" /> Are you making the most of your CRM system? | Manufacturing & Logistics IT Magazine

Are you making the most of your CRM system?

By John Paterson, Chief Executive at Really Simple Systems.

Many organisations will have a CRM system in place and they will urge their employees to use it, but are they really making the most of the system? The answer for most businesses is "probably not".

Your CRM system should be the main tool for your sales and marketing departments. The data in it is invaluable: is it up to date and can you make more use of it?

1. Effective user adoption

Getting your users on board is more than half the battle. Despite the blandishments of CRM vendors, many users will say they don't like the system because it is slow, unreliable or isn't easy to use.  Their real reason maybe because they don't want management knowing what they are (or aren't!) doing, or owning "their" prospects. So you need to make sure that users have as few objections to using the CRM as possible, and making sure that it is easy to use is step one.  Make sure that senior management uses and is seen to use the CRM. If the message gets out that management are too important to use the CRM, front line users will follow.

2. Integrate the CRM system into your other systems

Integrating your CRM system with other in house systems such as accounting will save people time, reduce the risk of data error and help CRM adoption. Many modern CRM systems now offer integration to leading accounting systems as standard, have standard connectors to your web site for lead capture and can be connected to other in-house systems through built-in APIs (Application Program Interfaces).

3. Use the data for marketing campaigns

The data you have in your CRM system is a gold mine for marketing. So why aren't you making the most of it? You should be using the data that is stored in your CRM and filtering this into your marketing campaigns. Some solutions will even give you the ability and automation to create marketing campaigns and email shots straight out of the CRM system.

4. Start simple & stay simple

Don't try and make things too complicated – you'll risk losing users. Your employees will work best when they have a simple system that does exactly what they need. Sometimes a system with shiny buttons and an endless amount of functions doesn't always get the job done.

5. Let someone else do it for you

We all know how tough it can be to find the time to implement a new system, so why not let someone else do it for you? Make sure you choose a provider that will not only give you the right solution for your business but will also load the data for you and make sure you get started on the right foot. After all, every little helps.

A well implemented and more importantly, well used CRM system can make a real difference to your sales. Keep it simple, make the most of your data and watch the new customers come in.

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