If you’re like me, you go bananas if you find out that information in your CRM isn’t correct or missing. A single piece of misinformation can completely torpedo a deal. Wrong contact info, wrong contextual information, lack of notes, or just lack of info in general, could all lead you to miss a sale or worse, lose one.
Lemme back up. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It’s like the business version of your memory in a personal relationship.
How much trouble are you in if you forget your significant other’s birthday or forget that they hate red meat or are allergic to shellfish?
Now, take your answer above and change out your significant other with your clients and replace you with your employees or team members. Your business needs to know when they communicate from a current prospect or client what is going on with them. How do you feel when you call a vendor that you’ve had a multi-year relationship with and they act like they have no idea who you were?
If your business relies on customer relationships then your CRM should be a priority to your business. Having that data correct is paramount to your success. The problem is that the data still needs to be manually input so training on the CRM should be one of the first things you train someone one if they are going to be using it. DO NOT assume that they know what they are doing because the information that you find vital might not be the same as their last job.
Wondering if your CRM is being kept up?
- Open your CRM and randomly look at the 5 last contacts that were added by someone else or, go back 6 months and pick some of your own.
- Put yourself in the place of a salesperson receiving an inquiry from this contact.
- Would you be able to make them feel like you know who they are?
- Would you have any idea of what they might be calling?
- Do you know if they have ever spent money with you?
- Do you know how to best serve them?
If you are answering the phone, and don’t have even 30 seconds to dig around and find this stuff out. How did you or your people do?
Even if you’re responding to an email you can screw it up if the correct information isn’t in there.
The first time I saw a CRM was when I was fresh out of college and working for a guy doing B to B sales. He told me that any time I entered a contact into the CRM I needed to make sure that if I was hit by a bus that night, that he would be able to go in and know exactly what was going on with that client. (If you don’t like “hit by a bus” use “won the lottery”.) That’s a great rule but it’s hard to do, much less, hard to train.
Have bad or missing information in your CRM is the same as having missing or wrong numbers in your accounting software.
What’s worth more to your business, dollars/transaction or relationships?
If your answer is relationships then you should be treating your CRM like your financial management software. You need to be very clear and specific as to what goes in when and where and you need to monitor just as closely.
We live in an amazing world today where 1 influencer giving a product or service a great review can create an instant millionaire. There is a reason that some influencers get paid $100’s of thousands of dollars to send a single tweet. That’s super exciting, BUT the same is true in the reverse and the negative numbers could be way worse.
CRM’s do so much more than keep contact info.
Your CRM probably has all kinds of other features like email capabilities, AI, marketing tracking, pipeline reporting and management, calling/texting capabilities, etc. Are you using them?
As an owner/manager/director, you should be able to access your CRM’s dashboard and know exactly what is going on in your business. There is no need for freaking spreadsheets and meetings where all that happens is someone reads you numbers from a spreadsheet that they got from a report in your CRM. (Sorry if that offends, but we don’t live in the world of Windows 95 anymore.)
If you’re reading this in frustration, there is easy to find help. All good CRMs come with training and support built in. If that is not what you want to do to figure this out then there are consultants and strategists out there that can help.
Your CRM, when treated as a good partner, will serve your business well. They are smart and can do a lot of things, but if you’re feeding it bad info it’s only going to give you bad results.
What are your thoughts? Any questions or comments?