How effective is your current customer relationship management (CRM) software? Is it enabling you to drive opportunities and revenue growth for your organisation? If not, read on
While CRM technology offers a powerful way to build strong relationships with your customers, build value and share client-focused knowledge, it alone isn’t a silver-bullet solution. Because even with the very best CRM solution in place, a considered, systematic approach is still required to maximise ROI and achieve the results you’re looking for.
To help you get the most from your CRM solution, we’ve put together a guide offering practical tips and tricks on how to master customer relationship management.
Don’t Treat CRM as a Standalone System
Like many business management solutions, CRM software works best when it’s integrated with other systems and applications. So, while it is possible to extract value from a CRM system working in a vacuum, it’s much better to use it alongside other types of software, like ERP with modern ERP solutions often including CRM functionality.
Forgive us if this sounds like an obvious point, but we encounter many businesses taking a siloed approach to business management, with minimal unification between platforms. This can, ultimately, impede progress and ROI, with only certain departments and functions able to utilise CRM due to limited access and opportunities.
From monitoring sales to ensuring smooth order fulfilment at the logistics phase, CRM can support a broad range of business functions when it is leveraged alongside other business management solutions, particularly enterprise resource planning software.
Audit and Update Your CRM System Regularly
CRM systems require careful management to ensure that the customer data and insights they provide are accurate, timely and complete. This includes regular updates and auditing, which will help to maintain the overall performance and value of your system.
While your software vendor will take care of system updates and maintenance, it’s imperative you learn how to control and configure the system yourself; this will allow you to set bespoke parameters and goals more easily. And with modern ERP systems offering no-code customisation capabilities, this task has been made much easier in recent times.
Special attention should be paid to the cleanliness of the data captured and stored on your CRM system, with duplications and inaccuracies dealt with before they cause broader issues. The processes and controls you put in place here are essential, from setting up end user screens to grant access to required functions and data only along with putting automated controls in place to, for example, make fields mandatory, prompt user when data is entered incorrectly etc.
As well as maintaining and auditing your CRM system, you also need to make sure that your team is using the software properly. Training employees in the correct use of the system will pay dividends in the longer term, with staff more able to unearth opportunities, manage tasks, and avoid data-entry errors which can allow inconsistency to proliferate.
Integrate Mobility Applications with Your CRM System
With more people working flexibly and remotely than ever before, you need to ensure that relevant teams can access your CRM system on mobile devices e.g., Sales reps, management teams, warehouse & logistical teams. That means integrating the system with the latest mobility apps offered by your ERP or business software vendor – apps specifically designed to support remote access to your CRM and business software data.
Enterprise mobility applications, such as Intact Access, let you access systems data anytime, anywhere, on any device. Wide-ranging functionality means you can customise different areas of your ERP and CRM platforms on compatible mobile devices, with bespoke applications for different functions e.g., sales app, delivery team app etc.
The great thing about integrating your CRM function with the latest mobility software is the level of access it provides you and your team. With real-time access available 24/7, you can spot opportunities as and when they emerge, with teams able to view and capture data remotely on their smartphone or tablet.
Given the volume of data your CRM and ERP system deals with on a daily basis, it’s not uncommon to see a build-up of old and irrelevant data which may affect the speed and performance of your system; in particular, your report running or transaction processing.
A lean and relevant database is key to your operations so a great way to remove this unwanted and historical data is to perform a ‘data clearout’ on your system. Not only will this remove dormant customers, quotations, suppliers, and other CRM activity but also remove obsolete/unsold products, stock movements, historic orders and more.
This is usually a chargeable service and run out of hours but it’s a great way to reduce your database size and extend the life of your system.
Configure Your Workflows
While off-the-shelf CRM solutions are OK for some applications, they’re limited in terms of offering that 360° view and the features a fully integrated systems provides such as automated workflows and alerts. And this is important, because the ability to configure your processes into automated workflows to your exact requirements is one of the most valuable things you can do to extract maximum value from your CRM system.
When workflows and task lists can be personalised to an individual’s job role and requirements, it brings immediate value from an efficiency and functionality perspective. Whether it’s setting up alerts, task updates, or scheduling reports, having the ability to configure your CRM is a huge help in maximising the usability of your system.
Utilise Advanced Reporting
Rather than relying on reports from two or more standalone systems, integrating your CRM with your ERP system enables you to benefit from advanced, unified reporting. This makes it far easier to produce comprehensive and compelling reports that account for your entire systems’ data and insights – ideal if you need to present senior stakeholders with a broad overview of the business’ current state of play.
Not only is enhanced reporting essential for ensuring long-term business health and continuity, but it also provides a means of accurately forecasting future trends and opportunities. Teams can access granular reports from centralised data streams, allowing for comprehensive analysis of customer information.
Introducing the Intact iQ CRM Module
Providing advanced customisation and next-generation customer discovery features, the Intact iQ CRM module is the marketing and lead generation tool your business needs to boost revenue and support ambitions for growth. Provided as a fully integrated part of your Intact iQ ERP solution, the platform delivers exceptional performance and capabilities – opening vital communication channels while affording enhanced knowledge sharing across your operations.
Intact iQ is our flagship ERP solution, delivering outstanding performance to businesses that want to grow and elevate their operations. The CRM module available for Intact iQ is just one part of a broad, unified system, bringing additional marketing benefits including:
- Streamlined marketing campaign management
- Sales pipeline management
- Improved lead generation
- Enhanced research and analysis
- Full correspondence tracking
- And much more
If you’d like to learn more about our advanced CRM system, including a full list of features and specifications, click here to read our guide on utilising CRM alongside the Intact iQ system.
We hope this guide helps you to better utilise your CRM system – or encourage you to invest in new software. If you need help finding a solution that’s right for your business, our experts are on hand to offer guidance and support whenever you need it. To learn more and find out what business management solutions we can offer your business, visit the homepage or contact our team today.