How to create an effective CRM strategy
Any business can build a CRM strategy, regardless of size, industry, or budget. However, what works for one organization may not work for another. Instead, it’s a good idea to use the following steps as a guide when creating a CRM strategy for your business. Make sure to customize your plan to fit the needs of your company.
Conduct an audit
The first step in making a strategy is to conduct an audit of your business using the SWOT analysis methodology. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and analyzing these different elements within your organization is essential.
Using SWOT to audit your company, you can note the processes that are working well at your business, organizational inefficiencies and gaps, and so on. You’ll also be able to ensure that you and your team are prepared to tackle the implementation of a CRM.
Determine your SMART goals
While establishing goals is important, setting SMART goals is even better. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Objectives that are created with these criteria in mind are often more realistic and easier to accomplish. It’s also a good idea to align your strategy’s goals with your company’s overall vision and mission.
An example of a SMART goal would be: We’re going to use CRM software to increase our revenue by 40% by November 30.
Note that your goals will change as your business evolves and you hit more and more of your targets.
Identify your target audience
Your target audience is a key component of any CRM strategy. Knowing who your ideal consumers are can help you communicate better with them, enabling you to use the CRM for customized campaigns that meet specific needs.
The information above can be gathered via client satisfaction surveys or by directly asking customer service representatives and your sales team.
Outline the customer journey
The customer journey is the path consumers take in order to become a client at your business, starting from their first interaction with your brand and ending with an acquisition.
By understanding how consumers move through the sales pipeline, you can identify the best moments to interact with them. You can use a CRM to automate messages, connect with individuals at the right time, and move leads to the next step in the buying process. However, it’s essential to outline the journey to guide prospects from one step to another.
Mapping out the customer journey also lets you see the barriers that are preventing prospects from finalizing their purchase. For example, consumers may not receive enough information about the product or service at some point in the process, so they don’t have the necessary details to make an informed decision.
Define the ideal customer experience
What does the ideal customer experience look like? Review your existing customer experience processes and see if it aligns with your expectations. If it doesn't, it may be time to make some adjustments.
Study the competition
Your competitors can be the greatest source of inspiration. While you shouldn’t copy your competitors, you can study their sales and marketing efforts and stay one step ahead.
For example, what does their sales pipeline look like, and how can you make yours better? You can use competitive intelligence to figure out what they’re doing successfully and the type of content they’re creating to enhance the customer journey.
Understand your products and services
Ensure your employees understand the products and services you offer. Doing so makes it easier for your team to explain your products to consumers and demonstrate how they can be valuable solutions to their pain points.
Moreover, knowing your products and services can help you create your unique value proposition (UVP). A UVP is a statement that outlines how potential customers will benefit from your products or services. This statement often highlights how your offerings differ from competitors and their benefits.
Not all CRM software is created equal. While some have advanced capabilities, others are designed with only a handful of features.
Ultimately, the right CRM for your business will greatly depend on the following:
- Business size
- Marketing channels
- Customer support
It’s also best practice to think about who will use the system. If the CRM software will be used by different teams, consider their organizational needs and pick a system that accommodates both departments.
Additionally, consider whether you want a cloud-based or on-premise CRM tool. As the name suggests, cloud-based software stores your data on the cloud, making it accessible off-site. In contrast, on-premise solutions are only accessible within a company’s premises.
Evaluate the success of your strategy
Once your CRM and CRM strategy is implemented at your organization, make sure to regularly evaluate the success of your plan. You can use key performance indicators (KPIs)–which are quantifiable metrics used to measure progress and the effectiveness of strategies and goals–for this purpose.
By keeping a close eye on your KPIs, you can optimize your strategy to ensure it meets your business objectives.