Why Do You Need a CRM Strategy and How Do You Create One?

Why Do You Need a CRM Strategy and How Do You Create One?

Why Do You Need a CRM Strategy and How Do You Create One?

What does it take to achieve strong and consistent returns from your sales CRM tool?


You need a game plan, or in this case, a solid CRM strategy. From our sales experts’ experience, adjusting sales approaches as you go won’t give you the best ROI for your efforts. You will easily get lost or distracted, moving away from your sales targets.


This blog will show you how to create a robust and holistic CRM strategy framework that can be applied to any CRM for sales teams. Let’s get right in!


What is a CRM Strategy?


A customer relationship management (CRM) strategy is the blueprint that outlines how you’ll achieve specific organizational goals. These goals can be broken down into four groups. 


  • Enable clear communication with your sales, marketing, customer support, and accounting teams.
  • Improving the quality of day-to-day relationships with ideal prospects and customers willing and able to buy. 
  • Generate more sales-qualified leads (SQLs) across all lead sources at a low cost per lead. 
  • Increase sales revenue year-over-year. Generate sales with strong profit margins consistently. 


In other words, a CRM strategy is a data-driven approach that takes you from the start to the finish line, where you’ll achieve your sales goals.


What Are The Benefits of Having a CRM Strategy?


Besides having the drivers that push your organization forward and getting the most out of your sales CRM adoption, what other benefits do you get from having a CRM strategy?


Here are 5 more other reasons:


  • Unity: your sales, marketing, and customer service teams will all be on the same page, no more departmental silos. 
  • Clarity: your sales team will know what needs to be done. They’ll understand the why behind each task and what the company will achieve if they support your CRM strategy to the letter.
  • A reference point: imagine executives demanding that you close 37% more deals in Q4. Using simple math and the CRM strategy as a reference, you can show them that this outcome will require improving one of the following: traffic, leads, offers, or conversion rate.

That also means you’ll be in a stronger position to request support you’ll need, such as a higher budget, more time, extra hands, and tools to get the results they want. 


  • Increased productivity: you’ll be able to
  • Identify profitable and unprofitable lead sources
  • Quickly disqualify prospects who aren’t a fit for your offer
  • Track your prospects as they move through your sales pipeline
  • Create personalized and targeted offers that are highly relevant to individual prospects
  • Close with confidence, knowing that your customers are willing and able to buy
  • Data-driven decision-making: your CRM strategy will show you which levers you should pull to improve performance.


For example:


  • Imagine that customers share a complaint with support teams that are logged in your CRM. You now have actionable data you can use to make adjustments.
  • If prospects from a particular lead source convert poorly, that’s data that marketing teams can use to improve marketing content.
  • If one sales rep runs into a new objection, the team can work together to defuse that objection, improving the organization’s close ratio overall.


Any problem or opportunity your team runs into can be used to generate more revenue and profit. 


  • Better foresight: as you collect more CRM data, your organization’s ability to make accurate predictions about key events will also improve. And the more data your CRM collects, the more precise your CRM strategy will be. This means you’ll be able to identify the levers you need to pull to generate more sales, revenue, and profit. 


Why Do You Need a CRM Strategy Framework?


Before we go to how to plan a CRM strategy, there’s another component that you need to know: the framework. A strategy without a solid framework is just a wish. You’ll need actionable goals and a clear plan of action to achieve those goals.


So, what should be included in your CRM strategy framework?


  • Specific goals: the more detailed your goals are, the easier it is for you to create the right framework. Therefore, specify your goals. They can be qualitative (e.g., improve the day-to-day relationship between sales and marketing) or quantitative (e.g., increase the close rate from 5% to 6%). 
  • Action steps: you’ll want to look forward and reason backward. Start with the goal and work back to the beginning. For example, if you aim to increase the close rate from 5% to 6%, ask yourself: Do you need to disqualify more leads? Where can you get new lead sources? How to effectively nurture leads? 
  • Stakeholders: who are the individuals, groups, or teams responsible for these action steps? What do they need to get the job done? What sort of dependencies, rights, and permissions will they need? 
  • Metrics: how will you measure success? Your chosen metrics must be directly relevant to your goals and action steps. It’s important that you assign ownership of key metrics to stakeholders.


5 Basic Types of CRM Strategies


A successful CRM strategy begins with a question: who is your ideal customer? 


Based on the answer, identify the sales, marketing, and customer service strategies that work best to attract those target groups. 


Then, decide which of the following CRM strategy types work best to lock them in. 


  • Content that drives conversions: this is search-optimized content that boosts rankings, traffic, and leads, which are turned over to sales. Primary channels like local search, organic, voice, and universal search optimization are all part of this strategy. The secondary options are joint venture campaigns, content syndication, and partnerships.
  • Purposeful relationship building: with this strategy, you use your CRM software to encourage and nurture relationship building. This could be a loyalty program, events you’d like prospects to attend, or specific actions you want. 
  • Task and workflow automation: the various teams in your organization use a low-to-no-touch approach to move customers through the sales funnel. They’re either not closing the sales directly (i.e., SaaS businesses), or they’re dealing with low-touch industries like retail storefronts with very short sales cycles.
  • Sales conversion framework: you’re using CRM to optimize your team’s workflow and shepherd prospects through the sales funnel. This is the plan that the sales teams would use. 


These CRM strategy types can be used interchangeably, mixed and matched, used exclusively, or implemented sequentially. It’s up to you to find the best combination for your needs. 


How Do You Create a CRM Strategy?


