Over the years, CRM programs have advanced from simple, easy to use systems to complex behemoths that no one uses or understands. To prevent this, your CRM program should avoid the three basic mistakes in CRM design:
- Tracking just your current customers only works if you have 100% market share and you never again need to attract new customers. Since that is highly unlikely, you must also track your potential customers, however do not have a separate system for each. This just wastes time and energy, when in reality, the only reason for a CRM program is to ensure that you are spending your sales resources on the company who is going to buy next, not just who has bought in the past.
- Don’t just track who is going to buy, also track when. A CRM program that doesn’t track this critical information is really just a glorified phone book! Your CRM program should include a mandatory field such as “Next Sales Contact Date”. This will then change the filing method of your alphabetical phone book to a gold mine organized by the date of the prospects next purchase.
- Every company that your organization ever contacts should be tracked, even if a company will probably never buy from you. Not only it is important for you to know where to go when, but it is also important for you to know where not to go.
The secret to an effective CRM program is based on how you manage your relationship with your new customers as well as your existing customers. It literally means the difference between building a successful business for the long term, or constantly fighting to keep you head above water because you always have to spend your time and resources attracting new customers.
Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections