During this winter doldrums period, rather than taking a few extra trips to the coffee maker, now is a great time to take advantage of the lull and do some CRM housekeeping.
For those of us who fit a certain profile, keeping our CRM in good working order helps ensure that we’re taking advantage of everything the system has to offer and maximizing the value we get out of it.
Here are seven simple things you can do to make sure your system is neat and tidy when the new year gets under way:
Things To Do
1) Clean Up Past Due Tasks
Why It’s Useful: Just about every CRM user out there has at least a few tasks that they never got to, didn’t mark as complete, or just plain forgot about. Going through these will eliminate clutter, bring you current on your daily workload, and might just provide a few hidden treasures along the way.
2) Close Lost Opportunities
Why It’s Useful: Yeah, the guy who said he’d call you back in 6 months to order still might–but probably not. If you have a handful of open opportunities that you’ve been keeping tucked away in your long-term forecasting pipeline that don’t have any real chance of being won, now’s a good time to close them out.
3) Log Customer & Prospect Email Correspondence
Why It’s Useful: If you’re one those who doesn’t religiously log all your customer or prospect email correspondence with the matching record in CRM, now’s a good time to do that. Keeping conversations up to date in CRM helps prevent having to dig through countless email threads to remember what’s been discussed previously.
4) Link Prospect Social Profiles To CRM
Why It’s Useful: A lot of CRM solutions allow you to search for and link prospect social media profiles to their records in your CRM system. By connecting accounts like LinkedIn and Twitter, you gain valuable information about those prospects and help keep their information in the CRM system current at the same time.
5) Update Contact Records
Why It’s Useful: If you have contacts in your customer account records that have changed jobs, titles, or both, now is a good time to update their information. Rather than delete contacts that are no longer with a company–and lose all the communication history in CRM–update their name or title with something like ‘NLWC’, for No Longer With Company.
6) Refresh Your Reports
Why It’s Useful: Once you’ve done some or all of the things listed above, it might be a good idea to refresh and update any reports you have that are built on that data. If your reports are set to display information within a certain date range, make sure you remember to change the dates to include the current quarter, or even push them out to next year if applicable.
7) Update Your Email Templates
Why It’s Useful: Email templates are often the workhorses of many a sales and marketing team. Whether your email templates reside in your CRM system or within your email client, now is a good time to update old information, links, and images to bring them current. If you send emails with links to blog posts, this is an opportunity to update the links and include your company’s most recent articles.
Clean And Shiny
So there you have it. If you’ve done some or all of the things mentioned above, your CRM system should feel well-tuned and ready to roll for the upcoming year. Keeping your reports, contacts, and prospect records up to date will pay dividends down the road, and updating your battle-tested email templates keeps them looking fresh for the upcoming sales and marketing initiatives that are right around the corner.