Understanding the value of engaging and closing sales through customer relationship management, or CRM, can help create healthy leads, organize important sales metrics and steadily increase sales – if used correctly. Great businesses start with great processes, and technology simply brings them to life. Here are 3 mistakes that should be avoided when deciding how to use your CRM system to relate with customers.

Relying on CRM for a Customer Strategy

CRM is designed to achieve specific marketing goals, so implementing CRM without determining any marketing goals can be disastrous. Still, many executives mistake a CRM system for a marketing strategy. The data you collect using CRM parameters start turning into your goals rather than your goals driving your CRM architecture. This will simply lead to data accumulation and hollow goal setting that will not lead to your ultimate business objectives.  For the best results, any CRM implementation should start with a customer strategy and goal, so that your business can collect the right information and make the right critical decisions.

Data Integrity

Generating Contacts, Not Leads

Once businesses start developing contacts, it is tempting to use that connection as a platform for free advertising. Customers are not interested in being advertised to. In fact, people invest money into technologies that block needless advertising, like recording shows on digital video recorders (DVR) to avoid commercials or spam blockers for unwanted emails. Instead of seeing all of your contacts as a one lane road for mass advertising, understand that building relationships with customers is multi-faceted. First, market segmentation, or dividing contacts into target subsets, can help provide the right message and service to address your targeted customer’s needs. Second, think of ways to find customers when they want something related to your brand. Marketing Automation Tools are great for building this type of relationship.

Collecting Data, Not Organizing It

To understand sales more clearly, some businesses track detailed statistics. This idea, in theory, is sound, but problems arise with the execution of this idea. The process has to be translatable for the sales and marketing team. Otherwise, focus might shift from engaging leads and closing sales, to cumbersome data-entry. Even worse, if your company’s records are unorganized, it is possible to lose customer data. To avoid this, companies need to make it easy to record and retain customer data. Also, the right metrics need to be recorded to help the company analyze sales data. There is no sense in presenting data if the story is not relevant. If used correctly, companies will be able to swiftly gather customer data, identify the most valuable customers and create brand-loyalty through customized products and services. Spending unnecessary time in data entry, organizing data, and digging through irrelevant data hinders the customer relationship.

CRM systems are always improving. But, no matter how innovative these systems may be, your return on investment (ROI) is still dependent on how it’s used. Working with your team to define clear goals and processes to accomplish them can help your business solve these three major mistakes with your CRM system. Affirma specializes in Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamic CRM consulting. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation today!

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