Three ways to optimize your CRM system

16 Oct 2020 0 minutes to read Contributors

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The market for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has seen staggering growth in recent years. It’s estimated that around 90% of companies with over 11 employees use a CRM system and around 50% of smaller businesses.  It’s perhaps not surprising; a good CRM system is invaluable in helping you keep customer contact details up to date, track customer interactions and manage customer accounts.

Your CRM system will probably work just fine straight out of the box; especially, if you’re a new business with a relatively small number of customers. But, as your business grows, you’re likely to find your CRM doesn’t run as smoothly and efficiently as it did at the start. If that happens, you risk not having the insight and reporting you need to run your marketing and customer service functions optimally.

Often, the problem isn’t with the front-end CRM system. The reason for the slow performance may well lie in the back-end that users don’t see.  That is why you also need to think about the design, structure and maintenance of your underlying database.

Here are three ways you can help ensure your CRM system runs smoothly:

Follow the CRM vendor’s guidelines

When setting up your CRM system it’s really important to follow the guidelines precisely. This will help prevent database issues further down the line. The guidelines will vary between vendors and whether you’re using a cloud-based or an on-premises system. But, they’re likely to include specific criteria, such as the amount of disc space, memory or a particular version of SQL.

Stress now, relax later

Always do a stress test on the system at the set up stage and then at regular intervals. We’d normally recommend monthly or quarterly. But, don’t wait until users start to complain about performance.

A specialist DBA can run a full audit to double-check the system was installed properly. The main reason CRM systems become sluggish is that they get overloaded with queries from users. Your DBA will be able to spot any database issues that could dramatically slow your CRM.

Think strategically

It’s worth taking the time to think through what you’re going to use your CRM system for at the set up stage. It’s tempting to collect as much customer data as possible. However, storing data that you don’t need can significantly slow your database environment.

The general rule is: if you never use the information, don’t put it in your CRM system. Use the system for what is has been designed to do.

Finally, if you’ve done all of the above, but your CRM system is still slow – call your database expert. They’ll have in-depth knowledge of both the CRM and database architecture and can set up SQL Server Extended Events. This will help them to see exactly what is going on in the database, collect the information to identify any performance issues or bottlenecks in the SQL Server and troubleshoot any problems.

Don’t let your CRM system fall over. Contact us instead, we’re expert troubleshooters! 

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