CRM For Dummies book cover

CRM For Dummies

By: Lars Helgeson Published: 07-05-2017

Save time, save money, and grow your business with more effective CRM

CRM For Dummies is the small business leader's guide to managing customer interactions. Customer relationship management is a critical part of any business, and it encompasses everything from business strategy and HR to sales, marketing, events, and more. Solutions exist for businesses of any size, but how do you know which one is right for you? What features do you need? Do you have the people and processes in place to get the most out of whichever one you choose? This book is designed to help business leaders better understand effective CRM and identify the right solution for their business—but it's about much more than software; effective CRM requires appropriate team structures, intradepartmental collaboration, and process efficiency. Packed with tactics and strategies that will save your company thousands of dollars and man-hours, these chapters answer the most pressing questions that will make the biggest impact on your sales.

Building relationships with current and future customers is the critical point of business. This book helps you bring sales, marketing, and operations together to work toward that common goal, and shows you the tools and techniques that make your efforts more effective.

  • Define your market segments, buyer personas, and voice
  • Build an effective internal structure, and choose the right CRM solution
  • Optimize leads and conduct effective email marketing
  • Streamline processes, automate where possible, and employ analytics

Your customers are the lifeblood of your company; you need to reach them, engage them, and retain them—without wasting precious time or money. CRM For Dummies gets you up to speed on the latest, most effective CRM tools and techniques to help your business succeed.

Articles From CRM For Dummies

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49 results
49 results
Deploying Ticketing Forms to Gather Info for Your CRM

Article / Updated 09-20-2017

Tickets can help you gather information for your CRM. Ticketing uses forms to track an “issue” that is created by filling out the form. This “issue” could be interest in your product, or it could be someone having a problem with a product you sell. In either case, you want a person from your company to engage with the person filling out the form and manually close it. The image below shows a form for customer service that can help you with capturing new leads. Using ticketing forms for capturing leads Ticketing forms are by their nature single opt-in, meaning no confirmation email is required. When used in the context of sales, they ensure your sales/customer service team always engages with leads. Tickets opened this way must be manually closed, which means you can see at any given time how many tickets are open and who they are assigned to. It’s an effective way to enforce lead follow-up, ensuring no leads fall through the cracks. Ticketing forms encourage better lead nurturing and follow-up. Good ticketing systems also include average response times in their reporting, which helps to ensure fast follow-up when leads and clients reach out to your organization. In addition to having someone manually close each ticket that is opened, be sure to schedule workflows and/or marketing automation when people fill out your lead capture forms. Ticketing forms create a more consistent user experience and strengthen your brand, while providing a convenient way to provide educational content to the people who fill out your forms. Using ticketing forms for customer service Just as you want a human in the loop to confirm a new lead, you also want a human to confirm that when a lead has a problem, it was resolved, and how it was resolved. Ticketing forms gives you this ability and are an effective tool for ensuring the best customer experience possible. By encouraging your customers to use ticketing forms, you ensure that no issues get ignored. You can measure time to respond to the ticket, as well as ask for feedback after the issue was resolved to measure quality of service. Customers feel valued and their voices are heard, which improves your brand overall satisfaction with your company. Below, you see a summary of a ticket. Your CRM should be able to easily call up tickets to see status and if they were resolved, how they were resolved. Exit ratings for tickets help you get an idea if the customer is happy now. Integrating workflows and satisfaction surveys In both types of applications for ticketing forms, build in automation. For example, a workflow that schedules a CRM activity, sends an email, sends a survey, or any combination. Automated follow-up messages to your leads and clients are opportunities to cross-sell, up-sell, and/or educate, but be careful to not overdo the selling part. People who fill out forms, particularly for support, don’t want to be inundated with “buy this” messages.

