CRM Strategy: 6 Proven Tips to Raise Loyalty & Sales
That’s how much a baby wear ecommerce store earns every month after improving its CRM strategy.
Today, you’ll learn exactly what this ecommerce store did (among other tips), so you can manage your customer interactions, foster brand loyalty, and boost your revenue infinitely.
But first, let’s recap what a CRM strategy is and its benefits.
What is a CRM strategy?
A customer relationship management (CRM) strategy helps businesses communicate with their target audiences effectively so that they can convert them to customers and loyal advocates.
Your CRM strategy plays a massive role in customer experience (CX), so much so that companies that prioritize customers bring in 5.7 times more revenue.
Why do you need a CRM strategy?
A new sole business owner can get by with a spreadsheet.
But as your one-person business grows and you start hiring a team, it becomes challenging to stay on top of every customer interaction.
A CRM strategy solves these issues. With a robust system, you can:
Align everyone in your team. Your CRM tool acts as a single source of truth; it supports cross-functional collaboration across multiple departments. With access to the same data, every team member creates the same level of support and ensures a smooth and consistent customer experience.
Automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks. Take lead qualification, for instance. You don’t need to painstakingly go through each lead and fill in their info in the database. An effective CRM tool will automatically qualify them based on your custom criteria.
Segment your customers according to their online activity. Looking to cross-sell or upsell your customers? Instead of blasting your entire email list, focus only on relevant subscribers interested in your premium product. A CRM app will help in this area.
How to create a CRM strategy?
1. Marie Kondo your sales process
We’re talking about everything from your sales reps’ performances and training to sales presentations and transactional emails.
Let’s focus on emails in this section, as they’re one of the most cost-effective sales channels for small businesses.
With emails, you’ll want to clean your list at least twice a year. This keeps your data high-quality, boosts conversions, and minimizes your emails landing in the spam folder.
These campaigns, also known as retention and reactivation emails, are triggered by data like the subscriber’s web activity and last purchase date (more in tip #2).
2. Segment your subscribers
Personalized emails generate six times higher transaction rates than non-personalized ones.
Marissa Payne is a fan of this approach.
The founder of Matriarch Digital once helped a baby wear ecommerce store scale its monthly revenue to over $120,000 after segmenting its subscribers.
This is an incredible feat, given that the ecommerce store was barely a year old and had around 3,400 subscribers at that time.
Here’s the revenue in all its glory.
Did you see that? One email generated over $30,000 worth of sales!
In one campaign, Marissa segmented the customers according to their last purchase date. The email arrived at the right time, as the children of these customers had outgrown their clothes.
3. Plot each customer’s journey
No one customer’s journey is the same. Each one of them will have their unique buying behavior.
You’ll want to reverse engineer how you attracted your biggest clients and look for similar patterns at this stage.
Digital Dynasty analyzes its best clients over the years, digging deep into what they bought down the road and when they referred other companies.
Map out how often you should reach out at each customer touchpoint, such as the number of appointments that lead to a sale and the best time to ask for referrals.
After you define your customer’s journey, include these insights in your buyer persona.
4. Find your perfect CRM software
Your CRM software gathers all critical data in a central location.
It tells every team member what they need to know to build and maintain a frictionless experience for the customer.
Imagine a sales rep handing over a new client to a customer support specialist who repeated the same points or asked the same questions. That would be frustrating for the client!
Your CRM software should fit in the ecosystem. It should be easy to use for all customer-facing departments.
One of the most common CRM-related issues is accessing data across multiple systems. If the CRM app you’ve been eyeing on lacks a specific sales- or support feature, don’t write it off immediately.
You might be able to integrate it with third-party tools.
Take ConvergeHub. This all-in-one CRM suite may not offer a built-in video communication tool, but you can integrate it with Skype and call your customers without leaving the platform.
Johannes Larsson recommends a CRM solution with a mobile app.
The entrepreneur, who’s often on the go, explains, “When people have quick access to their CRM tools, it’s much faster and easier to make changes before affecting the customer’s buying experience.”
