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CRM For Dummies®

To view this book's Cheat Sheet, simply go to and search for “CRM For Dummies Cheat Sheet” in the Search box.


If you ask ten people what CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is, you’ll get ten different answers. Some think of it as a sales tool, some think of it as a culture. Some people see it as a savior for a business, offering accountability and efficiency. Some people are scared to death of CRM for the workload it can create if it isn’t done right.

Very, very few people have ever taken a class in CRM. Universities are only now starting to offer it in their curricula. Seminars are often very product-focused. Without standardized definitions and training programs, it’s a challenge to bring everyone in an organization up to the same level of proficiency with CRM.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who works in a company that forces all sales reps to manually enter every bit of data into the company’s homegrown CRM. He tallied up the hours he spent in a month just doing data entry — 20 hours. It’s no wonder some people don’t like CRM!

In this book, I talk about the concept of Complete CRM as a way of helping you think of it as part of a bigger picture. A CRM that doesn’t capture the information you need to do your job puts data in unreachable silos. A CRM that automatically pulls in sales, marketing, and operational information also pulls a team together. This is what I mean by complete.

CRM is not a simple subject. It involves many disciplines; to make it effective, you must have at least a basic knowledge of how those disciplines work. From managing sales people to building emails to running events, CRM reaches across every department in your organization. But like another friend once told me, “How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time.”

About This Book

This book is written in plain, simple English. The point is to break down a complex topic (designing and implementing CRM) into manageable pieces. I first cover the basics of sales management, marketing, and operational process. From there, I show you how to apply CRM to each of those fields.

The content of this book has been pulled together from my experience helping hundreds of businesses launch and maintain their CRM initiatives, combined with the research and feedback of leaders in this space.

If you’re a CRM expert, there’s a good chance you will gain some lessons from the many sources and experiences cited in this book. If you’re a business owner looking to get CRM working for you, this book provides you the foundation for managing a team or outsourcing your CRM implementation.

Remember that every business is unique, and the way a CRM is used within that business is also unique. There is no “one size fits all” for any business unless you are a franchisor (and even then, there are variables from franchisee to franchisee).

Icons Used in This Book

This book uses icons to call out special attention to gotchas or little pearls of wisdom you can take with you.

tip This icon alerts you about information you can apply to your business today. Usually most people overlook these things that can be a surprising benefit to you.

remember Don’t forget to remember these important points (or at least dog-ear the pages so that you can look them up again a few days later).

warning When it comes to designing and getting your team using your CRM, you can make costly mistakes. These paragraphs tip you off to those gotchas that can set you back in time, money, or attitude.

Where to Go from Here

Now you’re ready for action. Give the pages a quick flip and scan a section or two that you know you’ll need later. Remember, this is your book — your toolbox of strategies and tactics that gets your team loving and using your CRM. Circle any paragraphs you find useful, highlight key concepts, add your own sticky notes, and doodle in the margins next to the complicated stuff.

This book starts with a background and focus on CRM strategy. When you have that figured out, Chapter 3 helps you find the best vendor. After that, I cover some basic topics about sales, marketing, and operations and how they fit into your CRM. And finally, the book ends with an advanced discussion on how to use the concepts of Complete CRM to bring your business to the next level.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the cheat sheet for this book at and search for this book’s title.

remember The more you mark up your book, the easier it is for you to find all the good stuff again.

Part 1

Laying the CRM Foundation


Understand the key strategies and components that make up your Complete CRM.

Get your team on board and create a data-driven culture.

Pick the best sales and marketing software for your business

Chapter 1

Embarking on Your Journey to Complete CRM


check Finding out how to incorporate the R in CRM

check Integrating CRM into your business

check Understanding the terms around CRM

check Determining your CRM goals

The first part of getting Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to work for your business is to understand what CRM really is. If you ask ten people, you’re likely to get ten different answers, each rooted in their personal experiences.