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Deploying Signup Forms to Gather Contact Info for Your CRM

Article / Updated 09-20-2017

The forms you place on your website are absolutely critical for gathering contacts into your CRM and starting them down the path of becoming clients. Forms generally fall into two categories: confirmed opt-in and single opt-in. Using confirmed and single opt-in forms to gather info for CRM Confirmed opt-in (also known as double opt-in) forms are most frequently used for newsletters, e-book downloads, and other marketing-related content. After someone gives you an email address, your CRM should automatically send him an email with a link to click — thus confirming the contact is valid. Confirmed opt-ins are the best way to ensure your new contacts are valid, and people who have gone through the confirmation process are 70 percent more likely to engage with you. Efficient engagement drives long-term growth and focuses your team’s time on people who are truly interested in working with you. Because confirmed opt-ins require the person to take action (clicking a link in the confirmation email), some people won’t finish the confirmation process. In this case, ticketing forms are a good solution for when you want to ensure someone on your team follows up with every lead. Single opt-in forms don’t require a confirmation email to be sent to the person filling out the form. With single opt-in forms, there is risk that a competitor or person with ill intent could sign up a fake lead or worse, a spamtrap email, that could affect your ability to send email to the inbox. Choose the type of form you put on your website wisely. Some email marketing and CRM service providers give you the option to send a second confirmation email, which gives you a marked increase in confirmation rates. While the primary objective of each confirmation email is to get the recipient to confirm, these emails can also include more information about your products and services below that call to action in the message. After someone confirms intent, you can further engage with him using a lead nurturing process. Part of that lead nurturing can be sending each new lead a sequence of emails, spaced out over days or weeks. Series of emails triggered by forms are often called auto-responders, and allow you to send information to your new leads in slower, more digestible chunks. You have many options, including setting CRM activities, sending text messages, and creating opportunities. Be creative and think about how you want to guide new leads from your forms to become customers. Gathering the minimum amount of data for your CRM Forms work best when you make them as easy as possible to fill out. You have a balance to make when designing your forms. Your natural instinct is to request as much information as possible, so you can target your follow-ups precisely. But people are less likely to fill out your form when you ask them for too much information. The more manual typing you require someone to do, the weaker the incentive to fill out the form. Focus on asking for the minimum amount of information on the first form and then work on getting more data later. A good CRM includes a form builder that has automatic data appending, so with only an email address, you can get a lot more information without explicitly asking for it. Optional behavior to enhance user experience If your form responds to the user’s actions, you have a better chance of getting the user to provide additional information. Reactive forms are driven by logic and are sometimes referred to as branching forms. Improve user engagement with your forms by showing follow-up questions inline. For example, ask what general type of product someone is interested in and then have a more detailed product question appear. Progressive profiling is another technology that may be helpful in creating better engagement with your forms. The server checks whether a cookie is on the user’s computer, indicating the person has been to your site before. If that person is recognized, the server pre-fills the form with information stored in the CRM (such as name and email address). This process can save time in data entry and help the user focus on new information you want to collect.

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Analyzing Your Website Traffic in CRM

Article / Updated 09-20-2017

Web traffic is important data for CRM. Web analytics can be complicated to dive into, but your marketing team should be able to distill important factors in your marketing that can guide your strategy and policy. Assessing SEO and PPC performance Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are two top-of-funnel marketing-related activities that directly influence sales. Each can be tagged with campaign IDs so you can see what kinds of leads they’re driving to you. When you’re looking at SEO, evaluate the strength of keywords on search. Google, and to a lesser extent Bing, send you traffic based on what they perceive your reputation and relevance to be. Work with an SEO expert to come up with the right keywords and content for your pages. To the extent you can see what kind of search words bring traffic to your site, work with your web development and marketing team to make sure you’re targeting the right people and maximizing clicks from those important market segments. SEO is as much about what you put on your website as it is what other websites publish about you. When high quality sites link to you, they tell search engines that you’re relevant and important. Be sure your SEO strategy includes both aspects. PPC gives more control to you as the advertiser. You can bid on different keywords, adjust how much you spend on them, and evaluate the success of those campaigns. Comparing campaigns and their impact You can set up web analytics and assigning campaign IDs to your advertising. Your marketing team should look at the different campaigns you’re running to assess how your campaigns are performing. Invest more money into the better performing campaigns and test new variations on those. Continually adjust and perfect your ads, landing pages, and follow-up strategies. Use A/B testing in conjunction to see what kind of content resonates best with your target market. Tag your campaigns with IDs, so you can see how your website traffic is performing with each campaign. Take a look at the average number of webpage views your visitors generate with each campaign. More page views generally indicate greater interest, which usually results in more revenue, but not always. Be sure you track conversions, which you can trace back to different campaigns. Evaluate cost associated with bringing in a lead to access which campaigns are most effective. This cost per lead (CPL) calculation is good for comparing raw numbers of people entering your sales funnel. With any campaign, your goal is to minimize the cost of generating a new lead while maximizing both the chance of converting that lead and the revenue generated by that lead. Structure your reporting to look at these factors and focus on the best campaigns you’re running. Ask your marketing team to determine why your better-performing campaigns are more successful so you can learn from what works and capitalize on it. When your CRM tracks interactions across multiple channels, you can generate a report like the one below. When one channel or campaign significantly impacts brand interaction, you can see it visually in a report like this.

