Growth Stories

The new framework to understanding CRMs

This framework for understanding CRMs will help guide your organisation to choose the right one, based on our key pillars.


Understanding how to implement Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is valuable, but you first need to understand how it fits into your business.

Your first thought might be that this could be something that your social media manager implements to better reply to comments on your Facebook page.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t quite encapsulate the full weight of what a CRM is capable of.

A CRM offers a business the data and analytics behind the interactions of customers and prospects. This data allows for your business to better collaborate. The teams within a business can understand metrics with greater clarity, they can discover insights from social media and the platform offers communication across the entire company. Simply put:

CRM’s help employees work far better and faster.

Functions of a CRM


There are three main functions that a CRM can provide to your business. 

  • The consolidation of your business data, specifically about customers.
    • Your business has a one-stop-shop for marketing, sales, and customer service data. Everyone is on the same page.
    • This information can be used to manage, measure, and track the activities of all your teams, removing silo difficulty and increasing transparency.
    • The data is also a mine for customer insights, especially concerning behaviour and spending.
  • The ability to better serve and support your customer and lead base.
    • By offering your customers a far better experience, especially when they require support, you likely reduce churn and increase loyalty.
    • A ticketing system allows for inquiries to be logged, replied to, and resolved.
    • ‘Know, Like, Trust’ is forged by connection building. Increased understanding of your customers informs how you communicate with them and then better serve them and their needs. 
    • A greater customer experience is achieved by teams that are collaborating and managing all potential prospects, leads, and customers. 
  • The automation of processes
    • Automation will likely remove human error. Customers and leads won’t fall through the cracks, as the systems set in place will meet the needs of the customers while also optimising the workload of the different teams.

Our Framework for CRMs

 

As a start-up, we required a CRM to better operate our business functions, we consulted the 20 years of combined CRM experience from Guillaume and Alex, two of our co-founders of Upflowy. We found that a strong majority of CRMs could be valuable for five main functions.

As a growth-oriented company, we wanted to share this framework to better assist other businesses in choosing the right CRM, depending on their need.

V.A.L.U.E Framework

 

In the search for a CRM, you will really need to prioritise the variables that will offer your business the greatest worth. We ended up putting these variables into 5 main pillars as such: 

  • Pillar 1: Value of the Deal
    • A CRM can consolidate information about deals, their current status, or their likelihood of being won. Understanding value can better assist your various teams.
    • The Value of the Deal should inform the complexity of the sales features that will be utilised by the CRM you choose. A CRM, like Salesforce, allows for an entire organization’s structure to be mapped, to better inform leads. These functions may not be useful if your business is searching for lower value and less complex deals.
  • Pillar 2: Automation
    • Your CRM priority may be automation and this means the CRM has the functions to automate marketing strategies, sales leads, execute targeted email marketing campaigns, compare ad spend to sales revenue, and ultimately get the maximum ROI. 
  • Pillar 3: Lifecycle Integration 
    • The CRM should offer the management of product-related and cross-company information. Transparency is achieved for team planning, the production process, and new standards.
    • When the customer is regularly interacting with your product, the requirement for integration is higher to better meet the demands of those customers, while it becomes less of a priority when your product is a one-off purchase.
  • Pillar 4: User Support
    • A CRM should be able to assist in the engagement with your customers, especially when it comes to queries and problem-solving. A CRM can provide a platform for your customer queries to be logged, and their needs to be consistently met, creating personal relationships, and a greater likelihood of customer advocacy.
    • A CRM can offer the chance to consolidate your customer interactions rather than having a separate platform for customer support.
  • Pillar 5: Expense
    • The price of a CRM will impact the choice, obviously. Your business and its teams will be using this product for a while. Factor in the ease of integration of the product, and the resistance that change presents. Additionally, you’ll need to think about your business’s future growth, will this product match your needs in 2 years’ time.
New framework to understanding CRMs

Our V.A.L.U.E framework, on our favourite display graphic, the Spider Chart! 

Understanding where your business needs sit on this framework is important, and may even push you to consider whether your current CRM is matching your company’s needs. Once you’ve established the right CRM for your business, you are still going to need to implement it. To implement any new company-wide development, there will need to be a strategy. So, we’ve decided to share our A.C.E strategy with you as well.

Implementation of the CRM

 

The implementation of new business software will often be faced with friction. The change management process will be incredibly important. The business is paying for new software that will be mandatory to learn. There will undoubtedly be an adjustment period from the old methods to the new system. The adjustment period may be slow from the data integration to a new system, or the difficulty of the software to use and understand.  

Additionally, there may be pushback from members of the teams, who may have preferred the old system, who don’t want to be tracked on the tool, or could be worried about their job being automated.

Given the problems that may be run into in regards to implementing a new CRM, a strategy must be created. To offset these problems, you need an ACE in the hole:


A.C.E Strategy of Implementation

 

 

Adoption:
What is the point of spending money on software that ends up not being used? The company needs to embrace the product, not just the sales department. It needs to be accessed and utilised by everyone.

The financial support of purchasing the CRM isn’t enough from the top level. The adoption from the top leadership acts as inspiration for the entire organisation, leading by example. The organisation will recognise it’s importance if everyone is using it. 

Chunking:
It is unlikely that software will be instantly adopted and understood by your organisation. There will be growing pains and moments of confusion. By breaking down the training of your CRM into smaller phases, you’re better able to account for the shift.

There should be a roadmap of processes that the organisation plans to implement. Segmenting the training allows for the capabilities to be progressively understood, rather than confronting the new users. No one opened their first excel document and knew all the shortcuts. 

Everyday Use:
After successful adoption and training of the processes that the CRM offers your business, there needs to be consistency of use. By engaging with the CRM daily, the organisation will benefit from the capabilities of the CRM. This will also promote further optimisation and automation of processes, saving time, and increasing the productivity and cohesion between the teams.   

 

Conclusion


The successful implementation of the CRM that you choose is just as important as the CRM that you choose. By aligning your search to the V.A.L.U.E framework, we at Upflowy believe that you’re better able to choose the right CRM for your business. We will be following up this article, with an analysis of some major CRM’s and how they look on the framework. 

For our business needs, and following our own framework, we chose Active Campaign as our CRM. At Upflowy’s current stage, we were looking for a CRM that specialises in the Value of the Deal, and the Automation of processes, specifically for managing our pre-launch waitlist. As an example of our framework in action, we’ve mapped Active Campaign below:

New framework to understanding CRMs

A CRM can provide your business with a home base for data and analytics, while also offering your teams greater tools for optimisation, cohesion, and automation. Work smarter, not harder by choosing the right CRM for your business.

If you’re looking to optimise your business, your sign-up flow is an area to better achieve positive customer interaction and development. Find out more with Upflowy.

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