Building Your CRM Strategy

Companies that buy customer relationship management software without having a clearly defined strategy might not reap the revenue-boosting, cost-saving benefits of their CRM tool. A vision with clearly defined goals, robust employee onboarding and strong executive knowledge of CRM strategy is essential for success.

In this article, you’ll learn what a strategy for CRM is, its benefits and how to design one. To further illustrate the point, there are 10 example goals to help you see how a strategy will maximize ROI on your CRM investment.

What is a CRM strategy?

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A CRM strategy is a cross-departmental plan of action to help a business grow revenue, increase profits and improve internal processes. This is achieved by taking a data-driven approach to learning about your clientele in-depth and using that information to strengthen customer relationships. In turn, a strategy for your CRM helps leaders streamline data, identify redundant processes and automate workflows so they can focus on the most profitable actions.  

When your company’s end-to-end customer experience inspires positive feelings in your prospects and loyal customers alike, the results can be game-changing. CRM software gives you a clear vision of each lead, the ability to manage communications across channels and a hub for customer data that all departments can access. Plus, with all that high-quality data about each lead, you can deliver personalized, slick customer service and support.

A CRM strategy helps you make the most of the technology you have so you convert more leads, retain more customers and send revenue skyrocketing.

What Are the Benefits of a CRM Strategy?

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A CRM strategy ensures that every action your team makes is done with a goal in mind. It helps leaders prioritize what’s most profitable and derive maximum information from the customer data at their fingertips. 

According to a study from eMarketer, companies can reap the following benefits when they correctly implement a strategy of CRM:

  • More complete and higher-quality customer data: Knowledge is power, and well-managed CRM data vastly improves both forecasting and marketing. Segmenting customers based on data-derived similarities can help you consistently make more sales and maximize CX unilaterally.   
  • More organized and streamlined processes: Breaking down overarching organizational goals into more precise, measurable objectives delivers extraordinary results. Regularly analyzing the effectiveness of your CRM strategy also helps you identify silos, identify obsolete or inefficient processes and streamline workflows. 
  • Higher sales and faster growth: The result of using data to design customer interactions and improve communications is increased sales. Likewise, streamlining processes slashes costs. Higher sales and lower costs equal more profits and faster growth. 
  • Improved customer experience: Using data to shape how staff interacts with customers drastically enhances customer experience. Using information to design delightful, customized content and campaigns bolsters lead generation and conversion. When customers consistently have a wonderful experience with your brand, they’re more likely to return and write positive reviews.  
  • Better customer retention: A strong customer experience inspires a strong connection between your customers and your brand, which leads to higher retention and lifetime customer value.  
  • More leads: When your marketing campaigns and content are designed based on data-driven insights into your target audience, you’ll get more leads. 

We’ve identified a few more advantages that benefit companies adopting and maximizing the potential of a CRM strategy:

  • Provides a high-level framework for essential processes
  • Helps sales teams organize and share customer information across departments
  • Improves your marketing department’s grasp on lead generation, email campaign management, ad performance, customer data and retargeting
  • Allows customer service and support teams to manage information and communicate better with customers  
  • Automates manual internal workflows, customer service processes and elements of customer communication, increasing operational efficiency

CRM Priorities 

For most leaders, the aim of implementing a CRM is to centralize company data, identify inefficiencies and automate time-consuming manual processes with the goal of improving customer satisfaction. However, it’s good to drill down into specific priorities to get the most of your CRM strategy. 

Let’s take a look at the top CRM priorities identified for B2B professionals in a study from eMarketer:

  • Improving workflows: Spreadsheets are time-consuming, prone to human error and overly complex. Using a CRM to manage leads and opportunities, and implementing automation where possible, is a major priority for many leaders.
  • Improving customer experience: Improving customer experience is the overarching goal of any CRM adopter in today’s people-centric market.
  • Aligning marketing/sales/customer success teams: Departmental silos contribute to low productivity and missed opportunities. Many leaders adopt a CRM to align teams
  • Reducing costs: All the actions mentioned above can either reduce costs or increase revenue, which are top priorities for all businesses. 
  • Consolidating technology: If you’re still pulling data from email, phone, social media and various software platforms, you’re wasting time and money. CRM technology and strategy are often implemented to consolidate technology. 
  • Unifying customer data: Businesses want to streamline customer data to make it more accessible for all departments.  
  • Improving adoption and utilization: Unless you designed the CRM yourself, there’s going to be a learning curve in the beginning. Many leaders are keen to make the most of their CRM and want to improve adoption. 

