Your CRM is perhaps the most powerful business tool you own. Research shows that when integrated with the right CRM strategy, revenue increased by 41% per salesperson and overall ROI can be as much as 245%.

However, 43% of businesses who use CRM software admit they aren’t using their system to its potential. True, this raises questions as to why companies aren’t taking the time to develop a proper CRM strategy. But these stats reveal a potential “in” to not only compete in the propane industry but also win more than your competitors.

Here’s how:

Planning a CRM Strategy

Don’t leave your strategy to chance. Careful, data-driven planning can go a long way in helping you achieve the right goals.

Determine What to Accomplish with CRM

CRM packs a lot of power and performs myriad tasks. What specifically should yours do?

Decrease response time to your propane customers?

Keep customers engaged during the off-season?

Before you start setting goals, stop considering what your existing CRM is capable of. There are too many choices in the CRM market for you to limit your options to what you already have.

Decide How CRM Will Help You Reach Your Goals

Break your goals into smaller objectives, then plot your course in how to achieve them. Consider how each path affects employees and customers, and see how you can simplify the process for both.

You should also look at what other systems will be affected by CRM activity. For example, if you use services like Hubstor for storing files, you need to look at how your CRM can communicate with it.

You might find your current CRM isn’t capable of delivering the results you want. Switching to a new CRM doesn’t come without its challenges, but can be worth the effort with the right strategy.

Implementing a CRM Strategy

There’s a learning curve to every change, even if you’ve been using the same CRM for years. Your team needs adequate time to ramp up their knowledge and abilities with new processes, so plan for this in your CRM strategy rollout.

Make sure you prioritize your customers’ needs, both in planning and during implementation. Downtime or poorly trained team members can backpedal your success, especially if you’re making multiple changes at once.

Try to stagger changes to your strategy over time to give your employees a chance to keep up. Too many new things to learn can upend productivity, which almost defeats the purpose of having a CRM.

Also, it’s a good idea to test your changes internally before trying them out on your customers. A few mistaken emails or phone calls to the wrong person could hinder your customers – and your image.

Tracking Your Results

Once you’ve got your newly polished strategy in place, you’re still not finished. Measure your success over time to see how well your efforts paid off.

Establish which metrics best indicate your ROI and other important insights. If you’re not getting the results you expect, use these metrics to tweak your strategy, then try again.

Find the Best CRM Today

CRM today isn’t what it used to be a decade ago. Advanced features and increasing availability and affordability have allowed businesses of all sorts and sizes to gain a competitive edge in customer service. There’s a CRM that’s right for your propane business — go out there and find it!