Customer relationship management (CRM) software is one of the most important components of any business. It allows businesses to manage their customer relationships, sales, and marketing efforts in one place.
Even for small business owners, CRM plays an integral role. It allows business owners to see their customers’ complete purchase history, preferences, and contact information in one place.
In most cases, it also gives them access to data, employee activity and productivity, social media interaction, and analytics that helps them understand their customers better.
But how can your organization utilize this powerful software?
This blog post will give you seven tips on how to use CRM software to your business’s advantage.
Ready to choose a CRM solution for your business? Here are nine of the best CRM software options for your business.
1. Define Your Business Goals
The best strategy for using CRM software is to choose the right one for your business.
Before you start using any CRM software, it’s important that you first sit down and define your business goals. By doing this, you’ll be able to select a CRM software that is best suited for your needs.
What do you want to achieve with your CRM software? Do you want to increase sales, improve customer retention, or both? Once you know your goals, you can narrow down your options and choose CRM software to help you achieve them.
For example, if you want to increase sales, you may want to choose a CRM software with features like lead tracking and automated marketing.
On the other hand, if your goal is to improve customer retention, you’ll want to look for CRM software with features like customer segmentation and customer service tools.
And for recruitment agencies, a CRM with applicant tracking and HR management features would be beneficial because it helps them manage both clients and candidates efficiently.
2. Consider Your Business Size
The next thing you need to consider is the size of your business.
Are you a small business owner with a few employees? Or are you managing a large team with hundreds of employees? The size of your business will determine the type of CRM software you need.
For small businesses, it’s best to go with CRM software that is simple and easy to use. Look for one with a user-friendly interface and straightforward features to set up and use. Very small organizations may even be able to use a free CRM solution (such as HubSpot’s free CRM).
On the other hand, if you’re managing a large team, you’ll need CRM software that is more robust and can accommodate your team’s size. Look for features like scalability, automation, and customization to make sure the CRM software can grow with your business.
You should also consider the number of users who will be using the CRM software. You’ll need CRM software to support multiple users if you have a large team.
Look for features like user management and security to make sure your data is safe and secure.
And if you have employees who work remotely, look for CRM software with mobile apps so they can access your CRM data from anywhere.
3. Integrate With Your Workflows and Other Business Tools
When going through the CRM implementation process, you need to consider every tool your business uses to run efficiently.
Your CRM software should be able to integrate with your workflows and other business applications seamlessly. This way, your business can operate smoothly without any disruptions.
Here are a few great software integrations to take advantage of within your organization:
Your CRM software should be able to integrate with your email client. This way, you can easily track emails, schedule appointments, and set reminders without having to switch between applications.
For example, HubSpot Sales integrates with Gmail and Outlook so you can track emails, schedule meetings, and set reminders without ever leaving your inbox.
When choosing a CRM tool for your business, it’s essential to make sure it integrates with your email client. In nearly every case, it will make your life much easier.
Another important integration to look for is calendar integration. This way, you can easily schedule and track appointments, meetings, and calls without having to switch between applications.
Most CRM software will have some form of calendar integration. However, it’s important to check that the CRM software you’re considering integrates with the calendar application you use.
For example, HubSpot Sales integrates with Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, and iCal so you can easily schedule and track your appointments and meetings.
Project Management Integration
If your team uses project management software such as Asana or Trello, you’ll want to look for CRM software that integrates with these applications. This way, you can easily track projects and tasks without switching between applications.
Project management integrations are especially beneficial for marketing agencies and other services businesses because they can easily track projects and tasks for their clients. This makes it easy to update clients on progress, keep your team on track, and avoid scope creep.
Communication Tools Integration
Another important integration to consider is communication. Can your team easily communicate with each other within the CRM software?
Some CRM software includes features like chat and video conferencing so your team can easily communicate with each other. Other CRM software integrations, such as Slack, can provide similar functionality.
Teams can enjoy real-time messaging, file sharing, and video conferencing when CRM integrates with Slack and other communication software. This makes it easy for team members to access customer data while communicating with each other without having to switch between applications.
Data Warehousing Integration
If your business collects a lot of customer data, you absolutely need to integrate your CRM with software like Databricks or Snowflake. This way, you can easily store, manage, and analyze your customer data without any disruptions.
Data warehousing integrations are essential for businesses that store large amounts of customer data. These integrations make it easy to connect your CRM software to a data warehouse so you can easily store, manage, and analyze your customer data.
For example, an ecommerce business with hundreds of SKUs will use a CRM tool to track customer behavior, orders, and returns. They might also use a warehouse to store products, orders, and customer data.
By integrating their CRM with their data warehouse, their data team can easily analyze customer behavior and order data to make better decisions about their business.
Web Hosting Integration
If you’re using a CRM software for your website, you need to make sure it integrates with your web hosting. This way, you can easily track website visitors, leads, and customers without having to switch between applications.
