As a provider of UK B2B data, 90% of our customers have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Over our 50-year history, we have seen a lot of CRM systems and always spend time with our customers to understand their internal systems, the data flow and how to help them get the most out of our data with those systems.

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Getting the most out of your CRM system is essential for optimising your business operations, improving customer satisfaction, and boosting sales and revenue. Just make sure to consider the following points:

Define Clear Objectives – what do you want/need from a CRM system:

Start by setting clear and specific goals for your chosen CRM system. What do you want to achieve by having a CRM system? Increase sales, improve your customer service, or streamline processes.

Choose the Right CRM Software – using your documented points from the above step:

Shortlist 2/3 CRM systems that align with your business needs and budget. Then, review each in detail, considering scalability, user-friendliness, customisation options, and integration capabilities before making your final decision.

User Training and Adoption – you only get one chance to get this right:

For a CRM system to be adopted well by your teams, you need the rollout to be seamless. Ensure easy-to-follow training guides are ready for users to take away after training. Ensure the training is at the right level for the user and demonstrates how to use but also the benefits that using the CRM system will give them and how it can make their jobs easier.

Data Quality and Cleanliness – obviously where we can help the most:

If you are adopting a new CRM or rolling out your first one, you need to know that the data you will put in is clean, that it is the right target market to support the business and that your customer data is updated and accurate. This stage is where we help many of our customers – if you have multiple datasets that need bringing together and cleaning before uploading to the CRM, you’ll need a lot of resources or an external partner like us. Then, you need a plan to maintain clean and accurate data within the CRM – many of our customers use our API connectors to take our Call Centre updates directly into their CRMs.

Customize for Your Needs – make it work best for you:

Customize the CRM system to match your business processes and workflows. Tailor it to your industry and specific requirements.

Integration with Other Systems:

Integrate your CRM with tools and systems like marketing automation, email marketing, and accounting software. Integration will ensure a seamless flow of data across your organization.

Automate Repetitive Tasks:

Automate routine tasks like data entry (use our Lookup API to ensure accurate data is automatically loaded for each record), lead nurturing (let us run your email campaigns and pull the leads into your CRM system daily), and data updates (if a company moves, we’ll tell you. We’ll let you know if a new contact joins, even if a company ceases trading. All of this will free up your team to focus on higher-value activities.

Lead and Opportunity Management:

Look to use the CRM to track leads and opportunities throughout the sales funnel; this will enormously benefit your organisation. You can then implement lead scoring and qualification processes to help prioritise leads effectively.

Customer Segmentation:

Segment your customer (and prospect) database based on various criteria such as demographics, purchase history, and engagement level. This allows for targeted marketing and personalised communication. If you don’t have the depth of information required, use a company that can match your customer data and append the required fields of information, like Market Location.

Analytics and Reporting:

Leverage your CRM’s reporting and analytics capabilities to gain insights into customer behaviour, sales performance, and trends. For this to be as accurate as possible, you may need to append additional fields of information per the abovementioned point. After all, you can only report on fields of information you hold.

Mobile Accessibility:

Accessing data on the go is essential, especially with some companies still maintaining a mix of home and office work. To ensure this does not affect the usage of your CRM system, you will need to be able to access it via mobile devices. This allows your team to access critical information on the go and stay connected with clients.

Security and Data Privacy:

This requirement needs a lot of focus as you must implement robust security measures to protect customer data and ensure compliance with data privacy regulations, such as GDPR. It would be worth bringing your IT department in early so that they can check the security measures in place and where the data will be held.

Getting the most out of your CRM system requires ongoing dedication and a commitment to using it as a strategic tool to build stronger customer relationships and drive business growth. Regularly assess its performance and adjust to meet your evolving business needs.