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Constructing Funnels in Your CRM

Article / Updated 09-20-2017

Funnels are useful to measure the progress of leads as they move along your buyer journeys. From stage to stage, you can visualize the effectiveness of your sales process. They provide an excellent reporting overview that your team can monitor regularly. Funnels are useful for sales and marketing alike, as both interact with leads and contribute to the buyer journey at different times and in different ways. Tracking sales progress with conversions in CRM Generally speaking, sales are divided into two types: business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). B2B sells to companies and generally has lower sales volume thresholds, but higher-dollar products and services. B2C sells to the general public and is volume driven. B2B and B2C both benefit from using funnels to track sales processes. Because B2B sales are more complex and generally take more time, CRM platforms have a special tracking mechanism called an opportunity to store everything about that deal. B2C sales are usually faster and don’t require the level of detail for each individual sale made. Tracking the buyer journey for a B2C sale tends to be more automated. Defining the stages of a conversion Every sale has a process, a buyer journey. Along that journey, you set up specific gates to define stages of the sales process. As leads move from stage to stage, you can measure how long they take and what percentage of leads drop out of the journey. When you set up your funnels, have specific, defined criteria to determine when a lead moves to the next stage. Often with B2B opportunities, these gates are when a lead takes an action, such as agrees to a demo, accepts a proposal, or signs a contract. With B2C, stages in the funnel might be when a lead visits a specific page on your website, downloads a whitepaper, or purchases a product. It’s important that everyone on the sales and marketing teams understands what each stage represents and can easily identify when someone doesn’t advance to the next stage. Oftentimes in modern selling, a lead backtracks in your sales process, deciding to take more time to make a decision, or passing off responsibility for the purchase to someone else. When backtracking happens, your CRM must track this movement. The image below shows an example of how you can define stages in a conversion process. Measuring time and dropout rates for each stage Funnels provide two very useful metrics to help you understand your sales process — time in stage and dropout rates. When you see your funnel, your CRM should display these key statistics for you. You should establish goals and measure long-term averages as benchmarks. If you’re starting and have no context, you can start with industry benchmarks. Watch the final stage of conversion. For example, the software industry standard is generally 10 to 15 percent with many competitors in the crowded market, but one company sets a benchmark of 30 percent. If your numbers show significant deviation from your industry standards or goals, find out why. Every month, your sales and marketing teams should look at your funnels to determine the performance of your overall sales process, as well as how each salesperson is performing. You can learn from these key factors: Campaigns: Are any of your campaigns bringing in higher quality leads? If leads spend less time in the funnel to become clients, or if a greater percentage of leads become clients, you’re seeing better leads and those campaigns should get more investment. Sales benchmarks: Are your salespeople hitting conversion percentage goals and sales quotas (numbers of conversions)? If the bottom of the funnel is more human-intensive, examine how each salesperson is doing. More sales training may be required if you see recurring patterns of low conversion rates by some of your sales team. Marketing benchmarks: Wherever marketing is involved, track overall and specific performance in the funnel. One metric is the total number of leads that hit the top of the funnel, a measure of awareness. The second stage in the funnel measures lead quality. If certain gates between stages filter a large percentage of leads, ascertain whether it’s due to lead quality or your sales process. By filtering funnel reports by campaign ID, you can see how each campaign performs against the others. Activating workflows for stages in CRM Leverage your CRM’s ability to track the progress of your leads. Activate workflows to encourage leads to progress through your sales process and funnel. As you analyze your sales process, examine how and why people advance to the next phase. Bring together your sales and marketing teams to assess whether activating a workflow when a lead hits that gate helps the sales process. Check out how you can set workflows to be activated automatically when an opportunity reaches a given stage. Another option may be to set a fixed percentage for chance to close the opportunity when that opportunity reaches a given stage. Look at your process abandonment strategy. If a lead gets stuck in a stage for too long, activate a workflow as a way to push that lead to advance. For example, you can send a lead a discount code if you feel leads lose interest due to price.

