Here we look at some of the ‘worst practice’ processes which we have come across in our CRM consultancy work.  We recommend that they should be avoided where possible, to increase efficiency and CRM usage.  Also to reduce users’ frustration!

1.  Allowing Sales Staff to create new Accounts

This results in the duplication of Accounts, incorrect Company names and mis-spellings.  Sales will not always check to see if the company already exists, and potentially will add it again.

2. Having ‘Other’ as a option in a Pick List Field

This option can get chosen as the quickest thing to do, particularly if there are a long list of options.  Choosing this option adds nothing to the value of the data being collected.

3. A poorly designed process for creating a new Contact Profiles

Where a client contact calls about a service query and the call can’t be logged and actioned until a contact profile has to be completed.  Thus slowing down the action required to complete the client’s request.

4. Having too many options in a Pick List

When launching CRM restrict the number of values in a pick list to as few as possible, for example, in the Industry Type field for Companies or the Job Role field for contacts.  This means that while the values may be a ‘bit wide’, it will be very clear which value must be chosen (and much simpler for people to remember).

This means that data quality and therefore the accuracy of any reports will be high as there should be no doubt about value should be selected.

Once this has been operational for a little time, add or fine tune the values.  As users will be used to the concept of which to pick, these minor changes will be easily accepted.

5.  Not to involve the Sales Department

When deciding on what you would like a CRM system to do for your company, particularly if the focus is on sales,  you must ensure that the sales department are involved with the project and any software selection process.

6.  Deleting contact records when they bounce back from a mailing campaign

After a recent email campaign which resulted in large numbers of ‘bounce backs’ to contacts who have been built up over a number of years, the instruction from the marketing department was to delete all the records.  It may have been better to have asked the relationship managers (who know the contacts) to try and find their new email addresses.