CRM has only started being taught in colleges and universities, so it’s no wonder there is fear, uncertainty, and doubt (also known as FUD) around it. Making CRM work in any business is a challenge, but it’s one you can overcome with a grasp of the strategies and tactics.

This chapter introduces the concept of Complete CRM and all the terms and technologies that make it possible. You can then apply all that knowledge to your organization with confidence.

Bringing the R in CRM to the Forefront

Every organization is built on relationships. It doesn’t matter how big or small the company is, which industry it serves, or who you are in that organization — relationships drive the success or failure of that group of people and the technology behind them.

The “R” in CRM stands for “relationship,” something that everyone — whether in sales, marketing, or operations — in your company contributes to. The more you understand how these relationships work, and how everyone in your organization influences them, the more efficiently your organization runs and the easier you generate revenue.

One key to understanding relationships in the context of CRM is knowing the difference between Complete CRM and Traditional CRM.

Traditional CRM is rooted in cataloging notes that salespeople made when they called their leads. Leads became contacts only after they bought something. These methods quickly became cumbersome and outdated when compared with the modern online, customizable, and mobile solutions available today.

Complete CRM is built for today’s business world and requires:

Complete CRM helps you understand what happens in the sales process, record how people engage with your marketing efforts, and track other interactions with your operations staff (for example, customer service, events, projects, and invoicing). Figure 1-1 illustrates how everything works together in a single system.


FIGURE 1-1: What Complete CRM does for you.

It takes an understanding of every piece of your organization to make Complete CRM work. Some concepts may be totally new to you. How some areas work may be totally new to you, and you may have to learn how different departments you’ve never ventured into work. You need to convince everyone from the top down of your vision of Complete CRM to be successful.

remember Transitioning to a Complete CRM mindset can give you a greater perception and empathy for those people who make your organization the best it can be.

Extending CRM to Your Entire Business

CRM is more than just software. It’s a mindset. Every business reaches a point, usually early on, when everything that’s happening can’t be held in someone’s brain. People in the organization need to take notes, or they’ll forget important things like customer issues, birthdays, or deadlines. With the aid of good tools to organize the information you need, you create a more efficient and effective business.

A good CRM system builds a framework for the information managed in your organization. Sales, marketing, and operations information needs to live in the same system because relationships reach across all those departments, as shown in Figure 1-2. Relationships represent the lifeblood of any organization, even those that don’t outright sell products or services. The better you can understand and learn from those relationships, the more valuable and efficient you and your organization are.


FIGURE 1-2: Sales, marketing, and operations working together.

Disorganization in any business leads to missed deadlines, sloppy work, and uninformed managers. CRM is the cure for these negative effects by creating organization and defining processes, but it doesn’t just happen. It takes leadership, focus, and dedication to achieve the vision that you set.

Knowing the Buzzwords

CRM is awash in terms and buzzwords that people like to throw around. This section gives you the background you need to translate the CRM-speak.

You may be already familiar with some of these terms — for example, buyer personas are a tried-and-true marketing technique. But they may have a slightly different meaning in a CRM context than you’re used to. Get to know these buzzwords, as they come up in meetings when you communicate your vision.

Content marketing

Content marketing is marketing, except instead of telling people to buy your widget, you’re educating them on how great widgets like the ones that you sell are (oh, and by the way, this educational piece was sponsored by ACME Widget Company). It’s a subtle way of getting people to read the pieces your marketing people write.

People “consume” content that they find interesting or educational. When you write a paper, record a podcast, or record a video, it’s more likely to have an impact if you focus on providing value.

Your Complete CRM is connected to your content marketing pieces; Figure 1-3 shows a blog. Every blog, article, e-book, and whitepaper you write should capture the reader’s contact information so you can follow up with relevant, personalized, and targeted messages. Capture all this information within your CRM, and your sales and marketing teams work together to the benefit of both.


FIGURE 1-3: A blog is a good example of content marketing.