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Tracking Social Media with CRM

Article / Updated 09-19-2017

Social media and CRM go together perfectly. Social media is a powerful platform for communicating with a large number of people and expanding your reach. One significant challenge for marketers is that the bulk of the data collected about the use of social media is kept in the hands of the social media companies. Good social media measuring tools help extract that data. To make the most of your social media marketing, your primary objective should be to drive people from the social media websites and applications to your website and applications. Social media is a means to start people on your buyer journeys. This connection between social media and your CRM is sometimes called social CRM. Measuring impressions and actions with CRM All social media channels provide some level of analytics. Some social media networks give you more insight into these analytics, allowing you to connect activity on those social networks with your CRM. Whenever you post anything in social media, tag inbound links to your website with campaign IDs. You can then track attribution, a connection between a source campaign and a contact in your CRM. You can see which social media channels contribute to new leads and conversions. When your social data is integrated with your CRM, you can automate actions that your contacts take in social media. After you make a social media connection, a like, share, retweet, or other action can trigger a workflow within your CRM. Scheduling CRM activities from social engagement is particularly useful when your salespeople have a limited number of leads. Rather than relying on your marketing team to call up your salesperson and tell her a lead liked a post, she can be alerted to it automatically and take action. Social media tracking should give you some insight into how well you’re doing overall. Some basic measurements illuminate the strength of your brand on social media. The number of impressions (the number of times someone sees something you post) is a start, but you can learn more with deeper analysis. A few key metrics tell you what you need to know: Conversation is a measurement of interaction between you and your contacts. If people reply to your posts, they’re contributing content to your brand and your messaging. Amplification tracks when people share your content. The more sharing, the greater your reach and the more brand credibility you’re establishing. Applause measures when someone likes or favorites one of your posts. This statistic tells you the level of empathy and agreement you have within your audience. Impact is an overall measurement of engagement with your audience. Interest is a summary of clicks that your audience has done with your content. More interest means more clicks, which often can be traced to an ROI. The image below displays all these metrics together on the same chart. Spend the time to see how your social media posts impact your business. Calculating influence and lead qualification in your CRM Third-party data sources can connect social media data to your CRM. FullContact is one such provider, allowing you to learn more about the contact and his sphere of influence through data appending. Based on a contact’s email address, you can learn a lot of additional information that is useful to people in sales and marketing, such as number of followers on Twitter, topics blogged about, or the contact’s LinkedIn page address. With FullContact (or a similar vendor) data available in your CRM, you have the power of information at your fingertips. The easier it is to discover important information about leads, the more successful your sales team can close them.

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Measuring Important Metrics for Your Team with CRM

Article / Updated 09-19-2017

Your CRM can help you manage your projects. As a project progresses, your project manager reports on how the project is doing. It’s important to watch the right metrics, so your management understands the health of the project without getting bogged down in details. Tracking resource utilization Resource utilization is a measure of how well your labor force is being used. The calculation for this rate is simple: billable hours divided by the total amount of hours you pay your employees. The higher that ratio, the more fully utilized your labor is, and less time employees aren’t getting reimbursed by clients. The image below demonstrates how you can easily see how full someone’s schedule is, and how much time he’s spending in management versus working on billable projects. As a manager, you want to see how much overhead is spent in management and if your people are overloaded or underutilized. If people on your projects allocate less than 60 percent of their time to billable projects, you may have too much labor on hand. It may also indicate too much overhead spent on managing, as opposed to doing. Every company has a target number for resource utilization; if you aren’t meeting that target, review project updates and notes to find out why. If your project manager tracks everything your employees do internally, you can see what is taking people’s time. You can then change priorities and processes. Viewing overdue tasks in CRM Every project management system shows overdue tasks. If these overdue tasks are on the critical path, they directly affect everyone else associated with the project. There may be an ineffective project manager, poor budgeting or forecasting, or changing requirements. The project manager should be able to articulate the reasons for tasks being overdue and take steps to alleviate the problem immediately. Budgeting projects and tasks in CRM Budgeting can be a bit of an art form, particularly when it comes to technology. Oftentimes, people are overly optimistic on how long a task or project should take, and the budget may not allocate enough time for testing and getting a product ready for the client/consumer. To be on the safe side, if you’re starting a new project and you’re not sure how much time it will take, double or triple any estimate. The better you can break down requirements, the easier you can estimate the amount of work required. Each piece adds up, as you design tasks and connect them together.

