You might have run into this issue before: Bob and Sue are both entering contacts into the CRM, but when you go to their pipelines, Bob is attaching a Lead to the contact record while Sue is attaching her pipelines to the company record. Or this familiar issue: Sue is keeping lots of detailed notes in the CRM, and while Bob is doing the same number of calls and meetings, he has barely any CRM activity. And worst of all, you have another user, Tim, who keeps deleting contacts whenever they say they’re not interested in your services, so you lose your history with them and their company!
If your users aren’t using the CRM the same way, it can be hard to keep track of their progress, and it can make it more difficult to pull accurate reports. By creating CRM rules, you ensure that your users understand how to use the CRM and properly enter and process their contacts. Your data will be more accurate, you’ll be able to pull more nuanced reports, and you’ll have a better idea of your users’ activity with each contact.
This article will help you come up with rules for your own company, and we’ll show you an example of how one of our current users created protocols for her team in the CRM!
How to create CRM rules
1. Figure out everyone’s workflow within the CRM
How will your users interact with the CRM? It’s important to figure this out before you create any rules. For example, you might have some user who will regularly be entering contacts, leaving notes about inbound calls, and scheduling events. You might have other users who will be working with contacts already in the CRM, moving them through pipelines and attaching many follow up tasks. Although everyone is on the same account, people will be using the CRM very differently, and will need different rules to guide their workflow.
For example, if you own a plumbing company, you’ll need to map out how reception will handle incoming calls, email requests, and adding new clients to the CRM. They’ll probably need to know how to add contacts, leave notes, log emails, and schedule appointments in the CRM.
2. Codify these workflows
Once you’ve mapped out everyone’s basic workflows, figure out exactly how they will input information into the CRM. If we take the plumbing company example, you’ll want to establish that whenever a new client is added to the CRM, they should also be added to a Client group. If a potential client expresses interest in your services, they should be added to a Lead pipeline and a follow up task should be added.
A CRM coach can help you map all of your processes in the CRM and customize any pipelines, groups, or fields that you need. If you want to schedule a call with a CRM coach, contact us!
3. Consider CRM best practices
In addition to your coded workflows, part of your CRM Rules can come from CRM best practices:
- Leave a note after every interaction with a contact
- Never delete anything from the CRM
- Always assign a follow up task after your last touch
We’ve written up a list of CRM best practices that you can borrow from; feel free to check them out and come up with your own!
4. Train your team
Now that you have your CRM rules, a combination of coded processes and best practices, it’s time to train your team so that everyone knows how to use and enter data into the CRM. There are a few ways to teach, train, and educate your team in the CRM:
- Schedule a demo with a CRM coach and your team. Before the call, set up a 30 minute check-in with the CRM coach. Tell them how each member of your team should use the CRM, and feel free to ask them for advice about best practices. If you haven’t customized your CRM yet, your CRM coach can help with that too! During the call with your team, your CRM coach can show everyone how to use the CRM, and answer any questions they have. Emphasize that having a uniform way to enter and process data will make their lives easier, too!
- Create a cheat sheet. Send your employees a sheet containing the rules and any best practices you want them to follow. This way, everyone will have something to refer to if they forget their training or want to double check how something is done.
- Set up 1:1 reviews with your employees. After their first week of learning the CRM rules, schedule meetings with each of your employees. Before each meeting, pull a report of their CRM activity; is there a note for every meeting? Are they logging emails? Are they attaching a follow up task to every potential client? Review their activity, and ask them how the CRM is going. If they’re having trouble remembering to enter data or follow the rules, brainstorm ways to get them to use the CRM.
5. Tweak your process
Over time, you may need to adjust your rules. You might start a newsletter and new contacts will need to be added to the Newsletter group; maybe you want to start asking for feedback after every appointment, and follow up tasks will need to be assigned every time a pipeline is closed. Communicate new rules or protocols with your team as time goes on, and make sure to listen to their needs and wants too. As everyone gets more accustomed to the CRM, you’ll realize ways that you can streamline your process, improve your CRM data, and grow your business.
How CRM rules helped Ava’s business
“Everyone from the receptionist to me uses the CRM regularly and having an organized database means that everyone knows where to find the information they need.”
- Ava Chase, owner of Advanced Practice Prep
Ava Chase, owner of Advanced Practice Prep, created CRM rules to help her team collaborate in the CRM. She designed a new contact protocol to ensure that new students were properly added to the CRM, put in the correct groups, attached to the right pipelines, and sent confirmation emails that were also logged to the CRM. Keeping a new contact protocol not only helped Ava keep her data neat and her business organized, but it also helped her team collaborate in the CRM. Everyone knows where to look to find certain pieces of information, and everyone can trust that the data is accurate.