How to use CRM Software Data

How to use CRM Software Data

Written By: Ken Jacobsen

from August 26, 2015

Some companies purchase CRM services without a plan on how to use CRM data generated by the software. A 2014 Gartner survey, however, indicated master data management is a critical factor for the optimum performance of a CRM solution. The survey said improper MDM strategies will cost companies 25 percent of their potential revenues through 2017.

Businesses purchase CRM software to improve customer engagement and to consolidate multi-platform marketing performance. Companies want to track audiences as they browse online materials and create data histories for customer service. Once all this information is collected, though, some managers struggle to find proper uses for it.

Small to mid-sized businesses that implement CRM solutions want to do so with a strategy in mind.

What CRM software can do

Every business keeps track of its customers. Some small businesses may still use a paper log, others may have customer service agents who place notes on their computer screens to make client details visible during online engagements.

Companies can use CRM solutions to create a centralized data platform so all customer tracking and reporting practices are uniform. Every user can access the information in the system. Inc. stated complete data visibility allows companies to delegate tasks and compare clients. By working with a CRM consultant, an implementation team may integrate the software with other company systems. This prevents re-entries or mistakes caused by communication errors. Implementation teams should also design a dashboard layout that facilitates simple daily use.

Many companies use CRM services to make regular operations easier and more productive, but how can they put the data collected in the new system to use?

Data insights

The simplification of operations that CRM solutions provide is necessary as small businesses expand. To match the modern world, almost all organizations have to take business practices online.

To keep up with today’s consumers, companies have to offer and market their products and services through a variety of channels. CRM software helps monitor these channels. MarketingSherpa said companies should use CRM services to read a customer’s digital body language. CRM solutions provide a resource for companies to track customers and leads as they make contact with a business through social media, email, chat and mobile text. Employees should store the history of every customer touch point with the company in the software.

Data shouldn’t just sit in a digital warehouse. Employees from many different departments could profit from comparing customers and social channels. By analyzing customer histories, a business can determine which type of client offers the best lifetime performance. Marketing channel supervision provides insight into online audience interest and companies can create future ads that are more eye-catching. Customer service agents use the software to display client information and grow relationships with every interaction.

A unified CRM software system allows departments to work together. Sales and marketing can track leads together to see how online content influences actual client conversions. If the marketing team deploys a new tactic, sales representatives know to expect an increase in performance. If nothing changes, employees can retool strategies based on performance data.

Companies may have too much information for a single platform. It could be possible, however, to assign greater importance to certain types of data. High-priority information can be sent to a centralized platform, while other details get placed in cold storage. A business has to decide what type of insight it wants and work with a software partner to ensure information streaming in from customer interactions is manageable by employees.

Start with a plan

Businesses must keep best practices in mind when selecting CRM services. Before an organization purchases a software solution, they should plan for its use.

A company should seek input from business stakeholders when weighing the possible benefits of CRM implementation. Managers must consult sales, marketing and inventory management representatives about daily practices and needed improvements. A business should take these details to a CRM consultant to find the right system for specific operations.

A CRM partner will provide strategies for data management during implementation. Business New Daily suggested automating certain routine practices. Employees could simplify lead generation, email marketing, invoicing and sales forecasting through proper CRM data usage. Automated processes need clean data, so employees have to eliminate redundancies and use consistent terminology.

During implementation, a company should keep an open conversation with a CRM partner about data management and new solutions.