CRM stands for customer relationship management, and for good reason. CRM software should be designed to help you understand your customers better, so that you can reach more of them, more effectively.But all too often, we find that our CRM software can drag us down.
And to make matters worse, actually making the changes that could make the software successful can be a nightmarish process, with no guaranteed results. It’s time to talk about how we can use CRM to make us more agile as a business, and how we can accomplish it in an agile fashion, too.
You can get a lot out of your CRM.
Understanding your customers starts with knowing as much important information about them as possible, and ends with using that information to make more sales now and in the future.
You can achieve these goals by using CRM software to get a 360° view of your customers, coordinate your sales and marketing efforts, and forecast revenue to make better decisions in the future.
What’s a true 360° customer view?
After you’ve made sure you’re asking the right questions to get the customer data you’re actually after, you need a way to access and visualize that data in the way that matters most to you, in your role. You need a true 360° customer view.
A true 360° customer view helps you understand who your customers are, what they want, and how they interact with your brand across all channels. With a well-designed CRM, you can view who your customers are from all angles, and see the right information, at the right time, on the right device.
Coordinate sales and marketing efforts.
To gather, nurture, and convert leads into opportunities, and opportunities into customers, and customers into repeat customers, it’s essential for sales and marketing teams to be on the same page. You can use your CRM software to be the connector between sales and marketing.
Your CRM can help you track and measure sales activities and help sales prioritize marketing pipeline. Additionally, by integrating your CRM with your marketing software, you can identify where your leads came from, and the specific actions they took along their journey.
Forecast revenue and make better decisions.
In addition to gathering and accessing more information about your customers and making sales and marketing efforts more efficient, you can use your CRM to make more meaningful, strategic business decisions now and in the future.
With accurate and up-to-date information on current, potential, and even missed opportunities, as well as information on how salespeople spend their time, you can quickly identify what’s working and what’s not. Then, set more realistic goals and establish processes that reinforce desirable outcomes.
Make your CRM work better for your people.
Now that you know what you can do with your CRM, how do you design the software so that it actually helps you meet those goals?
Keep tabs on your customers.
Your CRM can keep track of more than just contact information. You can use your CRM to store your entire communication history with a customer or prospect. By storing this information in your CRM, you can know where you are in a sales cycle, as well as track customers’ future buying patterns, based on previous behavior.
If you find that your salespeople have records of customer contact, but they’re not keeping that information in CRM, in an Excel spreadsheet instead, perhaps, that’s bad news. Not only is this less secure, you’re not able to use that information to make better predictions.
Organize all your data.
To ensure that your view of each individual customer, and of groups, is accurate, it’s important to organize your data so that it displays at the opportune time, in the correct place, and that your CRM and data sources safeguard against duplicate information.
In addition to being able to see customer data from a high level, you also need the ability to drill down deeper when you want more detailed information, without opening a million tabs to do it. By the same token, you also need to be able to hide the information that you don’t need, or isn’t relevant at the current moment, without losing it altogether.
Automate tasks, follow-ups, and emails.
The last thing you should be thinking about when you’re trying to hit a sales quota is making sure a laundry list of administrative tasks are scheduled and completed. You should be focused on what you were hired to do, sell.
Your CRM should create an alert for, or automate, follow-up emails, depending on the level of personalization needed, and make it impossible for you to forget future tasks. You should also be able to easily coordinate these tasks with others on your team.
Enable in-line and batch editing.
At Skuid, our own sales reps say that they live and die by the lead queue.But in many out-of-the-box CRMs, a sales rep may have to open a new browser tab every time a change needs to be made in a lead’s status.
By incorporating an in-line editing feature into your CRM, sales reps can make changes on the fly to multiple leads, from a single window. Similarly, batch editing allows you to change a value on all of your records at once, saving reps hours each week.
Build smarter, not harder.
Okay, so you know what you want to get out of your CRM, and you know a few ways to improve your CRM experience so that it will get you better results. But good luck developing a CRM like that, or coding the necessary changes, right?Wrong. You can go agile in your CRM development.
Why not Waterfall?
Traditionally, many enterprises choose the Waterfall methodology when developing their CRM software, if they’re not using an out-of-the-box product (out-of-the-box is not ideal for businesses with complex or unique processes). Waterfall does have its advantages.
The meticulous record-keeping during the Waterfall process allows context for future improvements to the software, and protects against the dangers of employee turnover and all the knowledge of your product being lost.
However, Waterfall is not ideal if you have user needs that change frequently, and that’s often the case with CRM software.Your customers, and your relationships with them, and your own business, are constantly evolving and optimizing, while your users constantly demand more in their user experiences.
But Waterfall relies heavily on the initial requirements document you create for the development team, and once a step is completed, developers can’t go back to a previous stage and make changes.
Errors that need to be fixed, or changes that need to be made, mean starting over. You don’t have time for that.
The case for agile.
Unlike Waterfall, agile helps to make sure that development sprints and iterations address changes as they occur, and that the user interface keeps pace with the evolving requirements of the business and the users. With agile, you can make changes and test them as you go along, at the speed of business.
Agile is great for UI because it’s inclusive and gets impactful input delivered quickly. It helps make sure applications are responsive to business changes and helps ensure users can perform their tasks in easy, simplified, and streamlined ways.
Matt Potts, Pre-sales Solutions Engineer
That’s exactly what you need for CRM.
Go agile from end to end.
Your CRM doesn’t have to be clunky, inefficient, and slow to change. You can transform your CRM into a revenue machine, and with the agile method, you can do it fast. Ready to learn how you can use Skuid to get a more agile CRM now? Get a free demo today!