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How to Turn CRM Use Into a Habit

Written by Emily Schwab

The most important part of any CRM is adoption, if you don’t use a CRM it’s not a helpful tool to have. According to research over the past decade 25-60% of all CRM installations fail, so how can you ensure that your CRM adoption is a success?

The most difficult part of using a new CRM is, well, using it. We all know that creating new habits are difficult, even if they will do great things for us down the line. CRMs can provide a central database to easily access all of the contact details related to your business, but for it to be a database you need to actually enter data. Here we’ll walk through a few tips to get started using the CRM and to help turn CRM use into a habit instead of a chore.

Tip 1 - Enter all of your events and tasks in the CRM calendar 

One of the greatest benefits of the CRM is having your entire schedule in one place. You won't have to remember every meeting and task when the CRM proactively reminds you of what's coming up! Plus, if you have a task or an event entered for every day of the week, you'll always receive your Daily Agenda email outlining your schedule, tasks, and anything overdue. 

Adding tasks

When you first log into the CRM create one task each day for an entire week. Tasks are like to-do items that you need to complete and they’ll trigger one reminder email each morning, the Daily Agenda email. The Daily Agenda goes out early in the morning, so when you first check your inbox you’ll have a list of any tasks or events due that day. You can use this email to get straight into the CRM and get to work entering new data or searching for notes from the last time you spoke before completing a follow up.

You can create a task from any page in the CRM by hovering your mouse over the Calendar in the navigation bar. You can also create a task from the Calendar itself or a contact record. 

  • Adding a task from any page in the CRM:
    • Hover your mouse over the word Calendar in the top navigation bar.
    • A dropdown will appear; click on the "Add a new task" option.
    • Enter a description and pick a due date.
    • Select “Link this task to a contact” at the bottom of the screen and attach the task to the appropriate contact.
    • Finally, hit “Create task” to save it.
  • Adding a task from the Calendar:
    • Go to your Calendar page, if you’re not already there.
    • Select “New task” on the upper left side of the screen, below the mini month calendar.
    • Enter a description and pick a due date.
    • Select “Link this task to a contact” at the bottom of the screen and attach the task to the appropriate contact.
    • Finally, hit “Create task” to save it.
  • Adding a task from a contact:
    • Navigate to the desired contact, if you’re not already there.
    • Select “Task” from the left side of the page under “Attach an item to this contact.”
    • Enter a description and pick a due date.
    • Finally, hit “Create task” to save it.

Repeat each step a few times to add as many tasks as you’d like (at least five for the first week). And remember: you can also add a task via our mobile site! Just click on "More options" in the upper righthand corner, and then select "Add a new task". And no sweat if you haven’t entered a contact to link a task to! You can always create standalone tasks for encouragement to get started, and you can create tasks for personal items unrelated to your contacts.

Adding events

You'll also want to add in all of your scheduled events. Events, unlike tasks, have a set time and duration. While a follow up might be a task, a meeting or scheduled call would be entered into your CRM as an event. Having an event on your calendar will also trigger your daily agenda email for the day! 

There are a few ways to add events to your calendar in the CRM, in addition to  syncing over your events from Google Calendar!Adding an event to the CRM

  • Adding an event from any page in the CRM:
    • Hover your mouse over the word Calendar in the top navigation bar.
    • A dropdown will appear; click on the "Add a new event" option.
    • Enter the event details, including name, date, time, and description, as well as any individual reminders. 
    • Select “Add a contact” at the bottom of the pop up and attach the event to the appropriate contact.
    • Finally, hit “Create event” to save it.
  • Adding an event from the Calendar:
    • Go to your Calendar page, if you’re not already there.
    • Select “New event” on the upper left side of the screen, below the mini month calendar.
    • Enter the event details, including name, date, time, and description, as well as any individual reminders. 
    • Select “Add a contact” at the bottom of the pop up and attach the event to the appropriate contact.
    • Finally, hit “Create event” to save it.
  • Adding an event from a contact:
    • Navigate to the desired contact, if you’re not already there.
    • Select “Event” from the left side of the page under “Attach an item to this contact.”
    • Enter the event details, including name, date, time, and description, as well as any individual reminders. 
    • Finally, hit “Create event” to save it.