This eight-step framework is a straightforward process to create a successful CRM strategy: 


  • Set goals 
  • Define actions
  • Choose stakeholders
  • Set metrics
  • Choose your audience
  • Determine market positioning
  • Set up your CRM software 


1. Set Goals 


First step: ask yourself: What are your sales goals? 


When creating goals, specificity is key. Think about Something that your team can rally behind. It should have all the usual ingredients of a good goal, measurable, timed, etc.

Here’s a list of common goals used as part of a comprehensive CRM strategy. 


Financial Goals


  • Increase sales by ## %
  • Increase profits per customer by ## %
  • Increase purchase frequency by ## purchases per customer
  • Increase customer lifetime value by ## %
  • Increase upsell rate by ## %


Sales Performance Goals 


  • Decrease first response time by ## %
  • Decrease # of leads dropped by ## %
  • Boost email open rates by ## %
  • Improve quota attainment rate by ## %
  • Decrease the number of 1, 2, and 3-star reviews by ## %


Marketing Goals


  • Increase marketing qualified leads by ## %
  • Increase conversion rates by ## %
  • Decrease bounce rate by ## %
  • Increase clickthrough (CTR) rates by ## %
  • Increase return on ad spend (ROAS) by ## %


Customer Support Goals


  • Decrease resolution time by ## %
  • Improve customer satisfaction scores by ## %
  • Decrease ticket reopens by ## %
  • Decrease first reply time by ## %
  • Increase the number of tickets solved by ## %


You’ll want to choose a manageable set of goals for your CRM strategy. Tackling all of them at once is simply too much. Choose a small, manageable amount of goals and pursue those. 


2. Define Actions


You’ve selected your goals. Now, it’s time to determine the actions you’ll need to get there. There’s a simple principle you can use to identify the steps you’ll need to take. 


Look forward, reason backward. 


Let’s take one of these goals. 


Increase purchase frequency by 50%. 


The 50% increased purchase is the endpoint. How do you get there? You reason backward. 


If the average purchase frequency is two services per month, you need to make one more monthly sale to hit the target. How do you get there? Which service complements the ones customers are already buying? What would make this offer irresistible? 


Answering these questions helps you identify the tasks that need to be done to reach the goals. 


3. Choose Stakeholders


Here are some questions you should answer:


  • Who’s responsible for this goal or task?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities involved in completing a specific goal?
  • What sort of authority or permissions are needed to address the problem? 


Your stakeholders must have the authority, rights, and permissions to pursue a goal fully. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to hold customer support responsible for first reply time if they don’t have adequate control over support channels. 


4. Set Metrics


There are a variety of metrics embedded in a goal. For example, to increase the “conversion rate,” you must account for the following metrics:


  • Impressions
  • Clicks and clickthrough rates
  • Bounce rate and dwell time
  • Traffic sources


Make a list of the relevant metrics associated with your goals. Then, identify the tools and resources needed to track performance for each metric. This typically includes your CRM’s analytics, survey, and analysis tools. 


5. Choose Your Audience


You’ll want to identify your ideal customer. Find leads that are willing and able to buy by analyzing their behavioral and outcome markers. 


  • Behavioral markers: engagement, admiration, relationships.
  • Outcome markers: repeat sales, purchase frequency, monthly/annual spending, customer revenue, and average order values.


6. Determine Your Market Positioning


What’s your position in the market? Are you the market leader, a new startup, or a middle-market player? 


You’ll have to take an honest look at your current position. If the market has put you in last place, but you’ve decided to increase your prices to copy the market leader, it won’t go well. Conversely, if you’re the market leader and you decide to start discounting your products and services, you’ll do a considerable amount of damage to your business. 


7. Set up Your CRM Software


With your CRM strategy in place, you have a clear idea of the work that needs to be done, namely: 


  • The goals you’re pursuing (and why): you’ll have specificity and clarity about your focus areas. There won’t be confusion about what needs to be done. 
  • Actions you’ll need to take to achieve these goals: there’s no confusion about the steps that need to be followed to achieve results. You’ve reasoned backward, and you’ve produced an actionable plan you can use to produce the outcomes you want. 
  • Key stakeholders: if you’re responsible for a specific goal, the success or failure depends on you. 
  • Important metrics you’ll use to track performance: there’s no hiding behind vanity metrics if performance is tied to a specific outcome or result. 
  • The customers you’re targeting: this is important because it eliminates arguments over lead quality. 


At this point, you’ve done the work. 


If you’ve selected the right CRM, you should be able to add your goals, to-dos (actions), and users (stakeholders) to your CRM software. Your CRM software should track many of these goals and metrics natively. Still, you can use other types of CRM tools and performance management apps (e.g., Google Analytics, Google Search Console, HelpScout, etc.) to measure performance metrics across specific domains. 


Amplify Your Sales CRM Performance with a Solid CRM Strategy


Your CRM strategy is a data-driven A to Z approach that explains your why and outlines the drivers that will move your organization forward. The right strategy enables clear team communication, improves the quality of day-to-day relationships, generates more sales-qualified leads, and increases sales revenue. With the right approach and a clear focus, you’ll find CRM success is all but guaranteed. 


If you’re searching for sales-focused CRM software that can be tailored to support your CRM strategies, check out Pipeline CRM.


More than 18,000 businesses from various industries have used Pipeline CRM and experienced an improvement in their lead management, team workflow, and sales performance. See what our happy customers say about Pipeline CRM in these success stories.

And when you’re ready to try Pipeline CRM, simply sign up for a 14-day FREE trial.

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