Over the last 4 or 5 years there has been a dramatic shift in the CRM arena due to the explosion of the cloud. But do companies truly understand the impact of CRM and how it can revolutionize their business?
Implementing a CRM strategy will have far-reaching implications across any organisation, from back office functions to customer facing activities, and the cultural implications of CRM are significant.
Fundamentally CRM is a business philosophy, and it should never be seen as “just technology”. The technology is merely the platform which will allow your business to achieve its strategic goals.
The core concept of CRM can be relatively simple, however turning theory into practise can be a mammoth task for many businesses.
Many successful organisations are developing new strategies to ensure growth and generate competitive advantage, and CRM is certainly a great way to generate unique service proposition in the marketplace.
CRM is a business strategy to:
- Acquire profitable customers
- Retain and maximize existing customers
- Gain efficiencies by improving operational performance through a CRM strategy
Phil Callaghan, managing director at Caltech confirmed that, “Having an up to date CRM strategy is crucial to ensuring that you are still achieving your goals in our fast paced business environments. A good CRM strategy will support changing customer behaviours and emerging new channels which are critical to business growth.”
Commencing your CRM Strategy
Caltech recommends that you start your CRM strategy by reviewing where you want your business to be and putting your customers at the heart of your strategy. What will be the key objectives of the strategy?
Map your customer journey routes, from their first interactions, and ensure that your business processes support the customer journey. In doing this, you may potentially identify gaps in your customer touch points, where you can add value and really make a difference, thus raising customer satisfaction.
Think about which areas of the business will be using CRM and look at the business requirements.
- Where do your processes need support or automation?
- Where can the processes be streamlined?
- Consider where your data is currently?
- Is it clean, are there duplicates?
- Is the data up to date and who owns it?
Build a CRM data strategy based on what data you already hold. What data would you need? Consider how that data can be used to better understand your customer, to add value and to market to their specific needs?
Strengthen Your Processes
Understand your business pains.
- What are causing business pains across the organisation?
- Are there touch points of the customer journey that are falling down?
- What isn’t working across the various business functions?
The business pains are the critical reason for reviewing CRM and setting a new strategy, so don’t lose sight of these.
Phil Callaghan recommends; “Communicate the company-wide goals for implementing CRM. Demonstrate the benefits of CRM for your organisation and get the staff on board early, show everyone the value of change.”
Identify the business champions who will be involved in scoping your strategy, implementing the processes and ultimately using the software.
The business champions should ensure that their processes are up to date and that they are driving improvements in line with the CRM strategy.
Look at how the business champions want their processes to work and not how they want a CRM system to function.
A comprehensive CRM strategy should include business objectives, data strategy, reporting needs, customer communication, and continuous improvement.
See our PowerPoint presentation from Phil Callaghan,
Once the CRM strategy is designed and agreed, the hard works begins!
Make sure that you include your end users in choosing a system, and ensure they understand the reasons why CRM will help them. The introduction of CRM is likely to impact every function in the business.
At an individual level each person should be provided with better information allowing them to operate more efficiently.
At a department level, activities can be analysed for their effectiveness and this will enable organisations to achieve their strategic goals.
For more information see our e-book,
Catherine Carlyle, Caltech CRM
Caltech CRM is a leading provider of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Caltech CRM specialises in implementing, developing, and integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Caltech helps clients to grow, achieve higher rates of client satisfaction, and make their processes more efficient by designing and building a CRM solution that is aligned to their individual needs.
by CalTech CRM