3 Ways Practice Makes Perfect

28 Nov 2014

Last night I had the American crew from OpenCRM around for a Thanksgiving meal. I’d like to say my intentions for this were fully from the heart, feeling sympathy for them being so far from home, but really it was a chance for me to get some well needed practice in the kitchen, as this year…I am hosting Christmas!

Over the last few weeks I have taken up any opportunity to use my new oven to cook roast dinners for guests. I’m hoping that by putting in the practice now, come Christmas day, all areas of the roast will be perfect. Yes I have made mistakes over the weeks, like not enough gravy, mismatched cooking times, and even burnt steamed green beans – who knew that was even possible! But, I feel this is what practices are for, preparation prevents p*** poor performance remember.

The same can be said for when you would like to learn to do something new in your CRM system. From data imports to email campaigns, doing a practice run can be essential to save you further aggravation in the future.

Three benefits to practicing are that you will:

  1. Save Time – The first time you attempt a data import, cleaning your data, making sure you have all the fields in the system to hold your data and then mapping your data to those fields correctly, can be a mean feat. Errors can easily occur and these can end up being very time consuming if you end up importing a whole spreadsheet of data incorrectly. So, do a practice run, duplicate your spreadsheet but only leave 2 lines of data (preferably two lines which have data in each column) and do a test run import, you can save your mapping for next time too which is a handy thing. This way, if there is an error in the process, you only have to wait for 2 records to import and then delete, instead of hundreds.
  2. Eliminate Errors – When creating custom PDF sales templates for your team, it is important that you test exporting different sizes of sales documents from the system before you hand these over. Check that the information your team need to send out to their clients/leads is all there and well presented.
  3. Save Embarrassment – If you are going to be sending out an email campaign, the last thing you want to do is send out an email template which has errors in it. The world of email client compatibility is a bit of a minefield, so make sure you do a few test runs in the bigger clients like Outlook and Gmail, for example. Test click-through links, styling, hyperlinks, and images are all behaving as expected. Only then can you send out your mailshot with confidence that you will not be getting any embarrassing calls or comments in response to shoddy templates.

So, last night was a success – minus the smoky green beans – we all enjoyed a feast of food (22 food items in total) and an evening of being thankful for such a feast! Although I don’t know what is around the corner for Christmas day and I’m pretty sure perfection may be a big ask, I am feeling a lot better and more prepared to cook the all important Christmas dinner for my family.