How to Get Started with a CRM

How to Get Started with a CRM

Jen Lawrence
Jen Lawrence

Business Process Consultant focusing on streamlining workflows, optimizing tools, and aligning teams for operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Getting started with a CRM (client relationship management) system can be incredibly overwhelming. Most systems are supercharged with functionalities, and it can be tempting to want to maximize all of them right away. However, I caution you, that’s also the fastest track to giving up on the tool entirely.

Instead, when you’re ready to jump into a CRM, I suggest starting with a few key steps and functionalities to ease your way in while also becoming properly acquainted with the system.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to cover a CRM designed for service-based businesses, such as Dubsado

Get into Those Settings

Start at the beginning – tell the system who you are. Fill in all fields in your Account settings, upload your logo, and connect your key integration accounts (such as the payment processor, video calling systems, finance manager, etc.) Your Account settings are used throughout the entire CRM so ensure you handle that upfront.

Watch the Onboarding Video

Every software sends you a “Welcome/Getting Started” email. Once you receive it, take the time to watch the initial onboarding video to get a sense of the system’s layout and key features. 

Load in Your Current Jobs/Projects

Enter at the ground floor by uploading your current job/project information. For this, you will want to gather the necessary information, such as client contact information and existing contracts, and other documentation. Setup jobs/projects with what you have, making notes of what else you need or what would be nice to have, e.g., custom fields, structure, tags.

Make Thoughtful Structural Adjustments

Now that you’re using the system and seeing how the information works together, it’s time to make structural adjustments. Do you need custom fields for your clients or projects? What about phases for your jobs/projects? What about forms or questionnaires? Dip your toe using the customization tools of the platform to get you organized.

Go Next Level

Now it’s time to start looking at all the fun things you can do with CRM. Depending on the platform, this can be lead capture forms, questionnaires, custom proposals, schedulers, canned emails, and much more! 

If you do nothing else…

Add templated agreements! This is one of the most useful and important functions of most CRMs – signature execution. If you don’t have contracts or feel uncertain about how well they protect you, consider purchasing a templated contract for your needs and copying the content into your CRM. This is my favorite resource to keep my business legal.

These steps will quickly get you started with your CRM tool. However, if you’re still overwhelmed and need additional guidance, I can help. Learn more about my services here.

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