Reduce time in managing customer relationships

It’s no secret that CRM tools and solutions allow you to store contact information, accounts, leads and sales opportunities in one central location. It is built around people and relationships and that’s exactly why it can be so valuable for a fast-growing business! Especially for the growing number of scale-ups in Europe, it could be useful to know how you can adapt and optimize your CRM systems and make these hard-working for you and your growing number of employees.

The good news is that CRM systems of today offer great scalability, which means that they will fit your needs now and will continue to fit your needs while scaling up your business further. You can add more users as your workforce grows, and the constantly evolving suite of modules also allows you to add new components as you expand, meaning that you won’t have to purchase a whole new system – you can just make your existing system better and bigger. The most important thing is making sure all your employees are properly trained on the role of CRM in your business and the processes that are in place.

Here are lessons learned on how you can improve the usage of CRM in your growing company:

·       Make CRM training mandatory during the Orientation Week

It is important that new hires responsible for sales and business development are aware of the CRM processes in place in your organization. Making this a mandatory training during their onboarding days will allow them to understand how your CRM is configured and give them an introduction to your marketing and sales pipeline. It is best to tailor-fit the training per individual, but you can also do this in batches per function to make it scalable in your organization. This is very important as staff across your organization will require different levels of support according to their role and responsibilities in the company.

·       Schedule CRM refresher sessions for current employees
It’s often the case that training is accounted for up until the point of implementation but neglected in the longer term. It’s wise to put a plan in place for refresher trainings, so that your employees continue to use your CRM efficiently. Several months in, your super-users can either identify the best practices to emulate or simply provide feedback on what processes need to be improved. If they think there’s room for improvement, it’s a good opportunity to review the current processes in place and provide follow-up training sessions. A culture of continued learning can only benefit your company, as it continues to keep your staff are engaged and motivated.

·       Implement mobile functionalities for sales team
The good news about most CRM software is that they are typically also available via mobile apps, where you can access and update data on the go. Because the information is in real-time, mobile employees are always completely in sync and up-to-date on their information. This reduces the need for the employees to complete their administrative work on their desks, which is the main reason why employees tend to make updates in the first place.

·       Evaluate your CRM regularly
It is important to have an evaluation process in place to review the performance and usability of the systems you’re implementing internally. The key question to ask yourself is whether the CRM is making the company more efficient or is simply just an administrative burden to your employees. While it takes time, due diligence and a lot of effort to collect internal feedback, it provides insight on what new functionalities need to be implemented or what processes need to be optimized.

For growing companies that will only invest in a CRM system for the first time, it’s important to find a suitable CRM supplier that fits the objectives of your business.  It could be useful to compare the different CRM offerings and suppliers based on the following criteria:

1.     Business Experience
It’s better to choose a CRM supplier that has relevant experience and know-how in the industry your business is active in. This is an important consideration because then they have already put in a lot of work to tailor-fit their platform based on the common pain points and struggles relevant to your industry.

2.     Partner Network
Most European firms want a local partner to provide support during and after implementing the CRM system. To verify who those local partners are, it makes sense to look into the supplier’s partner channel and ask yourself how much CRM experience the local partner has and how many implementations they have been involved with.

3.     Technology
Most businesses get caught up in choosing a cloud-based solution. It’s better not to get caught up in choosing your supplier solely on the type of technology. Just because you need one deployment option today doesn’t mean that you won’t need the other one in the future.  It’s important to choose a supplier that keeps as many doors open as possible.

By better aligning people and business processes, CRM systems can definitely help organizations achieve greater scale and grow efficiently. It is important for your system to grow together with your business, so you can see everything in one place — in a simple, customizable dashboard that can tell you all about a customer’s previous history with you, the status of their orders, any outstanding customer service issues, and more. This way, you can initiate action on-demand anywhere.

 

How an ecosystem helps:

Scale-Ups.eu connects entrepreneurs with each other, so they can discuss best implementation strategies, lessons learned and other pitfalls to watch out for.

Meet members in our network that have CRM solutions and platforms:

Teamleader unifies CRM, project planning and invoicing in a simple and intelligent tool helping businesses work smarter

Piesync lets you connect your cloud apps so you can automatically share customer contacts between your marketing automation, CRM, email marketing, invoicing, and e-commerce apps.