32 Ways to Better Use CRM for the Holidays (and Any Day)

There’s no escaping it now – we’re well in the midst of the “Holiday Shopping Season.” For brick-and-mortar retailers, service providers, and any other business, a CRM system is one tool that will help them get the MOST of out of sales.

Here’s your master list of ways to use CRM to ensure you get more sales this year (and the next).

  1. Get as much critical information about each new contact as you can – as they go into your system
  2. Use a follow-up system to incrementally add new information to your CRM system
  3. Survey customers to ensure you’re meeting their needs
  4. Give customers an opportunity to update their contact information
  5. Steal an idea from ProFlowers.com and incentivize customers to give you the names of other customers
  6. Reward customers for referrals
  7. Educate employees on why your CRM system is a powerful sales tool
  8. Train employees how to use your CRM tool
  9. Ensure you offer something to every visitor to your website, even if they aren’t ready to buy yet
  10. Integrate your social content with your CRM system so you have visibility into the full sales cycle of your social sales efforts
  11. Make sure your customer and prospect and any other lists are “clean” – it would be a shame to send a “thanks for being a customer” sales letter to folks who aren’t customers
  12. Do as little double data entry as possible – use integrated systems that can speak to each other instead of having staff manually type in data
  13. Map out (on paper) campaigns for each element of your marketing
  14. Invite marketing experts to review your marketing campaigns and make them better
  15. Work with a CRM expert to ensure you’re getting the most out of your CRM system
  16. Ensure your CRM system can grow with your business
  17. Audit your entire sales cycle for data leakage. Are there parts of your sales cycle where data is NOT being properly captured into your CRM system?
  18. Leverage automation as much as possible. Your CRM system is powerful – make sure it’s working for you
  19. Be sure to look BEYOND CRM and ensure that systems outside CRM are fully optimized
  20. Your blog – is your blog generating great content, fine-tuned, and fully connect and driving leads to your CRM system?
  21. Social media – ensure each of your social profiles is fine-tuned and working with your CRM system. For example, you can use a tab on Facebook that feeds directly into your CRM system
  22. Be sure every link you generate is properly crafted so you can have as much detailed tracking in your analytics
  23. Don’t communicate TOO MUCH with the people in your database – spammers never win
  24. But, set up regular and expected communication schedules for the people in your database
  25. When someone clicks the “unsubscribe” button, give them an option to receive LESS information from you or update their contact information. Sometimes people don’t want to unsubscribe but that’s the only option given
  26. Your thank you pages should lead people to take another action step – maybe it shows them a coupon or invites them to check out something new
  27. Don’t let your automation go crazy. If you’re writing in a message – I’m on a plane right now and thinking if you – let that be a true statement
  28. Personalize your messages as much as possible. Your email message or other communications need not just use a person’s first name. You can personalize it even more with recent purchase history and other things
  29. Continuously segment the contacts in your database. Ge as much information as you can in regard to gender, buying preferences, profession, ethnicity, location, preferred method of communication, etc. The more information you have the better you can serve your customer (or prospect)
  30. Use forms to enable staff and other authorized uses to more easily input data into your CRM system
  31. Periodically go through your CRM campaign to ensure links aren’t broken and that overall there are no problems
  32. Go beyond email. You can use your CRM’s marketing automation function to deliver cookies to new customers, thank you letters to long-time customers, call a customer to give them a status update, and text a customer to send them a special offer

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