Customer relationship management (CRM) is so much more than just a customer database. It’s what helps your company keep customer details up to date, track every customer interaction, and manage your customer accounts. CRM systems provide members from all aspects of your business—sales, customers service, business development, recruiting, marketing, and more—a better way to manage interactions and relationships for success.
For the most successful CRM process, you’ll need both strategy and tactics. These two terms are often mistakenly interchanged or confused but there is a distinct difference between the two. How you approach both CRM strategy and CRM tactics will make a big difference in your customer relationship management success.
Strategy vs. Tactics
The big difference between strategy and tactics is the questions they answer.
Strategy almost always asks “why”:
- Why do we need to capture this data?
- Why will customers care about this email?
- Why is this approach better than our competitor’s approach?
Tactics answer the “how” questions:
- How do we add new data fields to the CRM system?
- How do I integrate social media into the CRM?
- How do I reach 200 prospects with this email?
Strategy focuses on the underlying reasons that flow up and into the overarching strategic approach to customer relationship management. This approach may take longer to implement and cultivate, but the relationships cultivated from a ground level strategic approach tend to be built on a solid foundation over many transactions and communications.
Conversely, tactics can be deployed quickly and may get a quick hit in terms of sales or other metrics. But, single tactical campaigns disconnected from your overarching strategy often fail to build mindshare among customers: Your customers can’t connect the mental dots if tactical campaigns are initiated without a strategy. You might see a quick hit or bounce in sales, but tactical campaigns can be costly over the long run since they tend to not only contribute to customer churn, but also increase acquisition costs.
Building a CRM Strategy
The best time to build a CRM strategy is prior to selecting the software that will run your CRM system. Consider the many ways in which customers currently contact your company for information and how often conversations turn into relationships and sales. This forms the basis upon which you’ll build your CRM strategy, which should focus on discovering the best ways to cultivate customer relationships and build long-term connections that lead to repeat sales.
Though we refer to the software by the same acronym, CRM is a strategy enacted through tactics that support the overarching strategy. Once you understand this difference and build out your strategy, you’ll be better positioned to find software that supports your CRM goals.
ASI: Your CRM Partner
When it’s time to find that software, let Accounting Systems Inc. help guide your selection strategy. ASI has a proven history of empowering companies with the software solutions and services they need to grow successfully. You’ll have access to experts who can provide implementation, training, support, system integration, and software customization. So, if you’re ready to choose your CRM software solution, contact us. We’re here to help.