You probably already know that customer relationship management (CRM) software is one of the best ways to ensure that your customers know exactly how important they are to you, and to tailor your products and services to their buying needs. But did you also know that your CRM can save you a whole lot of time and money?
Though the focus of a CRM is to improve and enhance customer relationships, the opportunity to work smarter while reducing expenses is essential, especially for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) where everyone is wearing several hats.
As we think about the processes, or workflows, of our day to day work tasks and behaviors, we may overlook the ways we can work smarter. This is where a CRM has a few secrets that’ll save you time and money. Let’s jump in and explore what some of those secrets are.
1. Streamline Daily Task List
Depending on the type of work you do, you may begin your day digging through files, calendars, and reports to receive updates, refresh yourself on where you left off the day before, and understand what needs to be done in order to formulate your action plan for the day. Rather than referencing several databases and checklists, a CRM can help you create a workflow that automatically builds your daily task list based upon what stage in the process each task is in, along with automatic reminders and alerts.
Not only does this save you time, but you may be able to do with less administrative staff since you’ll be able to manage a lot of this work on your own. If you do need to hire someone, you can use a virtual assistant (VA) who has access to your CRM from anywhere and would always know where you’re at within your work flow.
2. Reduce Meeting Time
Perhaps one of the most common complaints from anyone in the business world is how much time they spend in meetings, many of which feel unproductive. When meetings are held for the purpose of “debriefing” one another on where each person is at with regard to their respective workload, it takes away from getting any actual work done.
Through the use of a CRM, team members can see each person’s workflow at a glance, at any time, along with relevant data, and can pull real-time reports as well. Instead of holding a physical standup meeting in the morning, gather virtually around the tool. This may not eliminate meetings all together, but it could reduce them by a significant amount.
3. Be Transparent About Team Progress
We can’t have much of a business if we don’t sell. The success of your sales team is imperative, and luckily, they’re oftentimes a pretty competitive bunch. This means that your profitability is their largest focus, and when the status of the team’s standings is transparent, it can be motivating.
Use public dashboards within your CRM, or publish them to a TV in your office through a business intelligence tool, to show specific progress towards sales and revenue goals. A CRM tool that provides a broad view of how your sales team or department is performing can be one of the simplest ways to realize improved profits.
4. Assign Clear Accountability
One of the biggest wastes of time in a work environment is the confusion of who is responsible for what work and when it needs to be done. Your CRM can break down each task by client, and then you can assign responsibility, decide what order tasks should be completed in, assign due dates and add each of these tasks to an overall workflow. When the accountability of each person is clearly outlined, it eliminates the overlap of tasks, delays in productivity, and any misunderstanding about whose job it is.
5. Improve Communication
Consider the time spent responding to client inquiries or complaints or sharing news and information amongst the team. Rather than manually communicating with clients, you can use your CRM to respond to them through auto-triggered responses and send notifications and updates to coworkers. Best of all, you don’t need to leave the CRM platform to do it. You’re able to communicate with your client via email or text messaging within the tool itself.
When we really take a big-picture view of the way our days are spent, it’s surprising to realize the opportunities we have to improve productivity and save money. As you think about your current workflows and the way you conduct your day, consider the ways in which you could eliminate wasted time and improve profitability beyond tracking customer interactions by implementing a CRM tool.
Jessica Barrett Halcom is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.