5 CRM Best Practices to Drive Adoption

5 CRM Best Practices to Drive Adoption

October 4, 2017 | Matt Reid

With so many internal stakeholders spanning across several organizations—from sales to marketing to product and more—the value a CRM delivers depends on the apps you build on it. Here are five CRM best practices to help you drive adoption within your organization so you can see a return on your investment.

An effectively managed CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can positively impact revenue. Despite this, and all the CRM best practices resources out there, adoption rates continue to be notoriously low. The primary reason is that organizations are relying solely on their CRM instead of building out a comprehensive technology stack.

I recently shared five specific ways to ensure CRM (Customer Relationship Management) success with James Obermayer on CRM Radio. Hit play to listen to the full discussion or read below for five CRM best practices to help drive adoption.

Best Practice #1 : Integrate with Tools

CRM Best Practices
Integration is necessary for full visibility.

The CRM is just one component of the sales technology stack and it serves as a great repository of information, but only if it integrates with the other tools in your stack.

Integration is the most important of all CRM best practices because if it doesn’t have the capacity to integrate with your other tools like sales engagement or pipeline management, it’s hard to get the full picture. And without a comprehensive understanding of what’s going on in your business, it’s tough to plan ahead.

Best Practice #2: Get Stakeholder Buy-In

Since this is a tool that is shared throughout the organization, buy-in from stakeholders across internal organizations is critical. Often times this becomes complex because the stakeholder buy-in varies across two dimensions—organizational and user level.

At the organizational level, the stakeholders are the different teams within your company that are impacted by the CRM. It is important to highlight the value of the system for each organization to get their buy-in. For example, the value for a marketing team would be on campaign insight so they know where they should be allocating time and money.

CRM Best Practices
A gap in stakeholder buy-in weakens the process and impact of the CRM.

At the user level, stakeholders are split between those who are leveraging the CRM to develop better business processes and those who are working in the system with the data regularly. For example, sales leaders leverage a CRM for control—control over process, workflows, forecasting, and overall strategy. For sales professionals, they leverage the CRM daily as they interact with prospects and manage leads.

Because of how flexible CRMs can be, it is important all stakeholders are aligned on target outcomes. Without buy-in from each stakeholder, it is likely there will be a gap in the process that weakens the impact of the CRM.

Best Practice #3: Integrate Leads Accurately

CRM Best Practices
The CRM is only as good as the data input.

Your CRM is a system of record, so it is important to ensure leads are accurately integrated. The system is only as good as the data put in. If you have an abundance of quality data, you will have an abundance of output with deep insights you can leverage.

With great output, comes data sales leaders and sales professionals will come to rely on. Accurate lead integration turns the CRM into the lifeblood of an organization by serving as a comprehensive repository that has the ability to prioritize sales activities and optimize lead distribution.

CRM Best Practice #4: Gain Workflow Control

CRM Best Practices
Align the CRM with sales activities to gain control of sales workflow.

Not all CRMs allow you to control your sales workflow. In order to drive adoption, your CRM should be closely tied to your sales process. Activities should be monitored so you can develop an optimized workflow that prioritizes sales activities and distributes leads in a way that makes the most sense for your business.

A controlled workflow saves time and guides your reps to ensure they are acting on the right types of leads, doing the right activity, following up in the right way—all to make sure the lead is moving through the sales cycle in a timely manner.

Best Practice #5: Leverage Reporting

CRM Best Practices
Keep stakeholders aligned and engaged with regular reporting.

With the prior four tips in play, reporting and insights are the icing on the adoption cake. The main reason for getting a CRM is likely for the insights it can provide through reporting. There are reports that each team can leverage and in order to drive adoption, it’s important to include reporting as part of your standard process. Take the time to understand the reporting capabilities and get the dashboards you need so that you can make better business decisions.

As the world of sales evolves to accommodate today’s buyers, the importance of efficiently using your CRM grows stronger. Efficient CRM use strengthens the relationship between sales and marketing by providing insight into what drives the greatest conversion. Keep these CRM best practices close to drive adoption and get the most out of the tool.

Categories: CRM, Inside Sales, Marketing, Sales

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