10 Proven CRM Ideas

Installing CRM software is a very important process for your business. Your project leaders and other staff face the pressures of meeting their goals and accelerating return on investment. Here are ten proven CRM ideas that can help guarantee success for you and your team.

Keep the focus on the customer.

Many companies get so wrapped up in technology selection and process changes that they lose sight of what CRM is really all about – improving the way your employees interact with and service existing and potential clients. One of the best CRM ideas is to try to see everything from the customer’s perspective and make sure all the changes you implement will impact them in a positive way.

Centralize all customer information.

The primary cause of poor service is the disparate customer databases that marketing, sales, and service teams often maintain. These “different versions of the truth” lead to inaccurate, conflicting, and redundant information that can hinder service delivery. Consolidating and centralizing customer data is one of the best CRM ideas. This will give staff complete visibility into customer histories and activities, so they can perform more effectively.

Pick the right customers.

Many companies determine who their “best” customers are by measuring the amount of revenue they generate. However, this is not the best gauge of overall profitability. Look at more than just how much each customer purchases. Assess the expenses associated with servicing and supporting them as well.

Set attainable goals.

Many project leaders inflate expected ROI in order to secure the needed funding. This approach will lead to unrealistic expectations, put tremendous strain on your end users, and cause your initiative to be viewed as a failure by senior executives. Make sure the goals you set are realistic and reachable.

Involve all key stakeholders.

User adoption is crucial to the success of any CRM project. One of the most proven CRM ideas is to get representatives from all user groups involved early on, so their needs are considered throughout the entire process. This will create goodwill and make them more likely to embrace the system once it is deployed.

Develop best practices.

Don’t make changes just for the sake of it. Take a good, hard look at what works, what doesn’t, and why – and use that as your guide for restructuring key customer-facing processes.

Buy smart.

It’s hard not to cave in to pressure from aggressive sales reps, especially for smaller companies who don’t have a lot of experience dealing with enterprise software vendors. Build a checklist of requirements before you begin evaluating solutions – and stick to it! Don’t buy anything more, or less, than what’s on that list.

Reward loyal clients.

Customer churn is at an all-time high, and loyal customers are hard to come by. Putting programs into place to help keep those customers happy is a proven CRM idea that can help you increase retention and avoid losing market share to competitors.

Don’t reinvent relationships.

The goal of a CRM solution isn’t to dramatically alter your existing customer relationships – it’s to make them stronger and more profitable. Too much change, too fast may not be received well. Introduce new processes and applications slowly, and work closely with clients to ease the transition.

Treat partners like customers.

These valuable selling allies can be just as prone to churn as customers. Keep the lines of communication open, and strive to provide the same kind of world-class service to your partners as you do to your clients.