two male co-workers working next to each other on computers
CRM software has the potential to improve your marketing campaigns, sales strategies and internal communications. — Getty Images/Hiraman

If you’re familiar with customer relationship management (CRM) software, you know it’s an invaluable tool for small businesses looking to keep tabs on their current and prospective customers. This software ensures everyone in your company can see the customer’s contact information and history of interactions, so they can follow up with leads at the appropriate time in the appropriate way.

But CRM software can do so much more than organize customer information and track deal progress. Many modern CRM tools integrate with other programs and allow you to perform powerful marketing and customer service functions that ultimately help you close more deals.

Here are five surprising ways you may not have thought to use your CRM software.

Manage your sales team’s activity

One of the best things about using CRM software is the increased transparency across your entire organization. Every sales rep can track their activity and interactions with leads and customers, which allows you to easily see their closing rates without micromanaging or hounding them for their numbers. This also helps prevent your sales team from bombarding a prospective client with different sales pitches. Rather, every salesperson on your team can see where each prospect is in the sales funnel and act accordingly.

Additionally, if you notice that a few reps have higher success rates, you can easily see in your CRM what communication tactics they’re using, and have the rest of your team try them out. Your team may even identify process errors or gaps that need to be fixed in order to improve efficiency and increase sales.

Built better marketing campaigns

Many CRMs have a variety of marketing tools baked right in. Using the wealth of customer information stored in your system, you can sort through your contacts to find the best targets for a marketing campaign, segment your audience according to what they’d be most receptive to and personalize your marketing content to suit the specific audience you’re targeting. Once you’ve built your ideal campaign, you can use the built-in communications tools in your CRM to create and send it out.

[Need help choosing a CRM? Check out our CRM software guide.]

One of the best things about using CRM software is the increased transparency across your entire organization.

Provide a great customer experience and support

CRM software can help you support your existing customers just as well as it can help you find new ones. When you filter all customer communications through a robust CRM, it opens the door for using it as an effective customer service and support tool. Whether you have a dedicated customer support team or empower your account managers to provide assistance to their clients directly, everyone in your organization will be able to see call logs and email threads when a customer reaches out with an issue. It also makes it easy to hand off the baton if the problem needs to be escalated to another person in the company.

Monitor customer feedback

Some CRM systems have built-in tools for collecting, monitoring and responding to customer feedback. Depending on your software, you may be able to import reviews from popular sites like Yelp, or even track social media conversations about your brand. Some tools even allow customers to provide feedback directly within your CRM, so you can address any concerns or issues before a negative review gets published elsewhere. This allows you to leverage your CRM software into a branding tool, as you can quickly turn a disgruntled customer into a loyal brand ambassador.

Improve your sales strategies

CRM software provides a wealth of historical sales data that can give you insights on how to improve moving forward. By studying trends in where your leads come from, how they’re engaging with your business and the rates of conversion and turnover, you can get a better idea of which sales strategies are working and which ones need to be improved upon. Armed with this data, you can adjust your sales strategy accordingly and start making more sales.

CO— does not review or recommend products or services. For more information on choosing the best CRM software, visit our friends at business.com.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Published June 05, 2019