holiday season is filled with frenzy and excitement for businesses and consumers alike. Consumers prepare gift lists, compare brands and prices, and begin shopping with a vigor that is not present most other times of the year. For many businesses, the holiday season accounts for a large profit bump at the end of each year, and companies strive to exceed their goals and keep customers happy during this rush late in the year. more

  • [Infographic] Switching Phone Systems

    There are a lot of possible reasons you might want to switch to a new phone system. The old one might cost too much or be too troublesome to operate and maintain. It might not be flexible enough. It might not be reliable enough. Or it just might not have the kinds of features and capabilities that you need in today’s competitive business climate. more