14 CRM Best Practices to Claim a Higher ROI

Updated Aug 3, 2022.
crm-best-practices

Providing effective customer service is a necessity for businesses and organizations that want to maximize growth. 

With so many competitors in the market and customers demanding more, you need an effective CRM system to keep your existing customers happy and turn prospects into customers. Many businesses are investing in CRM to achieve a higher Return On Investment (ROI).

If you want to maximize your company’s CRM potential, you need to adopt crucial CRM best practices. In this guide, you will learn about 14 CRM best practices that every business needs to know.

Let’s get started.

1. Choose the Right CRM for Your Business Needs

With so many CRM software tools available in the market, with varying features and capabilities, you cannot afford to research your options. Failure to research the capabilities of the CRM you choose can result in you ending up with an unsuitable CRM solution for your business.

Before deciding on which CRM to use, you need to carry out thorough research to find a CRM that offers solutions to the needs of the organization. With the right CRM, you can better manage your customer relationships and generate higher ROI.

When choosing the right CRM, ensure that it aligns with the goals and objectives of your company. 

  • Do you want an on-premise CRM system or a cloud-based CRM software
  • Does your company need a simple CRM solution with no learning curve or enterprise CRM software with in-depth and highly customizable features?
  • Do you work in real estate and need a real estate CRM software that offers a client and agent database specifically designed for the real estate industry?

Take your time to carefully weigh your options to choose the right CRM for your business needs. It is best to use a CRM solution that offers just the necessary features you need as opposed to one with so many features you do not need. 

CRM software used by Industry
Source: Scnsoft

2. Define Your Goals and Objectives

Clearly defining the goals, objectives, mission, and vision of your company is essential for adopting a CRM strategy. Define the type of customers your business wants to acquire as well as existing customers it wants to sustain.

The CRM strategy you choose to implement will only be successful if there is clarity about your goals and objectives. Setting goals and KPIs makes it easy for you to track your progress and measure improvements in your customer relationship processes. They also help you to make continuous improvements and improve customer satisfaction. 

The CRM Market by the numbers
Source: SelectHub

3. Use AI-predictive Analysis

AI is one of the fastest-growing trends not just in CRM but in the technology world as a whole. Considering the rapid growth and adoption of CRM in recent years, AI-predictive analytics can prepare you for potential growth and risks. You can use it to predict customer behavior and what they are likely to buy or invest in.

CRM analytical tools like predictive analysis and social listening can help organizations gain better insights into their customer information as well as gain a competitive edge over their competitors. Social listening can help push product and services ads to customers exactly when they need it and where they can get it.

Through predictive analysis, companies can make decisions that will generate higher ROI by investing in what a group of customers might be interested in or need urgently, or what is presently trending.

AI predictive Analysis
Source: FinancesOnline

4. Train Your Team

Implementing CRM is of little advantage to your organization if your employees do not know how to make sure of the system. So many organizations are switching from manual methods of tracking customer relationships to the acquisition of robust CRM systems. This can be a big change for some organizations, especially for employees with no previous experience using a CRM system.

One of the key points companies should consider when picking a CRM is to ensure it is simple to use and easy to operate. For the team to adapt quickly, the organization needs to organize training sessions to guide them on how to effectively use the company’s CRM system. 

When the team can not make use of the CRM, it becomes just an expensive filing system. Organizations can create testing sessions, which will in turn show how the team is adjusting to the new system.

5. Make Use of Automation

The main essence of acquiring a CRM is to make life easier and faster for your team. By making use of automation, most of the heavy lifting in terms of the customer relationship is taken care of and it ensures 24/7 customer service. 

Syncing the CRM to other essential tools relieves your employees and gives room to pursue other important company activities.

Automation can help cut down the amount spent on customer support by employees. This is possible by making use of the customer support CRM feature which can attend to customer needs or send a quick message that holds the customer till proper attention can be diverted to their needs or complaints. 

Through automated emails, companies can have a faster response team to as many customers as possible in a short period. However, this is not to be heavily relied on, as customers still value human sympathy relations during their transactions.

CRM Automation
Source: SelectHub

6. Use Available Data to Create Customer Portfolios

With readily available customer data, companies should ensure every department has unlimited access to all available information. Companies can predict customer behavior and influence their decision into patronizing their newest investments and gaining a higher ROI.

This can be used to create a portfolio for customers to tailor each investment to the needs of different groups of customers with similar tastes. Companies should put CRM in the center of their marketing strategy so each customer can be approached the way they want to be sold/advertised to.

The information organized and categorized by CRM should be properly mined by companies to provide valuable conclusions that can be used to make future business decisions.

