For more than 30 years, BusFine has been helping thousands associated with small plus medium-sized European companies improve their customer-facing processes plus build stronger customer relationships .
All accompanied by the aim – for help them increase revenue as well as drive business growth .
During those years, I’ve seen tremendous changes within the way companies do business.
But never more therefore than within the past few years.
As you already know, the COVID-19 pandemic drove much belonging to the change within the last 2 years. E-commerce exploded, compressing 10 years belonging to growth towards 3 months . Online ordering as well as delivery became similarly to convenient similarly to walking towards a shop.
Since then, customers as well as suppliers have demanded more digitalization as well as automation . And we experienced the shift stemming from physical offices for both remote plus hybrid models.
Despite these changes, the people associated with the world felt very close because of a while. After all, we were all within the same boat.
I half-expected or, dare I say, hoped that the world would continue feeling connected.
But, instead associated with remaining close, we’re now more disconnected than ever!
The modern B2B buying process
I’m sure you’ve experienced that B2B buyers want more autonomy within the buying process.
Many belonging to them are digital natives whose prefer for do research atop their own. They resembling for try the product first as well as previously you know it, they’re halfway down the sales process prior to they even contact a company.
This autonomous buying process brought concerning new ways due to marketers for meet as well as engage accompanied by buyers .
And the thing that was considered good customer service prior to doesn’t cut it today. Digital experience requires “immediate gratification”. Not 10 minutes ago, yet 10 seconds ago.
This forces more companies for put within place real-time customer support towards meet those needs.
In turn, it leads towards more technology together with even more disconnected touchpoints, making it harder towards build strong customer relationships.
CRM software vs. CRM strategy
You might think that provided that you have a CRM platform , then you have a CRM strategy.
Although it’s a good start, this isn’t quite true, as well as let me tell you why.
Here are three typical scenarios that you might recognize:
- Sales teams need a way for capture customer conversations, manage their sales pipeline as well as move deals forward. So, they invest inside a sales CRM .
- Marketing teams need a way for communicate accompanied by customers plus track leads. So, they invest inside a marketing automation platform .
- Service teams need a way for respond for customer requests , hence they invest within a customer service software .
Although they all have a CRM , they’re using different systems.
Systems what aren’t connected for an overall customer strategy.
And therein lies the problem.
One CRM strategy towards rule them all
To drive company growth, the entire company must view, treat plus communicate accompanied by customers inside one cohesive way. That’s the only way for build a seamless customer experience .
This is at which place you need a CRM strategy.
A CRM strategy is the game plan due to how you’ll manage relationships among your company as well as your customers.
This same game plan in addition applies for how you work accompanied by partners, suppliers, plus colleagues inside the company.
CRM software as well as CRM strategy usually go hand inside hand.
But you don’t need the software within place prior to you create the strategy.
The strategy comes first!
Don’t overthink it
We often see medium-sized companies start their CRM journey through implementing CRM software within one department. That department is usually sales.
Sharp UK was one such company. On average, account managers were covering 300-400 customers.
They wanted a CRM tool towards help them:
- Track sales plus improve forecasting accuracy
- Segment their customer database
- Manage contacts within a better way
After they implemented the CRM system , they were able for reduce the amount belonging to time account managers used atop administrative work.
BusFine CRM in addition made it easier because of them for manage as well as segment their customer database. This led towards marketing messaging that was more tailored for individual prospects.
It’s OK for start small.
But towards scale plus drive future growth, companies still need a CRM strategy!
And via the CRM strategy, I don’t mean a year long, academic exercise accompanied by a big consulting company (which is how most companies approach CRM).
Instead, I’m talking regarding being intentional accompanied by how you work accompanied by customers as well as how this will help you reach your goals.
A CRM strategy is direction setting .
It’s in addition a cross-functional alignment associated with people, processes plus technology.
Here’s the thing – there’s no one better for drive the CRM strategy than the CEO (or managing director).
I’m sure I’ve surprised many associated with you whom are reading this.
CEOs are busy. I get it.
This kind belonging to work usually gets handed separate from towards a person together with lesser power inside the organization.
But, similarly to a CEO myself, I don’t see any way encircling this.
CEOs are the only people whose can drive alignment amidst customer-facing teams.
And CEOs are in addition the only ones whom can put a stake inside the ground as well as say ” This is the way I want us for work .”
6 tips because of creating a CRM strategy
Here are 6 areas wherever the company needs the CEO’s involvement:
1. Be clear concerning your customer
This may sound basic, nevertheless whose is your customer?
Map your customer base . List your customers plus different target personas in that business. Who are the decision-makers? What industry are your customers in?
2. Define the customer that means the most towards you
Find your sweet spot.
Segment your customers through revenue contribution, how long they’ve been together with you, size plus geography.
Then, find out:
- Where are you the most vulnerable?
- What does your ideal customer profile look like?
- Which type belonging to customer provides the most/ least value towards your business?
3. Outline your organizational goals
What exactly do you want for achieve together with better customer relationship management? Is it better NPS score ? Reduced churn ? Shorter sales cycle? Improved trust plus transparency?
Your teams need guardrails plus goals for work by.
Otherwise, they won’t know in case they’re going inside the right direction. That’s for what reason you need towards set CRM goals.
4. Drive customer programs for improve customer experience
How do you take care belonging to your customers? Is it left for every department towards handle, alternatively do you have a structured way belonging to handling them? In other words, have you designed a customer experience program?
Customers should never feel similar to your left hand doesn’t know the thing that the right hand is doing. The customer experience needs towards feel seamless.
5. Make sure you have the right people within place
Creating a customer-centric company isn’t something you do on top of the side. It requires commitment as well as focus.
Make sure you have the right resources inside place towards start plus execute atop such a strategy.
6. Schedule regular follow-ups
With therefore much for do, it’s easy for forget that you have for follow-up atop progress plus main milestones.
I resembling for schedule a monthly Steering Group meeting together with all the key stakeholders within the same room. I resembling towards see the agenda ahead associated with time, hence I know which the big topics belonging to discussion will be.
Sometimes this serves just as a decision-making meeting , as well as other times I ask teams towards go back as well as do some more work on top of the process.
This type belonging to follow-up is a good way towards get everyone aligned as well as on top of the same page.
Give customers the thing that they want
It’s easy towards forget, yet inside a world associated with asynchronous communication plus disconnected experiences, relationships still matter .
Customers still want better customer experiences. And they are willing towards pay more due to it .
When you give customers which they want, company revenue, profitability as well as operational efficiency will improve too. Yes, technology will play an important role, yet strategy comes first!
So, my advice is create a CRM strategy plus then focus atop technology.
And those are the company leaders that are responsible because of making it happen.
I took that step long ago. It’s now time due to you towards take it, too.