Common CRM Management Tactics

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: March 28, 2011

A CRM system needs to be properly managed in order to be effective. Employees from different departments are going to be adding and accessing data on a regular basis, as well as generating reports, and a disorganized system can result in accidental changes being made and the unintentional loss of information.

The company should start by choosing a CRM manager. This decision is typically based on the focus of the CRM system . If there is a special emphasis on customer service, then that manager will normally be in charge of the system. If the sales department is designated as more important, then the sales manager will probably be charge. If there is no specific focus for the CRM system, then management is generally divided between the heads of the different departments.

Once the CRM manager is established, the next step is to determine the access level for each of the employees. There are typically four choices available: User, Business Unit, Parent: Child, and Organizational.

User allows the employee to perform actions on records they have created, records that have been shared with them, and the records of any team that they belong to. Business Unit is similar to User, but the person can also access and change the record of any employee who is part of the same Business Unit. Parent: Child allows the person to access and modify the records of Business Units that are designated as subordinate to them. Organizational is top tier and grants the person total control over any record in the system.

Most employees should be granted Unit access, if just to prevent them from making changes to information unrelated to their department. Business Unit access is typically given to people who represent or supervise a specific business function (sales, marketing, etc.) Parent: Child access should be granted to the managers of the different departments, while Organizational access is generally limited to the overall administrator or administrators of the CRM system

CRM maintenance is normally performed by an IT specialist. This will often be an employee of the company, but the work can be outsourced to an external agent if needed. The person will be in charge of backing up the databases and making sure the database indexes are fully optimized. This is typically done each day, though it can be done less frequently if manpower or funding is a limiting factor.

The CRM manager should also make use of Key Performance Indicators to manage and improve the system, since they can potentially reveal which CRM techniques are effective and which ones are not. This is often accomplished through surveys that are filled out by the customers and collected in a spreadsheet. You can also track the visitors to the business over an extended period of time through website traffic. If there appear to be any notable trends or concerns, the CRM manager can let the other employees know and have them adjust their tactics accordingly. 

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