The ability to put customer’s front and center can now be achieved thanks to Customer Relationship Management software, better known as CRM. The software is designed to build a bridge between businesses and their customers, which in turn creates a strong customer service experience and has to potential to increase sales. It can act as a win, win for everyone involved if you have the right CRM strategy in place.
What is a CRM Strategy & Why is it Important?
A CRM strategy is a plan that businesses put into place with the goal of growing their sales through improving customer service efforts, customer retention and making strong data-driven sales decisions. A business’s ultimate goal should be making their customers happy and the only way that can happen is with a rock-solid plan.
However, even with this great technology, if used incorrectly, not implementing the correct/needed modules or not having an exact plan for what you would like your business to utilize CRM for, the opposite of building a bridge can take place. This is why developing a CRM strategy is a necessary step upon the point of implementation.
Here is how you can develop a winning strategy for your CRM software.
1. Discover Company Goals
Following the implementation customization, a company has to make a decision based on their company specific goals. Do you want to increase sales? Strengthen company customer service? Gain a better understanding of your customer base or grow your customer base?
When creating company goals, it is important to make sure they are realistic and tangible for your industry and company size. Knowing statistics of your company prior to implementing CRM will help you track the differences that you will begin to (hopefully) see once your CRM is implemented and ready to use. Monitoring this data can be insightful in developing your company’s CRM strategy moving forward.
Now that you know your goals, it is time to decide how your CRM will work for you.
2. Decide What You Want Your CRM Strategy to Accomplish
The beauty of CRM is its versatility. Depending on the software vendor that your company chooses, CRM allows for application customization, cloud or on-premise implementation and having the option to decide how many users companies will need for their CRM software, making it easy to adjust your CRM strategy along the way.
These options gives a company the chance to take the essence of CRM and make it work for their specific company and industry type. Think back to your list of company goals. There are specific modules that can be implementing to help you reach them. If you want to increase sales, consider marketing automation features. Increase sales? Make sure that your chosen vendor includes a sales automation feature. CRM can be helpful, but a waste of time and money if you don’t do your research.
3. Sync Information to Your System
In order to have a steady flowing CRM system you want to make sure that all company information is being recorded and tracked into the system. This ensures that all information is update to date throughout the entire system, which eliminates duplicate data. It also makes reports, analytics and any other documents accurate, which gets rid of reporting inaccurate information, ruining data reports.
CRM software regularly updates throughout the entire system once new information is plugged into the system. This is also helpful for other users in different departments and even those who work remote or travel. Everyone can freely use the information without the feature of inaccuracies.
Most importantly, syncing all company information into the CRM is another way to use your software to its complete ability.
4. Adjust Your CRM Strategy Post Implementation
Once your software has been implemented and has been in use for some time, it is important to evaluate and track your progress. You want to make sure that this investment has been worth it.
Compare your business form where it was pre-CRM to how is has changed since the implementation in order to get a better understanding of your business metrics. If there are things that you feel need improvement, for instance your customer base hasn’t grown to number of your liking, you can use other tools such as the marketing automation application or reading information about your customers in order to create marketing communications designed with them in mind. Not only do having analytics of how well your company is doing, it can improve the customer service experience.
Before implementing your CRM software, having a CRM strategy in place can make the experience a smooth one. Develop your game plan in the form of company goals and how you want CRM to help you achieve them. Regular maintenance of the system as well as consistent company evaluation can assist in the process too.