• How To Maximize Your CRM for Increased Value

    When I originally sat down to blog today, I wanted to focus on the benefits of a CRM (specifically targeting companies that hadn’t jumped on the CRM bandwagon yet, and to tell them what they were missing).The more I thought about it though, I realized it wasn’t that interesting of a topic seeing as most sales and marketing organizations out there have already adopted one. If they haven’t, I can only imagine how far behind they must be in the market place. I’ve still decided to focus on CRM solutions, but would like to pose this question to you: Now that you have adopted a CRM and a strategy around it, are you utilizing all the capabilities it has to offer?

    Last week I really took a dive into how our organization utilizes our CRM and the ways we think outside the box when using it to achieve maximum value. Here are a few ways to utilize your CRM’s capabilities that you may not be using today:

    1. Integrate your call plan strategy with the way your reps call through list views. I think a lot of organizations use list views and campaign views within their CRM to manage contacts and accounts. This is great, but it’s important to have a rhyme and reason to the way your team calls through these lists. For instance, if they are calling through a list of 150 total contacts, it’s important to have a plan behind the way that list is called. If your team calls through the list once and then moves on to the next list of names, you won’t maximize your results. Keep in mind that it takes 6-12 activities to reach the right contact you want to speak with. Therefore, it’s important to stay consistent by executing a call plan for your lists of contacts, and then to make sure your reps are setting the appropriate follow up tasks that will make their way to their homepage.

    2. Take reporting to the next level. Basic reports in your CRM are great tools to manage opportunities, pipeline, your team’s activities, etc. but it’s important to explore what else you can do with these reports by thinking outside the box.

    For example, I was faced with an issue where the reps on my team weren’t hitting their daily activity numbers and aside from that, they didn’t know how many contacts they had left in their lists that hadn’t been touched yet. By utilizing the reporting features offered through our CRM, I ended up creating dashboards on each rep’s homepage that displayed their activity numbers for the day, along with a graphical snapshot that showed them the amount of prospects they had that hadn’t been touched yet. You may be thinking, “Big deal, she made a dashboard that looks cool.”

    Even though it seems small, this helped the reps tremendously because all they had to do to obtain their activity number for the day was simply click the “refresh” button on their homepage. They no longer had to take the  extra 3-5 minutes to go to the reports tab, drill down to their name, and so forth – you know the amount of clicks it takes from experience I’m sure! Aside from that, they could instantly look at this dashboard to let me know they were getting low on names, and that I needed to get them more asap to make them as productive as possible at all times.

    Thinking outside of the box when it comes to reporting increases your team’s efficiency and productivity in more ways than you would think.

    3. Consider adopting additional tools that would allow for an even better user experience for your reps. With all of the offerings available today, it’s important to take advantage of these tools in order to increase the productivity of your reps.

    For example, instead of having your reps take the time to dial a 9 digit phone number, implement a tool that auto dials the phone number directly from the prospect’s record in your CRM with one simple click. This will free up each rep’s time to make that many more dials in the day, which will ultimately lead to more qualified sales opportunities.

    These are just a few ways that we take our CRM to the next level to better our business. What are the innovative ways you utilize your CRM that other’s may not be executing on??

    Laney Pilpel is Manager, Client Operations at AG Salesworks.  To view all company blogs go to  AG Salesworks blog site.

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