Posts tagged How to get great CRM
I recently moved house. Hopefully for the last time ever. And it made me realise something. I hate getting all my old mail. I've been all 'geeky' and done 'remove from database' labels to stick onto unwanted post , but it's a real pain having to write, fax or email all the people that offer me services with my new details. I will soon get around to it.
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And you can bet the contacts on your own database feel exactly the same about you.
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One fabulous mailing error so far has come from my building society, the one in which I've just taken out my new mortgage with. How on earth does a different......
CRM System TopTip: I was at a CRM bash a number of years ago when an in-house CRM database manager.... and although it wasn't about the technology of CRM, but strategy and people aspect, I ended up talking to a few other CRM database managers or the poor sods who have had it lumped into their court... about their databases... Funny how we all had different ones, talking about the struggles and things. Which makes me think - if there was one good system out there, we'd all have it. It's the data, how you use it and the reporting that makes any old database into something useful. Getting something back out is what most users want. That, and top level buy in. .........
CRM Databases in Law and Accounting firms – a few Tips to get you going
IT is just some of the issues you'll face. People and the info are more important to your success
Automate tasks a person can do - like activity alerts, information, email responders
Get key people on board (once they use it and like it, everyone else will)
Don't call it the sales, BD, Bus Dev or Business Development database'. It's for client facing staff
Ensure it is easy to use. And very quick to use.
Don't go love on everything. Keep some features back or it will overwhelm
Remind staff why they should use it
Build up a profile on your best contacts (re-verify yearly & target them),
Ensure your CRM database doesn't do too much in the early stages... Not many Lawyers & Accountants are early adopters! So more than 5 buttons may well be 6 too many! No really. Concentrate on the basics first... Once those are mastered, expand the features - and if you are getting begging feedback for a feature - do that one first!
You may have invested in a really swanky CRM Database... But don't expect your database to stand sti
You may have invested in a really swanky CRM Database... But don't expect your database to stand still over time - users will want tweaks here and there all the time. You'll always need to fine-tune it to user's requests - to keep usage rates up and people keen. But keep it as standard as possible - otherwise when it comes to upgrading to the new version, it'll be really expensive and loads of hassle. That's my hindsight talking! Please believe me. A heavily tweaked database is one that'll probably stand still and be way behind the competition in 5 or 10 years time.
CRM TopTip: Who does what? In your database or systems team that is.
We all know users do nothing, or as near to that as possible. But how do you allocate the tasks? Now, I might well be a CRM database geek, but even I will agree that constantly updating those Mr and Mrs fields, or running an email campaign (I've personally done hundreds, and my team even more) can sap the life force out of the best Jedi. But when you are looking to recruit, tweak the roles, who do you really want doing what? I recall, many moons ago looking for a database 'exec'. Admin really. You can't flash up these sorts of things to those in the know..... anyway, our HR team ......
Internal Comms about your CRM system: - Everyone hates loads of emails –
So make yours useful, short or communicate via another method, - Be different and stand out from the crowd (like posters in toilets rather on a crowded notice boards)<,- When you've got something to say, say it big (email, poster, memo, Q&A sessions at the same time), - Regular communications should add value not hassle (e.g. weekly activity review of fee-earner's contacts), - Work with key influencers – they'll spread the good word for you in their own meetings and 1-2-1's
Budgets. The credit crunch might be a while ago, but limited budgets isn’t. And when you consider how much CRM databases cost, you can easily spend half your whole marketing budget if you're not careful. But you can do a great deal on a very limited budget. Data for one. Oh, and getting it right that is. If you've got a tiny budget and you've been told to "sort out our marketing database", the best area you can spend that budget is on your data. And it need not cost you a fortune. I'll bet you've got most of the information you'll need sqirreled away somewhere in your organisation already. Website feedback forms, rollerdexs, ......
If you have to tweak a few areas, make sure it's future proof and that you can alter the values in the field (or whatever) yourself. A long time ago, I was asked to add 'x' field into one area of my system. Then a few month later, another, and some time after that - another.
If not, ...once you come to migrate to a new system, you have to pay to copy these all over again or delete them. Find a system that bolts them onto the main system, so ewhen the main system upgrades, you simply re-plug your amends onto the side of it.All withinin the same feature. Tracking pitches as it happens. Each time I ended up having to go back to the database suppliers - and ......
CRM systems TopTip: Have regular update meetings with your CRM system supplier.
Otherwise they'll get away without servicing your needs. So to speak. Go for weekly - and if they baulk, you are obviously not an important enough client if they can't spend 15 to 30 mins with you each week. You can also chase them up on things more regularly, like bugs, how to use features and stuff like that. Monthly, quarterly and half yearly lets too much time go by in-between chats. If you've not already bought a system, or are re-doing your contracts - get this stipulated. Helps no ends. Bit of hassle to begin with, but you and they will soon ......