Using CRM to Help You Scale Your Startup

Half of CRM (customer relationship management) deployments fail to meet expectations; Here are some ways you can use CRM to help you scale your startup.

crm customer relationship management


Enhancing your customer experience through better personalization is one of the most effective ways to scale up your business. Personalization can increase your revenue by 5 to 15 percent, reduce acquisition costs by 50 percent and increase the efficiency of your marketing expenditures by 10 to 30 percent, according to McKinsey & Company.

A key to delivering personalization is good customer relationship management. Unfortunately, half of CRM deployments fail to meet expectations, Gartner and Forrester research shows. Using CRM effectively requires using smart strategies and tools.

Here are some ways you can use CRM to help you scale your startup.

Identify Your CRM Goals

The foundation of an effective CRM strategy is a set of well-defined, measurable goals. Expressing your CRM goals in terms of measurable key performance indicators helps you more clearly define your objectives, identify where you’re falling short and focus your strategy on the corresponding improvements.

You can define KPIs for every phase of your customer relationship management, from marketing to sales to customer service. For instance, your marketing KPIs might include items such as total leads, leads per media channel and leads per campaign. Sales KPIs might include conversion rate, average revenue per sale and average lifetime revenue per customer. Customer service KPIs might include total tickets, average response time per ticket and percentage of tickets resolved on initial contact.

Choose the Right CRM Platform

In order to achieve your customer relationship management goals, you need the right CRM tool. While a very small company can manage its CRM needs with a Rolodex or spreadsheet, if you want to scale up, you will need to select some CRM software. Some CRM tools focus primarily on sales, while others include the capability to include marketing and customer service functions. CRM tools also vary by compatibility with other office software, by business size and by price. For instance, Infor CRM is a versatile tool that includes marketing, sales and customer service features and is suitable for small- to mid-sized businesses, mid-market organizations and departments of companies with up to 1,000 employees. Make use of Infor CRM tutorials to get your sales team CRM-savvy in no time.

Implement CRM at All Stages of Your Customer’s Journey

To get the most out of your CRM software, you should track your customer’s experience through all stages of their relationship with you, not just after they schedule a sales meeting. Begin tracking your contacts with your customer from the first time you acquire their contact information, recording information such as which campaign and media channel led them to your sales funnel. Record each sales touch with a customer from the time they become a lead to the time they make a purchase, as well as any follow-up purchases, repeat business and referrals. Furthermore, record the history of your customer service interactions with a customer, and use your customer service data to personalize your marketing. For instance, you can design certain sales offers to win back customers who have complained about an unsatisfactory service experience.

To implement CRM throughout your company, make sure your training process for all relevant departments includes CRM training. Ideally, your marketing, sales and customer service personnel should all be involved, and should also be used as sources of input and feedback to improve your CRM process.

Prioritize Profitable Campaigns and Customers

One purpose of CRM software is to help you identify and leverage your most profitable opportunities. For instance, some marketing campaigns yield a better return on investment than others. Likewise, repeat business customers tend to spend more than first-time buyers. To get the most out of your CRM software, it’s essential to prioritize your campaigns and customers to focus on high-profit activities. Use your CRM data to allocate your marketing budget to your most profitable marketing campaigns as well as deploy your best sales representatives to your most profitable prospecting opportunities and customers.

Track, Adjust and Improve

Your CRM software can serve to help you optimize your marketing, sales and customer service processes. Tracking your KPIs and reviewing them on a regular basis can enable you to identify where to make adjustments and improvements. Use techniques such as split testing to determine which versions of your marketing campaigns are generating the most leads, which sales scripts are delivering the best results and which customer service channels are yielding the highest satisfaction rates. You can then use the results of your testing to optimize your processes and maximize revenue.

With all of its capabilities, CRM is an invaluable tool for growing startups. It allows you to not only nurture relationships with existing customers but also see what makes for the most effective lead generation. Setting goals, tracking customer service interactions and continuing to fine tune your processes is a surefire way to get the most out of your CRM software.