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What to Think About Before Investing in CRM
You are making the decision to evaluate a CRM and marketing automation platform. This is a smart decision and one that can greatly redefine your processes and business to make it more efficient and results-driven.
However, CRM and marketing automation is not a one-trick pony. It is not magic. It takes dedication and proper planning. So, here is an outline of what to expect when you take the first step in organizing and streamlining your business with software.
Part I: Think about your data and process
1. Organize your contacts.
How are your contacts currently organized? If they are in spreadsheets, does each column have a title? Are you missing data? Is your data consistent?
The first step is to organize your data so that when it is imported into your system, you are not missing important data sets which will skew your reporting, segmentation, and overall marketing/sales efforts.
Think about the following before importing your contacts or going through any training:
2. Get the 4-1-1 on your contacts
Who are your contacts? What information do you need to collect about them to more accurately sell or market to them?
Collecting specific data about your leads and clients helps you understand who your contacts are, and helps you personalize your communication. Before you import your contacts into your CRM, you will want to identify and setup all of your user-defined fields. Some custom fields might include, # of employees, company revenue, interests, etc.
You will want to have custom fields setup so you can easily segment and target all of your communications.
3. Determine your actions
What sort of activities/actions make up your sales and marketing processes?
A few examples might include:
These actions will be part of your workflows. If you do not have a set process, this is the time to start thinking about the types of actions/activities your team needs to take when selling or working with your contacts. From initial contact to contracts and monthly follow ups, think about every touch point you have or want to have with your leads and clients.
4. Think about your lead flow and traffic
Knowing where your leads and web traffic comes from is an important part to understanding your audience and planning your sales and marketing strategy.
Think about the following:
5. Define your goals for CRM and marketing automation implementation
Understanding WHY you are investing in technology is going to guide your implementation.
Establishing solid goals for your CRM and marketing automation will help your team see the benefits of this new technology.
6. Get your entire team onboard
CRM and marketing automation implementation requires your entire team to jump onboard with the initiative.
This is where selecting a CRM champion becomes helpful. Find someone who can spearhead the implementation process. This person needs to bring all departments together and help everyone get up to speed with the software and training.
Click here for more information about getting your team onboard with new technology.
7. Define your business process
This might be one of the most difficult aspects of implementing CRM and marketing automation. You have to know exactly what your business process is, so that you can setup your technology properly. If not setup right, it won’t be effective. Here are a few things to think about:
Each of these points should be addressed during the planning process. Understanding your process will not only increase the productivity of your team, but increase the chances of implementation success.
Part II: Do you know whom you’re emailing?
We have all received Spam in our day, and the last thing you want to be is a spammer. So, to keep your list clean and to ensure you aren’t blacklisted, make sure your contacts were acquired the right way.
What is the ‘right’ way to collect contacts? Here is your Emailable Contacts Checklist.
*As long as you can verify where/how/when you obtained permission to email your contacts, you are in the clear!
If your email communication or contact list contains any of the following, stop right there!
Phew! That’s a lot, but keeping your contact list clean as a whistle saves your online reputation.
Investing in CRM is one of the smartest things that you can do for your business, but remember it does not just happen overnight. Think, plan, and execute for success.