How to set up a CRM system

So a CRM is only worth it if everyone is prepared to use it. And people are only going to be prepared to use it if the system makes their lives easier. And the system will only make their lives easier if it is set up correctly.

Which means you need to know what your aims are. Why are you spending all this money on a new system? What benefits will it bring to your business? How is it going to work? What difference will it make to your bottom line? What difference will it make to your team's day to day lives?

I like to work backwards on this point.

You might prioritise getting organised - so everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing each day.

Or you may prioritise sales, so your sales team has a target number of calls or meetings to make each week.

Or it might be saving time - no more dual-entry of information across different systems.

Whatever it is, write it down, then figure out how the CRM will help you achieve that. Then take steps to measure your progress - if it's organisation, how many tasks get scheduled for each staff member. If it's sales, how many meetings are made each week. If it's time, how quickly do people get their important work done?

This information is vital to setting up the CRM - because without it, you may get some value from it. But it's not likely to make the massive difference you were expecting. And it will slowly fall out of use.

If you'd like some help with this, I've just finished writing a free book, all about deciding on how to set up a CRM for improving your sales. It's quite short, and very easy to follow. You can grab a copy at Or please forward the link on to anyone you think may find it useful.

Take action: Download the book. It's useful, informative and free.

Rahoul Baruah

Rahoul Baruah

Rubyist since 1.8.6. Freelancer since 2007, dedicated to building incredible, low-cost, bespoke software for tiny businesses. Also CTO at Collabor8Online.
Leeds, England