5 Tips on deciding and using a CRM system
What it is - The Why’s and the How’s on getting and using one
Be Organised from Day 1
Whatever size we all need to organise our business from day 1 – having a structured database like a CRM or a Contact Management system helps this happen. It is a database of all your contacts, visit web customers, story suppliers and prospects. It creates discipline and you start as you mean to go on. It helps you get rid of the bits of paper and business cards that can litter up your desk and your life. Any small organisation can run their business on one. If your business has been going for sometime then a database will benefit your company even more.
List down what you want from a system
Decide what you want to achieve in your business and what you are looking for a system to give you. List them down. Then look at what the different systems offer – get a demo. Some systems are too big and complicated for the average business. Pick one that meets your criteria, stomach you understand and with a little bit of training you could use effectively to benefit your business. Don’t over complicate.
Before you start using one – think about the structure of your business how do you want to see things – if you already have manual or computerised systems think how you would adapt the CRM ore adapt what you have fit the CRM. There are getting the best out of and how to guides available or you can get a free assessment or audit of your database needs.
Using the System
The database should be used for all your contacts, customers, prospects and suppliers. Always try to keep your data up to date. Close out completed actions and remember to set forward reminders in place. Use this to plan, schedule and prioritise your future actions and tasks. With some systems you can also use your database as a communications centre for emails, SMS, phone etc.
More than sales prospecting
Remember a good Contact data base can be much more than sales prospecting system – it can be used for quoting, invoicing, project and time management, campaigns and help desk as well. It can record everything to do with prospects, customers, suppliers, asset management and contacts. You never know when you may need to refer the information.
A good database is not only a tool for your company to use, it will also help drive your business forward. It will create a number of benefits –
- Anyone can pick up the information
- Time saving
- Easy to understand and follow
- You can plan to deadlines and be on time
- Knowledge sharing
- Be in tune with your customers - use the information
- Sets standards and disciplines
- Helps you plan, manage and monitor
- Its your communication controller
© 2010 Gordon Hewett – CMB Technologies Limited