How to build a Successful CRM strategy

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Developing a powerful CRM strategy requires a clear vision and goals for your team to work toward. It’s an ongoing effort that will evolve as market demands shift and your company grows, so you should continually measure its success and refine it accordingly. Before getting started, you should audit your business model to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). 

Below is a nine-step guide to building a successful CRM strategy.

1. Define Your CRM Goals

Defining CRM objectives is the first and most critical element of implementing a CRM strategy. You need a clear vision, with KPIs, to inspire a sense of purpose and ensure the actions you and your team make are aligned and profitable. Train employees on SMART goals to help ensure the objectives are beneficial:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Following this system ensures that all actions contribute to the goal in a meaningful way. SMART goals are quantifiable, achievable and can help you identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks in your current processes.

2. Map Your Customer Journey

Know thy audience is the first rule of marketing, but in today’s competitive economy, you should go a step further and map customer journeys with your goals in mind. Creating these maps is about seeing your end-to-end customer journey through the eyes of a prospect and identifying its strengths and weaknesses. It provides a realistic perspective of your current customer experience and allows you to refine it in line with your KPIs and customer expectations. 

3. Analyze Your Sales Process

Once you and your team have walked through the customer journey, you’ll have a clearer picture of your sales process from the customer perspective. Use what you’ve learned to streamline the sales process and align it with your goals. 

4. Identify Customer Touch Points

Use the data from journey mapping to determine which segments of customers interact most with each touch point. Knowing their preferred method of interaction is critical so you can meet consumers where they’re at. It’s also important to take note of who they interact with and how these interactions influence subsequent behavior. 

5. Assess Which Data You Need To Collect 

While it’s tempting to attempt to use all available data, it’s not realistic. Use your KPIs and information about customer journeys to determine which data is most useful to your CRM strategy. You might opt for time spent on your website, receipts, communication records, service notes and time spent with customer service. 

6. List the Tools Your Teams Use (Technology Audit)

Implementing a CRM strategy can help you significantly reduce the amount you spend on subscriptions for separate systems. You can also integrate the best CRM platforms with existing tech if it’s working well for you and streamline processes this way.

7. Define Your KPIs

Now you’ve gathered all the necessary information, you’re ready to set KPIs. Examples include:

  • Increasing NPS scores by 10% in 6 months
  • Shortening your sales cycle by 5 days within a year
  • Increasing social media followers by 25% by November 15
  • Decreasing bounce rates by 20% by the end of Q4

8. Implement CRM Software 

Now you’re ready to implement CRM software to help you collect, manage and analyze customer data. The prior steps have provided a road map so you already know how to integrate existing tech, gather customer data, access information and share it across departments. 

 Using a CRM platform can help you achieve the following:

  • You can collect and manage customer data, including interactions, demographic information, purchase history, preferences and location.
  • Top CRMs have a dashboard that provides an overview of every lead and lets you create segmentation models.
  • Knowing the above information lets your team preempt needs and deliver delightful, personalized experiences.
  • You can organize customer data and generate reports about customer segments and individuals.
  • You get insights to help teams understand pain points, needs and concerns without asking, facilitating a seamless and convenient customer experience. 
  • By providing a personalized and smooth experience, you can increase retention rates.
  • It can help you identify where leads are in the sales cycle so you can shorten the sales cycle and close faster,
  • Shared and integrated customer data helps every department communicate better with each other and customers.

9. Onboard and Train Your Teams

Even if you have the best CRM software in the world and your leadership team knows it inside out, you won’t reap the benefits without thoroughly training your teams. CRMs have an extensive roster of functions to help you reach your strategic goals, and you should aim to make the most of them by providing employees with as much training and support as possible. 

CRM Strategy Pitfalls

Understanding the most common mistakes leaders make when adopting a CRM strategy can help you avoid those same pitfalls.  

1. Lack of Adoption/Buy-In

An estimated 70% of CRM implementations stall due to lack of adoption. According to data about the top CRM pitfalls, training time was the number one challenge when implementing a new system. However, training is critical for your strategy’s success. Every team member should have a high-level understanding of the details of the strategy, its function and its goals.

Optimize the onboarding process and take the pressure off your leaders by choosing Insightly’s CRM solution. Support is available for all users, but the Premier Support plan guarantees success. In addition to long-term adoption programs, you benefit from the guidance of a customer success manager, technical account manager and business reviews.  

2. Unclear Vision 

Not defining goals is one of the major pitfalls for any organization looking to make the most of its CRM strategy. Without SMART goals to work toward, your team will lack clarity, and productivity won’t be anywhere near optimal. Being vague about your objectives will lead to underwhelming results.

