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Get Started with a CRM Software Package

When businesses gets a properly functioning CRM system they are in the minority of SME's. Over the past few years I'm amazed how many businesses seem to have got by on storing information on bits of papers, spreadsheets and in different peoples email systems. However just merely getting a crm system is not the holy grail. It will make running your businesses more streamlined but in a similar light just by buying a bread maker doesn't mean you'll actually make any bread. (I talk from experience here!)

So you've now chosen your CRM software package (hopefully it's Intrabench) but as the business owner or person in charge of organising the CRM process you have to lay out a procedure for others to use the system. I highlight some points below:

 1. Import your existing contacts into the system and don't overwhelm people by showing them too much. Train them in the essentials to get started and then over time let them know what more they can do. Start by making sure all contacts are within the system and then making this the single point for all information in the company. 

 2. Move your invoicing and accounts features to the CRM package. This is one big step but makes your sales and accounts departments seamless and fully integrated with each other. You can still carry on using sage but this single element reinforces your confidence within the product and means that you'll continue to use it on a daily basis. 

 3. Use email templates. This is one task that can get quite laborious and that is typing pretty much the same email to potential prospects or people you deal with. If you send your email via a CRM system you can then use email templates which mail merge your contact database information into the email. So you can literally send an email without touching the keyboard. It's one reason to encourage you to use the system on a regular basis. 

 4. Shared calendars and tasks. If you have one place where all meetings are booked, arranges and tasks entered it will mean staff will need to at least login to see what meetings they have or tasks that need doing. A central place means they can update and view this on the move or remotely when out and about. Tasks that would be forgotten are now stored in a central place and can be assigned to others in your office. 

 5. Call backs and sales leads. This is off course one important thing you need to have stored in a system. Your sales people will pick up the CRM system quickly and like the fact they don't miss leads. Just by storing call back reminders and notes can increase your sales by 32%, imagine you have sent a  quote but forget to chase it up. Your competitor who gets in before you may win the deal as you have forgotten to chase them up. Who wouldn't want an extra 32% revenue in a business?


These are just some of the ways to get started with a CRM software package and further reinforce your commitment to improving your business and the way of working. Maybe I'll get around to making some bread at some point as well. 

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