It’s time to fuse your business strategy with your CRM strategy.
November 24, 2022 | Read time: 8 min
Your customer relationship management system (CRM) improves efficiency and provides transparency to all your internal departments, starting from marketing and sales. But can it bring more important benefits for your business? According to studies and our experience as CRM consultants, most organizations don’t harness the full potential of their CRM.
The relationship with your customers doesn’t have to end after a purchase is made. To encourage upsells, cross-sells, repeated purchases, and obtain positive word of mouth, your business should be actively nurturing customer relationships through a customized CRM strategy.
In order to make the most of your CRM, you need to integrate your business strategy into your CRM strategy. But how can you do that? It all begins with setting objectives.
Who doesn't know the wise words about good intentions? More sport, healthier nutrition, quitting smoking – a goal can be easily set, but it often proves as difficult to implement. So, there is a big gap between setting a goal and achieving a goal. The same logic applies to business objectives. Simply setting a corporate meeting and defining business objectives does not mean that these goals will also be operationally pursued. Even worse, the implementing stage can deviate completely from the business strategy and fail in achieving the initially set objectives. For this reason, it is important to correlate your business strategy with a proper implementation plan.
“Your strategy is as good as your capacity to implement it.” - This mantra also plays a decisive role in the integration of CRM systems. Your software is an operational tool that sustains you in achieving your business objectives. The business strategy must be translated and split into smaller daily objectives in the CRM. This is the only way to ensure that your operational strategy contributes to the company's business objectives. In the long run, you create a competitive advantage and increase your success chances.
According to the CRM Report 2020: The Potential of Digitalization, surveyed companies are aware that a CRM strategy must be closely linked to the business strategy. However, the implementation is a little difficult. Although 43% of the surveyed companies stated that they are already using the CRM strategy to plan and control marketing and sales activities, there is still a lot of potential in the holistic management of the company with the CRM.
In operating activities (the core activities that a business performs to earn revenue) there is often a lack of orientation. The orientation must be based on specific goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Companies are hardly navigating in the flood of metrics and are unsure whether they are focusing on the correct ones. If there is no set target (with a specific value) in day-to-day business objectives, it is not possible to achieve a company-wide goal. There is still a lot of development potential here in the near future.
Example: Let's assume that your company has the strategic goal of expanding a business area and winning more projects and more customers. The project’s acquisition phase consists of three stages:
When will you achieve your business goal? If you sign more contracts? If you get to know more interested parties? A prospect only becomes a customer if all three stages have been completed. In conclusion, it is important to measure how successfully the development goes from stage to stage. At this point, the KPI is the conversion rate, ex. how many projects move from one stage to the next, that can be used as a set target. If you set a tangible value, such as getting to know 5% more prospects compared to the previous year, the goal achievement is measurable, and you can align your actions and decisions with your objective. More than that, you can already track the KPI live, before achieving the goal, and see if the planned measures are working.
How can the business strategy, designed for one or several years, be broken down and split into individual implementation packages? With these three tips, you can get the best out of your CRM, in the long run.
1. Measure your business objectives with your CRM through KPIs
Holistic corporate management translates into looking at your business as an interconnected entity, understanding the bigger picture, and not only thinking outside the box but removing the box completely. It only works with clear objectives and the right key figures. Break down your strategy and identify at least five meaningful KPIs. By measuring the KPIs in your CRM, you sustain and ensure the implementation of your strategy and do not risk getting lost in the daily vortex of tasks.
2. Avoid operational loss
Once you have figured out your corporate strategy objectives and KPIs, pay attention to what comes next. Keep prioritizing your decisions based on the previous set of objectives and don’t distract yourself with small-scale optimizations. If you want to implement those small optimizations merge them into the larger pre-set goals. Focus your management perspective on the CRM and prevent operational loss.
3. Rely on the know-how of your CRM consultant
If you have an experienced independent CRM consultant on your side, he will help you define your CRM strategy, set and measure your KPIs. Thanks to his business and analytic experience, he knows exactly where you should focus your resources to achieve your business goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Our certified team of consultants understands the challenges and needs of various businesses and can offer the best solutions based on experience. We work with the biggest and most popular CRM systems which help us stay unbiased. Should you select Creatio, Adito, Salesforce, Dynamics 365, or perhaps something else? It all depends on your situation, and we’ll explore all alternatives together.
Don't rush into implementing a CRM solution. Start with a business analysis and how you can translate your corporate strategy into smaller operational sections in your CRM. If you already have a CRM system in place, question whether the individual operational measures really contribute to your business goals. If you invest enough time in the strategic objectives as well as in defining your KPI’s, nothing stands in the way of a successful integration between your CRM strategy and your business strategy.