CRM

CRM Transformation Explained

Liucija Adomaite
LAST UPDATED
May 27, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

91% of companies with more than 11 employees use a CRM system, according to data.

With the increased usage of CRM software, their adoption rates have also increased. Today, 9 in 10 Fortune 500 companies have adopted CRM software.

No wonder more and more businesses are adopting CRM as a new and effective way to boost customer relationships and increase revenue.

This article explores the ins and outs of CRM transformation and how to adapt a new CRM system to your business successfully.

CRM definition

The meaning of CRM is simple: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to a system that consolidates all customer information in one place. A CRM software gives everyone in the company a full and detailed 360-degree of each customer.

There are 3 key types of CRM systems: collaborative, operational, and analytical. Analytical CRM uses data as the foundation of the platform. Operational CRM is based on automating workload. Collaborative CRM enhances teamwork across all teams and departments and builds a unified customer view. Most CRMs offer a combination of features that can be found in each.

What Is CRM Transformation?

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) transformation refers to a strategic process in which an organization upgrades its business approach, technology, and systems for managing and optimizing customer relationships. 

The goal of CRM transformation is to enhance customer relationships, which includes generating leads, acquiring new customers, enhancing existing contacts, and innovating sales processes.

CRM transformation is a crucial part of digital transformation, which means that a company uses technology to automate and innovate their internal and external processes. 

CRM transformation includes leveraging data for insights and data-driven decisions, staying on top with market trends and demands, syncing all teams and breaking sylos between departments, automating manual tasks, enhancing all stages of sales cycle. 

Why CRM transformation is so important?

Adopting a CRM system is a cornerstone in innovating your business processes and pushing your company to a whole new level.

CRM adoption is critical for growing companies, startups, and enterprises that focus on scalability. CRM serves as a single point of truth for managing all sales, support, and marketing processes. 

Adopting CRM allows you to:

  • Manage sales operations and detect new sales opportunities
  • Engage prospects in all stages of the sales cycle
  • Segment and micro target audiences for better conversions
  • Nurture leads using automated follow-up sequences
  • Map customer interactions
  • Generate reports and data insights
  • Enhance customer support with personalized experience to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Spend less time, human resources, and money on manual and recurring tasks and focus on sales-driven tasks and targets

Benefits of CRM transformation

Adopting a CRM system will give your business numerous advantages, including:

  1. Shorter sales cycle and effective buyer's journey
  2. Improved operational efficiency in all departments (sales, customer support, marketing, etc.)
  3. Improved customer retention and decreased churn
  4. Reduction in CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)
  5. Higher total revenue
  6. More conversions and more total transactions
  7. Increased customer lifetime value and increased average deal size
  8. Faster support resolution times
  9. New opportunities identified (new customer segments, upselling possibilities, new marketing channels, etc.)
  10. Meeting or exceeding your CRM goals and sales targets

CRM Transformation: A step-by-step guide on implementing a CRM

Here's a breakdown of the key aspects of CRM transformation:

1 Step: Set your CRM goals.

The transformation starts with defining clear goals and a vision you want to achieve with a CRM. CRM goals can include boosting sales conversions, reducing churn, increasing customer lifetime value, and so on.

2 Step: Reevaluate your current sales and marketing workflow. 

Take time to assess existing customer interactions, marketing interactions, and customer support processes. Find the gaps where improvement is needed and target them from the top of priority.

3 Step: Choose the right CRM software for your business.

A well-balanced CRM platform should include a good user experience so that it's easy for your sales team to use it. It also has to have flexible reporting functions. On top of that, smooth integration capabilities with other tools like API and native integrations are crucial. Lastly, make sure your top CRM choice has team features. After you've done all of those, make sure to check how your top 2-3 CRM choices integrate with your current tech stack.

5 Step: Sandbox test. 

Make sure your create a sandbox environment and have one member of your sales team give their feedback about the CRM tool before committing to one. Score each solution on a specific set of criteria that are important to them (easy to use, flexibility, reporting) and decide accordingly.

6 Step: Customize your CRM.

When you make a CRM platform a central hub for your operations, it's time to use its customization capabilities. Tailoring technology is crucial in a successful CRM transformation procedure. 

7 Step: Consider organizational change management. 

A professional Organizational Change Management (OCM) team can help your company through the procedure of implementation process and help design the right message around the CRM transformation. 

OCM involves actively engaging key stakeholders like executives, department heads, and so on, to ensure everyone understands how the CRM system contributes to the bigger picture. This is crucial in successful CRM transformation. 

By focusing on the human aspect of change, reducing resistance, aligning with business goals, and promoting continuous improvement, OCM ensures your CRM system becomes a valuable tool for building stronger customer relationships and achieving long-term business objectives.

Key Takeaways

CRM transformation is a strategy aimed at enhancing customer relations through technology, data-driven insights, market adaptation, and internal process automation. They form a core of a company's digital evolution.

CRM enables businesses to manage sales effectively, personalize customer engagement, automate follow-ups, and thereby increase overall satisfaction and loyalty.

Implementing a CRM involves setting specific goals, reevaluating sales and marketing workflows, selecting the right CRM software, testing, customizing the CRM to fit business operations.

When adopting a new CRM tool you may want to consider organizational change management to help you align everyone in the company with the transformation's goals.

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G2 Rating
Price
Best for
Standout feature
Con
4.9
star
star
star
star
star
$30/mo
$75/mo
$2,999/mo
Large, distributed sales teams
AI evaluation precision, gamified KPIs
Lack of tracking system
4.6
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Sales operations and finance teams
Powerful configurability
Limited training resources and complex to navigate
4.4
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Mid-market and enterprise businesses
Comprehensive incentive management
Potentially high cost and steep learning curve
4.7
star
star
star
star
star-half
$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
star
star
star
star
star-half
Not publicly available
Collaborative teams
Connected planning
Complexity and steep learning curve
4.6
star
star
star
star
star-half
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
star
star
star
star
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
star
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
star
star
star
star
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
star
star
star
star
star
$30/user/mo
$50/user/mo
Smaller sales teams
Powerful automation
Lesser user base and average user interface
4.7
star
star
star
star
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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