CRM, SALES 2.0, SOCIAL MEDIA
Smart Ways to Enhance Your Current CRM System
To get the most from your CRM, you don't necessarily have to hire consultants or spend a lot of money on a new system. Instead, empower yourself to do more with what you've already got. Here are five little-known tips for enhancing the effectiveness of any CRM system.
Look at License Agreements
Review your CRM license agreements and compare the application to the original requirements documentation and business case. Is there something there that might prove useful? Recently, for example, one CRM firm helped a client improve its lead-to-sales ratio by identifying an existing lead-prioritization capability that the client wasn't using.
Because CRM systems have so many uses, chances are you haven't discovered how to best apply all of them to save money and generate revenue. For example, suppose you want to drive cost containment in shipping. Is there a mapping application in your program that would help to optimize routing of deliveries? (Be sure to examine lead-management capabilities; many can help improve the marketing-to-sales handoff to drive higher conversion rates.)
Ask Execs to Use the System
Executive-level commitment to CRM usage can have a positive, trickle-down effect. The market research firm Forrester, for example, recently spoke with a client's executive team that decided to observe the ways in which customer service, network operations, and sales teams were interacting with the system. Based on their observations, the execs were able to prompt employees to ask customers the right questions in real time and use the CRM system to record the appropriate data.
Get a Free Upgrade
As long as you're current in your vendor maintenance agreement, your company has rights to all new features of an upgrade at no incremental license cost. (Note that some CRM systems are now starting to offer Web 2.0 and social-networking capabilities.)
Intensify and Expand Training
Most companies offer CRM training, but bear in mind that a one-time review of the basics often means instructions on a host of useful tricks and time-saving features are left out. If your reps knew how to use such tools as hot keys, online help, advanced querying, and search capabilities to increase close rates, they might be more inclined to take advantage of them.
– Geoffrey James
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