Is your CRM management software giving you too much to work with? Are you overwhelmed with the data you’ve been given, even if the data itself isn’t complex? Not sure where to start with the data that you have?

CRM tracking, like many technologies, is a double-edged sword.  It can cut both uncertainty and the application of best principles in two (at the same time, if you’re not careful). To make the best use of it, you do not have to change much in your operation, but you do have to take an introspective view at the reason(s) you collect your data and reassess your priorities in how you collect it. Once you’ve formed a working conclusion, you can customize your CRM tracking to zero in on the members you want to serve, visit after visit.

How can you arrive at that conclusion? Ask yourself these questions:

What am I looking for?

That is, what data is likely to benefit your operation? Even if it may boost your membership indirectly, it’s still good enough to collect and evaluate this data. This post may guide your thoughts as to the kind of data you need for your membership’s growth and enhancement. You may have to form objectives before you look at certain types of CRM data, especially if your system is storing volumes of data already.

Where is the beneficial data likely to reside?

Depending on the flexibility and depth of your CRM system, this will be easier to answer. The ideal system allows you to search for more than just contact information, and is integrated with other aspects of a larger collective database system, like relational databases linked to ERP software suites. In addition, data that can be measured against other data, like the amount a certain member has spent in the lifetime of the membership on certain items or services, should be readily visible and accessible. The more combinations that you can access readily, the more powerful the system, and hence the more you can get from your data.

Which data should I ignore?

Any data you which you do not believe you can draw an immediate or foreseen benefit. Much of the data you collect (a) may become tangled up in the ever-expanding complexity of the collection itself, (b) has little or no relevance to your current objectives, or (c) both of the above. It can always be kept in storage for the time when your mission changes and you want to look for new relationships among your data, though it is sometimes risky to look back on what may be obsolete and attempt to draw conclusions from long-passed circumstances. In a nutshell, focus on the data you need, and leave the rest out of the equation.

Answering these questions will help you maximize the capabilities CRM tracking has to offer, which in turn will make your operations run more smoothly and efficiently.

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