Getting a Jump on 2018: Managing Your CRM

The new year is a time for new beginnings. In the world of IT and business, it is a great opportunity to spend time in your client relationship management (CRM) portal and ensure that everything is in tip-top shape so you can stay organized and efficient in the year to come.

There are many powerful CRM tools available, from Insightly, to Salesforce, to Zoho CRM. Unfortunately, the more powerful the tool, the greater is the risk of disorganization and associated confusion. With that in mind, we suggest that all our clients set a new year’s resolution of getting (and keeping) their CRM under control. Here are some tips to do just that heading into 2018:

    Sort Through Customer Contacts
    It happens to the best of us: you enter a customer, and then another employee enters a new record for that same customer. Now you’ve got duplicates, which makes it harder to find data and notes about that client – which entry to search? Spend time identifying duplicates and consolidating their information to remove redundancies. This will make it easier to find what you need when you are in a rush and need to look up specific information.

    Update Customer Information
    Remember that email a client sent you a few months ago with her new address? The one you sorted into a folder without updating the client’s CRM record? Now is the time to translate that information! It may take a little while to go through each file, but it will be worth the long-term time savings. If there are clients you haven’t spoken with in a while, check the links and email address in their files to ensure they are still working – this is a great excuse to check in and see how things are going!

    Update Tags
    Tags are incredibly powerful – they help add context and background, enabling you to drill down customer data and add individualized information to each contact. You can use tags to sort customers by any information you find pertinent. All that said, because tags encompass a great deal of information, they can become unruly if they are not managed properly. Scan through your tags to make sure you don’t have a bunch of “single tag” leads or tags that are no longer relevant to your project.

    Clean Up Mailing Lists
    If you’ve created targeted lists for a single email campaign that you will never use again or have multiple lists for the same thing, it is time to get rid of them! Look for returned mail from these mailing lists as well, and update the information in your system accordingly. Make sure to include any notes that might be pertinent to these changes.

    Communicate Changes
    One thing that’s often overlooked when updating a company’s CRM is letting everyone know that updates have been made. Let administrators and assistants know when you’ve made changes to client information so they can delete pre-printed mailing labels, update contacts in their email system, and ensure that everyone is on the same page about updated tags.

Once you’ve completed this process, adopt a monthly time to update all contact information and keep your CRM up-to-date. Getting in the routine of doing a little bit at a time will beat trying to slog through it all at the start of next year again! Once it’s organized, resolve to keep it that way.