Written by   |   Jun 3 2020   |   Read 400 times

 

We are living in a time when big data is revolutionising the way we do business. The smallest businesses now have access to tools that the largest businesses would have been jealous of just a decade or two ago. One of these game-changing tools is customer relationship management software, commonly referred to as CRM. Your relationship with your customers is foundational to your company's success and a good CRM is the bedrock on which to build that foundation. With a good CRM, you'll be able to win over more customers, provide better service to the ones you have already, and turn more of them into repeat buyers.

Even the best software is only as good as its user, though. In order to make the most of your CRM, you'll need to understand how to use it effectively. While many articles are written on that topic, we'd like to discuss the five most common mistakes that we see small business make when they embrace CRM. By avoiding these mistakes, you'll be helping to ensure that your CRM does the job that you bought it to do.

1. Not assigning ownership

Many companies will purchase a CRM, install it, but not assign someone to oversee it. While it is fine, and indeed preferable, to let anyone use the software whose job could benefit from it, someone should be in charge of the system. There's a difference between a casual user who is gathering and using information and an administrator who is responsible for that information and the system in general.

Perhaps more importantly, having a specific user take charge of the system helps to ensure that someone knowledgeable will be overseeing its implementation and upkeep and not just the IT guy. This doesn't need to be a full-time job, as you don't want to drastically increase your labour costs. Just make sure that someone is responsible for the system and dedicated to its management. See our Top 4 Reasons Why You Need a CRM Champion.

2. Poor Training

This problem connects well with the last one. Obviously, the person in charge of the CRM should be thoroughly trained on its usage however this CRM champion isn't the only one that will need to have a working understanding of the ins and outs of the software. Anyone who is going to rely on this software to do their job needs to understand how to accomplish the tasks they need to with it. The reason for this isn't just so they'll know what they are doing. A common problem with companies that install a CRM without a training plan is that employees end up not using it properly or at all. In their minds, the time spent learning how to use the software properly isn’t worth the time saved by actually using it. This problem is easy to solve with thorough training for anyone who uses your CRM. Find out more by reading our Top 7 Tactical Tips to Get Your Team using your CRM.

3. Bad Data

The enemy of big data is bad data. Bad data can manifest itself in a number of ways. The most obvious way is data that is just flat out inaccurate. This can happen because data was entered wrong, or because your team hasn’t received training on how to enter the data correctly. Signs of bad data are duplicate records, invalid email addresses, empty fields, out-of-date information, mistakes in spelling, punctuation and formatting. It might not seem like a big problem however bad data can cause significant losses to your business through sales inefficiencies, decreased productivity and diminished customer satisfaction.

By treating your data with respect, you are treating your customers with the same reverence. Accurate data makes it actionable and drives valuable customer engagement and long-term relationships. For more information see our Top 6 Ways to Avoid Dirty Data

4. Lack of Refined Business Processes

A CRM will change the way you do business. As obvious as it sounds, that means you have to change the way you do business. Many companies fail to make changes after adopting a CRM that can wind up causing them to double the work. For example, if a part of your sales team's daily responsibilities was to generate a report on the work that they've done, and the CRM is now automatically generating that report, your sales staff no longer needs to do so. Whichever CRM you implement, look at all the features that are available. What is it doing automatically that you used to do manually? What other areas are designed to streamline your staff's workflow? Ensure that you adapt your business processes around these new innovations so you're not making life harder on your staff than it has to be. Read our 6 Steps to Ensure CRM is Your Most Valuable Business Asset

5. Poor Follow Through

The final mistake we'd like to discuss is the notion that a CRM is a "set it and forget it" endeavour. This is not great for a number of reasons. For one, without a system of constant refinement in place, the pressure is high on your initial install and setup. Without refinement, everything has to be perfect right from the start. That's an impossible task for even the most experienced users. When you are constantly adapting your workflow to the software, the software to your workflow, and its settings to your experience level and needs, the improvement that it brings will grow rather than stagnate. Find out the Top 6 Ways CRM Will Help Your Business Grow.

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One of the key themes throughout this piece has been that your staff have to know how to use the CRM that you choose. If they don't know how to use it, then they won't and you've wasted money and resources on a tool that sits unutilised. Act! CRM is an easy-to-use customer relationship management system that your staff will get up to speed on quickly. It is also powerful enough that it will become their trusted companion rather than just something the boss is making them use. Contact us today to learn how Act! CRM can benefit your business.

Michael Bryant

Michael Bryant is the Founder and CEO of Act Today. Michael’s vision for starting Act Today was born from his realisation of the importance of businesses to have a deep and strong relationship with their customers. 

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