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Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management

You need to focus on what’s most important to succeed with CRM

Success with CRM. Aligned stakeholders. Clear goals. Short and smooth implementation. Excited users. Happier customers. More sales. 

Every sales manager and CRM project manager wants that. And you can have it.

When your CRM project fails, it is more likely due to indigestion of too many ideas and features than starvation from lack thereof. And if you’re not solving the right problems, it doesn’t matter how good your sales teams are or how efficient your procedures are. Your CRM project will still fail.

To have success with CRM, you need to focus on what’s most important to growing your business and developing your customer relationships. At webCRM, we’ve developed two frameworks to help you find the purpose of your CRM and take control of your relationships.

Successful CRM consists of two elements:


1. Customer Relationship: Your ability to scope your CRM. Identify your pains and gains and find out what you need to do to develop your customer relationships.

2. Relationship Management: Your ability to focus on actionable and critical features and making sure that what you need to do actually takes place.

1. Customer Relationship

Always start with “Why?” The first thing you need to do is ask yourself “why CRM”? Don’t jump straight to “What?” or “How?”

Too many CRM projects fail, because they aim to justify features instead of solving the right problems. The CRM project just grows and grows, everybody want’s “their feature” and you can’t agree on when your CRM is a success. Your CRM should not be solving your product development or accounting issues, for example. Your CRM should help develop your customer relationships – and help you grow your business.

EnCoRe: Engage, convert and retain customers

At webCRM, we’ve developed the EnCoRe framework to help you scope CRM efficiently. “En” stands for “Engage leads”, “Co” stands for “Convert leads to customers” and “Re” stands for “Retain customers”.

EnCoRe CRM Framework

EnCoRe is a proactive and efficient method for scoping your CRM, where you identify your pains with engaging, converting and/or retaining customers and your potential gains of engaging, converting and/or retaining customers better and differently. You need to find out:

  • How do we engage, convert and retain customers today?

  • What works well? And what doesn’t?

  • What do we need to do (differently) to engage, convert and retain more customers?

Engage better with your market and generate more and better leads
To investigate your lead engagement and generation, you may ask yourself questions such as: Are you attracting enough new leads? Do new leads take too much work and generate too little business? Are you spending too much time and money on identifying potential customers? Do you use the right lead generation sources? Are you targeting the right people with your messages? And most of all: what do you need to do to maximise lead generation?

Increase conversion of leads to customers
To examine your ability to convert leads to customers, you may ask yourself questions such as: Do you ever “forget” following up on new leads? How do you quantify your sales opportunities? Do your sales people spend precious time on administration and reporting instead of calling customers? Are you missing out on new opportunities? Have you lost control of your growth? And most of all: what do you need to do to maximise the order conversion rate?

Improve customer retention and up-selling
To identify your customer retention issues, you may ask yourself questions such as: Do you have the right balance between getting new customers and retaining existing customers? Are you overlooking the upsell potential of existing customers? Are you taking systematic action? Are your retention rates too low? And most of all: what do you need to do to maximise the lifetime value of your customers?

The EnCoRe framework also works as a test for feature requests: Will the feature help us engage better with our market and generate more and/or better leads? Will the feature help us increase conversion of leads to customers? Will the feature help us improve our customer retention and up-selling? If you cannot answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, it’s not a customer relationship management issue and should be eliminated, because it increases the probability of failure.

2. Relationship Management

It’s only when you’ve found the most important customer relationship processes and pains that you should move on to the “how?” and “what?”. This is your relationship management - with emphasis on “management”. How can I take control of and manage the relationship? What do I need to know and do to take control of and manage the relationship?

You should always challenge your requirements to make sure that you only spend time and money on features that will help you grow and that you can act on. In fact, if you begin to justify features, you’ve basically lost control of your solution. Data just for the sake of them or features which are there just “because you can” take away focus and energy. It consumes you, slows you down and prevents progress. 

Stay clear and determined on two criteria: only keep a feature if it’s critical and/or if it’s actionable.

PACE: Passive vs Actionable, Critical vs Expansive

At webCRM, we’ve developed the PACE framework to help you focus on the features that are critical and that you can act on. Features that are high on A and/or C (green) are most desirable. Features that are high on P and/or E (red) are counterproductive.

PACE CRM Framework

Passive or Actionable?

First, you need to evaluate whether you will be able to act differently and pro-actively, if the data or feature is there. If data or features only help you “know more”, but not “act more”, it is of no value.

For example, uploading tonnes of documents is often passive information, whereas knowing a customer’s order history is usually actionable, as you will be able to design targeted newsletters and campaigns for subgroups and allocate sales activities to your sales representatives based on the information. Likewise, it may be nice that you know to which industry a customer belongs, but if it does not help you engage, convert or retain customers any better, why waste time and effort of obtaining and maintaining this kind of information?

Critical or Expansive?

Second, you need to evaluate whether the data or features are critical to your business or simply expand the scope of your CRM software. Irrelevant and excessive data and features take away focus and should be eliminated. Is the feature critical to the growth or survival of our business? Do you risk going out of business if it is not there? What is the effect on your bottom-line? What is the feature worth?

Integration with production planning and project planning systems, for example, is probably not critical for improving your lead generation, sales or customer retention or helps you grow your business in any way. 

Don’t add complexity that is not critical for business. Make sure that the system is streamlined to the processes that really benefit your bottom-line.

If you want to learn more about how you can start acting on what’s most important, you are welcome to download our guide “Success with CRM” or contact one of our CRM experts.

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webCRM was founded in 2005 and is present in 11 countries. We’ve had profitable growth year after year from day one. webCRM has been awarded the Gazelle prize for 5 consecutive years as recognition of exceptional growth.

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