14 CRM Best Practices for 2014 – Start NOW!


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Which best practice techniques would turbo charge your CRM initiative?

Constant evolution of your CRM platform is important, but waiting until New Years day 2014 is not a recognized best practice. So if you are looking for practical steps you can take to get the best out of your current investment, then look no further. Some of these suggestions are quick and easy to implement, and cost very little, while others require investment but promise significant returns.

  1. Banish Excel from the sales meeting

  2. Only record what is necessary

  3. Clean your data

  4. Talk to the users

    • And by that, I do mean USERS, not just those with a license or only access the CRM system to look up a phone number.

  5. Talk to the non-users

    • Find out why they are not using the system, make the changes and get them on board. Help them to cross the digital divide – unless they want to remain with the “have nots”. Remember, user adoption is key to successful CRM.

  6. Get social

    • Start to track your contacts’ social presence. Twitter handles, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles- they all help you to understand your customers better. Then do something with the new insights – perhaps it’s time to consider inbound marketing?

  7. Review your CRM software

    • Most people only use 20% of the available functionality of any software package – so find out what you have already paid for, but don’t use. Is there an opportunity to do things Better, Faster, Cheaper?

  8. Get out of the office

    • Meet with customers and prospects, but take your CRM system with you, either on a smart phone, tablet or laptop. Share your data with your customers and ask them what they would change. Would a customer portal or integrating your CRM software with your web site improve customer loyalty? Periodically provide surveys of customer service quality. Rewarded responses.

  9. Trade in the shot gun for a laser

    • Bulk mailing is sooo two years ago. Stop mailing out the same boring generic content to everyone and start tailoring messages to people based on their needs and interests. Segment list, ID types of content per contact responsibilities. What do your customers WANT to learn more about?

  10. Involve pilot team of influential/Power users

    • Test and refine everything. Marketing contact, client profiling, sales processes, customer service procures – make 2014 the year you change everything that needs changing.

  11. Measure the results – show off with graphs

  12. Automate the tedious stuff and alert the important

    • If it needs doing, but is a repetitive boring task, then get some software to do the job, and free up some time to do more interesting things! Create helpful alerts: email/reports of key performance indicator changes.

  13. Characteristics of your customers are key

  14. Tailor to your terminology

How may of these best practices do you want to implement next year?

How many do you already apply? Let us know what steps you’ve taken or want to take.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dick Wooden
CRM specialist to help you get the answers you need with sales, service, and marketing CRM software. I help mid-sized businesses select, implement and optimize CRM so that it works the way their business needs to work. My firm is focused on client success with remarkable customer experience, effective marketing and profitable sales using CRM strategy and tools.


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