Ways to Customize Your CRM System
6 Fantastic Ways to Customize Your CRM
Usability and usefulness — two of the most important drivers of a customer relationship management (CRM) system’s success.
If your system is usable and useful, it’s likely your sales team will use it and get value out of it. Your solution for managing your customer relationships needs to make it easy to gather the right data on prospects and customers and take action on that information.
How do you create a system that fits seamlessly into your sales team’s day and becomes something they can’t live without? You shape it to your organization’s needs by customizing everything from contact information to activities to reports.
Customize Lead Information
Carefully think through the data your company needs from leads to make informed decisions and take action on those leads.
To guide future marketing investments, for example, you likely want to capture lead sources. To get a better view of your sales funnel and know what actions to take next, you probably want to know your leads’ sales stages. For example, are they unqualified leads, marketing qualified leads or sales qualified leads? If they are sales qualified, have they received a demo or a quote? You can use this information to identify where prospects get held up in the sales cycle, enabling you to identify ways to improve sales performance.
Finally, if customers in your industry have regular renewal times, such as the insurance industry, consider capturing these dates. For prospects in contracts with competitors, these dates empower you to create marketing and sales initiatives to lure them over to your agency…at just the right time.
Customize Customer Information
If you gather the right data on your clients, you can use it for both customer and market segmentation. Segmentation enables you to make better decisions and prioritize resources. Also, it empowers you to approach buyers in a more personalized, effective way. For example, you can send tailored email marketing campaigns to specific market segments. You can also organize customer events targeted to specific industries or geographic regions.
Think about the most useful ways to segment your customers. It may be by industry, product or service, business needs, geography or organization size.
Also, don’t forget to capture renewal data on customers. It’s less expensive to retain a customer than acquire a new one. You want to ensure that you develop pre-renewal marketing activities for your own customers, so they will be less likely to stray from the fold.
Customize Price Quotes
When a prospect asks you for a quote, you don’t want to give them numbers on a spreadsheet. That’s just not persuasive. A request for a quote is your opportunity to position your company as an authority in your area of expertise. Customize your price quotes so that they demonstrate your business’ ability to solve customer problems.
Customize Activity Types
When your customer relationship system can tell you what’s working and what’s not, it’s powerful. Therefore, identify specific activities your sales and service teams perform that standard fields don’t capture and create custom fields to track them. For example, record initial calls, demonstrations, follow-ups, annual check-ups and more. With this data, you can discover your winning tactics and focus your energies accordingly.
Software should help you increase productivity, professionalism, and results. An excellent way to do this is by creating templates for sales and marketing correspondence such as emails and letters. Once again, by standardizing what you send you can track and optimize your results. Also, you can write an email once and use it as often as necessary. As they say, “there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.”
You know which reports are most useful within your own business. Perhaps you already have some that you are creating manually in Excel spreadsheets that you want to automate. Are there also new reports you’d like? You might want to identify, for example, which sales reps are most active and what drives a salesperson’s success. Maybe you are rationalizing your product line and need to know the winners and losers in your product line.
There are many ways to slice and dice the data. For more ideas, check out the top 20 must-have reports. Determine what’s best for your business and customize your solution to create the reports for you.
Selecting Custom CRM Software
When choosing customizable CRM, you need to know how easy it is to customize. Will you need to hire a consultant every time you want to make a change or can you make the modifications easily in-house? Bear in mind that as your business changes, your system will need to be able to adapt quickly. Make sure you are comfortable with the costs and time required to make customizations.
Beware of Over-Customization
Customize your system as much as necessary but as little as possible. When you customize too much, data tends to get messy, reports become muddled and meaningless, and in the resulting confusion, users stop using the system.
So how do you avoid going overboard?
Start simply. Slim down your requirements to what’s absolutely necessary, knowing that it’s easier to add options later than reduce them…whenever you subtract data, you also need to clean it up. Be stingy with your fields and only include around 3-7 choices per field.
Over-customization is just one mistake that people make. Find out about other common blunders.
Claritysoft can help you to achieve success with customizable CRM software. To learn more, contact us now.