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CRM Strategy: Seven Steps to Review

After you decide on a CRM service, it will be time to craft your CRM strategy. Discover seven tips to help you define your CRM strategy.
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After you decide on a customer relationship management (CRM) service, it will be time to craft your CRM strategy. A CRM strategy defines how your organization will use CRM to help grow sales and improve the customer experience.

Different businesses and industries will have different objectives, processes, success metrics, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Yet despite industry differences, a solid CRM strategy can help any business collect in-depth customer data and use it to create new opportunities and efficiencies.

These seven tips can help you define your CRM strategy.

1. Determine how CRM will support your overall business strategy.

For instance, a small company may be focused on new business, a service-based business may be focused on increasing customer satisfaction metrics, and a mature business operating in a saturated market may be focused on nurturing customer relationships.

Whether your business strategy involves becoming a regional sales leader, leveraging customer satisfaction as a competitive advantage, or gaining share through well-executed marketing campaigns, determine how you want CRM to help.

2. Map the customer journey.

How do customers typically “meet” your business?

To level up CRM, you need to understand how customers find your business, consider your offering, and ultimately choose to do business with you.

When you map each stage of the customer journey, you can highlight areas for improvement to help deliver top-notch experiences at each touchpoint.

3. Envision how CRM can help improve the customer journey.

Successful sales and marketing professionals know the value of having clear, repeatable, action-oriented tactics.

Reflect on how you want sales and marketing processes to work in CRM. Which steps can be automated in CRM? What customer data can your team leverage to improve sales; and is there a streamlined way to capture those details in CRM?

From importing existing data to capturing new data through landing pages, forms, and more, your CRM can help you fill in data gaps to support an improved customer experience.

4. Oversee the sales process.

Audit your sales and marketing processes while crafting your CRM strategy. How are you doing in each of these areas?

  • Presales – Do you have an accurate idea of customer needs? Do you have enough information to put together relevant business cases for potential customers?
  • Lead nurturing – Are you engaging with someone who will need five touchpoints before making a purchase, or will the person convert with a one-time, personalized 30% off coupon? Have you captured a customer’s full history with your business, e.g., past purchases, content engagement, or previous customer service events? In short, are your messages and offers tailored to your customer’s needs?
  • Sales tactics – From sending personalized one-to-one emails in a certain time frame to triggering a series of events, what tasks can be automated to increase efficiency?
  • Post-sales – Do you have the necessary support systems in place to resolve customer issues quickly? How do you gather customer satisfaction insight?

5. Identify success metrics.

Your CRM strategy should list measurable goals and actions you can take to help achieve those goals. Common success metrics include increased sales, shortened sales cycles, shortened customer service resolution times, and improved customer satisfaction and retention.

Once you determine your success metrics, enable reports in CRM to automatically track progress.

6. Get your team on board.

If CRM user adoption fails, CRM can’t do what it was meant to do—create efficiencies, streamline sales processes, and help sales close faster. You need all users to support and use your system for it to deliver results.

For tips on how to get your team on board, see our FORsights™ article, “Five Tips to Improve CRM User Adoption.”

7. Prioritize your initiatives.

Plan a phased approach with CRM to support lasting success. Decide what’s most important during each CRM phase. Start with the basics, then scale. You won’t get everything done at once, so don’t rush the journey!

Training is usually a top priority so that everyone is prepared to succeed with CRM. Develop a training plan that is focused on supporting your CRM users.

Remember, CRM is a journey, not a one-and-done process. It’s important to participate in the journey.

If you’d like to collaborate on your CRM strategy, reach out. The Business Technology Solutions Team at FORVIS holds Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold and Salesforce Consulting Partner statuses.

Whether this is your first step into the world of CRM, or you’re a seasoned CRM veteran, we’re here to support your journey. Use the Contact Us form below to get in touch.

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