Tip 2 - Log into the CRM every morning to check your agenda for the day

While the CRM will send you a Daily Agenda email any day that you have an event or task, it’s also important to log into the CRM to check your activity. Upon login you can immediately view your agenda and determine what you need to complete that day. Once in the CRM, you can also jump to contact records associated with tasks or events to review previous notes and details before a call, meeting, or follow-up. The details on the contact record provide you with a personal, detailed history so you can better interact with each customer and potential customer. They’ll be impressed you remember the little things, and each new relationship can turn into multiple successful sales!

Remember, the most difficult part is turning CRM use into a habit. For every day you create a task the first week, make sure you log into the CRM to view that task too. Your data lives in the CRM and so should you!

Tip 3 - Enter data as you gather it

 Now that you’ve started logging into the CRM, start using it! Every new person you meet should be an immediate entry in the CRM. While it’s tempting to wait until the end of the day to input everything, at the end of the day you’re far more likely to let it fall through the cracks or push it off another day, and then the data may never get to the CRM! If you enter new data as you get it you can also include notes and details while they’re still fresh in your mind, rather than relying on memory and hoping that note you made was on the right person. Adding a new contact is quick and easy too!

Adding a new contact on mobile:

1. Navigate to www.lessannoyingcrm.com, and log into your account. 

Note -- want to navigate to the CRM in one click? Pin LACRM's website to your smartphone's home screen! Check out these help articles to learn how to pin LACRM to your iPhone or Android device. 

2. Click "+Add Contact" in the upper lefthand corner. Enter all of the contact details that you know. You must have a name in order to create a record, but you can add more details later as you get them! (Want to create a new company instead? Hit "More Options" in the upper righthand corner, and then click "Add a new company")

Mobile site for Less Annoying CRM

3. Create the new contact! Click the green button at the bottom to create a new contact record. You’ll immediately be taken to the new record where you can enter a note about how you met, what you talked about, and any other details using the text box in the middle of the page (be sure to hit save note!).

Creating a contact via mobile in Less Annoying CRM

Adding a new contact on desktop: 

1. First, click on the "Add a new contact" link in the upper right corner.

Please note -- there are two different types of records in the CRM, contacts and companies. Contact records are for individual people and may contain information like a direct phone line or email address. Companies are for businesses and may contain more general information like physical address or main phone line. The records are very similar and you can use either, but for now we’ll use contact as an example.

2. Enter all of the contact details that you know. You must have a name in order to create a record, but you can add more details later as you get them!

3. Create the new contact! Click the green button at the bottom to create a new contact record. You’ll immediately be taken to the new record where you can enter a note about how you met, what you talked about, and any other details using the text box in the middle of the page (be sure to hit save note!). 

Tip 4 - Scan your Activity Report at the end of every day

At the end of each day, before you stop working, navigate to your Activity Report in the CRM. This report will show you a summary of everything you've done for the day, including notes you've entered, events you've attended, tasks you've completed, and emails you've logged. Look over your day's work and make sure that you left a note after each meeting and created follow up tasks for every touch you completed. That way, even if you've had a busy day, you won't forget to set any important follow ups or leave detailed notes. 

If you're having trouble remembering to check your Activity Report, schedule a 15 minute recurring event for the end of every work day as a reminder! 

Tip 5 - Make old habits less accessible 

During the first month, it’s easy to go back to your old tools (spreadsheets, post-it notes, etc.). If you make an effort to keep everything in the CRM, even when it's easier to slide back into old habits, your database will end up being much more helpful and easier to use. Save backups of your old data-keeping methods, but un-bookmark those spreadsheets and keep the post-its in a drawer. Instead, keep your CRM open in a tab on your preferred device at all times. And in addition to being able to pin LACRM to your smartphone's home screen for easy access on the go, you can make a shortcut to your CRM account on your desktop, and you can save LACRM as your home screen in your browser!

Now go try it out! If you haven’t signed up for a free 30 day trial yet, go ahead and  sign up here. If you already have an account, log in and start working! It’s never too late to start building good CRM habits and if you’d like a little extra help we’re happy to hop on the phone with you. The hardest step is getting started, but soon you’ll have a database full of all the details you need to run your business! 

Still have questions? Less Annoying CRM comes with free phone and email support - even if you're not a paying customer! Use our contact page to get a hold of us, and we'll be happy to help however we can.

This post was originally published on 1/14/16, but was updated on 06/03/19. 

Posted on Jan 14, 2016
Filed under CRM Tips and Tutorials
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