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Written By Ed Mills

Top 10 CRM Checklist to help start 2011 out right!

December 30, 2010 | omniprise

1. Ask yourself – Are your employees buying into the process of your current CRM software and if so, do they keep up-to-date information for all opportunities? Engage those employees that are not willing to contribute to the proper use of your CRM.

2. Ask your employees – Can the current CRM be a useful tool or does it have problems or bottlenecks that need to be addressed early in 2011? Employee feedback is king to getting the most out of your system.

3. Ask your customers – Retaining your current customer’s should be a priority in 2011. The sales team will continue to drive new business, but the in-house customer service is what keeps your customers happy. Knowing this, try to prevent the competition from trying hard to steal your business. 

4. Ask your colleagues – I recommend spending some time with others in your field that may give you insight on new innovations or emerging technologies that your current CRM may not support. Or maybe ways to better utilize your current CRM provider.

5. Tell your employees – Try spending time with each employee and offer praise for all their contributions from the previous year.  Additionally, reinforce how important the data they input contributes to the success of the company. CRM applications have tremendous reporting capabilities which are only useful if the data in it is accurate and timely.

6. Track customers – The newest CRM systems have email tracking integrated with Outlook. This is a great tool for keeping the team informed on day-to-day operations. The larger the customer the harder it is to manage all the correspondence between your organization and theirs.

7. Are you mobile? – With technology, at-a-glance management is only a fingertip away. Accessing information while away from the office is king. There is no reason to shy away from mobile phones or iPads.

8. Training – It never hurts to have additional training of your CRM system. Do not assume all your employees are 100% versed at the system. Some CRM’s have very complex tools that may not be used to their full potential.

9. Do not leave the boss out – The company has invested in a CRM process which is a tool to help increase sales and improve customer service. ROI drives current and future spending; hopefully through reporting you can justify the success of your CRM to help you retain your system or possibly upgrading it.

10. Sell, Sell, Sell – Seems like at this point everyone’s on-board and if the recession turns around be prepared for a good year across a multitude of industries. Meet often to ensure the team is heading in the correct direction and be prepared to change with the customers -- not after they have changed.

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