In recent years, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has entered business discourse quite forcefully.  From shifting power dynamics to emerging customer behavior trends, ever more businesses embrace the customer-centric philosophy that CRM entails. Here at MoversTech, we’ve explored building customer-centric strategies before, as well as the plethora of advantages of CRM software.  However, a vital distinction needs to be made; using CRM software and building a CRM strategy are two different fronts. As such, in this article, we’ll explore how to build an effective CRM strategy for your moving business in seven easy steps.

The benefits of building an effective CRM strategy

First and foremost, let us define CRM strategies. A CRM strategy naturally involves using CRM software, but that is only a part of the scope of such efforts. Such strategies involve optimal selection, adoption, and utilization of CRM software, as well as a holistic customer-centric philosophy. As such, they typically include any combination of the following goals:

  • Streamline one’s workflow
  • Enhance internal communications
  • Improve decision-making backed by more accurate data
  • Automate and enhance marketing
  • Optimize lead acquisition and lead analysis
  • Improve the customer experience

Exact goals will naturally vary across businesses. One business may be struggling with user engagement, while another may be in need of better profitability analyses. However, it should already be clear that software alone does not constitute a strategy. Your workforce needs to adopt it and get involved, and different departments need to use it strategically and harmoniously. To build an effective CRM strategy, everyone needs to embrace this philosophy and the changes in culture that it brings.

Building an effective CRM strategy: the internal groundwork

Before embarking on this metaphorical quest, you should lay the internal groundwork. While it will often vary across businesses as well, the 3 fundamental steps are the following.

#1: Start with a clear vision and establish your goals

The very first step should be to set clear goals from the beginning. To build an effective CRM strategy, you should set a clear vision with practical, achievable goals. After all, such strategies are not standalone goals, but tools to achieve business goals.

In this regard, you should pinpoint your business’s exact shortcomings and establish a vision around rectifying them. With it in mind, it will be easier for you to measure your success and for your workforce to rally behind your strategy.

#2: Study the market and identify your position in it

To set clear, practical, achievable goals, you should ideally identify your position within your market. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analyses aside, you should pinpoint where you stand in relation to your competition.

Examine current trends in your industry, analyze your competitors, establish your unique selling proposition, and use other market data to inform your strategy. Such data and goals should also help you with CRM budgeting, which is an equally crucial step.

#3: Ensure onboarding and user adoption

A close-up photo of people joining hands over a table.
The most fundamental step to building an effective CRM strategy is to ensure adoption and collaboration.

While the above should help, it is of paramount importance that you strive to ensure widespread adoption of your strategy. 2020 CRM statistics still show that user adoption rates present a notable challenge that can hamper your efforts.

Promote the merits of your strategy whenever possible, and take the necessary steps to ensure onboarding. Identify which departments may not embrace this philosophy and address them personally, by highlighting the merits of it for them.

Building an effective CRM strategy: focusing on the customer

With the fundamentals in place, focusing on the customer is the next logical step. Regardless of your unique, specific goals, the customer is the focal point of all CRM strategies.

#4: Use buyer personas to define your target customers

A magnifying glass over silhouettes of people.
Identifying your buyer personas is a crucial step in customer segmentation.

A distinct advantage of CRM software lies in customer segmentation and lead analysis. With such powerful insights in hand, you can craft buyer personas to refine and adapt your strategy. Customers will inevitably vary based on many different factors, such as:

  • Age and gender
  • Education and income
  • Marital status
  • Spending habits
  • Regional and local factors

Using such criteria, you can build accurate buyer personas for your ideal audience and use them to augment your efforts.

#5: Define your customer journey and follow it

With your buyer personas in hand, you can define your customer journey and build an effective CRM strategy around it. Customer journey mapping is a powerful tool that can facilitate better customer outreach and improve the customer experience.

A customer journey is typically split into 4 phases:

  • Discovery: where and how did your customer discover your proposition?
  • Research: what alternatives did your customer look into before deciding?
  • Conversion: when and where did your customer complete a purchase?
  • Post-sale engagement: how did your customer engage after conversion?

Following the customer journey across all 4 should help define touchpoints and pain points for you to act on.

#6: Plan your content strategy and open communication channels

With all of the above data in hand, you may then plan your content strategy accordingly. Ensure that your content appeals to your buyer personas and that you distribute it through optimal channels; your website, social media, and so forth. As you do, continue to use collected data to fine-tune it as needed.

At the same time, you should open as many communication channels as possible. The more ways your customers can engage, leave feedback, and send inquiries, the better your customer journey becomes.

Building an effective CRM strategy: gauging and monitoring the results

A cellphone on a white table next to papers with graphs.
Continued monitoring through hard data can help ensure your strategy’s success.

Finally, an effective CRM strategy hinges on sustainability. It’s a continuous pursuit, which in turn calls for continuous adjustments and monitoring.

#7: Continue to monitor your strategy through key performance indicators (KPIs)

As different departments adopt CRM and incorporate it into their workflow, it is vital that you constantly gauge their effectiveness. To do so, you can establish clear, appropriate KPIs for each department.

On this step, your previously established goals will be crucial. Consider which KPIs align with your goals, among sales cycle length, customer retention, customer satisfaction, final sales, and others. While some results may need time to become notable, you will need solid data to gauge your strategy’s effectiveness. With a clear vision, collaboration, accurate customer insights, and proper execution, your CRM strategy should soon prove lucrative and beneficial.

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