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 i.e., multiple instances of accounts, inconsistent data entry, outdated records, etc.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
  • Contact Center Implementation 101

    Starting, maintaining and growing a successful business is largely dependent on great products and services. That said, there’s another important factor many eager entrepreneurs overlook…customer experience. more

  • The New 2017 Contact Center Comparison Guide

    We’ve put together a comparison guide that covers over 40 of the top call center software options, providing details on pricing, features, support, and integrations. If you want to save time and still make a great investment, this guide is a must read. more

  • Phone Systems Comparison Guide: VoIP for Small to Midsize Businesses

    It was a painstaking process, but to help B2B companies start 2017 off on the right foot, we recently compiled a comparative list of the top 43 small to midsize business phone vendors. more

  • 16 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Phone System

    Purchasing a phone system for your business is a major investment. With the average business changing phone systems only once every seven years, it’s important to make the right decision. more

  • 2017 Video Conferencing Trends

    New advancements are also making video more beneficial to a greater range of business areas including marketing, HR, and internal operations. Many solutions are economical, easy to use, and very effective at making communication more personal. more