29 September 2016

Learn the biggest mistake businesses make with their CRM


Are you making the most of your CRM?

I’m not talking about just having a CRM. Nor one that’s actively used by your business.

I’m talking about having a CRM that’s an integral part of best practice business processes and behaviours.

Let’s start with this simple truth – CRMs don’t change your business.

They enable and support the practices that your business needs.

If you haven’t configured your CRM to focus on that… it’s not going to help.

We’ve observed many businesses struggling with their CRM implementations as they don’t encourage the right behaviours of their users.

So what should your business be doing to make sure that you’re reaping all the benefits that yours can provide?

Try these simple, yet effective things businesses should be doing to boost the success of their CRM.

Track and measure your data

Too many businesses these days assume that their CRM is providing them with a full range of benefits, without having any metrics to prove it.

Often, businesses install a CRM saying ‘we want to increase sales and engagement’. But, they don’t think about what their points of measurement are.

Establishing a line in the sand for your business, and then beginning to track and measure your data against this line, is one of the key steps to a successful CRM.

If you start tracking something, even if it’s manual, you’ll have a data point that can be used as a future point of comparison.

Audit existing records

The next thing you need to be doing, is an audit of the current records in your system.

Get somebody to actually look at and analyse the data in your system. Then, identify if you’re following best practice.

Businesses often migrate data from old systems, along with their old processes, without thinking about how their new data will work in their new CRM. For example, if you imported your customers’ last contact date, did you store that date using the right data type?

Take a good hard look at the records within your system. Are they clean, accurate and relevant?

By establishing regular auditing and maintenance of your data, you’ll be able to promote a clean system environment, while identifying any holes in your existing data.

Most CRMs allow you to set up ‘exception’ style reports, which you can receive on a regular basis to help you spot where data isn’t up to par.

Improve data quality by collecting the right information

CRMs are perfect tools for capturing information about your customers at specific points in their life cycle.

But, if you haven’t told the CRM that this data is important, it won’t automatically collect it.

If you’re targeting customers by industry, ask ‘does each record have an industry allocated to it?’

Ask yourself what you want from your customers and ensure that your CRM is collecting and taking advantage of this data.

If you’re planning an SMS-based campaign in the future, have you already begun collecting mobile phone numbers? If not, why not?

It’s simple stuff. Improve your records to make sure that your data is working for you.

Observe your users and look for patterns

Once you’ve started collecting the right data, you should reevaluate your processes. Start by taking a good look at what your users are doing.

Particularly for an existing implementation, one that’s been around for a couple of years, you’ll find that people take the path of least resistance. They’ll find some things will be too slow, and they’ll make shortcuts.

Identify the three most common things each different role type does.

If you look at the three most common things that people do, there will be hints given that reveal inefficiencies that have not been addressed.

Address inefficiencies

If you’ve identified inefficiencies in your business practices in the step above, you now have the opportunity to ask yourself what underlying process problems created those inefficiencies.

I’ve seen some situations, even in existing implementations, where users are archiving emails by creating notes within a customer’s record. They’ll make a note and type some information, or just copy and paste the email into the record.

It’s a means to an end – a way of getting the job done – but by and large, it’s one of the slowest ways of doing things. Particularly when compared to using Outlook connectors, archiving services or server-side options.

So how do you change users’ behaviour? Collaboration is key.

Bring people together from different parts of the business to share their CRM experiences and they’ll learn from each other.

Someone’s process, when they explain it to another person or team, will create an ‘oh wow’ moment for others. They’ll think ‘we could do something similar to that as well’.

You can learn more about the CRM technologies we provide here.


Head of Customer Insights - Squiz

With 15 years of experience in the IT industry, and 8 years working with both cloud and on-premise CRM implementations, Adam is a leader in his field.

As head of the Customer Insights practice for Squiz’s UK team, Adam’s focus is on CRM, marketing automation and analytics, and the hope that if you understand your customer better, you won't lose them.

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