Unlock your business potential with a winning CRM strategy

Written by Kaia Vincent
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The customer is always right. The customer is king. And so it goes on. But none of it means anything if you don’t know your audience. Building relationships with your customers, from attracting them in the first place, to retaining their loyalty, is the foundation of business success – especially for SMEs. But how do you do it?

By developing and implementing a comprehensive CRM strategy.

What is a CRM strategy?

The first thing to address is that CRM or a CRM strategy is about so much more than just software. It also isn’t just something for large organisations – it has a place in all businesses, whether you’re B2B or B2C. And can deliver benefits regardless of what you’re selling. A good CRM strategy sets the tone for how your business builds and improves engagement with prospects and customers, all with the aim of growing loyalty and thereby revenue. It is also an excellent way to streamline your company’s approach to sales and marketing.

The benefits of a CRM strategy

In a nutshell, a good CRM strategy (and use of accompanying CRM software) will make your business better. That is not just a sweeping statement – here’s how:

  • Better quality customer data – this is the ultimate reason for having a CRM database and the benefits flow from here. Good quality and more complete customer data is useful for your sales and marketing efforts in terms of campaigning, audience segmentation, and forecasting.

  • Better processes – a CRM makes you more organised. The information and data gathered on campaigns, conversions, etc., can be used to develop further strategies to reach your business goals and also provides the metrics to report back on progress and achievements.

  • Better (faster) sales – you can use your better-quality data to plan and execute customer (and prospect) interactions, giving them what they need in the buying journey and increasing your chances of success, all because your content is personalised and relevant.

  • Better customer experience – as above, you can use what you know about your customers to tailor communications as, when and where they need them, making the overall buying process smoother and more efficient for them.

  • Better customer loyalty – again, you’re delivering what your customers want and need in the best possible way that suits their preferences. Along with your great product and solution, this is a great way to increase the chances and repeat purchases and brand advocacy.

How to develop a CRM strategy?

While CRM is more than software, said software solution does form the core of your CRM strategy – whether that is an expensive, super multi-functional platform for managing a massive customer base and numerous, multi-region campaigns (think Salesforce or HubSpot), or a fit-for-purpose solution designed to address the needs of SMEs (think Constant Contact). It should also include marketing automation capabilities – making your life that much easier by combining the features of your CRM with your marketing efforts. You can read more about it here in one of our previous blogs.

Now you have the basics, what do you do next? Here are a few tips on how to develop a CRM strategy.

  • Tip #1 Begin with goal setting. What is it that you want to achieve? It’s not enough to just to have a CRM and marketing strategy – you need SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) objectives. While you’ll have your broader business objectives in mind (increase revenue) be more specific for your CRM. For example, improving your nurture process or speeding up the sales cycle.

  • Tip #2 Know what you’re working with. The likelihood of you beginning from a clean slate is low, so it’s important to audit your customer data to understand what you have, the quality of your contacts and how organised and complete it is.

  • Tip #3 Describe your audience. Who are they? Which channels will you reach them on? What does their buying journey look like? This might seem like common sense, but having this knowledge in front of mind will help guide you through CRM strategy development and stop you from getting off track. It’s helpful here to segment your target audiences and develop specific buyer personas.

  • Tip #4 Define your sales / marketing funnel. How does your ideal customer find your business? Interact with it? What touchpoints are they likely to respond to? When putting your CRM strategy together, take a look at the marketing funnel and customise it in a way that makes sense to your business, from the awareness stage, all the way through to conversion and retention. 

  • Tip #5 Define your sales process. This goes hand-in-hand with the buying journey and should be an easy to understand, consistent, and repeatable process. It will be specific to your company and will mirror the typical path your customers will take in the buying journey.

  • Tip #6 Choose your CRM software. Our final tip in developing your CRM strategy is selecting the right CRM software. There are many CRM solutions on the market so take your time, do your research and select the best option for your business. Get your sales and marketing teams onboarded and trained as needed. (As a Constant Contact partner we recommend it for SMEs – it packs all the features of a much larger (and more expensive solution) into a powerful, intuitive and affordable solution.)

What’s next? 

Having a comprehensive CRM strategy is a necessity in today’s market. It enables you to develop and execute targeted marketing campaigns to your different audiences and automates workflows to make your sales process more efficient. But the ultimate benefit is that you can build stronger relationships with your customers through personalised (relevant) interactions and increase your sales.

If you’d like to chat more about developing a CRM strategy or would like to see our CRM solution in action, please get in touch.