Implementing an effective CRM (customer relationship management) strategy is essential today to sustain the growth of a company. In reality, a CRM strategy will encompass two distinct aspects: on the one hand, all the processes that you will implement to improve customer relations. And on the other side, the operational implementation in a CRM software.
By definition, a CRM tool brings together all of the company’s devices to manage the customer relationship. The solution therefore uses all the channels and / or contact points available with the customer and the prospect. Obviously, this strategy is therefore strongly impacted by the rise of omnichannel and digital.
1 – What is a CRM strategy?
The CRM strategy a few years ago
A few years ago, it was simple. There was no internet, no mobile, no geolocation. The customer journey in companies was rather limited in channels and touchpoints. Commercial and marketing actions were therefore rather direct and one-shot (telephone, door to door, mail, etc.). The objectives were also quite clear:
- BtoB commercial objective: generate a maximum of appointments and improve the conversion rate
- BtoC objective: generate point-of-sale traffic at a given time
The CRM strategy just got easier! However, the technology imposed long and sometimes complex integration times in front of inefficient tools… And in the end, unfinished projects.
The CRM strategy in 2022
The current context is very different. While traditional advertising channels remain, digital touchpoints are added. The customer registers himself, completes his purchasing journey and qualifies on his own. Mobile has also become the premium channel for the connected buyer.
These new uses force companies to review the CRM strategy. But also to take into account a more complex information system by integrating the notion of prospect before the notion of customer in the strict sense of the term. Before building loyalty, it is a question of being able to better identify and nurture potential buyers throughout the omnichannel purchase journey.
- What is the customer journey and its points of contact?
- Which loyalty and segmentation techniques for which targets?
- What marketing actions will be carried out along the customer journey and its life cycle?
- Which tool for which use?
- Open source, SaaS…?
- What volume and use of data?
The new CRMs, intuitive and in CRM Saas mode (like Koban), require little training, integrate quickly and are able to manage a large volume of data. Easy to set up and scalable, their deployment is short and they adapt to any business expertise by integrating into their information systems via the numerous links available.
Good to know: We’re not just talking about CRM anymore. The new customer relationship management tools now include other business services: marketing in particular, but also sales administration and customer service. The goal is to have a central tool to consolidate and manage all communications with the prospect and the customer.
2 – How to set up a CRM strategy
- Analyze your environment
- Define your targets
- Define your goals
- Set up methods
- Choose a powerful tool
Analyze your environment
All markets have specificities, opportunities and weaknesses. By analyzing your environment, you will be able to identify opportunities in terms of target, course or services. At the same time, you will identify the points of vigilance. To achieve this, do not hesitate to use the SWOT matrix (yes, we must believe that this matrix is not only useful at school 😉 ).
Define your targets
Companies usually have multiple targets. In order for the processes put in place to be effective, they must be defined very clearly. For example, the course will not be the same if you are addressing an industrialist or a craftsman. Remember, the customer is at the heart of the CRM strategy. It is therefore quite normal to define the profiles of your ideal customers, also called buyer personas.
These will allow you to define effective strategies, processes and campaigns. Salespeople will be able to easily adapt the sales pitch and thus convert more customers. On the marketing side, the teams will be able to set up personalized and targeted actions.
Define your goals
It may seem obvious, but defining objectives is essential in the context of a CRM strategy. The implementation of KPIs makes it possible to judge the profitability and effectiveness of the latter. It is however t often a forgotten step. When we decide to embark on such a strategy, we first think of the definition of the processes, the targets and the functionalities to be put in place. And these are obviously important points. But also remember why you are making this change. What are the things you want to improve?
Set up your methods
Now is the time to put in place the different actions, methods that will allow you to achieve your famous goals. It is necessary to define the entire process of the company: the generation of prospects, the qualification of contacts, the definition of contact points, the generation of sales, the relationship between the different departments, the centralization of data, loyalty… In short, the entire customer journey must be materialized and defined.
It will then be a question, in a second step, of materializing these processes in your CRM tool. And of course, to automate part of it to relieve teams of sometimes tedious tasks.
Examples of questions to ask:
- What relevant data to collect and where? On which channels and at which stages of the customer journey?
- What marketing pressure should I submit to my contacts?
- What is the value of a customer?
- Which commercial efforts for which sales process?
- What investment per channel for what profitability?
Choose a suitable tool
As you can imagine, your CRM software is an integral part of your CRM strategy. It is the tool that will allow you to set all of your processes to music and thus achieve your objectives. makes it possible to organize and structure the activity of the company and must therefore correspond to its internal uses to ultimately benefit the customer experience. Profitability will be all the more rapid and positive if the objectives defined in the strategy are clear and precise.
However, remember that a CRM solution is not a magic wand. It only responds to a logic and an internal organization. In other words, if your strategy is not well established, your software will not be able to do more.
Although all CRM tools have their own functionalities, let’s see, in broad outline, those offered by Koban:
- Lead acquisition and management
- Centralization of customer and prospect information
- Customizing Fields and Processes
- Sales tracking and pipeline management
- Commercial management and sales administration
- Launch of various marketing actions: emailing, marketing automation scenarios, web forms, sms…
- Improvement and follow-up of after-sales service
- Client area
With our experience in the conduct of nearly 200 CRM projects, at Koban we know that beyond a strategy, it is above all people who make the success of a project. The strategy being the definition of the objectives and the means, the Men “are an integral part” of the means. If it is defined upstream by a management concerned with improving the organization and management of the company’s activity, it is nonetheless implemented by the end users internally. The adoption and use of a tool will vary and depend on the level of appetite and adaptation to change of each. It is important to provide support throughout the use of software, in particular through training, which allows faster adoption and an evolution of the tool with the evolution of the company itself.