Good customer relationship management (CRM) can make a huge difference in how effective your business is at reaching out to your customers. But, conversely, a poor CRM strategy can lead to a lot of wasted time and money for your business. But how can you tell the difference between good and bad CRM without using trial and error for your business? While bad CRM is still better than no CRM at all, you still want to make sure that your strategy is as effective as possible. There are a few strategies that you can employ and keep in mind so that your CRM doesn't go wasted.
If you want your CRM strategy to succeed, then be sure not to get bogged down in the technical aspects of your CRM. While there really is some great software available on premise or in the cloud, the software itself is just a tool to promote your overall CRM goals. If you make the technology the focus of your strategy instead of using the technology to fulfill various aspects of your strategy, then you're going about it backwards, and this can be detrimental to the overall success of your strategy. Remember, your customers are the focus, not the software.
Speaking of the customer, a solid CRM strategy will always emphasize the importance of the customer. The whole point of having a strategy in the first place, after all, is to make sure that your customers are taken care of; that you're addressing their needs, that you're aware of their concerns, and that you have open lines of communication with them. If you are focused more on a general media blitz or on aspects of your strategy that don't really relate directly to your customer, you're missing out on an opportunity to increase your effectiveness at best and wasting time at worst.
It's also important to take the time to really understand CRM and its purpose before you implement it as part of your sales strategy. The fastest way to cause your sales staff to resent the implementation of a new CRM strategy is to implement it before you even understand what it's supposed to do or how it works. If you really want it to be effective, understand it well enough to get excited about it. That excitement will be contagious as you educate your sales staff about it, and when the time finally comes for implementation, they'll be eager to see its results.