Have you set your 2023 company goals yet? If you’re like many others out there, a new year signifies the time to reset, collect all of your thoughts from the previous year, and run full speed ahead towards your goals for this year. Before you get too far along though, we have a suggestion. 

A well-organized CRM allows you to maximize the impact of your stored data and leverage it to take your strategies to the next level. If you’re really looking to kick off the year right, make it a goal to review your CRM and get it organized ahead of time. 

CRM Organization

A CRM can do a lot to streamline your processes but only if you use it the way it’s meant to be used. An organized CRM will only get you so far if you know what to do with it. There are a couple of tasks that can be completed to set you up for success.  

First off, it’s a good idea to invest time into exploring your CRM and familiarizing yourself with all of its functions and capabilities. This is a straightforward process because all that’s needed is time set aside on your calendar. You can go through the software bit-by-bit or schedule some time with your CRM admin. They can be a valuable resource and guide you on how to use your CRM to its fullest potential. A short thirty-minute session can be enough to reveal some hidden shortcuts or tips and tricks for maximizing productivity. Even if you’re already familiar with it, there’s likely some application you’re unaware of so take the time to learn from the expert.  

In addition, make use of the guides and video tutorials that are offered. New resources are usually released on a regular basis whether that’s quick overviews of software updates or monthly webinars that highlight tools in the CRM. These can all be insightful towards new processes and ideas to incorporate into your current workflow. 

Ways to Organize a CRM

There are many aspects of your CRM that could use some reviewing every so often. We’ll touch on the two major ones to help you get started. These come down to your system and your people. 

Your CRM: Customer information is one of the most valuable areas to focus on. The data itself is one of the first areas you should tackle. This data is not free from error and over time it may become less useful than it was when you originally collected and stored it. This is why it’s important to add reviewing and updating to your task list when you go about organizing your CRM. 

Your People: Your CRM has stored important data throughout the years but do your employees have a good understanding of it? One strategy for organizing your CRM is to invest in those that oversee it. Because they are the ones that are working in the CRM, teaching them the skills and processes is one of the best ways to leverage the tool. A well-trained team will have the knowledge to keep your CRM working efficiently.  

Managing a Customer Database

As your customer database grows, you’ll want to have procedures in place to keep it from getting out of hand. A messy database can end up causing you trouble. To properly maintain it, get into the habit of regular housekeeping and thorough project management. It’s also useful to lean on the help of technology to get things done even when you’re not around.  

Schedule consistent time in your calendar to ensure the information you have on hand is reliable. It can be easy to miss duplicate entries or get in the habit of hoarding unnecessary data. Doing regular “cleanings” of the CRM can help you keep things in check.  

On top of your regular spot checks, it’s also useful to employ automation where you can. Automated workflows can save you time and make it easier to keep track of contacts that come through your CRM. There are lots of tools out there that can help you update data in your system.  

Take it a step further by incorporating a marketing automation tool with your CRM. When these two powerhouses are connected, you’ll find that your workflows run more smoothly. Your marketing automation can follow up on leads and activate campaigns based on triggers all while feeding the information back to your CRM.  

Organize Sales Leads

When it comes to organizing your sales leads, feel free to start at the very beginning. Properly define what a marketing qualified lead and a sales qualified lead are in your organization so you know where your contacts are in the funnel and who to pass them off to. Some people in your database may not fall under either category so you can sort them into a completely different list that still requires qualifying.  

Take the extra step to really separate your data into the proper areas. For example, did you know your CRM can be used to organize correspondence? Whether you email or text your contacts, these one-to-one forms of communication can be used to tell a story of your company-customer relationship. Rather than leaving these messages cluttered in an unchecked inbox, take advantage of your CRM to organize these under the proper contact. In the future, you’ll have a timestamped history of logged conversations to reference when a contact reaches out.  

Your sales leads are some of the most important aspects of your CRM because these are the contacts you are nurturing to convert. It’s okay to take the extra time to really flesh out how you want to organize them and how granular you want to get.  

The Takeaway

Your CRM can be a vital player in your company’s success, helping you build and nurture important relationships with your customer base. As such, organizing your CRM and utilizing it correctly should be a key part of your daily routine. Maintaining your database as you go rather than data dumping at the end of each quarter will make it seem much more manageable. A well-organized, well-treated, and well-run CRM can make all the difference and there’s no time like the present to get it organized and ready to take you through the new year. 

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