5 suggestions to optimize your CRM in 2014

By Team - Doble Group, LLC 2014-01-20

Optimize you CRM
As a new year begins, we always prepare a list of personal resolutions that we want to keep. This should also apply to your CRM by creating a list of resolutions to enhance or optimize the way we use CRM today. This list should not be long but simple, in order to be able to accomplish it as a company, agent or salesperson. Here are 5 suggestions to make this possible:

1) Integrate your CRM with LinkedIn. Already, there are third-party applications available in the market that allow visualizing your contact’s profiles within your CRM. This helps to improve your prospecting and account management processes. The integration with LinkedIn can be done at a prospect, account and/or contact level (depending on which CRM you have). In the case of Salesforce.com, there are several options to integrate LinkedIn, from Social Accounts to the different apps in Application Exchange. However, I do recommend using the LinkedIn Sales Navigation for Salesforce.com.

Sales Navigator for Salesforce.com

2) Integrate Gmail with your CRM. Traditionally, CRMs are designed from a sales and forecasts perspective. However, salespeople spend all day using their email. If you use Gmail you can use solutions such as Cirrus Insight to manage emails, prospects, accounts, contacts, activities, opportunities and cases from the Gmail Interface by using a plug-in within the browser. This allows the salesperson to be more productive and to focus more on preparing a forecast or creating a sales report.

Cirrus Insight

3) Manage your marketing emails from CRM. Many CRMs give you the option to create lists of contacts and/or prospects to send emails from CRM. But this is not a 100% marketing process or it can be limited to simple templates and it does not provide reports on the email results. Fortunately, there are currently many marketing email apps that can be integrated to your CRM to allow sending marketing emails in a much more agile way, whether the person sending them is a Marketing Manager, a salesperson or a Pre-Sale Assistant, with real-time reports of the results. The Application Exchange has over 80 marketing email apps that can be integrated with Salesforce.com. VerticalResponse has about 151 comments and it is one that I’ve used already. You should consider it. Here is the link.

Vertical Response

4) Add a section on the contact screen with personal data. During many conversations with your contacts, certain details come out that can aid the sales process, such as birthdates, favorite restaurants, hobbies, sports and favorite teams, among others. You can create a section on your CRM screen and/or a type of note to collect this information and use it accordingly.

5) Creating views or searches of lost or contactless accounts. Most CRMs offer the feature of creating prospects and/or contact lists through views and searches. I suggest that from time to time, you use these lists to see lost or contactless accounts in order to find which opportunities are active again and/or to simply reactivate the contact. By integrating LinkedIn and the marketing emails you can see who is who and reactivate contact with those lost accounts.

These 5 suggestions can help you meet the quota, but more importantly they encourage customer relationships. I hope you can implement at least one of these suggestions!


Jesus HoyosAuthor:

Jesús Hoyos

CRM Influencer and Analyst

CRM Latin America