CRM Strategy

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How do I find the right CRM strategy, and what does a CRM strategy involve? You can find the answer here!

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Everything important at a glance 

By introducing a clear strategy in the area of customer relationship management, the focus shifts to customer orientation throughout the entire company. 

  • A CRM strategy is to be understood as part of the overall corporate strategy and serves as the basis for the introduction of a CRM system. 

  • The CRM strategy must fit your company and its requirements and goals. 

  • It is essential for the successful implementation of the strategy to convince all employees concerned and to create their willingness to cooperate across departments. 

  • A smart CRM strategy helps to focus not only on efficient new customer acquisition but also on the particularly profitable existing customers. 

CRM Strategy: Introduction

Good customer relationships are more important today than ever before. Not only due to the great competition in the markets, but also due to the continuously increasing demands and expectations of the customers, it is essential to plan the interaction with them comprehensively and in the long term in order to achieve close customer loyalty and the highest possible level of customer satisfaction. Successful customer relationship management (CRM) helps you to keep track of all contacts and measures and to manage them in a targeted manner throughout the entire customer journey. It is of central importance that all employees from marketing, sales and service pull together and consciously integrate CRM as a strategy and way of thinking. There are now many intelligent CRM systems available for this purpose. But simply introducing a CRM system is not enough: you need a well-planned strategy that fits your company and its needs so that you can benefit from the success of an efficient CRM system in the long term. 

What is a CRM strategy?

A CRM strategy should always be understood as a central part of the overall corporate strategy, helping to achieve important corporate goals such as growth or quality. It serves as a roadmap for the design of all interactions with existing or new customers and thus forms the foundation of your customer relationship management. Customer orientation as the key to success comes into focus across departments, as the CRM strategy is applied in many different places within your company. This makes it all the more important to plan the strategy well from the outset and to adapt it to the specific requirements of your company. This is the only way to ensure that the actual implementation is as efficient as possible. By precisely defining the goals and planned processes, the CRM strategy creates a theoretical basis for the introduction of a CRM system, which is then used by the relevant departments such as marketing, sales and service to put it into practice. 

How to develop a CRM strategy in 3 steps

In order to benefit from concrete market advantages and a significant increase in sales with your customer relationship management, it is important to choose the right strategy for your company. With this strategy, you define the specific measures and solutions with which you want to collect customer data and subsequently structure and further utilize the contacts. Maintaining your existing customer contacts is just as important as acquiring new ones - and it's also less expensive. To be able to decide on the right strategy, it is important to clarify all the W-questions with regard to customer data: When, where and why is it collected? How do you want to use the data? What is needed for this? 

The following three steps will help you find and successfully implement the optimal CRM strategy for your company: 

Determine goals and benefits.

In order to decide which information is collected and how it is further processed, you should first consider what exactly you want to achieve with the optimized customer relationships. Which data is generated with which goal in mind? Which channels are available for interaction? It can also be helpful to obtain feedback directly from the customer: At which points can marketing or sales serve the needs even better, which requirements should the service meet? It is also important that the CRM strategy fits your company, the corporate philosophy, and the offering. 

Determine the measures.

Based on the goals set, the next step is to coordinate the measures to achieve them. To do this, you should, among other things, determine the touchpoints of the customers and check their benefits, in order to then also determine which data should be collected via which channels in the further planning of your CRM strategy. At this point, you can engage specialized consultancies for support and advice to make the strategy as professional as possible. For deeper insights, it can be helpful to analyze the buying behavior of existing customers. For this, they need a customer account and must agree to the collection of data for improved service. Select the specific measures and processes so that they fit the target group and achieve the greatest possible effect. 

 Encourage collaboration.  

As soon as the measures for the CRM strategy have been determined, the optimum conditions for the introduction should be created in the departments concerned - usually marketing, sales and customer service. Good and efficient cooperation, mutual trust and transparency, and above all successful communication are essential for this. Promote a structural change in your company that focuses on successful cooperation between the various departments so that it is supported by all employees. All affected employees should be behind the introduction of the strategy as early as the planning phase and pull together to implement it successfully in everyday work. 

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Why is a CRM strategy so important? 

In the meantime, most entrepreneurs have realized how important customer orientation is nowadays. If you want to survive in the market, you have to respond to the ever-growing needs of your customers and be prepared to invest in a well-structured CRM system. The customers of your products and services have long been accustomed to obtaining comprehensive information in advance, making use of comparisons or ratings, and receiving personalized service. Accordingly, the successful management of customer relationships cannot receive enough attention in order to retain even the most demanding customers. Be aware of the great importance of customer relationship management and understand the CRM strategy as part of your corporate philosophy. Once the right conditions have been created, you can benefit from the many advantages and strengthen your company in the long term. 

What should you keep in mind during implementation?

Because customer relationship management can only develop its full potential with a clear strategy behind it, there are a number of factors to consider when implementing it. These include not only having the basic conditions in place in your company, but also the willing cooperation of your employees, which can often be a challenge. For this reason, the planned strategy should be repeatedly checked for its feasibility and, if necessary, adapted to changes. 

You should also pay attention to this when implementing your CRM strategy: 

  • The CRM strategy you choose must fit your business and its requirements and goals. 

  • It is important that your employees pull together when introducing a new CRM strategy and are ready to fully integrate it into their daily work. 

  • As a concept designed for the long term, the CRM strategy must also ensure a certain degree of flexibility despite all the ability to plan. 

  • The technical requirements and IT infrastructure must be suitable for the introduction of a CRM system. 

  • Find a CRM system that best fits your business and your offering, and focus on the most promising tools. Do you want to compare market leaders? Here you have the overview. 

  • Train your employees sufficiently to make the integration of CRM software as easy as possible for them. 

  • Focus on specific actions and processes within your capabilities and man-power, rather than trying to exhaust all options. 

  • Set clear goals that can also be concretely reviewed after implementation. 

  • Know your target group and adapt the measures to them as precisely as possible. 

  • The introduction and implementation of a CRM strategy should always be thought of holistically and should not, for example, only be used for a specific measure or an individual department. 

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