7 Steps for Successful CRM Start

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is now a widely used term by business people. Different sources suggest different definitions but I assume the reader is already familiar with CRM system therefore I will avoid adding another definition to the World Wide Web. However, I have news for those who think CRM is just an online solution; well, it partially may be true. Modern CRM is a process that sets the stage for communication between a business and its customers. The more transparent this communication is, the more bonding the relationship becomes. Business owners should align their goals and mission statements such that sales and customer service employees make the best use of CRM to deliver the core value to the customers.

Apart from being a great communication tool, CRM can help you understand unique customer needs, decide which products and/or services are profitable. Nowadays, everyone is familiar with 20/80 rule which is 20% customers/products make up for 80% of your net profit. There are number of reports you can run within CRM which helps you make clear decisions about whether to implement a new feature or a product or vice verse, cease or decrease the particular types.

In the following lines I will try to list the steps that are necessary to choose and make the best use of CRM:

Before you choose

1. Familiarise yourself with CRM system. Basically, it consists of four main parts:

Marketing– Run campaigns, Generate leads, Form a Database

Sales– Assign, Qualify, Convert Leads and Track Opportunities

Orders– Deliver Products, Produce Invoices

Support– Manage Cases, Conduct Trainings, Provide Service, Develop Knowledge base

2. Most of the CRM solutions provide flexibility depending on your organisational workflow. Play with the system and contact the potential vendors inquiring about possible customisations that befit your workflow

3. Before selecting a particular CRM system the top management needs to conduct a research so that the new system will easily integrate with other sections of your business such as Accounting, Project management, Payroll, etc. Kpi.com offers an ‘all in one package’ ERP system

During Implementation

4. Once a particular CRM solution is employed you need to ensure your staff is comfortable with it. Especially, sales and support teams should be trained exclusively to deliver the best customer experience. Usually, ERP providers offer free trainings during the first month or two so do not forget to contact them directly and ask

5. Like I mentioned above, when using CRM system one needs to learn how to efficiently use reports. You can pull out the most valuable data on:

  • Customer Profile- it is more cost-effective to keep the existing customer than attracting the new one. To maintain the current customer base you need to distinguish your loyal customers from the walk-ins and treat them the way they deserve
  • Case Management- various reports can be pulled out of case management itself. The most important one is bug reports- it helps business owners to clearly see where they lack quality. If similar complaints are piled up in your case management, then it is time to roll the sleeves up and sort them out
  • Leads- one can generate CRM reports on lead conversion, leads by industry, leads by status etc. Each of these reports serves different purposes. For example, you can evaluate sales performance with the help of lead conversion report

6. Almost all the CRM systems now support mail integration by which you can integrate your email address to the system and take advantage of built-in Message Center and Case Management. If you are new kpi.com user you can read a well-described wiki article to get started with mail integration in kpi.com

7. Run marketing campaigns using the mass-mailing tool. It is a great way to communicate with all of your customers as well as the leads. Inform them of the new updates, discounts and new line of products/services. But do not overwhelm your customers/leads since you might run the risk of getting labelled as spammer. Stay tuned for the next blog post on how to effectively use Email Marketing tool to win customers!