Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gartner Outlines Three Steps to Create a Successful CRM Strategy

Building a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy is a unique process for each organization that nevertheless should always involve three key steps, according to Gartner, Inc. The three steps needed to create a successful CRM strategy are: setting the destination; auditing the current situation; and mapping the journey to the destination.

  • Set the destination: The vision of the company and the goals derived from this vision are the intended destination of the CRM strategy. The vision will be heavily dependent on the leadership of the company and on the selected CRM strategy.

  • Audit the current situation: Skills, resources, competitors, partners and customers all need to be consulted in assessing the starting point. Before beginning the CRM initiative, organizations need to identify how mature their existing approach to CRM is. Most organizations have some existing or past attempt at CRM; even if these were deemed failures, there are usually some foundations that can be leveraged rather than ignored by the new team.

  • Map the journey: The journey may take many years, and the map will change en route. It is important to plan for this before starting.

  • A CRM strategy explains how an organization will achieve the CRM vision. It is the integrated blueprint for how the organization will achieve its sales, marketing and customer service goals. Therefore, it must give quantitative answers to questions such as: What is the ideal customer base? What products or services is it going to sell, to whom, at what price and through which channels? However, it must also be able to give much more subjective answers to more-holistic, organization-wide questions such as: What is the best way to build customer loyalty? How will the organization connect with a customer to create a positive "gut feel"? What will drive customers to recommend the organization, brand and products to others more often to the point that they are willing to pay a premium price?

    More information in CRM can be found at

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