To some, a CRM is an overpriced email solution–like Outlook on steroids. To others, it’s a toolbox for keeping your business present in the eyes of your existing customers as well as on the radar of potential clients.

The world of CRM applications can get a bit cloudy if you don’t know what you’re looking for. While all CRMs are designed to manage your relationships with customers, some tend to favor certain aspects of your business.

There are CRMs designed to manage leads, others are better suited for contacts, and still, others place more emphasis on conversions.

Regardless of the reason you chose your CRM application, it’s important to find ways to maximize its potential.

Who can benefit from a CRM?

The name CRM can be misleading to some. Because of the terms “relationship” and “management,” some may think it’s best suited for the customer service departments. But, that’s not the case at all. A CRM has its place in every department of your business.

Sales and marketing teams benefit tremendously from what CRMs can offer. In fact, studies show that 80% of CRM users say their sales and marketing teams have access to the system–and for a good reason.

CRMs are powerful tools that not only track clients from prospect up through closing, they also keep your eyes on the sales funnel, so you know when to follow up with customers and what to say.

In addition to tracking the sales funnel, marketers can benefit from the tools offered by CRM by looking at the data associated with clients. Designing a personalized marketing campaign when you have personal data can make marketing much simpler.

The bottom line is simple–all departments benefit from what your CRM has to offer.

  • Accountability
  • Efficiency
  • Collaboration
  • Data

The key is showing your staff how it’ll help them with the role in your business.

1. Offer Training

Knowing that your CRM can benefit many different departments in your business means that you should make sure there’s training available.

One thing that many companies often overlook when it comes to training is that it needs to be often. A one and done session on a CRM will not benefit your staff or your business.

Keep offering training so that your team learns the ins and outs of the system. You’ll be surprised, the more you show them, the more you’ll learn from them.

They’ll start to realize ways that they can use the application that you didn’t think of.

Because of the nature of learning and because natural connections are bound to occur, it’s important to keep offering training so that staff members can share how they are using the application with others.

After all, you’re all out to achieve the same goal.

2. Keep it Up to Date

Contact information is only as good as where it leads. If the information you have about clients is dated, your customer retention numbers are going to decrease.

On the same note, if the information you have on your leads is incorrect you’ll either contact the wrong person and waste your time, or you be armed with inaccurate information when reaching out.

In either case, it makes your business look bad. An easy fix to avoid looking under prepared in the eyes of potential customers is keep your records up to date.

3. Integrate with Mobile

Now that you’ve armed your workforce with a solid understanding of how your CRM works and what it can do, you can start to integrate it into your mobile operations. After all, it’s the 21st century, if it’s not mobile, it’s not helpful.

To begin, you need to make sure you have a mobile CRM app to take advantage of the mobile benefits. Aside from the basics–having access to everything you need on the go, mobile CRM apps make it easy to stay in the loop.

Odds are you don’t have all your leads stored in your phone’s contacts. When you start to integrate a mobile CRM into practice, you have access to all of your leads’ information.

So, if you get a reminder on your calendar to follow up with company XYZ, you can do it while you are on the go.

One of the biggest benefits of mobile is push notes. With a mobile CRM, you send yourself reminders–not like the email ones that you stare at in your inbox and feel guilty for ignoring.

When you get a push note, and you have the means to send off a quick email from your phone, the benefits of your CRM become seamless.

Push notes are just the start. We all take calls on the go. Remembering to write down what you learned or when to follow up when you get back to the office is highly unlikely.

When you integrate mobile CRM solutions into your daily operations, you make staying in contact with valuable information easy to do.

Conclusion

CRMs are powerful applications that are necessary for running a business smoothly. If you can invest the time into training your team on how to use every facet of it, you are setting your business up for success.

Just remember, do not underestimate the benefits of training. There’s a reason the cliché “knowledge is power” has hung around.

The more your staff knows the better off your business is. Keep in mind the push for mobile CRM apps. As the times change, so do our means of communication.

Keep mobile at the forefront of your thoughts when you are considering any type of CRM solutions. It’s best to get ahead of the game, and mobile is what’s on deck right now.

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Ryan Stewart is a digital marketing consultant with over 8 years of experience working to help Fortune 500 brands grow their online presence. He currently resides in Miami, where he owns boutique creative agency WEBRIS. You can find Ryan on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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