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Measuring Email Marketing with CRM

Article / Updated 09-19-2017

You can measure the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign with CRM. More than just watching individual email campaigns, you need to measure how your email marketing is performing over time. If your messages are getting more or less effective, you want to know and take action. After you understand how your email marketing drives revenue, use your knowledge to predict when your emails create action from your contacts. Because your CRM is tied directly to your email marketing system, you can analyze your database and see which demographics bought more from you. If you know men over the age of 50 performed well in a campaign, look at the design and ascertain why. You can use this knowledge for future campaigns. Watching read and click rates over time using CRM When you look at overall performance, you’re accumulating a lot of data from what your contacts do with the emails you send them. Watching read and click rates over a prolonged period tells you whether you’re hitting the mark on a holistic level. Reads and clicks are the best indicators of interest in your large-scale email communication. When you measure this data, you need to average the daily variations and see how you’re doing as a whole. You need to undergo statistical analysis to understand true long-term performance. To accurately measure long-term email marketing effectiveness, take your daily volume into consideration and do some data smoothing. It prevents small volume days and statistical noise from skewing your results. With good statistical modeling, you can see whether people are taking more interest in your messages and whether you’re getting better at convincing them to engage with your emails. Below is a summary of reads and clicks over a three-month span. Daily reads and clicks have variations, because during low volume days, email sent is triggered by workflows. Automatic email has a lower overall effect on total read and click rates, however, because it does represent much less volume. Comparing performance to benchmarks One common question involves whether a client’s read, click, or bounce rates are “good.” The answer is always “it depends,” much to the frustration of the person asking. Many studies have been published over the years, with differing statistics available based on industry, list size, and email frequency. What I’ve found is that list size is the strongest driver of email interaction. This statistic isn’t much of a surprise, as larger lists are often associated with less personal, less meaningful relationships between the brand and the individual. Your email service provider or CRM vendor should provide you with benchmarks you can use to compare your performance against similar clients. Industry benchmarks are a good indicator of your effectiveness compared to others in your market. Measuring conversions from email campaigns in CRM Conversion tracking requires your CRM to track people all the way from when they received your email to the conversion itself. You can tag links in your email with campaign IDs, which can then track back to your individual campaigns. You may also consider using a CRM that does this segmentation for you automatically.

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Project Management and CRM

Article / Updated 09-19-2017

As with CRM, project management can have a far-reaching influence in your organization, so you want to think about how you set it up before you start using it. Managing projects: A case for software When many people work together on a project, the complexities of managing who should do what and when can be daunting. Even when one person works solo on a project, software aids in putting all the moving parts into easy-to-manage compartments. Each project has a start and end date, representing when planning begins and when the wrapping up is complete. Between those dates, tasks should be done and milestones represent significant accomplishments. The image below shows a summary of ongoing projects. It gives a high level overview of the long-term work a team is collaborating on to complete. A commonly used chart in project management software is the Gantt chart. It’s a visual representation of the project, with tasks and milestones shown as component parts to that project. Dependent tasks — a task that can’t start until a previous task is completed — are depicted with arrows connecting them. It’s a good management tool for tracking progress within your project. Defining requirements Building your project is not something usually done by a single project manager. Most projects involve several people working together as a team. If you’re working on a project for a customer, that customer must also be involved in the initial scoping of the project. The first phase of any project is to define the requirements (the what) of the project — what must be accomplished, and by whom? The better you can define your requirements, the less ambiguity happens as the project progresses. Ambiguity causes people to make assumptions. It also causes people to take shortcuts to save money, often to the consternation of the customer, with ensuing arguments. Setting realistic target dates Every project has start and end dates. The project also has individual tasks, each with their own deadlines. The more you can define realistic dates, the less worry about overrun you have. If your dates are not realistic, and you overrun, it may impact the rest of the project. With accurate dates for projects and tasks, you can allocate resources to accomplish those tasks. When individuals know when they’re needed ahead of time, you don’t have to worry about a different project taking priority or competing for the same resources. When a project relies on a task to be complete before the project can progress, that task lies on the project’s critical path. The critical path of a project is very important to accurately budget a project, as mistakes directly impact the date the project is completed. Defining tasks within projects Tasks within projects are specific activities that must be accomplished to complete the project. While many people may work on a task, each task should have a person in charge. That person is accountable to the project manager if that task is not completed on time and within budget. Project management software lists the tasks and person in charge of that task, along with other important details. Each task has a start date and an end date. These dates may be fixed dates, or they may be dependent dates as a part of another aspect of the project. For example, a task start date may occur the day after a previous task is completed. Dependent tasks are more flexible, but may cause problems with resource allocation if a fluid task starts on a date different from what is expected, and resources have been given to another task. Integrating your CRM with your project management system means you can see project tasks right in the CRM record. By putting your own employees in the CRM, you can track their tasks along with other CRM activities they’re assigned to complete. Managing people is much easier, as this data is consolidated into a single place. Categorizing projects and tasks Categorizing the work done in a project helps with setting billing rates and reporting. If you do contract work for customers, you likely bill a category of work at a specific rate. Categorizing tasks and having your labor bill against those tasks in that category makes it easy to invoice clients. For example, you can set up categories of tasks for your team based around the kind of work they do. If you manage an advertising agency, you have people on your team who do graphics, HTML, and strategy. Each category of work is done by different kinds of people, all collaborating on a bigger project to serve a client. Reporting on the number of hours spent on each category of work is important for the client to see, as well as for your own internal project management. Categorizing also allows you to create reports by category. You should be able to see what your labor utilization rates are by category. It’s important to measure how much of your team members’ time is spent on projects, so you know if you’re spending money on labor appropriately.

