If there was a secret that would allow you to unlock the real power of CRM, would you want to know what it is?
Of course you would! And you’d think that your CRM providers would have wanted you to know that secret but, sadly, most don’t really care that much.
Those who’ve really cared over the years about revealing this secret are the consultants who charge an arm and a leg to help you get started in the new software.
But while we have great respect for those CRM consultants, we believe CRM should be available to all and that the formula for success should be published for everyone to see.
So we’re going to reveal that secret right now…
CRM Software Needs A CRM Strategy To Drive It
Now, you’re probably thinking, “that’s the secret?!” And, sure, after reading it, it makes perfect sense, but this is one of the main reasons why so many companies fail to effectively adopt CRM software.
Most companies go into looking for CRM software like scaling Mt. Rainier without a map, compass, gear, training, oxygen, or a guide.
Notice that it isn’t like going up Everest unprepared and unequipped, because it’s actually possible to do, you’re just going to have a really tough time doing it.
Going into a CRM doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal all the time, and if the CRM is built to be simple, it should be pretty painless, but that doesn’t mean you should ever attempt it without giving some serious thought to your process and how you’re going to use it going forward.
Developing Your CRM Strategy
The best time to develop a CRM strategy is before you start looking for software.
I know this might sound strange. You might be thinking: how can I have a strategy for something I don’t know exists yet?
But you have to remember that CRM doesn’t mean software; software is just the tool to enable and supercharge your CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Management.
Nowhere in that acronym will you find anything about software, because CRM is all about customers and the relationships you have with them.
So your strategy needs to, first and foremost, center on how you’re going to best serve your customers.
You should examine your process to see where you’ve been missing the mark and see what you can do to improve going forward. Ask your customers and leads to find out what changes you could make to provide them a better experience.
Once you find out areas to improve, start tackling them one by one, starting with the biggest issue. I would normally suggest starting from the bottom, but one big correction can affect smaller ones down stream, so start with the big ones first.
Plus, smaller ones can usually be ironed out down the road.
Try your adjustments out. Don’t by stingy on time here, either. Give it some time, maybe even a week or more, to make sure things feel right.
If they don’t, then try something else. If everyone is able to adapt and you’re able to serve the customer better, then stick with it an try adding something to it or testing something else.
If your trials didn’t work, again, do your corrections. Go back to the drawing board, find out what went wrong, pinpoint why the solution didn’t provide better results for the customer base or the company and give it another shot.
5. Try again
I think we’re starting to see a pattern here. The important thing is that you’re trying to figure out how you can nail your process before you even start looking for CRM. You have to be the master of what you do before you let some software take over for you.
6. Get software
That’s the real trick: not letting the software take over for you. CRM software is just a tool to augment your abilities. It’s not a replacement for anyone on your team, it’s a super-human serum that allows you to do much more with a good process under your belt.
I Already Started A CRM, Is It Too Late?
If you’ve already invested in CRM software before knowing this secret, rest assured that it isn’t too late.
You can still take time to develop a strategy going forward, and it’s more than likely that you have at least some form of strategy in place as it is.
The only problem is that your options are more limited now that the system is in place.
Now that you’ve been using the software, you’ve already put in data, and some of that data can’t be altered easily. By changing your strategy mid-stream, you have to be careful of disrupting the existing norm and understand that some options might not be available to you.
Nevertheless, having an imperfect CRM strategy in place is much better than running a CRM with no strategy at all.
It’s time to get a solid CRM strategy in place, no matter if you’ve got a CRM software in place or not.
Addressing your strategy now will allow you greater growth potential, lowered stress levels, and peace of mind you can’t get solely from coded software.