Work From Home Cool Life CRMThe COVD-19 pandemic has brought a mix of growth and decline for all businesses. Regardless of which side of the economic landscape a company falls in, there are always risks you need to consider. It's vitally essential to map new routes to avoid pitfalls and explore the possibilities ahead as WFH (Working from Home) will be more practical than historical expectations.

If you are a small business, or mid-to-large-size company, using a customer relationship management (CRM) system is critical. Getting your employees to make the most of CRM benefits enables management to monitor the sales pipeline, track progress, better forecast sales, and report revenue.

Transparency is critical for effective management, especially in the context of cash-flow. Whether employees are working remotely temporarily or permanently in the office, organizations must run continuously without any gaps or broken connections in terms of processes, information, and communication.

There are numerous systems in the marketplace. Each continues to add features and capabilities to extend it's feature matrix. The practical utility of those features varies from user to user, but the feature matrix is undoubtedly crucial for your business to gain useful insight.

As one researches the CRM marketplace, consider the following key points to ensure the least disruption to daily processes and quick adoption by your employees.

  • What will be the deployment time and training commitment look like?
  • Is the system business-ready, or will programming be required?
  • Will there be costs beyond the actual platform, such as consultants or programming?
  • Will it allow my entire organization to benefit from its implementation?
  • Does it easily integrate into other systems or vendors that are crucial to your business model?

Whichever platform you select, do the following six things well to achieve great success.

  1. Maintain Institutional Knowledge

One of the most valuable aspects of a functional CRM is to have a primary repository of information about your company's opportunities and customers. This is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of a functional system. Using a shared spreadsheet on a network drive just doesn't cut it. Everyone's skill sets are different, and quite frankly, a careless or disgruntled employee might delete the file. Invest in a platform with role-based security.

       2.Coordinate Across Departments

It's about more than just sales and salespeople. Have you ever called a customer to talk about your new offering only to find out that they are having a significant issue with another problem?  Most of us have had that happen. Ensure that your entire organization uses the platform to document customer interactions. Of course, your salespeople need the discipline to check the system before contacting the customer.

       3. Tight email integration

A lot of your communication is likely via email. Your team shouldn't have to jump through hoops to integrate email conversations into the database. If you don't have seamless integration with your email system, you are either using an antiquated email platform or a soon-to-be-outdated platform. Once you type the client or prospect's name, the system should forever link that email to their database record.

       4. Mobile and tablet friendly

If your team can't access what they need from tablets and smartphones, then you've made a bad investment. When the customer calls while you are on the road, you should have easy access to everything about their account.

      5.Effective Follow-up and Automation

The most significant value in an effective CRM platform is the ability to remind sales reps to follow-up with ongoing opportunities at the right time. Offering automated drip campaigns, email marketing tools, auto-responders, and full records recording all such activities is essential.

      6. Know the Three Things You Need

The best CRM implementation is the one your entire organization will use. The next step is to engage company leadership in a collaboration exercise resulting in the top 5 needs as well as the top 5 pain points or 'wish list.' Collect all answers and elimination of all duplicates, to create a list of the requirements.

What conclusions can you infer? If a vendor is unable to demonstrate the practical implementation absent "customization," you have not found the right vendor, so keep searching. Bringing your process, data, and communication inside one transparent interface will result in improved and efficient use of time and resources, opening opportunities for improved revenue and profits as a result. The most substantial benefit is the ability to visualize data universally, enabling your business to navigate the "new normal WFH environment successfully".