And, of course, make full use of the free trials!
Digital Dynasty, the SEO agency you read from the tip above, tried at least 12 CRM platforms before settling on Pipedrive.
5. Activate all users
More than 55% of users have returned a product because they didn’t know how to use it. Just this statistic alone shows the crucial importance of onboarding users.
Your CRM software is only valuable when it compounds.
It’s meaningless if no one uses it.
Are your teams barely using the CRM platform?
If so, these high-level solutions might help.
First, get your executives on board.
Healy Jones, the VP of marketing at Kruze Consulting, starts by looking at how the higher-ups interact with customers.
The trick here, shares John Hill, founder of Adaptable Growth, is to make the CRM platform accessible and easy to use. In other words, you need to focus on their habits and customize how the solution fits into their work.
In the case of Kruze Consulting, it’s showing these C-suites how the CRM tool can easily automate emailing and scheduling appointments.
After you get the C-suites to use the CRM software, it’s time to work down the ladder.
According to Shawn Plummer, CEO of The Annuity Expert, this super user acts as a CRM ambassador; it should be someone who gets along with everyone.
And while you’re at it, create usage guidelines to train the rest of your team to maximize the use of your CRM software. This prevents inconsistency issues, such as sales reps entering information in different formats.
If the rest of your team is still on the fence, consider using a digital adoption solution.
These solutions include in-app product tours and interactive walk-throughs that help new users navigate through your CRM software.
6. Track your progress and do better
A wise man once tweeted, “First do it, then do it right, then do it better.”
Now that your CRM strategy is up and running, continue to monitor your results and spot opportunities for improvement.
Dig deep into your data and identify problematic areas in every touchpoint.
Brogan Renshaw, director of Firewire Digital, notes the most important metrics you should focus on in your CRM strategy:
- Churn rate
- Net promoter score
- Customer retention cost
- Renewal rate
He shares, “If one of these metrics falls at critical levels, something’s wrong. When this happens, study your historical data to make data-driven decisions.”
These improvements can be as major as regrouping your entire company and overhauling your strategy or as tiny as creating a better web experience.
When United Medical Credit discovered its web visitors were facing physical disabilities, it decided to revamp its web accessibility.
Check out how this medical finance startup gives users the option to set their web preferences. The profile options range from seizure safe to vision impaired.
Whenever a user selects an accessibility profile, the site automatically adjusts the browsing experience. For example, the seizure safe option reduces color and eliminates flashes.
It’s a tiny change, but this thoughtful approach wins the medical finance startup a brownie point.
These CRM strategy tips should give you a headstart in managing your customer interactions before and after the sale.
Here’s what you’ve learned today.
- Marie Kondo your sales process from your reps’ performance to transactional emails. For the latter, clean your list at least twice a year. Remember to create a re-engagement email campaign before deleting your inactive subscribers. You might be able to win some of them back.
- Segment your subscribers according to data like their online activity and last purchase date. This will help you create personalized emails and boost your conversions.
- Plot each customer’s journey. Reverse engineer how you attracted your best clients and look for similar patterns. Include these insights in your buyer personas.
- Find your perfect CRM software. Focus on those with features that optimize your sales and support processes. Before you worry about a tool that lacks what you’re looking for, check if it integrates with third-party apps.
- Activate all users. Start with the executives, then work down the ladder. Better yet, appoint a super user among your higher-ups and use digital adoption platforms.
- Track your progress and do better. Prioritize churn rate, net promoter score, customer retention cost, and renewal rate. Let your historical data shape your next action plan.
Now that you’ve made it to the end of the post, you might be wondering, “Which CRM software suits me best?”
Check out our Best CRM Software for Startups in 2022 guide! It’s a list of free and paid tools that we recommend.
Alternatively, browse our handpicked CRM tools in the AppSumo store. You only pay once (or annually) with our deals and at a fraction of the cost. Go on, try it. You’ll get a kick out of them.