7. Set Ground Rules

To effectively use CRM, companies need to establish a list of rules relating to the use of the CRM. Setting ground rules keep everyone in the organization on the same page.

Guidelines for the operation of the CRM should be transparent and known to all. If employees are misusing the CRM system, it will not be able to fully perform its functions.

Every information and procedure relating to customer relationships should go through the CRM. If companies can make compulsory ground rules like this, every employee will ensure they are fully informed about the CRM system and adapt to it.

CRM Statistics
Source: Outrightstore

8. Adopt Flexible Approach

When companies decide to go through this level of change (switch over to a CRM system), they need to make it flexible and simple for use and operation. The most important part of this process is the usability of the CRM and the effectiveness of its day-to-day operations.

CRM revolutionizes the way through which organizations are interacting with their customers. Companies should ensure that they invest in CRM that is not complex, customer-friendly, and comes with team collaboration features.

9. Learn from Analytics

CRM software provides lots of analytics and reports about your customer relationships. Analytics helps you know what to keep doing and what to remove from your approach with customers. 

Through the use of analytics, you can use customer trends, behavior, and online searches to observe the rise and lows of demands of certain services in different periods. 

This data helps businesses predict sales and know when to introduce certain products to the market. For example, if one of your products suddenly witnesses a spike in demand from customers during a particular season, spend more time and resources pushing that product during the same season the following year.

Although CRM can help you analyze customer behaviors and trends, if you do not learn from your analytics, your business growth will be limited. 

If you notice a successful email campaign is generating more results than others, you have to break down the successful email campaign and compare it with others to find the elements responsible for that success.

Sales and marketing are inseparable. Every good sales process starts with marketing. Sales and marketing departments work together to generate revenue for the organization. 

Before you make a sale, you need to get your marketing right. Your prospective customers start to judge your business from the moment they hear about it. 

 You can use existing customer data to acquire new ones. With CRM, you can raise sales performances by using old customer purchasing history to develop marketing strategies to attract new customers. 

Companies can make use of online surveys to enquire how to improve and serve their customers best. The gathering of information and interest can help link marketing to sales data. 

You can do this by sending newsletters on your latest products and services including promotions and discounts. However, do not spam them with too many emails, or else you risk entering into the spam folder or even worse, your target audience opts out from receiving these newsletters.

There are several types of CRM you can choose from. If you want to attract leads, nurture prospects, and convert them into long-lasting customers, choose a marketing CRM software tool. However, if your goal is to spot a sales lead and gain better visibility on all sales opportunities, choose a sales CRM software tool.

11. Always Update Customer Information

Gathering your customer information in your CRM database is not enough. The data provided by your CRM system is only useful if it is updated, organized chronologically, and current. 

To ensure you have accurate information about your customers at all times, you have to continuously update customer information in your CRM system. 

The more you update your customers’ information, the more your CRM creates profiles and files customer portfolios. For instance, a customer might have outgrown a trend or item but this will not reflect in your CRM if you do not continue to update the customer profile.

Integrating your CRM with other software tools makes it even more powerful and gives you a competitive edge. Incorporating your CRM and ERP software tools together helps companies maximize their business operations.

You can integrate your CRM software tool with other popular tools such as marketing automation software, project management software, email marketing software, and accounting software. Integrating CRM tools with other programs makes it more efficient to use. 

The job of team members becomes easier when you integrate other popular software tools into your CRM software. This is because they get multiple databases and access to information when a customer complaint comes through.

For example, integration with cloud-based accounting software tools can give access to customer savings or spending history to know much they can spend or lose when investing their money.

Top Qualities of CRM Software
Source: Truelist

Organizations have to monitor and keep up with the latest trends and updates in the CRM world. What are the latest CRM trends, marketing, sales, and customer support strategies other companies are adopting?

The latest trends are not only limited to marketing and sales strategies but also include the latest CRM software tools and features attracting massive interest and generating higher ROI. 

Some of the latest CRM trends to watch out for include the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI), social CRM, IoT technologies, and channel-less CRM.

14. Acquire CRM Support

One of the most essential features of CRM software is customer support. Most customers tend to leave or not patronize certain businesses due to poor customer experience. 

By offering top-notch customer service to your customers, you have them freely market on your behalf through word-of-mouth marketing. 

In this age of social media, one comment or review from an angry and displeased customer may damage your business’s reputation and stature. This is why companies should acquire CRM support to create fast responses and attention to their customers even if a customer care agent can not get to them immediately. 

Customer Preference Statistics
Source: Tech.co

One of the best practices for getting the best customer support possible from your CRM software is linking it with live chat software tools such as LiveChat, Sendinblue, ChatBot, Zendesk, and Zendesk alternatives.

Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.