What Are The 4 Pillars Of CRM?
CRM systems or Customer Relationship Management systems are becoming more and more popular every day and for many good reasons.
In today's world, where there is so much data available, companies need to explore it to ensure they deliver what their customers need and want. While in the old days most companies sold their products mainly based on their reputation, advertisement, or recommendations, today is a bit different. Companies want to sell across countries; some want to sell worldwide. So, they need to find their target audience not only in their town, not only in their state, but at a country level, or even internationally.
The advances in technology have made data more accessible as well. A decade or so ago, it was only a dream to get access to so much data regarding your target audience. From demographics to preferences and interests, where they access the Internet, and the ways they prefer to be reached, among so many other things are available to companies. All companies have to do is gather the data and determine the trends so they can increase their sales and, consequently, their profits.
While many businesses (especially small businesses) continue to rely on their employees to explore all this data manually, it ends up being a waste of time. Not only exploring the data takes time as well it is natural that errors occur when you do this manually. But more than this, up until recently, CRM systems weren't available to these smaller businesses since they were not only very expensive but they were also incredibly complicated.
Again, technology has helped. It is now possible for small businesses and even startups to use CRM systems. They are more affordable than ever and the best part is that some have a pretty low learning curve.
You Need To Think Beyond The CRM
So you just took a look at the market and you already decided that you'll buy a CRM for your business. Perfect. That's great news! But simply buying it isn't enough. You need to make sure that the CRM is adapted to your business and that everyone knows how to use it properly. When this doesn't happen, you only spend money and won't see a dime in return.
To ensure that you implement your CRM well, you need to take into consideration the 4 pillars of CRMs: people, strategy, processes, and technology. Each one of these pillars is crucial to ensure that your CRM delivers what you need to help grow your business.
The 4 Pillars Of CRM
There's no question that if we had to choose the most important pillar of successful CRM, we would always say people. And the reason is pretty simple: when people, your employees, aren't committed, trained, and motivated to help you grow your business, the implementation of the CRM will certainly fail.
One of the things that we keep seeing in many companies we work with is that this is the pillar businesses tend to overlook more often. Most business owners assume that if the other 3 pillars of CRM are working well, people will just follow and everything will work out perfectly. Unfortunately, this is not the case ever. You just can't overlook your employees. You need to make sure that they are a part of the implementation process from day 1.
One of the things that you can do to ensure the success of the implementation of the CRM is to train your employees. While most CRM systems are simple and easy to use, there is always a learning curve. And since this is a change, you want to keep your employees motivated to do it, which is sometimes hard. So, you may, for example, offer some formal classes first and then ongoing coaching to each one of your employees. This ensures they can not only work with the CRM as a whole system but in a more in-depth way related to their core job functions.
It's important to keep in mind that your business culture needs to reflect the use of a CRM. As its name says (Customer Relationship Management), your business needs to be customer-oriented. So, if your business culture still says that you are only driven by sales, you need to change it and make sure that all your employees acknowledge and embrace this change.
As a business owner, you probably have a short-term and a long-term strategy for your business. You know how crucial they are since they allow you to guide you in the right direction, towards your goals.
When implementing a CRM, you also want to make sure that you come up with a strategy that allows you to take a good look at the strengths and weaknesses of your business. This is the time to check what your business is doing well and what areas can be improved.
As you have this defined, it is time to set quantifiable and concrete goals. This is very important since you need to have something to measure the changes you'll be making.
The third pillar of successful CRM implementation is related to the process. But what is a process?
Simply put, processes are the methods that you define or determine that allow you to achieve your goals. Just like goals, processes need to be not only clearly defined but also set out and followed consistently.
For some business owners, processes are the most difficult pillar of CRM systems. The main reason is that they can't be only defined; they need to be followed every time. As you can easily understand, monitoring processes is something that needs to be done daily. However, the good news is that you only need processes to support your strategy and goals. They should never be seen as an end to themselves. This means that processes can change. And, in fact, they should change whenever you reached a goal or change your perspective of a strategy, for example.
The final pillar of a successful CRM implementation is technology. Just like we mentioned above, the advance in technology has been crucial for the use of CRM systems by both small and big businesses. However, it should never be considered the most important pillar.
Unfortunately, many business owners continue to put technology in the first place and then adjust all the other pillars around. This should never be the case since technology is only the way you have to support not only processes but strategies as well.
When you think technology is the most important pillar for the successful implementation of a CRM system, you will begin by designing this implementation focusing on the features the CRM offers. But it should be all the way around. In order to successfully implement a CRM system, you need to first pick the features of the CRM system that you chose that support both your strategies and processes. You can simply ignore all the other features.
If you're thinking that if you buy a CRM system for your business and you don't use all the features it offers you'll be losing money, you're not right. As we said, processes and strategies are supposed to change over time. You may notice a process isn't working or you may reach a goal. At this point, you'll need to rethink your processes and strategies. This may mean that you can use other features of the CRM that you weren't using up until now. This is why you need to think of technology as just another pillar of a successful CRM implementation and never the most important one. Try full range of Flowlu CRM and other features for 14 days for free and schedule a call with Flowlu team to understand how Flowlu CRM can improve your business results.