Improve Your Productivity by Mastering the CRM

BY Tim Londergan
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My first CRM solution contained a Day-​timer®, a Rolodex®, the Yellow Pages®, and a heck of a lot of manila file folders packed into a sliding drawer on the right side of my desk. Interestingly, all those tools fall short of what today’s CRM solutions can provide. Back then, efforts to improve your productivity were relegated to time management and extending your hours on the phone or in the office.

According to George Bronten, who wrote a brief history of the CRM, ACT! was the precursor to the modern CRM system. Bronten says, “ACT! collected and, to a limited degree, analyzed customer information, making it possible to digitally customize communications.” Truly, this late 80’s technology was simply a digital Rolodex® that helped to record and access data. Still, it did little to direct the use of the information or how to sell. Conversely, today’s CRM is a streamlined system expressly designed to improve your productivity and make life easier.

Improve your productivity by believing in the power of the CRM

The relationship between your organization and your customers is the most crucial component to your success. Moreover, relationships are strengthened when you have this information at your fingertips. For example, having a client’s buying history and trends helps you to analyze customer behavior and preferences. Additionally, centralized data on your integrated CRM allows other team members to interact on your behalf. Crucially, you can automate everyday tasks like filling out forms and filing reports, leaving more time for selling.

The CRM is your competitive edge

According to a study from Hubspot, 22% of salespeople don’t know what a CRM is. Incredibly, 90% of companies have some type of a CRM system but only 45% of organizations use this tool to store their leads and customer data. Furthermore, in an average week, 64% of a sales rep’s time is spent on non-​selling tasks. Arguably, you can improve your productivity by letting your CRM take over many of these jobs. Then, you can devote additional time to connecting with your clients either virtually or in-​person. If you use this powerful tool better than your competitors, then you run away with the business!

Overcome adoption challenges

A study shows that 63% of all CRM projects fail. This article from introhive​.com lists the pitfalls and strategies you can deploy to improve your chances at success. First, manual data entry is the top adoption challenge. Fortunately, CRM data automation exists, plus there are ways to map input from one program to another. Failing that, you may find that knuckling down over a weekend may be the best way to get up-​close-​and-​personal with your CRM and your customer files. Establishing a priority to improve your productivity will be the best way to harness this powerful tool.

Your CRM is your friend

Imagine your CRM as a partner in your day-​to-​day business pursuits. In other words, trust this tool to be there with the data you need and the willingness to perform as you wish. Rely on the information it provides, such as client correspondence and allow it to track your customer’s journey. Meanwhile, like a trusted friend, it knows everything about your prospects and can manage your most important deals. Also, your buddy will be available when you are not. For instance, authorized co-​workers can inquire and intervene on your behalf after consulting your friend. Importantly, your CRM can travel with you and will not forget crucial information. Finally, having everything in one place, without the clutter and focused on the deal at hand is the best way to improve your productivity.

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash