CRM

 How To Create A Successful CRM Strategy‍

lemlist team
LAST UPDATED
June 7, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

As a business, the competition increases daily leaving your customers with multiple options to choose from. This is why to convert leads and not lose out to the competition, you need to prioritize your customer relationship management (CRM strategy).

In this post, we’ll share how you can create a successful CRM strategy with real-life examples from other businesses to inspire you.

What is a CRM Strategy?

A CRM strategy is a roadmap that outlines the specific actions, and tools you’ll use to manage the relationship with your leads and customers throughout their journey with your product/service. It prioritizes the customer and their experience by seeking out ways to build a lasting relationship with them.

For example, you send a series of email campaigns after someone signs up for your webinar. The outline of how and what you’ll use to send that campaign is your CRM strategy. Now this can vary depending on your specific business, however, really planning it is what will make it unique.

Your CRM strategy is specifically important because it creates a way for your business to improve customer relationships, boost sales and in turn revenue.

With an excellent CRM strategy you can;

  • Understand your client's needs and preferences better to increase customer satisfaction
  • Convert leads faster by sending targeted marketing campaigns using customer data
  • Provide exceptional service to increase customer retention
  • Gain valuable customer insights that can inform strategic decisions across your business like optimizing campaigns, improving products and more

7 Ways to Create a Successful CRM Strategy

Building a CRM strategy takes planning and careful consideration. After reviewing several business models, here are the winning strategies that have worked with examples of how you can implement them in your own business.

1. Start with a Goal 

Like every other project, you need to map out goals and north star metrics you hope to achieve. These will guide you while implementing and optimizing the actual workflows. With clear goals, you’ll know what to work towards and how to get there. 

For example, if you set a goal to increase the sales conversion rate by 15% within the next quarter, you can build up steps to get there. Some could be revisiting the sales funnel, optimizing for higher quality leads to increase the potential to convert and so on. The most important thing with setting CRM goals is that you should always ensure they are SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

2. Revisit and Rebuild Your Ideal Customer

Once you have a goal in mind, it's time to evaluate whether you’ve been targeting the right people all along. Remember, converting leads is easier for your sales team when you get high-quality leads from the start. So finding these people and having a good understanding of who they are can help you craft a winning CRM strategy. 

Here’s an example - if you’re an e-learning platform offering professional courses with certifications, your target audience might be professionals seeking a promotion or self-development within a large firm. 

It’s not enough to have an idea of who they are, you need the details to make a good sale. To understand the demographics, their needs, current challenges, and even preferred communication channels so you know where exactly to meet them. We recommend using a customer profile or a buyer persona similar to the one below. 

You can develop your very own ideal customer using this free persona generator.

3. Review Your Customer Journey and Sales Pipeline

Taking your persona's needs and motivations into account, build a pathway they would likely want to go through to stick with your business. Start from how they find your product/service up until the point where they convert. At each stage or touchpoint, analyze if you’re reaching them at all. 

So for example, as a real estate agency, your persona spends a lot of time on YouTube. Showing an ad in the newspapers might not be effective especially if your persona doesn’t even read the paper. So you may want to look at how your best clients found your business.

The next step in the user journey might be to visit your website looking for an apartment, then book a viewing, making an offer before signing the contract. This entire flow could be your sales funnel but they are also touch points in your CRM strategy because you can optimize it to better nurture the relationship.

So think about what you can improve in each step after outlining them. Ask questions like is the right team handling this stage? Am I communicating the value they should be seeing at this stage well enough? And so on.

4. Go multichannel

Once you’ve identified all the potential touchpoints and corresponding channels, create plans for how to meet them at each stage. By this, we mean messaging. This is where you really nurture the relationship you’ve built. Review your case studies if they actually resonate with your leads.

Is your communication consistent? Are you even at the top of their mind? Evaluate all your sales channels. Are you communicating using the channel they prefer? You need to tailor each approach on these touchpoints in such a way that it syncs with their interests and any previous communications.

In this example above, you can see although there are multiple touch points there’s a reference to a workshop the lead might be interested in and it references the previous touchpoint. It's consistent and simple. 

We recommend using lemlist’s multi-channel feature. You can send emails, linkedin messages, cold calls and more all from one sequence.

5. Automate as Much as You Can

Your CRM strategy should include timely prospects follow-up and the right tool allows you to automate the most time-consuming tasks so your team can focus on other important tasks. The more things you can automate, the better. 

For example, you can automate the lead qualification process, set up a welcome email series and even how contacts move through several workflows. The outreach tool you choose will determine how much you can automate.

While lemlist isn’t a CRM, it does this well for salespeople.

With lemlist, you can even automate the lead generation process from finding contacts to verifying them before adding them to your database.

It also integrates with several CRM tools to make automation even quicker. This way the sales team won’t have to worry about manually scheduling follow-up calls or even generating reports to track any metrics. The tool lets you automate repetitive tasks throughout the sales funnel.

6. Collaborate, Track and Optimize

Your CRM strategy shouldn’t be limited to just the sales team. Since your CRM software is a central data management tool, you should include other teams like marketing, customer service and more. This way, they can also share the data and insights they get within the tool for a unified customer experience. 

Once this holistic approach is taken, keep optimizing your new CRM strategy. Your CRM strategy is a document that should evolve along with your business and customer behavior. We recommend monitoring your KPIs, analyzing customer feedback and more to find areas for improvement.

Usually, CRM tools like lemlist will offer advanced reporting across several areas from revenue to the direct workflows and campaigns. Based on the metrics and feedback, you can then optimize for better results. 

Key takeaways

Building a successful CRM strategy requires being very customer-centric. So the key to building a successful CRM strategy is to put your client, lead or customer in the forefront. Think about how to reach them better and make the relationships stronger with each step you take.

