CRM Strategy: Why you need it and how to develop it

CRM strategy

Today’s consumers are volatile and less loyal to brands due to their high level of expectations and the increased competition in the market. To capture and retain them, it is essential to improve the quality of your customer relationship.

In this article, you will discover some advices to define your CRM strategy, an essential solution to set up a sustainable relationship with your customers.

What is a CRM strategy?

A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a strategic tool, which objective is to optimize the customer relationship as well as the commercial relationship of a company, through the optimization of its interactions with customers and prospects.

A CRM strategy seeks, among other things, to create a personalized experience for each lead and customer, to unify interactions and to automate manual tasks.

Companies use these systems to store contact information, create personalized email campaigns, predict future sales, offer customized product recommendations, guide customer service interactions, view the entire lifecycle of a contact, etc.

The benefits of a CRM strategy

A CRM strategy consists in setting up specific actions to qualify contacts, generate new leads, and increase the number of sales. It defines the way the company builds customer loyalty. If it is correctly implemented, it brings many results. It allows you to:

  • Qualify and segment prospects.
  • Gather relevant information about prospects and customers.
  • Focus on hot leads.
  • Define a clear and efficient customer journey.
  • Project a better image of your brand.
  • Increase sales and build customer loyalty.

However, a CRM strategy requires financial and human resources to be effective. It must be launched at the right time in the life of the company to be effective. It is therefore better to implement it during an off-peak period or a period of change, so that the teams are focused on its integration into the company.
→ How to use a CRM to improve ROI?

What types of CRM strategies?

There are three main types of CRM systems:

  • Operational CRM:

An operational CRM is the most common. It is used in many industries such as FMCG, banking, finance, etc. It is effective in managing communications with customers and helping companies in their day-to-day operations of sales, marketing, and customer service operations.

  • Sales Automation

An operational CRM can automate your sales process, from lead generation to finalizing the sale, as well as managing your sales force. For example:

  • Schedule follow-up reminders to contact prospects at agreed upon intervals.
  • Track a contact and update their status based on their behavior (e.g., changing a prospect to a qualified lead if they have met specific criteria).
  • Create reports on the performance of the sales team.
  • Marketing automation

An operational CRM also allows you to automate some of your marketing activities at different stages of the customer funnel. For example:

  • Automatically adding and identifying new email subscribers in your CRM.
  • Sending a welcome email campaign as soon as a new lead enters the system.
  • Identifying existing leads in your CRM for your next marketing campaign.

Are you interested in an automated marketing approach?

→ Email Automation

  • Analytical CRM:

Analytical CRM concerns the analysis phase of data collected throughout the customer relationship. It is a key step to develop a sales and marketing strategy and a good customer knowledge. It evaluates your customer data and provides detailed information about your company to help you improve your business. The goal of this CRM is to make more accurate decisions that are based on clear data.

  • Collaborative CRM:

A collaborative CRM allows a company to share customer information across different teams such as sales, marketing and customer service. Its objective is to improve the customer experience and loyalty.

A collaborative CRM consists of two important parts:

Interaction management: allows you to record and analyze every interaction a customer has with your company. Interaction tracking helps you identify issues that an individual or group of customers may be experiencing.

Channel management: allows you to record the preferred method of communication for each of your customers. Some customers prefer SMS, some prefer phone calls, others prefer email.
→ Why Should your Business have a CRM System?

How to create an effective CRM strategy?

Step 1: Define the vision and goals of your CRM strategy

The first thing to do before creating a CRM strategy is to review your overall business strategy and business goals. Think about how you want to contribute to your company’s success.

Increasing customer satisfaction, improving productivity, and decreasing churns are all examples of common goals for a CRM strategy.

Keep in mind that a CRM strategy is not an end in itself. It exists to serve the company’s goals. Therefore, you must integrate it into the company’s overall strategy.

Step 2: Define your target with buyer personas

Create a buyer persona that represents your ideal customer. Make it as detailed as possible. Include information such as demographic and behavioral characteristics, interests, challenges and aspirations. This will help you identify who is buying from you and why.

Having a clearly defined buyer persona is essential to ensure that your teams are focused on the real needs and expectations of your customers.

Step 3: Define your customer journey

To master customer relationship management, you need to know every step of the customer journey.

Start by mapping every interaction with the customer from the moment they first discover you. This could be through digital advertising campaigns, email marketing, direct contact with team members or other processes.

This is the time where you can highlight areas for improvement and determine who is responsible for what.

Step 4: Establish processes for a multi-channel customer experience

In this step, you’ll examine the structure of your internal processes. Do you have the resources you need to deliver a 360-degree customer experience?

Run an audit of roles and responsibilities to ensure that all necessary bases are covered. For example, for the pre-sale phase, you can assess your resources in terms of customer data, information gathering and business case development, etc. As for the sales process, which sales tasks can be automated to gain efficiency?

In short, ask yourself how a CRM will help you optimize your company’s performance and profitability and make the necessary adjustments.

Step 5: Know your product or service

Take the time to review and develop your product/service description and value proposition.

What messages do you want to convey? What benefits do you want to emphasize? Why should a customer choose you over your competitors?

Communicate this narrative internally and implement employee training if necessary. Everyone needs to be on the same page and relaying the same message.

This is also a good opportunity to set your brand tone and establish best practice guidelines for communicating with customers.

Step 6: Invest in CRM software

One of the best ways to take your CRM strategy to the next level is to invest in powerful software for your business.

Betting on software is great for team collaboration, storing customer data, and tracking all of your interactions.

The main factors to consider when choosing a CRM software are: price, capabilities and ease of use. It is also important that your CRM can integrate with your existing tools.

Step 7: Identify your key performance indicators

All strategic actions need to be supported by numbers and data and your CRM strategy is no exception. You need to be able to measure its progress.

When setting goals for your teams, remember to make them S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound).

Here are some examples of performance measures you can include:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer retention
  • Churn rate
  • Profits

A well-thought-out customer relationship management strategy will do wonders for your customer retention. If you need support to implement an effective CRM strategy, please contact us.