The Healthy CRM: documenting your processes

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By: Brent Shively | 1.5.17

The beginning of a new year offers an opportunity to focus efforts on areas of your life that you’d like to improve. Many people choose to eat healthier or get in better shape. We like to think this fresh mindset should extend into your professional world too. So we’re starting a boot camp for your CRM processes. We’re going to help you get your CRM into shape with a healthy dose of CRM organization tips once a month.


Let’s get started.


An area where most organizations could improve their CRM organization how they document their processes within their CRM. Why is this helpful you ask? Creating a clear documentation process allows for clarity. And clarity helps everyone at your organization understand how to be successful in their role. Plus, having your processes clearly defined will help ease the transition of how those processes are documented and used with your CRM.


Much like starting a new fitness plan, setting up how you document your processes requires a little research, a sustainable plan, and consistency. Let’s dive into this further.


1. Do Your Research

Pick a few important processes you want to document, such as how your initial contact with a donor or customer (as known as a lead) should happen. Gather each employee’s understanding of the process and then consolidate it into a cohesive structure. Next, confirm this process with each employee who is a part of this process and make sure they’re all up to date with how the process works.

Documenting processes in this manner can also be a great tool. It simplifies the onboarding process, provides clarity for how to execute a particular task, and ensures the organization is being represented accurately across every employee.

Bonus Tip: Make sure all stakeholders are involved while documenting these processes, whether they are related to your CRM or not! Connecting with leadership will make sure the organization is supporting their vision and growth goals.


2. Keep It Light

Next, begin developing tip sheets. These sheets will provide step by step instructions related to a particular process (such as how to enter a donation). Keep these to a minimum; otherwise, you will find yourself writing a 100+ page manual that is difficult to find what you need. Keeping the tip sheets light and accessible for staff and employees will help greatly with user adoption.

Bonus Tip: Think of writing out a visualization of the process using a tool like SmartDraw.


3. Choose a Sustainable Plan

Recognize that your organization and processes will evolve over time. Because of this, you will need to write tip sheets in a way that will allow you to easily edit them and change as your organization does.

Establish a review process to ensure that documentation and processes are relevant and kept up to date. Instilling a culture of evolution will keep your system and organization growing while also recognizing when processes are not working as well as they should be.


As with all new years resolutions, you can achieve success by making it a habit. The above suggestions can put you on the right path for establishing, nurturing, and growing your processes. In conjunction with documenting and reviewing, it’s important to have these process changes be represented in your CRM as well.

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