Personalized content

Personalized content means that you create content specific to the person reading it. In the old days, this technique was referred to as a mail merge, where you would print “Dear Joe” at the top of a letter written to Joe. Nowadays, you can do that with email and webpages. You can even put totally customized pages (known as personalized URLs, or PURLs) together based on what you know about the reader. More targeted personalization in your marketing has a direct, positive impact on converting your leads into paying customers.

People listen when they feel someone is speaking directly to them. When you personalize content, you make people feel as though you care enough to make something just for them; see Figure 1-4. It’s like hearing a story that was made just for you; you listen when you feel someone is speaking directly to you.


FIGURE 1-4: Personalized emails are better received.

remember Personalizing content always brings up privacy considerations, as some people may not want you to know everything about their preferences and characteristics, so be sensitive to your market and how you’re personalizing the information you’re communicating.

When people engage with your personalized content, your CRM measures how they interact with you. Your salespeople then have access to information they need to have meaningful, direct conversations, while giving your marketing team insight into what resonates with your target market. With your team armed with better information, you can focus on techniques that maximize conversion.


Conversion happens when someone does something of value for you. Usually it’s when a customer buys your product or service, but conversions also record other actions that don’t involve a transaction, such as downloading an e-book or filling out a form.

Conversions can have multiple stages, and are often depicted as a funnel or pipeline. The process of moving through stages toward the final conversion should be measured, if at all possible. This way, you can set up automation around people advancing (or not advancing) to the next stage, and measure your success in driving people toward the conversion at the bottom of your sales funnel. Turn to Chapter 11 to set up an automation process.

Your CRM should give you the ability to track conversions, along with the paths people take to get there. You need to know where weak links are in your conversion process and why they occur, and have ways to easily address your messaging and methods of improving conversion rates. Use buyer journeys to identify and address those weak links.


Decisions made entirely by instinct are inherently riskier. A good CRM provides you with a lot of information, and the platform should help compile that data in a way that’s actionable. Require your consultants and employees to show you the numbers that back up their recommendations. While experience is a good teacher, it can also lead you astray in a world of changing market forces and technologies.

Being data-driven is as much a mindset as it is part of an organization’s culture. The more everyone relies on data to justify decisions, the more accountable and rational those decisions are. Turn to Chapter 15 for more information about how to measure your CRM data.

For example, my company decided to try Facebook’s lead capture system. After four weeks the numbers didn’t justify continuing, so the decision was made to stop using it. Had I not analyzed the numbers, my company may still be using a channel that doesn’t pay off as well as other channels. (As a side note, Facebook changed its system later, and after trying it again, my company found better success with it.)

Big data

Big data means that people have accessibility to more data now than a few years ago; oftentimes it’s unstructured, massive, and hard to understand. You can accumulate all kinds of data if you want to — demographic data about your contacts, website clicks, email opens and clicks, social media, and video, for example. But if you can’t make any sense of it, and it isn’t actionable, it’s useless.

Understanding what to do with all the data you gather is much more important than simply accumulating mountains of data you can’t use. Conversely, not enough data may lead you in the wrong direction, too.

Your Complete CRM, because it collects data from all the channels you use for sales, marketing, and operations, generates a lot of data. Make sure the platform you select makes it easy to sift through all that data, so you can be efficient in making strategic and tactical decisions about your business.

Your CRM gives you all the data you can handle through reports and charts. Chapter 15 covers how to capture and track data; Chapter 17 helps you see how the data has an impact on your business.


When marketers talk about segmentation, they mean that they are looking at smaller subsets of the entire potential market of customers. The more granular you can divide your market, the better you can understand each of these segments. The most segmented market is one-to-one personalization, which is possible, but challenging, both from a strategy and technology perspective.

A good CRM helps you understand what your various market segments are and how they interact with your brand. (See Chapter 4.) CRM platforms should make it easy for you to target and send personalized messages to your market segments.

