How to build a CRM Strategy: A step-by-step guide
Once you’re done with your homework, follow these steps to build a customer relationship management strategy:
Step 1. Understand and align your company and CRM goal
To begin with, understand your company’s goals for the next 1-3 years. Ask yourself what sales goals you’ve set up to achieve these overarching goals? And, what marketing strategy do you have in place to meet these goals.
Once you have the answers to these, you can "select and configure your CRM to allow you to track and measure against these goals," notes Kristen McGarr, the owner of Adroit Insights. Doing so "will simplify the process and provide transparency at all levels of the organization."
Step 2. Align your Sales and CRM strategies
For this step, have a complete picture of your sales process. Start with understanding the following:
Having the answers to these questions will allow you to select and implement your CRM according to your sales strategy.
For example, if your sales strategy largely focuses on outbound reach via calls and emails, you’ll want a CRM tool that offers an in-built dialer to call and record conversations. You’ll also want the tool to integrate with your email so you can automate follow-ups.
Similarly, depending on your answer to prospects’ experience on your site, you can determine “whether you want to automate the majority of the process for greater consistency,” McGarr writes. “Or, if you prefer to add tasks and reminders for your salespeople to create a more personalized experience.”
A CRM tool can help you reach your sales objectives. This is why being clear on your sales strategy is crucial for selecting the right tool.
Step 3. Map your buyer’s journey
“Since the buyer’s journey is mirrored in the sales process, it is the basis for setting up the CRM,” observes Schwinum.
Kick things off by segmenting customers into groups based on their unique differences and behavior. The goal is to figure out how your sales and marketing teams interact with different buyer groups.
For example, separate your customers based on those active on social media while others who are responsive to email.
Then, identify all touchpoints that a prospect would’ve with your business and tie them to responsible teams and into your CRM. For instance, leads that come through your social media and campaigns go into the marketing team’s court to be nurtured before passing on to sales.
A few things to keep in mind while mapping your buyer’s journey are:
Understand how prospects move through your sales funnel and identify gaps where they drop-off in the funnel as you map your buyer’s journey.
Find out your prospect’s pain points. Ask yourself: What problems do they face that lead them to your product/service? What stops them from converting into buyers? You can glean these insights from your CRO software, creating post-purchase surveys to learn from customers and listening to buyers’ discussions on why or why they didn’t purchase something on social media.
Make sure all your teams are aligned as you map your buyer's journey.
Step 4. Establish KPIs
Now that you’ve assigned responsibilities to each team, use the CRM to set goals for them.
“CRMs allow you to easily track metrics like number of contacts, frequency of contact and other activities that are excellent early indicators of growth,” points out McGarr.
Ideally, you’ll want results-oriented micro-goals that tie together to contribute to your major goal. These are “KPIs that have a direct impact on your company goals.”
Let’s say if the goal for your sales team is to increase sales revenue by up to 50%, an account executive’s micro goal should be to close X number of high-value deals, whereas, an SDR’s goal should be to close Y number of meetings.
Similarly, assign customer satisfaction and customer retention goals to the customer service and customer success teams, respectively.