We conducted a survey with 100 CRM professionals to understand the state of CRM. We wanted to better grasp how CRM managers are balancing business demands and customer-centricity. As a martech solution dedicated to helping CRM teams execute efficient, effective, and intelligent campaign strategies, we feel like we have a pulse on the CRM industry.
However, we wanted to know what teams are doing to remain customer-centric, how they stay agile to accommodate an increasingly fluid environment, and of course what does best-in-class look like around the globe? The answer to these questions helps us to understand where CRM as an industry is, the challenges it faces, and what the future might hold.
The survey respondents provided valuable insight into the goals and challenges CRM professionals are working on for 2021. We won’t go into that here but you can find a link to the full report right here.
Instead, we want to highlight 3 simple yet impactful components we identified among those who were finding success balancing between business demands and customer-centricity. We’re calling these 3 components the “keys to success” in CRM. They are also a useful guide to implementing and creating a successful, best-in-class CRM strategy at your company.
Join us for a 3 part series.
Part 1, the first key to CRM success is…
Understand that your organization plays a crucial role
No, we aren’t talking about color-coding your calendar (although we’ve heard that’s helpful…)
We are talking about who you have in your team, how your team is structured, your access to tools, who your internal sponsors are, etc…
The organization is fundamental to those who are operating advanced CRM practices.
In fact, it might be considered the foundation for mature and advanced CRM.
You’ve heard the saying there is no “I” in “team.” In order for you as a CRM professional and/or your CRM team to be successful, you need to have strong internal and external support.
See some tips below on how to set up a strong organization if you don’t already have one in place.
Tip 1: You need a strong internal sponsor
Not just any senior leader will do here. You need someone who is really interested in CRM, believes in it and remains informed about it.
How do I find a sponsor?
If you don’t have this available to you now consider ideal candidates even if they are cross-functional. In some instances we’ve seen CRM teams fly under the radar, underfunded and unnoticed. That doesn’t have to be true though.
Very simply put, CRM is about how to improve your relationship with the existing customer and foster stronger loyalty and retention.… in other words how to make more money with the customers you’ve got!
Generally speaking, generating money from existing customers is something that a lot of people can get behind – especially when you look at the ROI compared to customer acquisition! Don’t be afraid to take your performance and your projections on an internal roadshow to garner more support and find your sponsors. Once they understand the full potential your existing customer represents, you might have support lining up. But, make sure they are behind your customer-centric strategy too, not just the financials.
Tip 2: You need the right tools and people
You need to be equipped with the tools and people who can track performance and keep you informed on your customer database.
At a basic level in order to execute a successful CRM strategy, you will need to understand how your customers are behaving and engaging and who they are. And, since you, the CRM marketer, are your company’s lifeline to the customer, you’ve got to have the access to customer information and the ability to share it.
This means you need to secure access to your data, have the ability to distill large amounts of information, and be ready to share digestible insights. This isn’t something just the CRM team can do.
How do advanced teams tackle this?
The first thing they do is identify dedicated IT support or a strong IT partner to help them secure access to their customer data, keep it organized and updated.
They also typically have easy access to customer analytics to support quick decision making when it comes to targeting and segmentation.
Advanced CRM teams are relying on data analysts within their CRM team, data scientists, or a tool like Tinyclues to help them quickly find the right audience for each product.
Dedicated support in these departments allows you to be a nimble department, in tune with your customers because you have real-time information flowing in from your cross-functional partners so you can make informed decisions.
Best-in-class teams are also securing strong internal cross-functional partnerships with teams like their creative or content teams so that they can quickly create content that is relevant to their customers. Some are even able to secure content creators in their CRM department.
Sounds like a dream, right?
If internal support is not an option, there are many tools and vendors who can help you create custom insight dashboards and visualizations of your data. Like we mentioned there are also tools like Tinyclues which can help you to identify the best audiences and topics to target. Additionally, outsourcing creative is also an option. However, there is no replacement for a strong IT partner.
Tip 3: You need autonomy and resources
You will need some level of autonomy and the resources which allow you to create and deploy content quickly.
In order to be truly relevant to our customers, CRM teams need to be agile, with the ability to react as close to real-time as possible.
Let’s say your leadership asks you to promote a product, and oh yeah – it’s very last minute! They needed the campaign out the door yesterday. Sounds familiar?
How do I identify the right customers and create my campaigns to meet my business objectives without damaging the relationship with my customers?
Simply put, you will need the ability to efficiently, effectively create content and identify the right customers because we as marketers know that not every customer will find this product relevant.
Again, you will need to rely on the tools and people mentioned above so that you can quickly create content, identify the right audience for what you are selling and deploy it.
But, furthermore, you need support and trust from your leadership so that content doesn’t get held up with approvals and you can get the campaign out the door ASAP. This means advanced teams are actually operating with some level of autonomy so they can remain agile!
Securing internal and external support so that you can have a strong organization to support your CRM agenda is the foundation for success.
We hope these tips inspired you to take your CRM team to the next level. Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 in this series to learn more about other critical components for CRM success and tips to achieve them.