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Knowing What to Put in Your CRM Knowledge Base

Article / Updated 09-19-2017

Your knowledge base is an extension of the collective knowledge of your CRM team. It’s important to document anything you can, to avoid the possibility of employees taking their knowledge when they leave your company. Store publicly distributed information in your knowledge base. Public corporate documents such as your mission and vision statements, company history, organizational chart, and frequently asked questions are all useful. You can also store internal “how-to” documents, so no individual is the only one who knows how to do something. In many ways, a knowledge base parallels your CRM, where you store useful information into a software system for easy recall. Rather than storing sales data about contacts, or marketing data about campaigns, your knowledge base is similar to a company-wide resource for documentation and process. Knowledge bases are becoming increasingly popular, with the largest example being Google’s search engine. When effectively implemented, knowledge bases cut down on paper, reduce time to research answers to questions, and avoid making mistakes that have already been solved in the past. After you commit to a knowledge base, you need to maintain regularly. Below is an example of how you can store information in an easily accessible directory and make some articles available to the public. It’s a convenient way to share your knowledge base with leads or clients.

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Building Access Levels for Information in Your CRM Knowledge Base

Article / Updated 09-19-2017

Just because you can store CRM information in a private knowledge base doesn’t mean everyone in your company should be able to see it all. Some information you store isn’t relevant to everyone. Some is simply private information. Separating knowledge by group in CRM Your CRM’s group architecture is key for protecting information from various leads, clients, and internal team members. You can restrict access to knowledge by the members of the groups you define in your CRM. You should have separate groups for internal team members and your leads, clients, and vendors. Use these groups to store relevant information to the contacts in those groups. For example, you can store helpful onboarding documentation in a group dedicated to bringing in new clients. You can make some documents publicly available, some documents available only to the members of that group (your new clients), and some available only to the support team managing those new clients. Using groups to segment access prevents information from being distributed inappropriately. Allowing contributors to modify content in your CRM Depending on how rigorously you want to control your knowledge base content, you may want to allow a collaborative approach to your knowledge base. Give people you trust the ability to add articles or update existing content. Giving access to editing your knowledge base makes it easier to add more content to it, but you must also be aware of the risks. Have an employee you absolutely trust to review updates to ensure information stored is relevant and useful. Making articles public versus private When you build your knowledge base, you may want to share some of it with the public through a URL. Documentation on how to use your product or service is a common application for a public knowledge base. Other articles are for internal use only. These would be operational guidelines for accomplishing common tasks, organizational charts with employee information, and other things you and your team reference on a regular basis. CRM software comes with an editor in which you can compose your documents. Editors allow you to control who can contribute or edit, designate whether the article is public or private, and where in the hierarchical structure the article should go. If you’re writing for external consumption (people outside your company), spend more time to ensure proper grammar. You also want to write with a friendly tone, which takes more time than straightforward language. Keep your messaging in mind, as any public documents reflect your brand.

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