Figure 1-5 shows how you can segment an email targeted toward a specific interest. This particular message is sent to people who expressed interest in email marketing, as opposed to sales, marketing automation, or customer service products. You may send different messages based on interests, demographics such as gender or age, or actions taken, such as if one of your salespeople has already introduced your product to the lead.


FIGURE 1-5: This email is sent to a specific segment — contacts interested in email marketing.

Buyer persona

A buyer persona is a characterization of a particular market segment. If you’re targeting middle-aged housewives, you could create Sally, a 42-year-old mother of two who lives in the suburbs and drives a minivan. If you’re targeting tall people who might want to buy the pants you’re importing, you could create Tom, a 25-year-old, single professional who plays basketball on the weekends. This generalized, stereotypical person is meant to help put context around how customers would use your product or service. If you think about how Sally would react to your marketing message, it’s easier to put yourself in her shoes when you can picture an actual person responding to you.

Buyer personas are useful in helping you set up your market segments and personalize messages sent through your CRM. Figure 1-6 shows a template to set up a buyer persona. Your sales and marketing teams can think about how to divide their efforts and resources to sell to the personas you create. Chapter 4 covers how to create buyer personas in your CRM.


FIGURE 1-6: Set up a template for your buyer personas.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing means taking care of leads when they make the effort to contact you. Lead nurturing is another phrase you’ll hear in marketing circles. When someone reaches out to you, she may have clicked an advertisement you placed, or she may have visited your website. Inbound marketing is about setting up processes to capture those leads and follow them all the way to conversion (the point where they do something you want them to do, like buy your product or service).

Complete CRM focuses on having a process and measuring everything you can about your leads as they learn about your brand and eventually convert into customers. Your CRM collects the behavioral and demographic data throughout the inbound marketing and lead nurturing process and uses automation to help your team communicate with your leads and clients efficiently.

Customer lifecycle/journey

Customer lifecycle is a term that encapsulates the journey people take from the time when they first hear about you, through their decision to purchase from you, to their consuming your product or service and becoming an advocate for your brand; see Figure 1-7. Often this progression isn’t linear, as people tend to show varying levels of interest and usage of your product or service. A good manager of this lifecycle can track where people are in various phases of engagement and can set up marketing and automation to encourage movement toward conversion and advocacy.


FIGURE 1-7: The customer lifecycle.

CRM platforms help you measure this lifecycle. (See Chapter 4.) Knowing how long people spend in various phases and what moves them along the customer journey is critical to improving how you do business. Your team uses your CRM to keep track of who is where in this journey, helping each person effectively reach each individual contact with the right message.

Sales pipeline/funnel

When your potential customers move through the process of buying something from you, you can place them into categories along their journey. Often these categories are descriptively named like “lead,” “qualified lead,” “reviewing proposal,” and hopefully “customer.” It’s called a pipeline because usually people go through a standardized process from stage to stage. Pipelines are often drawn horizontally; see Figure 1-8. Funnels, on the other hand, tend to be drawn vertically, with the neck of the funnel getting smaller to represent the exit of potential buyers as they go from stage to stage. For example, you may start with 100 leads, but only 80 of them qualify to move closer to becoming a customer after they have a conversation with a salesperson.


FIGURE 1-8: A sales pipeline.

Your CRM allows you to view your various funnels, along with drilling down into the charts to see who is in which stages, as shown in Figure 1-9. Good CRM platforms also provide analytics, showing you how long people are spending in each stage and the percentage of people who successfully move from stage to stage in a given time period.


FIGURE 1-9: Different types of sales funnels.


Opportunities have a special meaning when it comes to your CRM. Each opportunity represents a chance for a lead to become a client. Because opportunities generally have a longer sales cycle and more interaction with your team, they’re typically used for selling high-value products or services.

Each opportunity has characteristics you can use to categorize it. The quality of the opportunity, source, products, and/or services involved, the value of those products and services, date of expected close, and manager of the opportunity are aspects attached to it and can be used for categorizing and segmentation.

