How to plan and execute a CRM strategy
What is a CRM strategy?
Customer relationship management (CRM) encompasses all the processes a business follows to improve customer satisfaction and retention. A CRM strategy is the framework for those processes — it defines how to use technology and data to generate and nurture leads, drive conversions and improve the customer experience.
What are the advantages of a CRM strategy?
Clear and measurable goals
It’s impossible to know if your marketing efforts are paying off if you don’t set goals. A CRM strategy can define the marketing metrics you’ll use to measure your success. For example, you could set a goal of boosting conversions by 10% in Q2, then review your CRM data to see if you achieved that objective.
Once you’ve determined what’s working, you can formalise your process. You can store in your CRM all of the steps involved to reach each objective. For example, you could document your execution of a lead generation campaign, such as the content you created for a certain audience, how you drove traffic to your landing page and the CTA you included that motivated visitors to subscribe.
A CRM strategy breaks through any company silos and helps teams communicate effectively and have full visibility of the customer journey.
With a CRM strategy in place, the CRM software is used to its full potential. This means sales and marketing can run campaigns, assess performance, and access customer details to see every interaction, purchase and touchpoint.
CRM strategy examples
Here are some ways you can use your CRM to improve customer satisfaction and retention:
You can use unique customer data to deliver tailored messages to each individual customer. This communication goes beyond a simple switch from “Hi there” to “Hi [First Name]” and instead allows you to use past actions, interests and behaviours to trigger specific messages to different audiences. For example, if someone’s shown an interest in a yoga mat, you can tag them as a “yogi” persona in your CRM and send them yoga-related content.
Drip campaigns are a prime example of a CRM strategy that incorporates automation and personalisation. Drip campaigns are a sequence of emails that your CRM sends to a specific group of customers based on their purchase intent and behaviour.
For example, you can set up a drip campaign for new leads that introduces your business and highlights how your services will help them get what they’re looking for. Or you might automate a drip campaign that goes out to people who have added an item to their cart but haven’t yet purchased.
Digital ad campaigns
Integrate your CRM with your pay-per-click (PPC) platform to track and analyse the customer journey from ad click to conversion. Make sure that any leads generated from PPC campaigns are automatically captured in your CRM to enable efficient lead management.
How do you create a CRM strategy?
When you have implemented a CRM that meets your needs and integrates with your tech stack you can create a CRM strategy. Here are some steps you can take:
Consider what you want to achieve with your CRM: Do you want to increase retention rates? Shorten the sales cycle? Reduce customer acquisition costs? Setting goals will direct your CRM strategy. Make sure you set ambitious but achievable goals.
Once you’ve got your goals in place, consider what resources you’ll need to reach them. Do you have enough team members? Can your CRM software track and monitor your most important KPIs? Then, define the steps for reaching your goals. For example, if you want to shorten your sales cycle, perhaps you’ll create fresh content that tackles common sales objections, or maybe you’ll have sales reps increase their call count each day.
Conduct a SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis identifies your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so you can build on what you do well in your sales and marketing efforts and identify what you can do better. Start by exploring your strengths. What do you do best? Next, dig into your weaknesses by thinking about what you can improve and how you can use your CRM software to tackle these shortcomings.
Create buyer personas
Who is your target audience? Who are the people that most need your product and are most likely to buy from you? Create buyer personas to highlight the demographic and psychographic information about these people — but go beyond the simple age, gender and location data. Also dig into behavioural characteristics, challenges and the aspirations of your ideal customers.
Your buyer personas should be fluid documents that you can adapt to suit changing consumer trends and interests. For example, you might find that the personas you created for your initial product offering aren’t the right ones for a new product line. Run focus groups and use audience listening tools to find out who’s saying what about your business and industry.
Map the customer journey
The customer journey includes multiple steps and touchpoints, which may include the following:
They realise your brand can meet a need they have.
They research potential products or services and narrow down their options.
They make their final decision.
Retention (or advocacy)
They make future purchases and engage in an ongoing relationship with your business.
Each of these stages involves several touchpoints with your business. These brand interactions may include things like ads, blog content, social media updates, sales calls, demos and customer support.
Define the phases of your customer’s journey and plot potential touchpoints. Think about where, how and when customers interact with your brand. Do you get a lot of social media DMs? Do customers tend to sign up for your email list before they make a purchase? The answers to these questions will help you decide where to focus your efforts.
Choose a target audience
Based on the results of the journey mapping exercise, you’ll have a better understanding of each buyer persona’s pain points, funnel stage and purchasing motivations. Use this information to choose a target audience to focus on for each campaign. For example, if you’re a travel brand selling full-package excursions, you might decide to focus on young solo travellers for one campaign.
Define your process
Once you know who you’re targeting and what information they need, you can start to create drip campaigns, personalised content and digital ad materials specifically suited for them.
Define each step in the process. For example, if you’re setting up an ad campaign targeting young solo travellers and directing them to a dedicated landing page, you’ll need to set up the ad, create the relevant content and measure the metrics like click-through rate and on-page engagement. Figure out what steps will bring the campaign to life, then automate each action in your CRM platform.
Get the most from your CRM with MYOB
MYOB’s Tall Emu is a CRM that integrates seamlessly with the MYOB business management platform. With MYOB, you can manage your customer relationships and sales orders effectively, while having the data insights from across your business management platform to forecast demand and manage stock, inventory, resourcing and cashflow requirements.
Cloud-based, with MYOB you only pay for what you need, but can add on additional software functionality as your business grows and your needs evolve. Want to know more about Tall Emu’s CRM capabilities? Try FREE for 14 days.