Best Practices in managing your CRM

As school years end and summer gets into full swing, we are provided an opportunity to reshape our goals and objectives for the second half of the year. While businesses in different industries face varying challenges, having a reliable CRM system is crucial for operating effectively and efficiently to all. As the sun shines longer and we start to enjoy summer hours, do not let your CRM fall by the wayside! Here is a reminder of some best practices to execute over the coming months.

Keep your CRM system squeaky clean

The number one rule with CRM systems can often be the hardest to follow. Yup, that’s right, data hygiene. Upon the purchase of new software, we are determined to setup processes and best practices and stick to them. Overtime, we slowly lose focus on the importance of data cleanliness. There's no better time than the present, so make sure to review the data that's in your CRM. Review it with all users in your company, highlight the inaccuracies, and work with your vendors to clean it up where needed. In the childcare space, that could look like auditing families who are in an enrolled status, so your parent-specific communications are only going to those who are actively enrolled at your centers. Or maybe all of those piled up past due tasks could use some review, guilty offenders, you know who I am talking to!

Pro Tip: Integrations! Manual data entry will only get you so far in the software world before you simply cannot scale, or you need to hire a full-time team to keep it up to date. Make sure you are utilizing the most up to date integrations between your software solutions. This will safeguard that data is accurate between all your systems!

It is time for that process review

Somehow this one always slides to the bottom of the list. I can hear myself saying it now “our processes for handling leads from marketing to sales stages is fine for now, we can review it next year.” Businesses are constantly evolving landscapes, your hierarchies are often changing, new teams & positions are being created, and new systems & software come into the fold. Take a deep breath, step back, and review how your teams interact with your CRM. Get each team leader together, with the person responsible for managing your CRM system, and review the internal processes of how each team interacts with the system along the customer (or lead) journey.

Pro Tip: For this one, take one step back to take two steps forward. Map it all out on paper & flow charts first. You will be surprised at how many gaps or improvements you can make in your internal processes when each team maps out their process and connects them across the organization.

Ensure your outbound material is up to date

It is likely that your business is progressing to meet the challenging demands of the current environment. This means you are going to need to make some updates to your messaging. Messaging is stored in all different places in your CRM so be sure to update templates, canned responses, and campaigns so leads are getting appropriate messaging. In the childcare industry, we are focused on how health & safety standards have changed, the new regulations & classroom ratios in place, and how to digitize & improve the parent journey, among others. We want to make sure leads (in our case, parents & guardians) are up to date on this information.

Pro Tip: Make sure your marketing team is meeting with sales, post sales, and product teams to review the current content in your CRM. While marketing should control the messaging, the input from other teams is critical in avoiding any blind spots.

Engage!

The time is now, what are you waiting for? You now have a clean CRM, new & improved processes, up to date & relevant content, so go engage with your leads. As always, be thoughtful about your engagement frequency and be strategic with whom you engage. Setup drip campaigns so your system can work while you sleep. It is far too often we rush to engage with a messy set of leads, but we also don't want to go radio silent. You have worked incredibly hard to keep your business rocking and rolling, go let the world know!

Pro Tip: Do not forget about lost opportunities. You would be surprised how many companies do not look back at this pool of leads. Remember, the landscape has changed, it would be wise to ensure those lost opportunities are aware of what is going on with your business.

There it is four “simple” steps to keep in mind. Technology can often become your enemy if not given attention but with a little bit of love, it will instantly become your best friend. Now setup that meeting with your leadership team and CRM administrator and get after it!