You Have a CRM. Now What?

Kurt Steigleder
September 18, 2019
A disorganized CRM is a headache waiting to happen. Following best practices will help you manage your customer relationship management tool, and meet business goals.
Man in upscale clothing using an iPhone in coffee shop lounge
Photo credit Austin Distel/Unsplash

So, after comparing the pros and cons of dozens of Customer Relationship Management tools, you found one that will be the best fit for your business. You’ve signed up for the appropriate plan, you’re logged in, and it’s time to establish your database and start sending emails - but you have to be careful. CRMs are a fantastic way to help you grow your business, but only if used correctly. Everyone wants to nurture their lead and create a seamless customer journey, but there’s a fine line between expertly guiding a lead through your process with well-timed content, and becoming just another occupant of their email spam folder. So you have a CRM. Now what?

The first step in any business strategy - whether it’s a sales process, content marketing plan, or social media methodology - is to work backwards from your business goals. Essentially, what are you trying to achieve with your CRM? That can be something as straightforward as keeping a database of past clients and their contact information, all the way to implementing a multi-step email marketing campaign with phone call reminders and weekly conversion updates. Whatever your business goals are, start there and work backwards to ensure that your CRM is only ever helping you hit your targets, and stay on track.

Once you’ve determined how to use your CRM to help you fulfill your business goals, the next step is to make sure your database is well-organized, and most importantly, contains zero duplicates. The fastest way to create confusion for yourself, and lose potential clients, is to have multiple entries in your CRM for the same person. If you’re sending out marketing emails, they’ll receive them multiple times, and more than likely unsubscribe or mark your emails as spam. If you’re using your CRM for mainly internal purposes, like keeping track of services provided or products sold, multiples of the same client will just create confusion and make using your CRM difficult and stressful. Keeping a clean and well-maintained database will only make your life easier, and help you generate more clients.

Another important part of using a CRM is segmentation. Modern CRMs will allow you to tag, group, or otherwise organize your database into different segments, and this is an amazing feature. Properly segmenting your database means you can send specific emails, content updates, and product announcements to leads that will find that content relevant. And if they find the content you’re sending relevant, a lead is significantly more likely to convert into a client, or for a past client to become a repeat client. Segmentation has the added bonus of making the email drafting process easier, as you don’t have to write for the super-broad audience of your entire database. 

A correctly used Customer Relationship Management tool has the potential to make your life as a marketer so much easier, so long as you adhere to best-practices. Luckily for us, modern CRMs make this easy! Just remember to keep your database well-organized, properly segmented, and make sure that everything you’re using a CRM for is serving business goals. 

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