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Using Your CRM to Keep Homeworking Teams Connected & Performing

Published: 30th April 2020
by: Glenn Hewson

With everyone in your Sales, Marketing and Customer Service teams likely to be individually working from home, it’s more important than ever to keep everyone aligned and operating at peak performance. Doing so will shape positive customer experience and ensure that you get your share of your customers’ shrinking budgets.

If you have a CRM, you have a tool already in place that you can use to keep your customer-facing teams informed about each other’s activities and producing at maximum efficiency. It won’t eliminate the advantage of everyone being together in the same room or office, but trust me, it will make a big impact.

Log all customer activities into your CRM

In a downturn your team must perform at 100%. If your Marketing, Sales and Customer Support teams are operating on different software packages it’s highly likely your sales team is unaware of what campaigns Marketing is running (and the results thereof) and moreover, what issues your customers are having or if they are behind on their payments to you.

Your marketing team may be able to launch campaigns out of your CRM but, unless it has marketing automation functionality, opens, clicks and other forms of engagement aren’t usually logged back into individual customer records. This information is vital to your sales team in order to identify which prospects are likely to be most interested in your products or services.  Even if only on a temporary basis, manually add all marketing customer engagement information from your emailing tool into contact records as completed tasks; it may be possible to do this by importing a CSV file.

Likewise, Customer Support should also log all incidents into CRM for the same reason. The information added should be Sales-ready, just the facts, not the detail level that would normally get logged into your standalone customer support application.

If your CRM has a chat function, use it to communicate internally about customer information. Some CRMs even support SMS and can file customer-related conversions directly to contact records.

If you do the above, everyone in your customer-facing teams will be able to understand the context of customer conversations without having to dig through varying systems to do so. Once the crisis is over or when you have homeworking operating smoothly, consider combining all of your customer-facing systems into your CRM. 

Use the forecast function for your sales and marketing daily stand-ups

Robust CRMs have a built-in forecasting function. Use it for your daily or weekly sales and marketing stand-ups along with your favourite collaboration tool such as Google Hangouts, Skype or Zoom. Have the marketing team review planned campaigns and the results from the ones already executed. Have sales reps take the rest of the team through their forecasts and assign tasks as required. You’ll find that not only do the meetings go quicker because everyone has access to the information ahead of time, but you’ll also improve your team’s usage of your CRM because they will have to keep their opportunities up-to-date.

Clean up and centralise your content library

If you are using personal file hosting tools like Dropbox, everyone in your customer-facing teams will have their own version of the truth and you will have a big usage bill from the vendor.  Beyond the cost, it means that customers may receive different versions of a document from different people in your company and that’s not a good demonstration of customer experience management.  

Some CRM’s link to content libraries like Dropbox, Google Docs, or SharePoint. Others have their own built in.  Take the time while things may be slow to have Product Marketing go through your sales enablement content to determine what is still relevant and to categorise and store it in a single location, accessible via your CRM.  This way you’ll establish a single point of truth which is available to all wherever they may be.  Finally, so that things don’t get out of control, assign one person to act as librarian to keep materials up to date.

Making the most out of working from home

With the nearly instantaneous shift from working at an office to working from home, you and your teams are likely still getting used to the proposition. For your customer-facing teams at least, you likely have a tool already in place that can help you to operate at peak performance. If you use it well, you’ll not only weather the storm of working from home but may also improve customer experience. 

If you don’t have a CRM or don’t think your current system meets your homeworking needs, request a brief demo with a Sparkstone rep and get a free needs assessment. 

How are you using your CRM to help your customer-facing teams perform at their best while working remotely? Email me at glennh@sparkstone.co.uk

 

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