When it comes to storing customer data for personalized marketing, businesses need a solid Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in place. Tasked with keeping track of phone numbers, email addresses, previous purchases and other vital information, a good CRM system will eliminate a lot of time-consuming tasks. Plus, it will allow you to keep all of your customer data organized.

If you are already familiar with this type of software, this blog will help you learn how to better utilize your CRM for business.

Step 1 – Bring in Team Members

If you want to get better at utilizing your CRM system, you need to start by giving certain permissions to staff outside your marketing team. Your sales associates, for instance, need access to information because it can help them adjust sales tactics to increase their chances of making a sale. They can market specific items to customers based on a customer’s past purchase. They can also point out deals and promotions on products a customer may be interested in.

Step 2 – Customize Your CRM Settings

CRM programs usually have fields to fill in for the customer’s name, email address, phone number, location, the date they entered the CRM system and more. These fields can also be customized to include other important metrics to your customer data collection.

To customize the CRM settings to enhance the program’s efficiency, you need to observe your company’s sales cycle. Once you begin to see patterns, you can then create stages inside a sales funnel. Start small with the three basic stages known as lead, opportunity and customer. Each stage will signify a specific point in the sales funnel, guiding you from beginning to end.

As you continue to observe the average sales cycle from customer to customer, you will start to notice patterns. Not everyone who visits your online store will turn into a paying customer. Some people will get stuck in the early lead stage, while others may drop off the middle or even at the end of the sales funnel. To keep your leads moving through the sales pipeline, develop a marketing strategy using the information you have gathered from your CRM.

Once a new lead has entered the first stage of the sales funnel, you should immediately connect with them. The easiest way to do this is to send a welcome email. These messages are typically triggered when a new visitor signs up to receive notifications from your company. The welcome email should kick-off a series of email marketing messages that are meant to guide the lead through the sales funnel until reaching the close.

Step 3 – Import Existing Data into Your CRM System

Now that you have your team members involved and your CRM settings have been customized, begin importing your existing data into the system. Existing data can include contacts, promotions and even other businesses in your network.

If you are currently using spreadsheets to keep track of your leads and opportunities, these can be easily imported into a CRM system using a comma separated values (CVS) file format. To ensure a seamless transition, remember that each column on your spreadsheets needs to line up with the blank fields in the CRM system.

Step 4 – Add Tools and Third-Party Apps

The exciting thing about CRM programs is that most are compatible with other tools and third-party apps. Easily integrate functions such as web form builders into your CRM system to help keep all of your customer data organized. Another primary goal for CRM software is to eliminate as many repetitive, time-consuming tasks as possible.

For example, when a new visitor finds your website and fills out a web form, you want that data to be entered into your CRM system automatically. There is no need to assign this job to a member of your marketing team when it can be done in a matter of seconds by your CRM.

Step 5 – Customize the Dashboard

The control panel of a CRM system is known as the dashboard. As the display that provides businesses with a birds-eye-view of the customer information and employee performance, you can easily keep track of how well everything is flowing.

To better utilize your CRM system, customize how your dashboard looks. You can choose the statistics you want to focus on. For instance, you can view the total sales of a particular product or even see how many daily tasks your staff completed.

Step 6 – Enable Analytics and Reporting

The point of a CRM program is to simplify how you collect and organize customer data. To better utilize the system, enable analytics and reporting. Opt for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly reports that provide you and your team with a summary of your CRM metrics. Analyzing these metrics will show you the areas where your business is excelling and where it still needs some adjustments.

Wrapping Up Utilizing a CRM System

It’s never too early to incorporate a CRM program into your business. If you would like to learn about how marketing automation can help better utilize your CRM, request a SharpSpring demo today.

Naseem Shah