Best practice tips to get the most out of your CRM system


September 17th, 2021


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Vesta Software Group

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A customer relationship management (CRM) system gives your software business the opportunity to keep track of all interactions with potential and existing customers from a single, central location – everything from their first visit to your website or the first time they click a link in your email, to the day they make a purchase and beyond.

However, while the functionality of a CRM is great, the technology can only take you so far. We recently sat down with our CCO, Jenny Jones, to get her thoughts on CRM system best practice and how developing a tailored solution can be the key to success. Here’s what she told us.

Create a data-driven culture

Building data is an ongoing process and one that can be made much easier by implementing a data-driven culture. When done right, it can play a major role in the continuous improvement of your software business and will help your team to make decisions using reliable data based on insights and analytics. Start by selecting a person within the business who will own the data – someone who will keep on top of it and make sure CRM processes are being followed. Next step is to establish what you have that is valuable and make sure it has been cleansed to clear out any dormant or incorrect information. From this point on, anyone who has a touch point with a customer/prospect and has access to your CRM should be making sure any data is added if it doesn’t exist and is fully up to date if it’s already there.

Organise data into segments

Segmentation is one of the most important tools at your disposal and helps you to build a deeper level of understanding of your customers. Example models could include demographic segmentation (e.g. job role), geographic segmentation (e.g. country, city) or value-based segmentation (e.g. economic value of the customer to your business). The process of segmentation can help you to:

  • Tailor your content to the unique needs of different customers
  • Create targeted campaigns that will resonate with specific segments and encourage conversions
  • Understand who your most valuable customers are
  • Identify opportunities for expansion within your product, support or service offering
  • Improve customer service by understanding the challenges specific segments may experience

Integrate different business tools

Your CRM may be powerful on it’s own, but integrating it with other tools across your sales, marketing and support departments can make everyone’s jobs so much easier. By giving you a complete 360-degree view of both your prospects and customers, you’ll no longer have to suffer through manual data entry across multiple systems, ultimately improving productivity. There are numerous platforms that can be integrated with different CRM systems, including email, calendar, social media, team communication and data collection – all of which can be utilised across different departments seamlessly.

Analyse your pipeline

Your CRM system should provide a clear indication of your sales pipeline, which gives you the visibility to track a customer’s journey from qualified prospect through to paying customer and beyond. By taking historical data, you can isolate points to identify what is working well and what requires improvement. Some points you may want to cover could include:

  • Win/loss percentage
  • Average sale value
  • Sales cycle length
  • Average time taken through each stage in the sales cycle
  • Deal drop-off (by stage)
  • Conversion rates (by stage)
  • What days/months are sales particularly high or low? Is there a pattern?

Mine the data you have

CRM systems are designed to capture and organise huge amounts of data. What you do with that data is down to you. The best systems are those that allow you to turn data into something actionable; ones that will help you to determine valuable conclusions which can be used to inform future business decisions. For example, one of the most highly recommended processes within the Vesta family of companies is to look at the Total Addressable Market (TAM) – the overall revenue opportunity that is available to a product or service if 100% of the addressable market share was achieved. When taken into consideration alongside the share your software company has of the total (which you should be able to pick up from historic sales data within your CRM), you can identify any potential for growth. Down the line, this will enable you to set targets and give your team a realistic benchmark rather than pulling numbers out of a hat.

These best practices are just a handful of the ways you should be optimising your CRM. To find out more about how we help our family of software companies, and how we could do the same for you, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.