When you first open a new business, manually managing your leads and customer information through spreadsheets may be manageable. However, as your business grows, this is no longer an effective and efficient method for management. At this point, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform becomes a valuable tool that enables better lead and customer management, higher productivity, greater team collaboration, and greater insights into how your business and sales are operating. Here we take a closer look at how to use CRM software effectively and how a customer relationship management strategy can help your business.

Common CRM terms to understand

Before we look at how to use a CRM effectively, let’s take a closer look at some of the common terms associated with a CRM and what they mean for your business.

  • Activity: Activity refers to any action taken by a member of your team, such as phone calls, emails, etc.
  • Campaign: A campaign within a CRM allows you to use integrated technology to create and execute different marketing campaign tools, such as emails, social media postings, etc. that are automatically sent or published based on programmed criteria.
  • Company: If you offer services to other businesses, a company refers to those businesses and becomes a hierarchy of contacts associated with that business.
  • Contact: A contact is a record of an individual person that can include name, email, phone number, physical address, or any additional details you may want to include.
  • Deal: Also known as an opportunity, a deal is a potential sale moving through your sales pipeline and is typically linked to a specific contact.
  • Deal Stage: The deal stage refers to each stage within your sales pipeline.
  • Lead: A lead is an individual that has indicated an interest in your product or services.
  • Opportunity: an opportunity is a lead or prospect that has demonstrated a high probability of sales conversion.
  • Pipeline: Your pipeline includes all the different stages that take a lead to a closed sale.
  • Profiles: Customer profiles are where you identify detailed characteristics of your current customers or target audience.
  • Quote: Also known as a proposal, a quote is a document that provides the costs and details of a product or service for your customer.
  • Source: Leads come from a variety of locations, such as referrals, website forms, trade shows, and much more. A source refers to those places where leads come from and allows you to track where your quality leads come from.
  • Tag: A tag is a unique identifier that can be assigned by your CRM to different contacts, deals, etc. The use of tags can help create different categories within your CRM.

Putting your CRM to Work

Once you have an understanding of the terms, you are ready to put your CRM to work for you. Here we guide you through some of the important steps in setting up your CRM.

Adding your salespeople

In order to have an accurate and effective CRM for your business, it is essential to add all members of your sales team to get a more comprehensive data account of all your leads and contacts. To do this, you need to manually add all your salespeople as active users of your CRM.

Customizing your business settings

While every CRM comes with default settings, your business is unique. While the contact area may include name, email, and initial contact fields, you may also want to track other information, such as an address, employment information, additional family members, products previously purchased, and the list goes on and on.

Your CRM needs to be customized to your business and sales process. At this stage, it is important to have a clear understanding of the stages in your sales pipeline. Most CRMs come with default properties however, you will receive a clearer picture if you implement your specific stages. For example, if your pipeline includes initial contact, qualifying, demonstrations, and close, you will need to create custom properties for each of these stages.

Importing outside information

If you have been using spreadsheets to track your contact information, most CRM platforms will allow for a transfer of this information through a CSV file. Keep in mind that you want the fields you create in the CRM to match the existing fields in your spreadsheet to ensure a seamless transfer of information.

Integrating additional business tools

Your CRM works efficiently and effectively when connected with other business tools you may already be using. For example, if your current website offers a form for prospects to fill in and submit their information, connecting this form to your CRM means that once the information is submitted, it is automatically entered as a new lead or contact in your CRM. When combined with tasks in the CRM, this addition of a new lead can trigger an automatic action, such as an email, or a direct action by a member of your sales team, such as a notification to make a phone call to the prospect.

Setting up your CRM dashboards

Your CRM dashboard is designed to give you a clear overview of your business and the performance of your team members. You can customize your dashboard settings to include specific information that you need to best follow how your business is functioning.

Enabling analytic reporting

Enabling automatic reports lets you generate regular reports based on data within the CRM and allows you and your team to focus on selling and direct customer interaction.

Features to look for in a CRM

When choosing the right CRM for your business, it is important to consider which features they offer and how they will integrate with your current business practices. Some important features to consider include the dashboard capabilities, the API, and reporting features, and the accessibility for you and your team.


The dashboard within your CRM is the area that will provide you will the data you need on a regular basis. Your dashboard should be easy to use and provide an easy-to-understand snapshot of the metrics that matter most to your business.


API stands for application programming interface and plays a role in how your CRM interacts with other software programs you may already use within your business. When evaluating a potential CRM, it is important to find one with easy integration to software programs most essential for your business operation.

Analytics and reporting

The idea behind a CRM is to provide customer management and help ensure that your business fosters quality customer relationships. Reports generated by your CRM should be able to provide the data-driven insight you need to help your company achieve its goals. Quality reporting options can help you track customer habits, pipeline effectiveness, marketing success, lead conversion, sales forecasting, and much more.


While accessing your CRM from the office should be standard, how many of your sales reps spend most of their time on the road or working from home? A CRM that offers mobile access ensures that every member of your team has access to CRM data when they need it, no matter where they are.

A CRM is a valuable tool for your business

Adding a CRM to your insurance business can help you better manage your contact information as well as deliver valuable insight into what is working and what isn’t when it comes to lead generation and sales. At Better Agency, we understand the insurance agency and, as former insurance agents, our team created a CRM designed to meet the specific needs of the insurance industry. To learn more about how Better Agency’s Insurance CRM can help boost your business, schedule a call with us today.