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G2 Rating
Price
Best for
Standout feature
Con
4.9
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$30/mo
$75/mo
$2,999/mo
Large, distributed sales teams
AI evaluation precision, gamified KPIs
Lack of tracking system
4.6
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Not publicly available
Sales operations and finance teams
Powerful configurability
Limited training resources and complex to navigate
4.4
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Not publicly available
Mid-market and enterprise businesses
Comprehensive incentive management
Potentially high cost and steep learning curve
4.7
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$15/user/mo
$40/user/mo
Enterprise: custom price
Complex sales structures and businesses of all sizes
Complex sales structures and businesses of all sizes
Steep learning curve
4.6
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star-half
Not publicly available
Collaborative teams
Connected planning
Complexity and steep learning curve
4.6
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Not publicly available
Companies with complex sales structures
Complex incentive compensation management (ICM) with high efficiency and accuracy
Complexity for smaller teams and potentially high costs
4.7
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star
star
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star-half
Not publicly available
Companies who want to automate commission calculations and payouts
Simplicity and ease of use
Lack of features like redirection
4.7
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star
star
star
star-half
$30/user/mo
$35/user/mo
Custom: upon request
Businesses that need a comprehensive and user-friendly sales compensation management software
Ease of use and adoption
Lack of ability to configure the product based on user needs
4.8
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star
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star-half
Not publicly available
Companies with modern sales culture and businesses who want real-time insights
A built-in dispute management and real-time visibility
Users say it works slowly, customer support is slow
4.9
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star
star
$30/user/mo
$50/user/mo
Smaller sales teams
Powerful automation
Lesser user base and average user interface
4.7
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star
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star-half
Not publicly available
Companies with scalable needs
Automated Commission Calculations
Lack of filtering by date, no mobile app
ERP vs. CRM
ERP
CRM
Summary
Backbone of a business's internal operations.
Backbone of customer-centric interactions and operations.
Goal
To centralize and streamline core business processes in a company.
To increase customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty, and boost sales.
Focus
Internal operations and processes across departments (finance, accounting, inventory, supply chain, HR, and sales).
All interactions with leads and customers.
Manages
Internal business data like financial data, inventory levels, production details, supply chain, HR info.
All customer data like contact info, purchase history, communication history, customer preferences and more.
Users
Finance, accounting, operations, supply chain, and HR departments.
Customer-facing teams like sales, marketing, and customer service.
Benefits
Streamlines operations, improves data accuracy, enhances decision-making, boosts collaboration, increases productivity.
Improves customer relationships, increases sales, strengthens customer service, personalizes marketing campaigns, provides insights.
Price
$150 per user per year on average.
$10 to $30 per user per month on average.
PRM Tool
Rating
Feature
Pro
Con
Mobile App
Integrations
Free Plan
Pricing
4.65
star
star
star
star
star-half
Org-wide alignment
User-friendly layout and database
Suboptimal as a personal CRM
square-check
Lack of tracking system
square-check
Team: $20/month
Business: $45/month
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
Social Media Integration
Easy contact data collection
No marketing/sales features
square-check
Lack of tracking system
square-xmark
7-day trial
$12/month
4.75
star
star
star
star
star-half
Block Functions
High customization capability
Not a dedicated CRM
square-check
Limited
square-check
Plus: €7.50/month
Business: €14/month
N/A
Open-source
Open-source flexibility
Requires extensive manual input
square-xmark
Limited
square-check
Self-hosted
$9/month or
$90/year
3.1
star
star
star
Simple iOS app
Ideal for non-tech-savvy users
iPhone only
square-check
iOS only
Limited
square-xmark
1-month trial
$1.49/month or
$14.99/month
3.6
star
star
star
star-half
Smart Contact Management
Feature-rich and flexible
Reported bugs
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
7-day trial
Premium: $13.99/month
Teams: $17.99/month
4.4
star
star
star
star
star-half
Customizable Interface
Customizable for teamwork
Pricey for personal use
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
Standard: $24/member
Premium: $39/member
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
Integrated Calling
Integrated Calling
Too sales-oriented & pricey
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
14-day trial
Startup: $59/user/month
Professional: $329/user/month
4.8
star
star
star
star
star
Business Card Scanning
Business Card Scanning
Mobile only
square-check
Limited
square-check
$9.99/month
4.45
star
star
star
star
star-half
160+ app integrations
Comprehensive integrations
No free app version
square-check
Rich
square-xmark
14-day trial
$29.90/month or
$24.90/month (billed annually)
Capterra Rating
Free Trial
Free Plan
Starting Price (excluding the free plan)
Maximum Price (for the most expensive plan)
Best for
4.5
star
star
star
star
star-half
square-check
14-day
square-check
€15/month/seat billed annually
€792/month/3 seats billed annually + €45/month for each extra seat
Versatility and free plan
4.2
star
star
star
star
square-check
30-day
square-xmark
But it offers reduced price to authorised nonprofit organisations
€25/user/month
€500/user/month billed annually (includes Einstein AI)
Best overall operational CRM
4.3
star
star
star
star
star-half
square-xmark
square-check
Limited to 3 users
Comprehensive incentive management
€52/user/month billed annually
Small-medium businesses and automation
4.5
star
star
star
star
star-half
square-check
14-day
square-xmark
€14/seat/month billed annually
€99/seat/month billed annually
Sales teams and ease of use
4.1
star
star
star
star
square-xmark
square-check
Limited 10 users
$9.99/user/month billed annually
$64.99/user/month billed annually
Free plan for very small teams up to 10
CRM goal
Increase the sales conversion rate for qualified leads from marketing automation campaigns by 10% in the next 6 months.
SMART Breakdown
1. Specific: It targets a specific area (conversion rate) for a defined segment (qualified leads from marketing automation).
2. Measurable: The desired increase (10%) is a clear metric, and the timeframe (6 months) allows for progress tracking.
3. Achievable: A 10% increase is possible based on historical data and potential improvements.
4. Relevant: Boosting sales from marketing efforts aligns with overall business objectives.
5. Time-bound: The 6-month timeframe creates urgency and a clear target date.
Actions
Step 1: Refine lead qualification criteria to ensure high-quality leads are nurtured through marketing automation.
Step 2: Personalize marketing automation campaigns based on lead demographics, interests, and behavior.
Step 3: Develop targeted landing pages with clear calls to action for qualified leads.
Step 4: Implement lead scoring to prioritize high-potential leads for sales follow-up.
Step 5: Track and analyze campaign performance to identify areas for optimization.
Outcomes
Increased sales and revenue
Improved marketing automation ROI
Marketing and sales alignment
Data-driven marketing optimization

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