Owning a business in the Digital Era requires a bit of tech-savviness, no matter what kind of industry you’re in. Everything from taking credit card payments and working out your finances to running a website is digital.
It can get overwhelming trying to juggle dozens of different programs to handle all your business tasks. But the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system makes this a streamlined process. All the tools you need to get and stay organized are in one platform.
If you’re going to buy a CRM system, though, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. There are many features in most of today’s CRM software that you may overlook if you don’t know they’re there.
You get the most return on investment using your CRM system to improve your business’s performance. Just use these seven essential but often ignored properties.
1. Automate Your Workflow
You may have noticed a lot of your primary tasks are repetitive. If you’re at the point where you want to train a monkey to do some of the jobs you have, hold off on getting the wildlife license. Look into your CRM’s features instead!
Most CRM systems can automate some of your workflows. While every client is unique, they still have a common framework. What are the things you do over and over that would be simple to hand over to someone else? That “someone else” could be your CRM.
Reputable platforms can automate basic tasks like:
- Turning templates into emails that are delivered to targeted audiences
- Sending out greeting and marketing campaigns as soon as a new email address joins your list
- Turning your workflow into a customized marketing campaign
- Automatically measuring data and analytics and reporting the results to you
- Implementing data through automated processes and integrating that data into your other programs
- Logging customer interactions into their profile when you engage with a lead or current client
- Employing features like chatbots to engage with clients, then logging the exchange in the CRM automatically
Most business owners want to be active in every part of the client process. But as you can see here, you can automate some tasks and still have a record of them. That way, you can do the things only you can provide.
2. Boost Your Time Efficiency
Are you always running around trying to remember all the to-dos you have on your plate for the day?
Your CRM can help you meet your goals by integrating your calendar and your list of tasks.
When you learn how to schedule tasks on a virtual to-do list, you can use your working memory on the job at hand. Instead of trying to remember what to do next, you can refer to your list.
Your team can manage their tasks easier, too. With the team calendar feature, it’s easy to keep everyone’s schedules organized, even if you work in different time zones. Most CRMs sync with popular calendars like Google and Outlook, so you’re not forcing anyone to use a particular scheduling tool.
Automated task reports are time-saving as well. Set up your CRM to send you the most critical reports each day, letting you know what you and your team have on their agenda. This enables you to keep an eye on their momentum and check in with people before little problems become big ones.
Trending activity reports put all the business activity you need in one place. You’ll save time by seeing snapshots of potential hot leads, opportunities to connect with, and issues that could be coming your way.
3. Use the Analytics Features to Grow Your Business
A good CRM program monitors and reports the trends of your business for you. All you have to do is learn the available reports and decide which ones are beneficial.
How your customers are behaving and responding to email campaigns are part of analytics. Use these reports to plan your marketing approaches to grow your business without unnecessary expense.
Some of the most commonly used data analysis reports include:
- Customer satisfaction ratings using surveys, buying activity, and other interactions
- Marketing campaign optimization shows which of your current campaigns are successful and which aren’t
- Sales analytics show you at-a-glance future sales predictions
- Sales reports that breakdown which areas are high-performing and where you need to put more effort
As you learn the different analytics features of your CRM, you’ll get to see the pieces of the puzzle that make up your business. It’s usually an eye-opener!
4. Store Your Data
A customer may buy from you, but that’s not the end of your relationship. You must store all their information, as well as your other data, safely. It’s your federal responsibility, and it will make your business run smoother, too.
Maintain the data and behaviour of each consumer with your CRM’s storage system. Data warehousing lets you securely store everything associated with your business in one cloud-based place.
All your important documents are in one central location. Billing information, invoices, website and ordering info, documents, and more are at your fingertips. You don’t have to fret over losing your device and all your data because the information is in the cloud database.
Your server is responsible for maintaining their warehouse security, but you have to keep your own devices protected, too.
5. Use Your CRM to Upsell and Cross-sell
Previous customers are easier to sell to than new ones, but many businesses neglect their loyal consumer base. But nearly one-third of people who order with a company will place a follow-up order from them within a year. Increase this number with upsell and cross-sell promotions.
When you design ad campaigns to target past customers, it’s easier to get them to buy again. Their purchasing history tells you what they like or need.
Your CRM can create campaigns that offer customers add-on items to recent purchases. This is cross-selling. You see it often with major companies like Amazon in the “Frequently Bought Together” section.
Upselling is when you use your CRM to automatically interact with a customer who has already ordered or selected an item. The process lets them know when an add-on service is available with their product. It can entice them to order a pricier version of something similar.
6. Sync Your CRM with Your Other Programs
The point of CRM is to reduce your dependency on other programs. If you’re splitting your time between it and several other accounts, you’re probably not using it efficiently.
CRMs can act synchronously with many other sites and apps if you integrate them. For instance, hook up your CRM to your social media feeds so you can follow what customers say about a product or service. That way, you can handle any negative feedback quickly while minimizing damage. It also lets you connect with positive reviewers who will feel appreciated, further building brand loyalty.
Integrating it with your calendar, as mentioned, keeps all your appointments in one place. These meetings and to-do tasks can pop up as reminders in the morning or throughout the day.
When you sync your CRM with your social media accounts, website, and calendar, you never have to leave the platform to get a job done.
7. Improve Teamwork Across the Board
Communication is much simpler when everyone uses the same platform. As a leader, you can use your CRM to set expectations and guidelines. It’s also where you provide onboarding resources and share metrics with your team to help drive performance.
A team that knows you appreciate their work is more likely to be highly satisfied in their job. That leads to increased productivity and creativity. With a CRM that monitors metrics, you can acknowledge good work when it happens. Mistakes can get addressed before they become habits.
Team members can reach out to each other with easy communication features. Jobs run smoother, and you can still keep track of everyone’s performance without having to hover.
Purchasing a CRM because it’s something you’re supposed to do as a business owner is a waste. It’s also a misuse of a valuable resource if you only use it for mundane tasks. It also has the ability to completely overhaul your business for the good, making it an invaluable ROI option.
Check with the support features of your software platform and watch the tutorials. Use your investment to improve and grow your business this year!
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Portside Ventura Harbor with five years of property management experience and many more in customer service. She loves sharing her passion for her community and looks forward to making Portside Ventura Harbor the place to call home.
I am a passionate blogger sharing business tips. I write primarily on SEO, Email Marketing, CRM, Marketing Automation and covers the entire gamut of marketing.