Working in a CRM system: the obvious and the incredible

The number one task that can not be forgotten or not completed is the transfer of existing data to the CRM system. Everything contains information: from notebooks and notebooks to Word, Excel and other CRM files. And importing the entire zoo is a critical and painstaking job.

You can transfer all the data manually-alas, sometimes this is the only way. It has only one plus — in the process of transferring all fields and forms of CRM are remembered to automatism. But it’s a waste of time and effort.

The best option of all is fully automatic import, which is allowed by almost all popular CRM systems. You must create a. csv or .xls file with the specified fields, prepare it by unifying the data (for example, recording all phone numbers and email in a single form), delete the excess and upload it to CRM. After importing, you need to check the data and add it if necessary (for example, attach contract files to contractors). If something does not work out, it is better to contact the developer, he knows everything about the correct formats for uploading data to the CRM system.

If you are switching from another CRM (Yes, this happens and you should not be afraid of it) or a similar system, contact the vendor for a database transfer service — so you will survive the transition with minimal losses and will not break the accumulated customer base and important business data.

Priority functions

The first thing that company employees face in a CRM system is the basic functions that you need to quickly get used to and actively use them. Here is an approximate list of what absolutely everyone will need in their work (for example, RegionSoft CRM, other vendors may have a slightly different list).

The customer card is the main essence of the CRM system. If the program is designed correctly by the developers, then all events and actions for the client should be displayed in his card: correspondence, commercial offers, transaction progress, business processes, etc. This is a prerequisite for the effectiveness of CRM in operational work. The more information you have, the better you know your client, the higher the probability of a deal and repeat sales. Of course, you can disable all fields and leave only contacts, but then what do you expect from CRM…

Planners are a tool to restore order in the Affairs and minds of employees and a tool with which the Manager sets tasks. When you purchase a CRM, be sure to find out how many planners it has, what reminder notifications it sends, and test how convenient it is to work with the calendar (drag&drop, colors, task statuses, etc.)

KPI panels — each employee’s dashboard. Alas, in most CRM KPI, if there is (and many snobbish refer to ERP), it is hidden in reports and is available only to management. In a root the wrong approach! The employee should see their progress in the context of the working day, week, month and goals in order to adjust their actions, and not live in the state of the cycle “nose pulled — tail stuck, tail pulled — nose stuck”. In RegionSoft CRM 6.0, we paid a lot of attention to KPI. By the way, we also wrote about this in great detail on Habr.

Reports, sales funnel-the result that should be analyzed. As soon as the data accumulates, reports should become one of the main tools of work: see different cross-sections, detail the funnel, conduct ABC analysis. Business is built on Analytics.

Telephony, Skype — a very important tool in the work of a salesperson. You can fasten virtual PBX systems with powerful capabilities (for example, Asterisk) to the CRM system, you can use connectors or Siphons. This is a matter of the company’s scale and telephony needs. But integration with CRM is strictly mandatory, and not because of the notorious raising of the card when calling, but because of the purpose of storing conversations with the client (for training, resolving conflict situations or not to forget the details of agreements) and the ability to view all related information. For example, it is important to track the duration of a call — it is often possible to identify points of reducing the time of a conversation with a client or, conversely, to expand the dialogue, if the specifics of the business require it. In addition, when you call from the CRM, you always keep it up-to-date counterparty numbers.

Mail. We with mail suffered-suffered… And now we confidently declare: it is incredibly cool and convenient when the CRM is not a third-party, but a native, own, email client! Yes, we ourselves love some mail services, they are good, but when in CRM all mail goes both ways and is not buggy-it’s great. Starting with the RegionSoft CRM Professional edition, our system has a complete built-in email client that understands POP3 and IMAP protocols, in which all sent and received emails, as well as drafts of unsent emails, are aggregated and distributed among clients and contact persons. Minor editions support third-party email clients.
When choosing a CRM, be sure to ask the vendor how well the email client works for incoming and outgoing messages. I will not point my finger, but in one well-known system, letters were sent perfectly until recently, but there was trouble on the incoming ones. Now the solution is found.

Chips to help your business

Each CRM system has its own advanced features and features. If you use them, you can achieve more positive results from automation. The vendor chooses its own path: someone drags things from social networks into releases and adds the functionality of the corporate portal, someone rests on Analytics, someone is completely focused on functions for salespeople. At Regionsoft, we have focused all our efforts on developing functionality that is useful for business and automates the routine work of staff.

Business processes are a mechanism that creates fully automated chains of actions. Many vendors have it, and it’s very convenient. Remember how sometimes the approval of a document or an action takes place: information goes to employees, someone mentions all the deadlines, then this someone is looking for, they swear with him, he slows down the process out of anger and comes up with claims — and so on in a circle. And okay, if this is the process of approving an application for leave, and if it is a complex chain of shipping goods to branches? It is not pleasant enough, especially since internal shortcomings affect the relationship with customers. When a business process exists as a scheme, everything becomes simple and transparent: information circulates, alerts come in, you can see who the stage is “stuck” on, all stages are allocated regulatory time. The human factor is minimized, there is order in business, all events are recorded.

Group mailings are a form of group operations that can be performed with selected client clusters. For example, the narrower the sample, the more personal the offer and the better it works. It is enough to create several different emails for different groups of customers and the mailing list will become more effective due to the individuality of the emails. When it is possible to do this from a CRM system, it greatly facilitates the work — it is enough to select the desired audience with filters and launch a newsletter.

Questionnaire survey. Measuring customer satisfaction is the path to a perfect product and their loyalty. First, you get useful information for yourself. Secondly, under the guise of a questionnaire, you once again initiate contact and remind yourself of yourself. All data on the client’s questionnaires and satisfaction indicators are stored in his card — and the Manager always knows who he is calling: an adept of the business or a forced user who is dissatisfied with everything. This information helps to predict the course of the conversation and make it more productive.

The knowledge base is not used so often, but in vain. First of all, it is a universal repository of all corporate information: you can create sections and store scripts, article texts, price lists, stock descriptions, technical specifications, internal regulations, and so on. In the database, you can collect the most common questions from clients and answers to them, write training materials, and collect successful work stories. This will allow employees to exchange information, refresh their memory of the most difficult moments.
But most importantly, it will reduce the time of adaptation of beginners. Everyone knows this feeling: I came to work, gave out a computer, no one cares about you, you sit, read the company’s website and painfully worry about the actual inaction. This is wrong — work in the company should not start with discomfort. If there is a CRM system with a knowledge base, you can give it access, and the new employee will immediately dive into a kind of training center, see the work from the inside and start preparing.

There are still many things that make working in a CRM system comfortable. It set the fields and the colors of the interface, and small, but very useful functions and shortcuts. And it’s not about how material design and how beautifully smoothed the sides of the sales funnel are. The CRM interface should be clear, functional and based on a deep logic of relationships. If this is not the case and the system is fragmented, no frills will help it — everything will distract and annoy. A business tool should look and work in a business-like way. You don’t go to meetings in Hawaiian shirts, shorts, and roller skates, do you?

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