What's a best practice workflow for using a CRM software E.g. #1 meet lead, #2 enter lead into CRM, #3 schedule follow-up activities with lead, etc.


Keep it so simple that anyone at your company can understand the process and the steps for using the CRM. If there's no accountability or confusion with the company's process, you'll be one of those companies that says their CRM sucks when it's more a testament of your own internal controls that suck.

Here's a sample process:

1. Not everyone you ever talk to is a prospect or worth being in your CRM. Decide with your team the one question you can ask anyone that determines if they're a qualified prospect. This question should speak to the pain point you're solving. For example, if I was trying to sell Expensify to someone I might ask "Do you guys spend alot of time managing expense reports?". If they say "yes" then add them as a prospect and add data on how large the deal might be and if they have a budget to make a purchase. If they say no then add them to a Mailchimp newsletter if they are interested in getting updates. Make sure there's a call to action in the newsletter that would allow you to know if they ever become a prospect.

2. The next step is getting them appropriate information and/or including scheduling a demo to get them interested in using your product. The goal is to get them to a free trial if it's an individual or a small pilot.

3. After a pilot phase you'd want to convert them to a paying customer. The activities at this stage will be more building the relationship and supporting any issues or concerns they have with the pilot.

4. Once a paying customer you want to turn them into evangelists or testimonials or referrals you can use for your site or for press releases. This is an often missed step and significant opportunity. Continual engagement with an already paying customer helps to improve the product but an evangelist for your company is the most valuable asset you have: More customers from referrals without any cost.

In conclusion, you're looking to identify where each prospect is in the funnel and know what the next steps are at any given time to move them across the funnel.

Prospect > Pilot > Customer > Evangelist
(A good service for this in the early stages of your company is

Creating a follow up task at each stage and with each interaction is critical. Your day should be divided among getting new prospects in the funnel and following up with existing prospects.

Answered 11 years ago

Assuming your looking to define a sales funnel more then just a workflow for using a CRM, here's a framework you can use.


Every business is unique in it's customer type, business model and offering so you can't have a one size fit's all but this should give you some ideas to the process.

Answered 11 years ago

The best practice workflow for using a CRM is: model something that already works. Imagine a very high-touch process where you list all of the steps for the "happy path" of a successful sale. Then, model that same process in your CRM.

Answered 10 years ago

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