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Planning Ahead

January 2017

Planning Ahead: How to Use CRM Data to Boost Your Business Strategy

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: your bespoke CRM is a fantastic tool when it comes to supporting your business decisions. With well-maintained CRM data, you have in your hands the tool to guide your business’ strategy for the next 12 months and beyond, taking into consideration customer feedback, sales and a whole slew of other pieces of information.

But quite rightly, the question most commonly asked is “how?”. We’ve talked about CRM data assisting with the likes of marketing and communication, but how specifically can it help to steer your business towards success? Well, we’ll tell you!

 

Analysing the Past

First thing’s first, you need to take full advantage of your bespoke CRM’s amazing report-building feature. The best strategies are based on facts and figures, and everything that’s gone before in your business can be summoned with a simple report. Take the time to listen to what your CRM data is telling you because this stage will inform everything that follows. The better maintained a bespoke CRM and its data is, the more useful it becomes in informing your strategy, so keep that in mind throughout the year.

 

Identifying Improvements

The most immediate information you can take away from your CRM’s reporting feature is the areas which need the most improvement in the business. These can be identified either through customer feedback, low sales, or even through the time it’s taking for teams to complete tasks. If your CRM reports are the foundation of your strategy, then these areas for improvement will form the cornerstone, and are crucial in making your business more effective.

 

Goal Setting

Once you’ve got a handle on your CRM’s historic reporting and which areas you need to improve upon, it’s time to set some goals. Some of these goals will be company-wide, while other, more specific goals can be put in place for individual teams, picking up on areas such as customer service, sales, and workflow. Explaining these goals and their importance to your teams – as well as offering your full support to their efforts – is key in keeping all areas of your business moving in the same direction.

 

Accountability

With past data available and insights into what areas need to improve, you can benchmark the success of individuals, teams and the organisation as a whole in real time through your bespoke CRM solution. This not only allows for changes to be made when necessary, but also builds in accountability. Now everybody within the company can be supported, guided and challenged in order to help the business to achieve its strategic goals.

 

Real-Time Reporting

Key to making your strategy as effective as possible is refining it whenever possible. Some things simply can’t be planned for, and you may find that if you try to implement a strict, concrete strategy, that things don’t go as smoothly when these speed bumps are hit. To prevent that from happening, build in review dates for your strategy, and make the most of real-time reports to get frequent snapshots of where the business is, where it’s heading, and what still needs improvement. For key stakeholders, this shows a level of flexibility and realism which gives them confidence in the business. For you, it provides the opportunity to achieve success no matter what challenges appear along the way.

Could your next strategy benefit from a bespoke CRM boost? Find out more about how our solutions can help your business to plan ahead by getting in touch and arranging a free demo.