The pandemic has changed a lot of things about how businesses operate, especially those businesses that have taken their workforce fully or partially remote from a previously in-office setting. Some workers may be struggling to follow new or even existing processes amidst coping with the new work/life balance challenge of working from home and trying to stay focused in their new environment.
Leveraging your CRM system’s ability to automate business processes can make a huge difference in your users’ workflow and speed up the time it takes to get work done, while also ensuring that it gets done to the same standards (or better than) it did when everyone was on site. For example, you could set certain fields to be required based upon the input of another field to enforce that all the needed information is available in the records – not only does this help users remember what is needed at each stage of the sales process despite new distractions, it helps management ensure that everyone is properly inputting their data so they can extract quality reports when needed. And, nobody has to call/email/follow up with anyone else to get the data updated so they can keep the deal moving along.
In many CRM systems such as SugarCRM and Salesforce, you can also set up different methods of guiding your users through a particular order of events, for example by displaying reminder text and highlighting key fields that need to be completed, or automating task creation to help the users know what they need to accomplish next. This can be a huge help, especially with complex business processes involving multiple departments and/or with users who simply have a hard time keeping on track in their new work environment.
One of CRM’s biggest benefits is how much it can help simplify your internal work processes, and this can go a long way to ensure adherence. For example, if all customer contracts need to be reviewed by your legal department, the CRM can facilitate: your rep marks the lead with a “review contract” status, and this automatically triggers a notification sent to the legal department with a link to the record so they can review the contract. Once the contract is complete, they mark it “contract complete” and that sends a notification back to the rep. Sales users aren’t given access to mark the contract complete but Legal users are, so there is no way around the company policy – and it’s so easy that there’s no reason for users to subvert it. A process like this could also be carried out through an integration to outside software like DocuSign, with notifications and triggers managed within the CRM to centralize everything.
It’s important to customize your business process solutions to your users’ unique needs. If you’re interested in leveraging your CRM to better support your remote users and ensure policy adherence, get in touch with Pacific Street to talk about your needs!