Our name says it all: we want to make your CRM experience as Less Annoying as possible. While we wish we could be “Not Even A Little Bit Annoying” CRM, business software in general can be kind of annoying. Most people don’t enjoy data entry, and it can take awhile to learn a new system (and an even longer time to start loving it).
Whether you’re a Less Annoying customer or not, below are our top tips for making your CRM experience as painless as possible. Plus, we include advice and feedback from real Less Annoying CRM customers who have gone through the CRM search, selection, and setup process, just like you.
1. Actually use the CRM.
We have a saying around the LACRM office: the best CRM is one that you’ll actually use. Too often, companies go with robust, complicated CRMs that are too difficult to use. And if you aren’t using a CRM program every day, you’re probably not entering data, and the data already in the CRM is slowly becoming more and more inaccurate. If the data inside your CRM isn’t reliable, then your CRM can’t help you. So do yourself a favor, and go with a system you can actually use.
“You have to use it. If you don’t use it, it won’t help you. As you use it, you will find ways to expand its use that are unique to you.” — Michael Myers
2. Make your CRM as accessible as possible.
Now that you have a CRM, it’s important to make it easy to access so that you can get the information you need, no matter where you are. Make sure to pin Less Annoying CRM to your smartphone’s home screen, and consider creating a shortcut, bookmark, or homepage of the CRM on your browser. Try keeping your CRM open in a tab all day every day, so that you can easily jot down notes and tasks.
It’s also important to put your old data-tracking methods aside. If you keep your old spreadsheet and post-its available, you’ll be more likely to slip into old habits. The CRM’s job is to lessen your load, not create duplicate data entry! So be sure to unbookmark old reports and keep the post-its in your desk.
“Each of our trucks is equipped with an iPhone and iPad. We use a computer in the office. Using LACRM across all these different systems has helped us to keep in better contact with our crew and get any pertinent information out into the field in a very timely manner.” — Sally Blocksom
3. Set up your notifications.
Another way to set yourself up for CRM success: tailor your notifications to the way you work. One of the greatest benefits of a CRM is that it proactively reminds you to get stuff done — you don’t have to hold your entire agenda in your head anymore! However, it’s important to make sure that your reminders and notifications work with you so that they are as useful and un-annoying as possible.
You can manage any CRM notifications on your Notifications page. I highly recommend that no matter what, you keep your daily agenda email notification turned on. It’s most people’s favorite notification in the CRM because it helps them stay on top of their entire schedule!
“I always check in with my clients a couple of days after they get back from their trip, and what I like is that I can do all of this in the CRM. While I am booking a trip for my clients, I make sure to add a task for myself to follow up with them three days after they’re back home. This way, the system will remind me when I need to check in on someone, and I don’t forget to follow up!” — Sarah Bergman
4. Enter data as you gather it.
Picking a simple CRM, making it accessible, and setting up your notifications is half the battle. The other 50%? Making sure you actually use it. If you don’t regularly enter accurate data, your CRM can’t help you. Try to add new contacts, notes, and tasks to the CRM as soon as you can — hopefully this is made easier by the fact that your database is so accessible! If you’re having trouble building a daily data entry habit, check out these tips.
“As a mobile tool, the CRM is essential. When I’m out of my office, I can bring up the client on my phone, click the ‘Note’ field, hit the little microphone, dictate a note into a contact record, and then I’m done. This lets me immediately add notes into my CRM about what a client call was about after they call me. I speak much faster than I type, so it’s an easy way to keep my CRM updated with every client interaction.” — Mario Raia
5. Customize your program to fit your unique small business.
Your CRM should fit you and the way you work, not the other way around. Be sure to personalize your CRM preferences, and customize your pipelines, groups, and custom fields. If you need help customizing, be sure to contact customer support! Your CRM Coach can learn about your business and help you customize your entire account based on your unique needs.
“It’s working perfectly for what we need, and that’s the important part!” — Ava Chase
6. Take advantage of customer service.
One of the most annoying parts of business software is struggling to figure out how to pull a report or use a feature on your own. Instead of working on your own, don’t be afraid to call in support — customer support, that is. Your CRM Coach is there to help you make the most of your CRM and answer your questions quickly. Plus, we can also help you set up your customizations, train your team, and even import your contacts. No question is too small or silly — we’re just here to help!
“The support staff are just phenomenal-- if I had any questions or was wondering if I could do anything, they were right there to help me.” — Sally Blocksom
7. Remember the learning curve.
Starting with any new software, no matter how easy to use or simple, can be annoying. The CRM is going to feel a bit like work at the beginning, since you’re learning and forming new habits. But I promise that if you stick with it, using the CRM will not only get easier, but you’ll start to see the benefits of having all of your business’ data at your fingertips.
“The first month, you’ll hate using it; the second month you’ll start to like it, and by the third month, you can’t imagine you’ve ever worked without it.” — Mario Raia