By Phil Hobden, Head of Growth and Strategy at Know-it
For years, I resisted the adoption of a certain globally recognised CRM. You know the one – adorned with a prominent logo and often sponsoring flashy sports events. Personally, across numerous implementations, I always found it somewhat lacking in user-friendliness, and more significantly, I struggled to harness its potential as a true CRM. In honesty, its sheer size made it unwieldy and almost unusable.
However, in the past three months, I've had a revelation. Following an extensive effort to optimise it for my sales team and business, my perspective on the software has made a complete 180. While it may not boast the sleekness of some competitors, its power and reporting capabilities are nearly unparalleled. The real issue, I realised, wasn't the technology itself but rather the previous implementations that had turned it into a convoluted monstrosity.
In the realm of sales, where customer relationships underpin success, optimising your CRM system is not just an option – it's a prerequisite. Regardless of personal preferences regarding technology, a meticulously tailored and efficiently managed CRM can serve as the driving force behind a flourishing and successful sales business.
So, what key considerations should be taken into account when supercharging your CRM as a sales leader?
Data Accuracy and Completeness: Regularly audit and clean the data within the CRM to ensure accuracy. Encourage sales teams to input complete and up-to-date information for each customer.
Customisation for User Roles: Tailor CRM access and features according to the specific needs of different user roles within the sales team. Ensure that each team member has access only to the information and functionalities relevant to their responsibilities.
Integration with Other Tools: Integrate the CRM with other essential tools, such as email platforms and marketing automation software, to streamline workflows. Ensure seamless data flow between the CRM and other systems to avoid manual data entry errors.
Automation of Routine Tasks: Identify repetitive and time-consuming tasks and automate them within the CRM to boost efficiency. Implement workflow automation for processes like lead scoring, email responses, and task assignments.
Analytics and Reporting: Configure the CRM to generate meaningful reports and analytics for sales performance. Utilise dashboards to provide at-a-glance insights into key metrics, enabling informed decision-making.
Customer Segmentation: Utilise CRM features to segment customers based on various criteria such as demographics, purchase history, and engagement levels. Tailor marketing and sales strategies based on these segments for more targeted approaches.
In the competitive world of sales, optimising your CRM isn't merely a technological upgrade; it's a strategic necessity. A meticulously optimised CRM system serves as the linchpin for successful customer relationship management, allowing businesses to engage customers effectively, streamline operations, and drive growth.
As technology advances and customer expectations evolve, the role of CRM optimisation will only become more pivotal for businesses aiming to stay ahead of their competitors.
About the author
Phil has spent over 15 years in financial services & the Fintech accountancy sectors, working for some of the most innovative businesses in these industries, including Intuit, NatWest Banking Group and Wolters Kluwer. Phil is now the Head of Strategy & Growth for credit management fintech platform Know-It. Know-it is a platform that enables a business to effectively manage all their credit processes, to mitigate risk and to get a better understanding of their customers.
Phil is a business and strategy contributor for Elite Business Magazine online, a featured writer for Engage Sales, a serial podcast host including his latest project ‘The Story of’, judge for UK Business Tech awards & the Global Tech awards across 2021 to now , a public speaker (having spoken at Elite Business Live x3, Accountex x3, Accountex North, QuickBooks Get Connected, Customer Engagement Transformation Conference and more) and has guested on numerous industry podcasts and industry webinars including with the ACCA, Accounting Influencers, Humanise The Numbers, Advance Track and others.
Phil has worked with partners, practice owners, accountants and bookkeepers in the UK, South Africa and beyond, from Top 5 through to leading niche and boutique firms, helping them implement new technology, change processes and launch new service lines to better support their own practices and as well as their SMB clients.