Your CRM stores everything about an opportunity in a convenient, easy-to-access place. Contacts and companies associated with the opportunity make it easy to track who the key players are; when you target resources to close that opportunity, you know what to say, and whom to say it to.

Using Strategies and Tactics

Many people use strategies and tactics interchangeably, but anyone with military experience can tell you they’re different. Senior management usually define strategies, while middle managers and those who execute employ tactics. This section covers how to distinguish between strategies and tactics in the design and implementation of your CRM.

It’s important to understand how both strategies and tactics work together to build a solid company with principles of Complete CRM. Your leadership guides high-level strategy to unify your team, while knowledge of effective tactics to reach your goals make that happen.

Coming up with effective strategies

Strategies are high-level, macroeconomic ways of looking at how to keep your business competitive. They take larger forces into consideration, and tend to focus on the “why” of the business.

Before you embark on your journey to build a CRM, you must have a solid strategy in place. Part of that strategy is answering these questions:

  • Market forces: Are competitors in your industry emerging? Are they a threat? Are they targeting your customer base?
  • Resources: Do you have enough employees? Are they getting enough education and training? Is their morale high? Are they sharing information with each other, guarding it for control over others, or fear for their livelihoods?
  • Investment: Are your people equipped with the right tools? Are they comfortable where they work? Do they have access to the training materials they need? Are they compensated when they complete training?
  • Brand: Does your brand convey what you do? Does it have a personality? Is it a personality that helps or hinders sales?

If you’re unable to answer these questions, or feel as though the answers don’t give you confidence in your organization, focus your CRM on addressing these issues.

Using effective tactics

Tactics, on the other hand, are about what happens every day at your business. They involve the tools people use, and how they use them. Usually they are more about the “how.”

These questions focus on the day-to-day operations, and you want to have good answers for them.

  • Customer relationship management (CRM): Are you managing every aspect of your customer lifecycle? Is it easy for your team to access the data they need to get their jobs done? If your sales and support teams are talking to clients, do they know enough about those clients to provide great service?
  • Outbound communication: Are you using all the right channels (for example, email, print, pay-per-click ads) to reach your leads and clients? Are you measuring performance?
  • Funnels and conversion: Are you tracking how people progress through the process of purchasing from you? If they’re leaving, why? Are you following up with them? How long is it taking for people to make the purchase decision? Are you able to automate and/or personalize any of these interactions?
  • Access to relevant information: Can your salespeople track what their leads are doing? Do they get alerted when their leads show signs of wanting to buy? Does your customer service team see how your clients absorb the information you send them? Does your marketing team have access to sales- and support-related data that could help them segment their communication?

Measuring “effective”

The word “effective” can have many different meanings, so it’s important to take the time to make sure what it means to you. At an organizational level, it often translates to “efficient,” meaning fewer resources to accomplish tasks the company needs done. At an individual level, it can mean giving people the freedom to do their jobs well.

tip Take time to think about your overall goals, both as an organization and with your CRM, as those goals relate to being effective. When you know where you want to go with both, and what it means for you to be effective, you can check whether you’re on the path for accomplishing both.

In all cases, measuring and reporting lets you know if you’re moving your organization in the right direction. An effective Complete CRM means you do more with less, with the data easily accessible to back that up.

Finding Your Success with Complete CRM

Beyond a self-help cliché, success can also have many meanings. This section covers several ways you can apply metrics to gauge how well you are doing.

remember Everyone defines “success” a little differently. It’s important that you take the time to write down what it means to you, both personally and to your business.

If you have a lifestyle business, your goals may be more driven around giving you free time. If you’re growing a for-profit business, your goals may be centered on maximizing top-line revenue or profit. If you manage a non-profit, you may be focused on donations and/or maximizing how much you can deliver to your cause. In every case, success is unique to you, so take the time to be clear on what benefits the CRM can offer both you and your organization.

