One item I usually feel is one of the most important and most rudimentary parts of a CRM is capturing the “communications”. When I talk about communications with regard to Sage CRM, I mean all the things you as a user should be entering to track the interaction with your client.
Some examples include, follow up calls, document dropping any proposals or documents regarding the client, filing key email communications, tracking birthdays or anniversaries, track thank you cards sent. Anything relevant that takes place between you and the client should be tracked.
How do you properly document these items in your CRM.
- Enter the communication on the day they were scheduled, sent, completed, emailed etc. Don’t get me wrong, feel free to schedule something for yourself of which you may not get to until a week later. But then change the date in the CRM to the completed date so it reflects accurately. Sage CRM tracks tasks with a start date and a due date. This is very useful for projects or things that have a drop dead date to be completed.
- File emails but not ALL. In outlook your emails have a thread. You should file the most relevant (usually the last one in the series) which will contain the thread of the previous emails. No need to file 12 separate emails of people saying thank you and I’ll send it right over. Just file the relevant ones that have the information that would be helpful to anyone reviewing or managing this client account.
- Schedule follow ups immediately or they will get lost in your mind or notes. At least if they are scheduled in the CRM, they will be staring you in the face until you get to them. In Sage CRM, these notes turn RED when they are“overdue.”. You don’t want too many red items because they will tend to creep up on you.
- Enter Nothing! Don’t do this. It helps no one, especially you when it comes to maintaining your service to a client.
- Put it off- if you don’t enter the communication or follow up details immediately ( or as close as possible), we all know it will not get done
- File all emails. As mentioned above, you do not need every single communication you have had with someone to be saved for review. This could cause the clients communication diary to be too cumbersome to sift through for important information.
I have been working with a client for the past few years with their Sage CRM product. They have grown in usage of this product yet some things were not as important to them as others. When a new employee came on, I trained her on all the basics of CRM and how to use it. I always train with the company in mind and make sure to train the way they are using it or should be using the CRM based on my history with them.
The new employee started a bad habit immediately of which to this day she is still using. I’ll call her Sherry. Sherry was in charge of follow ups on old customers who haven’t placed an order in X amount of time and/or cold calling for purchased lists. We all know this kind of follow up takes a lot of patience and multiple reaches before anything MIGHT come of it. Sherry decided to track the follow ups in one single communication. For example she may call 15 times within one month and not get through to the customer. Instead of logging 16 separate communications showing that she called at this time or this day, she decided to lump them into one communication. At a glance it looks like she only tried one. It doesn’t show the history of calls she is making. On top of that, it is hard to report on amount of calls she is making per day, week, or month, if they are bulked. Sherry was trained multiple times on the correct way, per her company, to log these calls yet it hadn’t changed in many months.
The best practices for any CRM user are the ones that work, can be reported on to show they work, and get results. Use your CRM correctly but most importantly, USE IT!
For more information on Sage CRM, contact Kari-Ann Ryan, Certified Sage CRM