A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution helps you understand customers better through their personal preferences, solve problems faster with access to past customer interactions, and identify new sales opportunities by analyzing your best customers’ purchase histories. It can save your employees hours of time doing repetitive administrative tasks and prevent opportunities from being lost in a sea of sticky-notes and emails.

But there’s more to a good CRM than just organization: Your CRM tracks data. But all that data doesn’t do any good if you don’t use it. Here are 10 ways you need to use your CRM data to drive business results and success.

CRM success series: How a CRM helps your business grow. Get the ebook.

1. Combine data streams from multiple sources all in one place so you can get a complete picture of both individual customers and larger trends. Use a cloud-based CRM that offers data from all of your customer interactions and integrates well with other systems.

2. Growth hack your marketing. Growth marketers live and breathe data so they can tweak a blog post, email, or Tweet to get more engagement, conversions, and more. A CRM solution gathers extensive data and organizes it in such a way that taking action—even if it's altering one word in a headline —is quick and easy.

3. Understand which customers produce the most profit. From there, you can implement changes, such as:

  • Creating top-tier service options and perks for your best customers
  • Targeting more customers just like them
  • Maximizing your per-customer profits by streamlining your efforts for attracting these types of customers

4. Segment your audience into groups so you can further tailor your marketing for each type of customer you have. This way people will only get the content that speaks specifically to them, which will make them more likely to interact with you because they want to hear what you have to say.

5. Make the most of your qualitative data. Some executives don’t realize just how much their sales team uses their CRM system to take notes and create reminders about individual customer preferences and questions. These can inform your FAQ page and other marketing materials, customer care, product development, and more, bringing you better-prepared leads and happier customers.

6. Shake things up by helping shift the focus from the bottom line to your customers. More businesses are learning that focusing on the bottom line isn’t enough: When you build a company around the end user, your whole organization improves. For example, data from your CRM can help by allowing you to easily create comprehensive reports that correlate positive customer feedback with better numbers. Change within an organization can be slow moving, but with the right reporting, you can make every decision based on data and facts.

7. Track which customers are most likely to convert using customer behaviour data. Those stats can help streamline your lead-gathering process. A good CRM will allow you to input parameters for rating leads to send the best ones to the top of your list.

8. Nurture more leads, better. In some ways, sales is a numbers game. The more leads you can nurture in the shortest time, the better numbers you will likely produce. If your sales team is having trouble showing each lead enough attention, CRM data can show you when and how each member of your team last interacted with a lead, and send them check-in reminders.

9. Prevent customer service issues before they ever start by tracking what seems to be creating the  most trouble for end users, and what solutions result in both positive responses and brand loyalty.

10. Build a Customer Journey Map that gives you the full picture of what your customers go through, from discovery to purchase, use, and repeat purchases. When you do, you’ll be able to fine tune every part of your organization to improve the customer experience.

Can you really do all this with the data from your CRM? Yes! Just remember that your data will only be as powerful as it is accurate. Before you start revolutionizing your company, make sure you:

Track everything

Make sure everyone maximizes the CRM system to track data so you can have a complete, accurate picture.

Create reports

Whether it’s a quick pie chart to show how many customers are converting or a detailed 30-page white paper to send to investors, data doesn’t do any good unless the right people can see and understand it.

Take action

Act on the conclusions drawn from data. Make sure your organization is poised to take action as new data flows in so you don’t get stuck in a rut.

Your CRM platform does more than keep you organized. The data it holds can help you stay ahead of your competition and keep your customer satisfaction levels high. Learn more about the benefits of Salesforce’s CRM solution—and how they help your company succeed—on our Sales Cloud features page.

CRM success series: How a CRM helps your business grow. Get the ebook.

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