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One of the single most important facets of an e-commerce business is its customer relationship management, or CRM, platform. A whopping 83 percent of online shoppers require customer service assistance in order to complete a purchase. A reliable CRM enables you to meet such customer service needs, track sales, automate marketing, and so much more.

But just because you have invested in a CRM doesn’t mean you’re getting everything you should from it. This article takes a closer look at key tips to ensure you’re getting the best results from your customer relationship management platform.

Customize Your CRM to Get the Most Out of It

Every business has a unique model, and it would be impossible for a single CRM to successfully meet the needs of everyone. Consider the types of features you will require. Some businesses require complex, custom-tailored features, while offers can easily get by with a more basic set of options. Avoid paying for features you don’t need but do consider selecting a CRM that will allow you to add more features in the future as your business grows.

Salesforce has been named the #1 CRM provider by International Data Corporation (IDC) for six consecutive years and other major CRMs include HubSpot CRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Pipedrive. However, a major benefit of Salesforce is that you can extend the functionality of this CRM by adding more tools from the Salesforce AppExchange. By incorporating other software into your Salesforce instance, you make the platform that much more powerful and customized to your business’ needs.

Ensure User Adoption and Best Practices

Even if you select a CRM well-suited for your needs and customize it according to your business, it may fail to provide the expected payoff if your employees don’t use it correctly – or use it at all. There’s always a period of adjustment when introducing new software solutions to your business, but with thorough training, you can ensure a smooth transition and profitable results.

One of the most important aspects of CRM onboarding and training involves data input best practices. As the saying goes, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, so it’s much easier to implement best practices when you first introduce your CRM. Stay on top of teams to ensure they’re using the CRM regularly and correctly. In fact, make it a rule and enforce it.

Embrace Automation

Plain and simple: many of the tasks associated with data entry and follow-up can be automated, so take advantage of available options for automation. For example, when new leads come into your CRM, you can easily program it to send follow-up emails and push other marketing information or related content offers to enhance each lead’s experience with your brand and keep your business top of mind. Automation can also help you avoid sending canned responses that don’t add value, forgetting to send timely responses, and ensure you’ve got great touchpoints to engage leads and clients throughout the entire sales process.

At the end of the day, the whole point of a CRM is to streamline your business’ workflow. Automation is one of the best ways to achieve that goal.

Get Pulse Checks on Your Data

CRMYou’ve selected the right CRM for your company, you’ve customized it to fit your needs, and you’re using automation, but there’s one more key step to take that will help ensure you’re making the most of out of your CRM – you need to know the quality of your Salesforce data and how it’s affecting your business.

SiriusDecisions’ research shows strong organizations can generate up to 70% more revenue than the average organization purely based on the quality of their data. So, to get the most of out of your CRM, you need to be doing health checkups on it. If you’re using Salesforce, there’s Validity Trust Assessments to get a clear picture of your customer data health and the actions you can take to improve it.

Armed with this valuable knowledge, you can use your CRM to build stronger customer relationships, strengthen your sales team, boost revenue, and deploy effective campaigns.

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