How to Optimize Your CRM: Top 5 CRM Best Practices

Why Trust Techopedia

Your CRM is one of the most important tools in your tech stack. But are you using it to its full potential? Here, we show you how to optimize your CRM — covering CRM best practices and the best features for improving your processes and results.

1. Maximize Workflow Automations

Monday.com workflow automations 1

Companies that automate the most are 6x more likely to hit their revenue goals. When it comes to CRM optimization, automation is one feature you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of.

Many CRMs give you the ability to automate your workflows, and to make the most of your CRM, make sure you’re using these capabilities to their full potential.

Ideally, most everyday tasks (those that take time away from higher-level aspects of the role) should be automated — giving you more time in your busy schedule.

For example, with a CRM like Monday, you can automate processes throughout the sales cycle. It offers several pre-made workflow automation templates that you can use to:

  • Trigger automated emails that are automatically sent to prospects and customers at different stages in the sales cycle
  • Automate repetitive sales activities
  • Schedule automation steps after a deal has reached a specific stage in the pipeline
  • Boost productivity by creating intelligent sales workflows
  • Automate Slack notifications to team members on changes that impact them (like a deal moving to a different stage)

Most sales and marketing automation CRMs offer a high degree of automation, but this often depends on the plan.

2. Personalize Customer Interactions

Salesforce Sales AI

By centralizing your contact information, you’ll get insight into what your leads and customers want from you. For example, a CRM can tell you a lead’s preferred way of interacting with you.

They highlight how often they make a call vs send an email or message via chat, helping you better personalize your interactions and engage with leads and customers on their preferred channels.

A number of CRMs offer conversational AI solutions that you can also use to personalize automated conversations and improve customer satisfaction levels.

Take Salesforce’s Einstein, for example, which uses historical data stored in your CRM alongside sentiment analysis to understand your customer’s messages — including their content, intent, and urgency.

This allows it to provide a supportive, helpful response via chat, helping businesses reduce response times and personalize interactions.

Timely support is one of the top customer relationship management best practices. In fact, 82% of consumers claim they want immediate digital responses. You can use tools like Einstein to provide this.

Related: A Full Salesforce Review for 2024

3. Leverage Data Insights

Another CRM best practice that’ll ensure you’re getting the most out of your CRM, is making full use of analytics.

While you may already use your CRM for contact management and workflow automation, you’re not getting the most out of your CRM if you don’t use it to gain in-depth insights into your business.

By using a CRM to analyze your data, you can identify more opportunities, pinpoint problems faster, and get an overview of your leads, customers, team, and overall business performance.

To optimize your CRM, you need to leverage the range of reports your platform has to offer. Many CRMs offer both standard and custom reports.

Reports typically deliver insights into:

  • Sales pipelines and forecasts
  • Conversion rates
  • Sales campaign performance
  • The performance of different teams and team members
  • New prospects
  • Leads nurturing activities
  • Prospect and lead engagement rates
  • Customer segments and retention

Beyond reports, also see if your CRM offers any AI analysis capabilities. Take Zoho’s AI assistant, Zia, for example, which provides deal predictions.

4. Engage and Nurture Leads

Many CRMs allow sales teams to automate lead scoring by analyzing contact information stored in their CRM. Automated lead scoring is one of the key CRM best practices.

This can help you pinpoint qualified leads, automate your follow-ups, and close more deals. HubSpot, for example, can help you organize, prioritize, and engage your prospects and leads. Plus:

  • Gain greater visibility into your lead’s unique journeys
  • Score and prioritize your leads automatically
  • Effectively segment and nurture leads based on their past interactions with you
  • Automate lead assignments and follow-ups

You can use sales CRMs like HubSpot to track lead activity, generate and nurture leads, and monitor your sales team’s performance.

5. Keep Your CRM Database Clean

Your CRM is only as powerful as the quality of its data. For your data to be useful, it needs to be accurate and comprehensive. Bad data has a direct impact on the revenue of 88% of businesses.

Luckily, there are several ways you can help keep your database clean. First, begin by reviewing your contact records to see how up-to-date they are.

  • Who haven’t you been in contact with for a while?
  • Have any of your contacts moved companies?
  • Is the information up to date?

Follow up with your contacts to see if you get a response, and ask them to confirm their contact information. Beyond this, it’s also important to thoroughly audit your data.

This helps ensure it’s accurate and comprehensive. Make a note of any data that is incomplete, duplicated, or problematic — updating and removing as you go.

9 Signs You’re Not Using Your CRM to the Fullest

What are the signs you’re not getting the most out of your CRM? Here’s what to look out for:

  1. Your data is outdated, incomplete, or corrupted
  2. You only rely on your CRM for basic contact management
  3. You don’t make full use of both standard and customized reports
  4. You don’t use your CRM for customer engagement
  5. You aren’t using predictive lead scoring and lead nurturing
  6. You haven’t made full use of your integrations
  7. You haven’t automated your workflows, lead nurturing, or contact and customer outreach
  8. You don’t use your CRM to undertake a thorough analysis of your business, team members, contacts, leads and customers
  9. You haven’t made use of built-in AI features like predictive analytics and sentiment analysis for customer conversations

Related:

Conclusion

Your CRM is invaluable for contact management, lead nurturing, and workflow automation, but with ample functionality, it’s hard to know if you’re using it to its full potential.

To implement key CRM best practices, be sure to take the time to really set up your CRM, including automations, for example, and spend time experimenting with the different features.

EDITOR’s CHOICE

Monday CRM – Affordable, Easy to Use, and Scalable

  • Powerful Sales Automation
  • Task and Project Tracking
  • Efficient Roadmap Planning

FAQs

How to use CRM to attract customers?

What does a successful CRM look like?

What are the 4 C’s of CRM?

Related How To’s

Kirsten Lamb
Technology Expert
Kirsten Lamb
Technology Expert

Kirsten Lamb is a freelance conversion copywriter and content marketer with a specialist focus in technology. She previously studied at Keele University and The University of Edinburgh. She has over 7 years of experience in the marketing industry and has worked with brands like Hotjar and WooCommerce, plus on the tech side of Booking.com.