Examples of goals that aren’t clear enough include:

  • Increase sales
  • Reach more customers
  • Improve customer service

3. Lack of Understanding

Whoever designs your CRM strategy must have a clear understanding of the objectives, problems that need solving and how the KPIs relate to one another. For instance, having a goal to increase page views by 10% is one thing, but if that increase is matched with a 99% bounce rate, it’s meaningless. You and your leadership team must have a high-level view of the business results you want to achieve.  

 

10 CRM strategy example goals examples

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Let’s take an in-depth look at 10 examples of CRM strategy goals to help your company develop an optimal plan when implementing a CRM. 

1. Improve Customer Experience

Sample goal: Achieve 83% customer satisfaction by 12/31.

The most obvious example of a CRM strategy goal is to improve customer experience. It’s an overarching goal that encompasses a number of processes and can be measured using customer feedback. This example includes a CSAT score, but there are a variety of satisfaction metrics to tap into. 

2. Acquire a 360° View of Your Customers

Sample Goal: Create new customer segments and demographics for the coming year.

CRMs are exceptional tools for collecting data, but you should have an underlying strategy when gathering it. Aiming for a 360° view of customers helps you understand customer interactions across every stage of the customer journey so you can enhance your value proposition and CX. 

3. Use Better, More Accurate Customer Data

Sample Goal: Create new KPIs to track your progress every 6 weeks.

While having a KPI about setting KPIs might seem a little meta, it helps to ensure that you’re constantly analyzing success and evolving. Taking a continual approach to gathering data helps your efforts remain relevant and competitive.   

4. Create Personalized Campaigns

Sample goal: Improve email click-through rates by 8% in Q3.

Consumers are tired of generic, bland campaigns, which is why companies are rushing to customize interactions wherever possible. Your CRM can provide actionable insights to help you create emails targeted to specific, high-value customers or your highest-value segments. 

5. Increase Customer Loyalty

Sample goal: Increase open rates on customer emails by 4% in 6 months.

When it comes to maintaining a presence in customers’ hearts and minds, useful, informative content is king. Email is one of the most powerful tools your company can use for customer retention, but it’s only effective if people read it.

Applying personalization efforts to your emails, using data from your CRM, can help you increase customer lifetime value and bolster revenue.   

6. Shorten the Sales Lifecycle

Sample Goal: Decrease time to sale by 10% in 6 months.

Reducing the time taken to move from prospect to purchase increases the amount of time your team can spend selling. One of the major benefits of having a complete CRM solution is being able to refine the customer journey to reduce the steps it takes a prospect to progress through the sales funnel. 

You can also implement new sales protocols to help achieve this goal and measure their success using KPIs, such as site visit duration and time from initial interaction to purchase.

7. Use Automation To Reduce the Cost of Leads

Sample Goal: Decrease cost-per-lead by 10% in a year.

Automation can significantly reduce the cost of lead generation because it can identify and contact leads. A CRM can help you automate a number of processes, such as sending an email prompt to customers who abandon their shopping carts. An employee would take much longer and cost significantly more. As such, your CRM can help you reduce cost per lead and greatly increase the number of leads you generate and convert.   

8. Improve Sales Processes

Sample Goal: Increase the deals (or deal size) by 10% year over year.

Your CRM strategy can go a long way to helping enhance your sales process because you can track metrics such as customer interactions, the effectiveness of sales tactics and time to sale. Furthermore, you can generate reports to analyze the success rates of the various strategies you deploy to continually improve your sales process.   

9. Track and Report Sales Performance

Sample goal: Improve first response time to leads by 5 minutes within a month.

The new version of “the early bird gets the worm” is “the first callback gets the sale.” You can use your CRM to track response time and create fun challenges to encourage your sales team to improve it. You can revisit and enhance this metric continually, and your managers can come up with creative ways to incentivize their workforce.

10. Save Time for Team Members 

Sample goal: Automate five workflows this quarter.

Another huge advantage of using a CRM, beyond the scope of directly interacting with customers, is automation. Your team has a number of skills that machines cannot replicate, such as establishing an emotional connection with customers and designing strategies. Automation allows your team to get on with these experience-boosting endeavors by taking care of menial, error-prone tasks and simple processes. 

While you need to set up the workflows you want to automate, the time spent will pay you back tenfold. For example, you might automate the process of sending out emails to the team when setting a meeting.  

Choose Insightly CRM to achieve your strategy

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Your CRM strategy will ensure that you get the most out of this critical tool and elevate the customer experience. The steps above will ensure that you are on the path to ROI from your CRM investment.

If you are selecting your CRM, put Insightly on your list and set up a free demo and discover how you can grow your business today.