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How to Monitor and Continuously Optimize Your CRM System

When your company invests in new software or equipment, you want to be sure that it functions as it should and brings value over time. 

The same is true for your customer relationship management platform (CRM). CRMs are systems for managing customer data and strengthening relationships with leads to close more deals. A CRM is essential for making more sales and improving customer relationships. 

Once you’ve completed your initial CRM implementation, you’ve checked a crucial task off your CRM setup checklist. While the initial implementation is the heaviest lift in the process, to make the most of your CRM system, you’ll want to continue monitoring and improving your usage of it over time.

Why is it important to continuously monitor and improve your CRM system?

With CRM, “set it and forget it” isn’t the best approach. Why? Several issues could arise that lead to less-than-optimal usage of your CRM, from poor training on the system to low user adoption to a lack of essential features. In business, nothing stays the same for long and you may see changes in:

  • Customer behavior due to changes in the market, competitor activity, or consumer trends.
  • The way your team uses your CRM; they may start using it less, start relying on it more, or find new ways to use it as they work with it.
  • Your business needs, requiring you to update your processes.
  • Opportunities to improve your CRM system, such as new features or integrations.

To adjust to these kinds of changes, you’ll need to monitor your CRM system so that you’re aware of them and then take steps, if necessary, to improve the system and help you make the most out of the platform to boost your company’s performance.

How to review and optimize your CRM

Reviewing and optimizing your CRM may look different as your company grows and your needs change. The best way to stay informed about how your CRM is helping your team is to routinely compare how the system is performing with your company’s goals. 

So, how do you monitor and improve your CRM system? Here’s what you need to know.

1. Measuring the success of the CRM system implementation

Measuring the success of your CRM implementation tells you what works well and what areas could use improvement, so it’s essential for making the most of your CRM system.

It’s important to measure the success of your initial implementation once it’s complete. It’s also a good idea to evaluate the long-term success of your CRM strategy regularly.

How do you measure CRM implementation success?

Tracking progress against established objectives

Refer back to your CRM implementation plan to help measure success. What key performance indicators (KPIs) did you identify for your CRM system? Which metrics are you aiming to improve with your CRM?

Here are a few important metrics to monitor regarding your CRM’s performance: 

  • System uptime: Any software can occasionally experience some downtime. But if your CRM is constantly malfunctioning and won’t let you perform mission-critical tasks, that’s an issue. Also, pay attention to how quickly your system gets up and running again and how well the CRM’s team communicates with you and other customers about what they’re doing to resolve the issue.  
  • Data input errors: One of a CRM’s most essential functions is storing and organizing customer data. If you frequently experience inaccuracies in data input and have ruled out user error, the problem may be with your CRM. 
  • User adoption rates: If your CRM is like most, it charges you for the number of users on your plan. When you have a low user adoption rate, you’re wasting money and missing out on the benefits CRMs offer. Your team may need more training to understand how to use the platform to its fullest.
  • Customer engagement levels: One of the most important metrics to monitor is customer engagement. The ultimate goal of using a CRM is to better manage and grow your customer relationships, so it’s important to measure how successfully you’re engaging your customers over time as your sales and marketing teams use the CRM to analyze leads in your pipeline, store customer data, and create email marketing campaigns

If your CRM implementation is successful, you should see improvement in performance metrics you’ve targeted, such as:

  • Sales metrics like close rates and revenue
  • Marketing and lead generation metrics such as customer acquisition cost and lead volume
  • Customer support metrics like time to resolution and net promoter score
  • Customer engagement
  • Customer retention

Gathering user feedback and adjusting processes as needed

Another essential part of measuring CRM implementation success is gathering feedback from your team. Request feedback from your team and ask questions such as whether they:

  • Feel it’s helping them achieve their goals
  • Feel comfortable using it
  • Enjoy using it
  • Have ideas on how to improve the system and processes

Based on this user feedback, you can make adjustments such as updating your workflows, providing additional training, or adding integrations.

2. Identify areas for improvement

Once you’ve monitored your CRM’s performance over a set period, such as a quarter, you have the data you need to identify potential areas for improvement. Looking for those opportunities is critical because it paves the way for you to optimize your CRM system and use its features and tools best.  

To identify areas of improvement for your CRM, put a team member in charge of gathering your CRM’s performance metrics and synthesizing the information to identify growth opportunities. The right CRM makes it easy to gather that data through reports. You can then evaluate the results to generate solutions. 

