According to advice from Forrester, ‘To win in the marketplace, first define what CRM means for your organisation, and then pinpoint the specific capabilities that your firm must strengthen.’
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We are living in a world defined by constant change. With new technologies disrupting the status quo on a regular basis, managing customer relationships is more important than ever before. Understanding the bigger picture of your organisation’s CRM software will help you gauge your strengths, and identify areas for improvement in your customer relationship approach.
Many CRM strategies lack strategic focus, and they fail to dedicate sufficient attention to business processes and customer problems. Poorly conceived strategies usually result in companies feeling disappointed in their software.
A successful CRM strategy is one that mitigates risk through strategy, processes, technology and the people who use the software. The ability to define your company’s CRM maturity across these factors allows you to develop a roadmap for future success
CRM as a company-wide enabler
Today’s CRM software is advanced enough to play a number of roles within one organisation. For example, the sales team might use it to access data, or the marketing department could be using it to target promotions. Regardless of how your company implements its CRM software, its purpose is to provide the tools necessary to facilitate interaction with customers.
According to advice from Forrester,
”‘To win in the marketplace, first define what CRM means for your organisation, and then pinpoint the specific capabilities that your firm must strengthen.’
Align strategies across your organisation
Your company’s CRM evaluation begins with the ability to define and communicate strategy across your organisation as a whole. Once your strategy is defined, your software will deliver sound customer experience based specifically on customer values and behaviours.
Design effective business processes
Redesigning business processes is the next step in understanding CRM maturity. As these processes are associated with customer-facing functions, each area must be evaluated and best practices must be implemented. Marketing, e-commerce, direct and indirect sales, customer service and field service each require specific attention. Campaign effectiveness, self-service research, sales process standardisation, recruitment and training, problem resolution, and field service interactions should all be considered when assessing and redesigning your CRM software.
Use data as a guide
Customer data offers a 360-degree view of demand and behaviour. If your organisation understands the customer fully, you will be able to leverage data to decide the next step to take or offer to make. And, as highlighted by Forrester,
”‘Reporting, analytics and intelligence that guide CRM user actions rest on customer data, so it’s imperative that the data be accurate and secure.’
‘Reporting, analytics and intelligence that guide CRM user actions rest on customer data, so it’s imperative that the data be accurate and secure.’
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Software can be used to consolidate customer interactions both online and offline, offering real-time data to create personalised journeys.
Redefine corporate culture
A quality CRM solution will only be truly effective if your employees are motivated to use the tool to its maximum potential. It’s imperative for companies to take the time to look at corporate culture, leadership, training methods, as well as performance measurement and incentives. Forrester also advises company leaders to
”‘ensure that the performance measurement process is closely linked to improving customer relationships.’
An organisation’s employees will be the driving factor behind the success, or failure, of CRM initiatives.
Once your company gauges its level of CRM maturity, you will be able to design a roadmap for strengthening capabilities and eliminating weaknesses. CRM maturity is classified as either beginner, intermediate or advanced. Beginner organisations focus on the core areas necessary to implement strategy. Intermediate firms begin to explore differentiation and use data to improve customer experience. And advanced organisations use their CRM software as a competitive tool for sophisticated customer journeys.
Assessing maturity allows your organisation to have an open conversation about its CRM solution and how it’s benefiting the company. Assess maturity levels across teams, compare levels and find gaps and discuss where the focus should be placed. This process enables your company to improve your software’s proficiency based on need.
Whether your company is at the beginner, intermediate or advanced level of CRM maturity, our team at redk is here to help. With over 15 years of consulting experience, we are ready to help you assess your current CRM software and implement a tailor-made solution in order to drive success. Reach out today.
CRM Transformation Practice at redk
Hideki applies over 15 years of experience in the field of CRM and Customer Experience to overcome business challenges in the customer cycle.