Every day we interact with those associated to our businesses. Sometimes without thinking about it. Other times as part of a sales, marketing, delivery and customer service strategy. When reviewing which Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to adopt or the one we are already using, it is important to remember that the tool is the enabler. It facilitates our strategy to improve productivity, efficiency and, ultimately, results.

Small Business CRM IS a Strategy

Every day we hear about businesses under utilizing a CRM solution and have in fact nothing more than a glorified Rolodex. We know these businesses are already following some sort of plan, even loosely, to interact with the people involved with their business. So what is it that happens when a solution is adopted that is supposed to help improve things?

Too often CRM solutions are adopted as business management tools.

Really, the emphasis in this strategy would be best placed on the “R”. Relationship.

The question preceding the strategic development could be; “How can we build strong relationships with our customers through their life cycle?”

There’s a difference between a business management or operations strategy and a Customer Relationship strategy. Mainly that one is all about you and your business and the other is all about everybody else. Relationships with those outside your business are key to success. We’re sure that the common goal we all have is that we want to get and keep customers. A CRM strategy and solution will enable that effectively and efficiently.

When you’re using a CRM solution we would encourage you to customize it to align to your business processes and overall CRM strategy that is based at large on your sales, marketing and post sale activity.

How to Develop a CRM Strategy

If a CRM strategy is largely based on areas, or all, of your sales, marketing and post sale strategies we can have a starting point of:

– What information and which processes will enable us to maximize our efforts in these areas?

Sure, we’re advocates for keeping things simple and encourage people to grow into their CRM solutions. However, having a solid starting point will lead to greater success.