Five secrets to a successful CRM

Discover the best practices and tips to ensure your CRM is a successful component of your digital transformation.
19 October 2023 • 3 min
8634297 CRM Customer Relationship Management Business Internet T

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is essential for any business to maintain long-term relationships with your prospects and customers, drive productivity, and fuel business growth.

The choice of the right CRM for your organization, and the way to implement it, is critical. Ineffective CRM implementation can lead to severe consequences, affecting data management, marketing, sales, customer service, and even customer retention.

What is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?

According to Wikipedia, CRM is an approach to manage a company’s interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers’ history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specially focusing in customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.

Besides this definition, what is more important is YOUR definition of a CRM for YOUR organization.

Discover the best practices and tips* to ensure your CRM is a successful component of your digital transformation:

Tip #1: Define needs & goals

Before setting up a CRM, you need to have a clear vision and well-defined objectives that align with your business goals. Your needs and goals will act as a compass guiding your CRM strategy to ensure every decision contributes to achieving your business objectives.

Ask yourself these questions to define your needs and goals:

What can’t we do today?

Are you looking for a CRM for one or several of these benefits?

  • Have a central hub where you can store and organize information on leads and contacts
  • Save time finding and working with contacts
  • Standardize a workflow to do business
  • Ensure the security of your data


  • Who will benefit from it?
  • Who will access the CRM (departments, vendors, customers)?

What’s it going to take?

  • Is leadership on board and convinced of what a CRAM can help you achieve?
  • How much time is needed for development, testing, refinement, maintenance?
  • What are the costs involved (initial fees and possible monthly fees)?
  • Do you have the resources?

Tip #2: Keep it simple

Don’t rush or overcomplicate things. A well-intentioned but overly complex CRM is, more often than not, a burden to the sales person.

Reduce the scope initially

Walk before you run so work in phases and build traction with an initial user group.

Interface and performance

Easy systems with simple, clean interface not only run faster but are also better adopted (easier to understand and train).

Here is an example:

Tip #3: Integrate

You don’t have to build a system that does it all, the key is to bring your everyday apps together to create automated workflows.

Whether you integrate your CRM with services using Claris Connect, plug-ins or an API, ensure data sync and flow across the organization.

Tip #4: Customization

Customize the CRM system to align with your organization’s specific needs, ensuring that it becomes an integral part of your daily operations rather than a disruptive force.

Perfect fit

Build a system that fits you and get a competitive advantage with a purpose-built CRM for your organization.

Automate to create efficiency

Get more efficient and a better use of resources with automated processes and the removal of double entry.

Things change

Organizations change and grow, an effective CRM gives you the ability to adapt effectively to activity, market and regulation changes as well as to capture opportunities in the best way.

Tip #5: Project manager & SME

Make sure to have a product manager and a SME (Subject Matter Expert) in the team to ensure an effective CRM development and implementation.

Project manager

The project manager leads the project making sure the project moves forward and stays on track in terms of schedule and budget, while being the liaison between users, developers and admin.

 Subject Matter Expert (SME)

The Subject Matter Expert provides expertise and offers guidance in the scope definition and testing validation.

While many off-the-shelf CRM solution are on the market, every business is unique.

A Claris FileMaker-based CRM provides unique advantages that give it an edge over other CRMs.
Being easy-to-use, flexible, customizable, and cost effective, Claris FileMaker is the perfect tool to create the right CRM solution for your organization.

*inspired by Marc Larochelle from Productive Computing