For example, a software company using a WordPress CMS will want to integrate their CRM with their web hosting so they can easily track website visitors, leads, and customers. In this instance, you would want to choose the best CRM for WordPress.
Integrating these two applications gives them a complete view of their website traffic and customer behavior. This will allow them to make improvements to their user experience, market their products and services more effectively, and close more deals.
Sales Enablement Integration
For B2B companies, sales enablement software is an absolute must. Sales enablement software helps sales teams close more deals by providing them with the resources they need to be successful.
AI tools that allow for automated notetaking, content curation on Zoom calls, and meeting prep are all examples of sales enablement software.
By integrating your CRM with sales enablement software, you can easily track leads and customers through the entire sales cycle. You also won’t have to manually input all of the data yourself, which will save time and reduce the margin for error.
4. Use Your CRM to Deliver Live Assistance
When it comes to customer experience, CRM software can do more than just store data. CRM software can also be used to deliver live assistance to your customers. This is especially helpful for businesses that rely on customer support, such as ecommerce businesses, banks, and software companies.
By integrating your CRM with live chat or video conferencing software, you can easily connect with your customers on the platforms that they already use. This will provide them with the assistance they need, when they need it, and ultimately improve their experience with your company.
This kind of integration is also useful for collecting user data and improving your product or service.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using your CRM software to deliver live assistance:
- Make sure your team is trained on how to use the software and can answer customer questions quickly and efficiently.
- Monitor your team’s performance so you can identify any areas that need improvement.
- Be sure to follow up with customers after providing them with assistance to ensure they had a positive experience.
5. Have Your CRM Help You Maintain an Omnichannel Presence
Your customers aren’t in just one place. In most cases, businesses need to support marketing, sales, and customer service across multiple channels. This can include email, social media, phone, live chat, and more.
It’s important to have a consistent presence across all of these channels so your customers know they can always reach you. But if you’re manually managing each channel separately, it can be difficult to keep track of everything.
This is where CRM software can help. CRM software can be used to manage all of your customer interactions in one place. This way, you can easily see what channels are most popular with your customers and ensure you’re providing a consistent experience across all of them.
And since most CRMs can work across multiple channels, they can also help with customer interactions automatically. Whether it’s a response to a tweet, an automated email after a purchase, or a follow-up call after a live chat, CRMs can help keep the conversation going even when you’re not there.
It’s also important to consider how your omnichannel strategy will change as your business grows. As you add new channels, be sure to update your CRM software so it can continue to support your omnichannel presence. And if you plan to grow your business, make sure your CRM software can scale with you.
6. Deliver Value-Added Content to Customers
Content marketing is one of the best ways to attract and engage customers. But not all content is created equal. In order to be successful, your content needs to be valuable and relevant to your audience.
Once you have your content (e.g. whitepapers, blog posts, special information for an email list), you need to get it in front of the right people. And this is where your CRM can help.
With CRM software, you can segment your customers and target them with content that’s relevant to their needs. For example, if you have a customer who just made a purchase, you could target them with content about how to use your product.
Or, if you have a customer who’s been inactive for a while, you could target them with content about why your product is the best solution for their needs.
Here are a few tips for delivering content to your customers and prospects:
- Use your CRM data to craft helpful and compelling content that your customers will actually want to read.
- Deliver your content at the right time, such as after a purchase or when a customer shows signs of churn.
- Test different content formats and strategies to see what works best for your audience.
- Use an educational content marketing approach to build trust with potential customers and establish thought leadership.
Analyze data you collect from your content to improve your results over time.
By delivering value-added content to your customers, you can improve their experience with your company and increase the chances of them doing business with you again in the future.
What this means for your business is increased conversions, less customer churn, and higher customer lifetime value.
7. Create Engaged Online Communities and Tiered Loyalty Programs
One of the best things that CRM allows businesses to do is to connect with their customers on a deeper level.
You can create online communities for your customers and prospects with CRM software. This is a great way to build relationships and keep people engaged with your brand.
For example, you could create a Facebook group for your customers and use it to provide customer support, run contests, and give away coupons.
Similarly, you could create an engagement program that encourages customers to interact with your brand on social media.
You can also create tiered loyalty programs with your CRM software. This is a great way to reward your best customers and keep them coming back for more.
For example, you could offer a discount to customers who spend a certain amount of money with you. Or, you could give VIP access (i.e. access to exclusive content, hacks, and deals) to customers who make a certain number of purchases or pay for a membership.
Creating engaged online communities and tiered loyalty programs can increase customer retention and grow your business.
When choosing a CRM software that works well with your business, consider how you can use it to create communities and programs that are bigger than just your product or service.
By creating engaged online communities and tiered loyalty programs, you can increase customer retention and grow your business.