You can use a few metrics to determine your level of success. These metrics are examples and are suggestions for you, but it is important you consider all these when laying out your plans for your CRM. Your strategy — and therefore the way you set up your Complete CRM — should focus on driving you toward the success metrics that mean the most to you.


Whether you’re measuring over a short time span, or a longer history, you should be able to see numbers that indicate improvement on a large scale:

  • Top-line growth (total revenue): Revenue is usually measured through actual dollars received, but if you’re on an accrual-based accounting system, it can also include total amount of business booked. Your CRM should attach revenue to contacts and companies, and should track each individual buyer journey and what drives that revenue.
  • Number of customers: If your customers are mostly similar or you sell a limited number of similar products, you may use the raw number of customers as a good metric for measuring success. Your CRM holds all your customer data, including groups of customers to help you segment them for analysis, automation, and marketing.
  • Average revenue per customer: When you sell a wide range of products or services, you may want to measure the amount of revenue you’re collecting from each individual customer. This metric indicates whether you’re capitalizing on cross-selling or up-selling opportunities. Your CRM reports show this information and help you see which segments of your market are more valuable to you.
  • Marketing reach: This metric is usually related to awareness of your brand. The number of brand impressions, the number of followers or likes in your social media networks, the size of your email list, or the number of contacts in your CRM are all metrics you can use to measure your reach.


Revenue goals measure raw dollars coming in the door. Total top line revenue may not be indicative of how well you’re doing, or where you may be able to improve. You may want to dive deeper and look at such key metrics as:

  • Revenue by channel: If you sell through different channels (distributors), you can see which bring in the most business. Your CRM tracks revenue by grouping or by campaign IDs, so you can measure which channels have the greatest impact on your business.
  • Revenue by salesperson: Evaluate the performance of each salesperson. Are they meeting quota? Is their average deal getting bigger? Your CRM follows every client, including which salespeople the client worked with, so your sales managers can easily see their top performers and those who need more coaching.

    remember CRMs come with a leaderboard to keep track of your salespeople’s statistics.

  • Average revenue per user: Oftentimes, average revenue per client indicates the type of client you’re closing. If this number goes up, it may indicate you’re selling to larger clients, or you’re selling at a high rate to your target market. If you have multiple clients within an organization, you may also measure how much each client within that organization is contributing to your top-line revenue. Your CRM gives you the ability to dive into details about clients, so you can extract metrics and valuable insights about them.
  • Revenue by region: If you sell your product in different regions (local or international), you want to see how much is coming in through each area. Because your CRM stores regional information about each contact and company, this filter is easy to run.
  • Revenue by demographics: Knowing whether certain demographics make up your revenue sources help you focus your marketing resources on the markets that demand your product or service. Look at gender, income, preferences, family status, homeowner status, and more for better insight. CRM platforms store an unlimited number of fields you can use to find which demographic characteristics impact your business. With included predictive analytics, an advanced user can apply this knowledge to help focus on leads most likely to convert and provide more revenue.


Profit is usually very closely related to efficiency, which is discussed in the next section. There are a few more variables related to financing and vendor costs, some of which may be impacted by effective use of your CRM.

Many people think CRM is for sales and marketing. But it can also track interactions with vendors and partners. By setting up your CRM and automation around all aspects of your business, you can measure and control variables that contribute to your costs.

tip If you have labor that contributes to your cost of goods sold, you can measure how long it takes your operations to complete a task. Deviations highlight inefficient procedures, vendor mistakes, or lack of training for employees.

On the sales side, Complete CRM makes your team better at what they do by arming them with more information. Their conversations with leads are more efficient and targeted, which increases their close rates. It also can contribute to improvements in their ability to cross-sell and up-sell. Higher average revenue per client usually correlates to higher profit per client, all driven by the increase in efficiency.


Efficiency is about being able to do more with less effort. Using machines (physical machines to save manual labor, or computers to save data entry or manipulation) to scale your business results in greater efficiency.

