To connect and build meaningful relationships with customers and prospects, many businesses now rely on customer relationship management (CRM) software.
These tools give users easy access to information that could result in increased sales, better marketing techniques, and deeper connections.
CRM software also typically includes categorized lists of customers, prospects and other valuable contacts. It goes beyond the standard contact information. You and your employees can use it to prompt, craft and automate communications.
Keys to success
For starters, make a point of aligning CRM usage with your company’s overall strategic objectives. For example, if one of your goals is to grow revenue in a certain market by 20%, you could make developing customer/prospect profile reports on the CRM system a stated and measured objective.
As is often the case with technology solutions, some employees may be skeptical about the value of the software while others will be enthusiastic supporters. Encourage “CRM champions” to share their success stories from using the solution with others. This will be more convincing than having someone from IT describe the software’s features and how they might help. As the saying goes, show — don’t tell.
Training is another important factor in successfully implementing CRM software. Introduce (or reintroduce) your employees to the solution’s benefits by embedding CRM lessons in meetings or training sessions about other topics, such as billing or revenue building.
You may be able to rely on webinars produced by (or in association with) the software provider to train many employees. You could also offer “lunch and learn” sessions on topics such as how to best conduct customer interviews and input that information into the CRM system to enhance the relationship. If necessary, certain employees — particularly those in sales and marketing — should receive personalized one-on-one sessions with a trainer to ensure they’ve truly mastered the software.
It takes time
For many businesses, the introduction of CRM software means not only a transformation of how work is accomplished, but also a change in culture.
So, if you have a CRM solution in place, don’t give up on its potential. And if you’re just implementing one now, exercise patience when training employees to use it.
If you would like to learn more about CRM software or to set a reasonable budget for technology purchases, such as CRM software, please contact your Rudler, PSC advisor at 859-331-1717.
RUDLER, PSC CPAs and Business Advisors
This week's Rudler Review is presented by Maddie Schweitzer, Senior Accountant and Jane Frances, CPA.
If you would like to discuss your particular situation, contact Maddie or Jane at 859-331-1717.
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