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The Dos and Don’ts of Customizing Your CRM
With any technology, it’s important to customize it to meet your specific needs. This ensures that you will be able to easily capture necessary information, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency within your organization.
However, many organizations are either excited to get started and decide to configure their CRM after they start using it, or they don’t understand why and how they want to change it in the first place. The issue with this is that you may end up back-filling information with workarounds and awkward data entry tactics. To help you form a plan for customizing your CRM, we put together a list of dos and don’ts:
DO customize your instance before you go live.
It’s much easier to make changes before you start using your CRM than after. This is not to say that you can’t make changes to your instance after implementation – in fact it’s expected that you may want to tweak some things once your team starts using it – but the more customization you do up front, the more useful your data will be as you move forward.
DO think about your use case.
Think about how you will use the information you intend to gather by customizing your CRM. Will it improve customer relationships? Forecasting? Service delivery? What information do you need in order to generate relevant reports or reach your business goals?
DO develop an internal process guide for filling out fields.
Think about implementing an internal process guide or playbook on how to use your CRM. This will ensure consistency of your organization’s workflow and improve the quality of data entered in your instance.
DO determine if user-based access and restrictions are necessary.
Many CRMs let you restrict access to data. Although there are times when this is critical, it’s important to determine any collateral risks to restricting visibility. Restricting visibility to some data may result in lack of access to reports or other information that the end user might need. Ask yourself if this is truly necessary before configuring restrictions.
Many modern CRM platforms are very easy to customize. It’s important that you don’t over–customize your instance, as the software may become a burden rather than an asset to end users. Understand your ‘why’ before customizing to ensure you meet your needs.
DON’T make everything a required field.
When creating a custom field in CRM, you have the option to make it a required field – which means the end user can’t proceed with an action until the field is populated. This is a great way to make sure that must-have information is properly recorded. But when too many fields are required it can make the process of inputting data cumbersome and frustrating, which will affect end user adoption.
DON’T rely too heavily on description or note fields.
If possible, you should capture information in an individual field rather than in the text field – especially if it’s information you may want to pull into a report. Text fields can be useful, but only if the character limit is set to a couple of sentences.
DON’T be afraid to ask for help.
Better safe than sorry. If you’re struggling with the customization process, reach out to your CRM partner for guidance or advice on best practices.
Need a few a more pointers? Contact us and speak to one of our CRM experts to scope out your customization project.
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