Some key ways that Complete CRM contributes to efficiency:

  • Alerts: When measuring what leads and clients do across multiple channels (for example, websites, email, text, phone), your CRM can tell your sales team when a hot lead needs an immediate follow-up. Because your salespeople and their contacts are tied into your CRM, alerts are timely and contain the information they need to close more deals.
  • Auto-responders and drip campaigns: When a lead or client fills out a form or activates some other trigger, you can set things in motion to automate what happens next, such as a series of emails or personalized printed material. Logs of these automated marketing functions are stored in the CRM, along with what your contacts did when they received these messages.
  • Overdue warnings: When you set up workflows, or automated CRM activity schedules, you can set predefined to-dos for your team. If someone drops the ball on a regularly scheduled sequence, management can see it immediately.
  • Automatic CRM updates: When software automatically updates your CRM, it saves manual data entry. For example, one-to-one emails are saved, phone calls are recorded and transcribed, chat sessions with customer service are added, videos are watched, and email newsletters are opened or clicked, as shown in Figure 1-10. Complete CRM automatically transfers this data to your contact records, saving you time and arming your staff with information to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

FIGURE 1-10: When a contact record includes all this information automatically, everyone wins.

Costs associated with labor that could be automated often contribute to unnecessary overhead. These costs could be labor, but it could also affect your team’s ability to respond to opportunities. If your salespeople don’t know when a hot lead is showing interest, they aren’t spending time effectively, which results in waste or missed chances to close deals.


Wise men tell you that the true measure of one’s wealth is in the amount of free time available. If you can take the morning, the afternoon, or the day off and not stress about it, you’re making progress toward building a more free lifestyle.

remember Lifestyle isn’t always just about free time. It’s also about quality of life while at work. When stress levels are lower at work, people are happier. Ultimately, people are in search of more happiness, and Complete CRM brings you closer to that by giving you insight into how your business is doing and improving the customer experience. Better tools create efficiency and consistency for your team, improving morale and performance.

Workers and managers alike feel more stress when mistakes are made. Sometimes people forget things, and sometimes they weren’t told anything about something that could have helped them do their job better. Complete CRM is your recipe to remove those mistakes by making relevant information available and automating reminders to complete tasks in a timely fashion.

When someone in your organization drops the ball, someone has to pick it up. Usually there is some amount of apologizing to a customer, coaching for the person who dropped the ball, and a reevaluation of internal processes. Every time this reevaluation happens, the team should think about how Complete CRM could help prevent it from happening in the future.

tip Rely on your CRM to support your “dropped ball” policy. Whether it’s recording how the ball was dropped, redesigning your sales or support process, or tracking damage control processes, your CRM gives you the tools to make sure your team drops as few balls as possible.

Complete CRM gives you and your team the confidence of knowing everything is handled as intended. By designing internal processes that react to leads, clients, vendors, and employees, you demonstrate that confidence to everyone in your organization. Confidence then transcends outwardly to your leads and contacts, building your brand and overall customer experience.

Chapter 2

Gearing Up Internally for CRM


check Recognizing and addressing the resistance to new strategies and processes

check Building a team that uses your CRM effectively

check Creating a singular vision for everyone in sales, marketing, and operations

check Teaming up with IT to build a data-driven culture

check Making CRM an integral part of your corporate culture

CRM is more than a software package. It’s a mindset and a collaborative effort that spans the entire organization and includes your leads, customers, vendors, and partners. Making CRM work requires a culture that supports it.

In this chapter, you discover how to gear up internally to implement an effective Complete CRM. You develop the knowledge and skills to anticipate common roadblocks and clear them with confidence. You build a creative, collaborative environment united behind the common purpose of improving customer satisfaction and developing customer relationships that drive profit and growth.

remember To make Complete CRM work, you need your team on your side. You build a culture that involves everyone, forming a solid foundation for your CRM to grow from.