Some examples of areas where you could improve your CRM usage are: 

  • System speed and performance: If your team is struggling with a lot of system downtime, slowdowns, data input errors, or other issues, your CRM may need some adjustments to optimize its speed and performance. Performance bottlenecks happen due to all sorts of issues, from poor server configuration to unoptimized network infrastructure. 
  • User training on the system: Inadequate training on your CRM could be one factor leading to a low user adoption rate. Consider whether your team needs additional guidance on how to use your CRM. 
  • Sales and revenue generation: Your CRM impacts your company’s sales and revenue, and naturally, you want it to have a positive impact. By analyzing sales data and measuring the impact of your marketing campaigns, you can identify how much your CRM is helping your company drive revenue. 
  • System features: Maybe you’ve been using your CRM for several months and realize it just doesn’t help your team achieve what you thought it would. There might be some additional CRM features you can add to your plan that will help you reach your goals.

Want to learn more about measuring the ROI of a CRM system?

Explore our free guide here.

 

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Measuring the ROI of a CRM system

3. Make adjustments to continuously optimize the CRM system

To keep your CRM system performing at its best, you’ll want to update and optimize it continuously. This will help you get the most value possible from your CRM.

After identifying areas for improvement, your team can take the necessary steps to optimize your use of the CRM system. Some adjustments may need to be made at the level of your team and CRM users, while others might involve a system-wide modification. 

While your business doesn’t have ultimate control over the system’s user interface, functionalities, and other settings, you should always see your CRM’s customer support team as a valuable resource for working through any issues you encounter. Whether it’s surfacing a system glitch or identifying how to best use your CRM’s tools, the support team should be there to help your business optimize the CRM.  

Follow these steps to make your CRM the best it can be: 

  • Get help with any technical issues: Some technical problems with your CRM may be too complicated for your team to solve by simply altering their process. Try connecting with your CRM’s support team to see if they can help you get to the root of the issue. You may even help your CRM’s support team squash a pesky bug, update the user interface, or solve a larger issue that makes the platform more straightforward to use for everyone! 
  • Consider all your feature and integration options: If you need something your system doesn’t seem to be providing, an additional CRM feature or software integration may help you bridge the gap. See what other functionalities your CRM offers that you can use to achieve your goals. 
  • Track KPIs through reports: Your CRM’s reporting features need to be robust enough to help you measure the system’s effectiveness. Through advanced CRM reporting, you can track KPIs like lead volume, sales team productivity, and much more. If your reports aren’t providing the information you need, you may need to adjust the reporting settings or create custom reports. 
  • Invest in training: Even the easiest-to-use CRM may have a learning curve as your team navigates the new system and learns the ropes. Invest in thorough training so your team members can feel comfortable with the platform and learn how to fully utilize its features and tools.  

It’s also helpful to monitor new features offered by your CRM, as these additional capabilities can help you optimize your system in new ways.

Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, take action to implement the necessary changes. This may involve updating processes and workflows, providing additional training, integrating new tools, adding new features, or resolving technical issues with the help of your CRM’s customer support team.

Looking for an easy-to-use CRM with all the features you need to boost sales?

Nutshell has what you’re looking for.

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Overcoming challenges and mistakes in CRM implementation

When implementing a CRM, it’s important to be aware of common challenges. When you’re aware of these challenges, you can account for them in your plan, take steps to avoid them, and be better prepared if any issues occur.

Some common CRM implementation challenges include:

Lack of direction

If you don’t know what you want out of your CRM system, implementing it can become disorganized, making your system less effective.

This is why it is important to create a CRM implementation plan that lays out your strategy for rolling out your CRM. You should also create a CRM strategy that defines your goals for using the CRM and how your team should use it.

Data issues

Without relevant, quality data, your CRM system will not provide nearly as much value. Focus on collecting data that will help you reach your goals and have a data governance system in place—a set of standards that define how your team will manage your data.

Low user adoption

Low user adoption is another CRM challenge businesses often face. Getting your whole team on the same page with new software can be challenging, but asking your team for input before beginning implementation, providing plenty of training, and regularly asking for feedback about the system can help.

Flexibility and scalability

As your business evolves and grows, you’ll likely need to make changes to your CRM system and processes. 

Accounting for these potential future changes is crucial, so it’s important to choose a CRM that’s flexible and easy to scale up if necessary. Also, it’s important to evaluate your system regularly and make changes to your CRM strategy as needed.

When it comes to these challenges and any others you might face, your CRM’s customer support team is your best resource. They can answer questions, offer recommendations, and help you fix any issues that come up.

Get more from your CRM system with Nutshell

To get the most value from your CRM, monitoring and continuously improving your CRM system and processes is essential.

It’s also important to choose a CRM that offers powerful features, makes it easy to customize your system to your needs, and provides free, helpful customer support.

Nutshell is a powerful, easy-to-use CRM that can easily be tailored to fit your business’s needs. Plus, we have a world-class customer support team who can help you throughout your entire journey, from implementation to monitoring to improving your CRM system as your business evolves and grows.

To see for yourself the value Nutshell can provide for your team, start a free 14-day trial today!

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