A Complete Guide To CRM Strategy, Planning, And Implementation

A CRM relationship strategy is, first of all, methods for implementing a client-oriented way of doing business, the goals of which are to achieve certain competitive advantages and gain additional profit. CRM planning is ineffective if it is formed in isolation from the general strategy of the company.

The development and implementation of a CRM strategy (that is consistent with the company’s goals) provide significant market superiority, as it allows you to choose the right ecommerce platform, business model and find the most effective means to achieve key goals.

A client is an asset of an enterprise, the same as buildings and structures, machines, and mechanisms. You should constantly evaluate its resource, fight to increase its life cycle and return, use modern methods of cooperation with it, etc. Client-oriented departments (marketing, sales, service) are not in a vacuum, they are fully involved in the end-to-end process of creating added value along with production or logistics.

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To Form An Ecommerce CRM Strategy, Try Answering These 7 Questions

  1. What are the strategic goals of the company?
  2. What success factors does the company use for its positioning?
  3. Who are the company’s customers, what target segments are its activities directed to?
  4. What set of products/services does the company have for each segment?
  5. What marketing communications are most effective for each target segment?
  6. Which channels does the company sell in each segment trough?
  7. How many levels of customer service individualization are there to be maintained?

By answering these questions, top management creates the company’s customer relationship strategy, on the basis of which line managers develop or optimize business processes and regulations in the departments of sales, marketing and service, that is, develop tactics.

Basic Principles Of eCommerce CRM Strategy

  • clear specification of the goals and directions of development of the enterprise for the period under review;
  • determination of the need to implement a CRM planning to achieve the goals;
  • selection of the target market and assessment (forecasting) of the needs of target consumers;
  • fixing key business performance indicators in the context of working with clients, taking into account the strategic goals of the enterprise;
  • development of differentiated approaches to individual clients/groups of clients, if any, stand out;
  • constant monitoring of results, feedback evaluation, and adjustment of ongoing activities.
  • building long-term trusting relationships with all existing and potential customers, in which they would always be aware of the opportunities and competitive advantages of your products and services;
  • continuous analysis of the profitability of all products/services;
  • formalization of the criteria for getting each service/product into the so-called “dream sector”;
  • determining to whom specifically and which particular services / products should be offered in the near future to ensure the greatest benefit for the company.
  • motivated staff;
  • regulated business processes;
  • involvement of owners and top managers in the process of company management from the position of the need to meet customer requirements;
  • continuous monitoring of all processes in the company;
  • debugged customer feedback system.

Stages Of Developing A CRM For eCommerce Strategy

Setting A Task And Setting Priorities

The formation of the relationship between the developed strategy and the global goals of the company is where you need to start work. At the strategy level, you need to clearly determine what result will be considered successful within the existing opportunities and limitations.

The biggest mistake in implementing CRM is the lack of a clear idea of ​​what the meaning of customer relationship management is. Do you want to…

  • increase repeat sales?
  • reduce customer churn?
  • introduce a multi-channel interaction model?
  • manage communications more efficiently?

You do not have to try to cover everything at once. This is another common problem. Just set priorities, ruthlessly cut off excess, and conservatively evaluate available resources.

Creating A Data Model

CRM for eCommerce without data is like a car without wheels – you can’t get far. Considering that customer information is a critical component of CRM, it is necessary to develop a data management software that is adequate for the company’s needs. At the business level, you need to answer the following questions:

  • What data do you have?
  • What is missing? How will this data be used?
  • How should data be collected and updated? From what sources?
  • How to synthesize customer information from various sources of information?
  • How to work with third-party data?
  • How to protect and protect client data?

Companies have accumulated an impressive array of customer data. The main problem is the processing, synthesis, and interpretation of these data for further use.

Formation Of A Strategy For Working With Clients

  • Who are your customers?
  • Who of them is the most valuable and promising?
  • What is their behavior pattern?
  • What are their needs?
  • What is the motivation model?
  • Which channels are most preferred for different customer segments?

Customer is the main element of CRM. Create a dynamic customer segmentation model. Combine desk research and customer data analytics with field trips for live communication with customers. As a result, a segmented customer relationship strategy for working with clients should appear, telling about who your customers are and how to work with each of them.

Designing Scenarios Of Customer Interactions With The Company (Customer Journey)

  • Describe how customers contact the company. Identify all possible contact points.
  • Determine how satisfied customers are and what they lack in engagement.
  • Develop measures to optimize interaction scenarios. Evaluate how the scenario should change depending on the type of client and the context of the interaction.
  • Assess what resources, information, and channels are needed to implement changes.
  • Develop a methodology for measuring and evaluating customer experience.

Development Of A Model For Working With Channels

The many available channels of interaction are dizzying not only for customers but also for the company. To create a seamless customer experience, increase customer satisfaction, improve the level of conversion – there are a lot of tasks to be solved when developing a model for working with channels. Below are typical questions that are used as a checklist when setting a task in this area:

  • Which channels are most effective for different customer segments?
  • How to combine channels within omnichannel models of communication with customers?
  • How to increase conversion in specific channels? How to reduce the cost of communications?
  • How to use affiliate channels?
  • What content should be used for different channels?

Creating A Customer Communication Plan

Develop a communication map that determines when, with whom, and for what reason you interact and which channels are mostly used.

Technology Selection For CRM Planning

Identify the technology stack needed to implement the strategy. Estimate the costs of implementation and operation. The most important element in the choice of technology is the integration capabilities of the CRM platform, including the ability to connect various communication channels and information sources, including third-party ones.

Development Of A Methodology For Assessing The Effectiveness Of CRM

In programming, there is the concept of unit tests, when a developer writes a test that checks the created block of code. This approach can significantly reduce the number of errors and labor costs for debugging the program.

You need to do the same in developing a strategy – for each of its elements you need to immediately develop a list of tests and metrics. What will it give? The strategy will have less water and you can each of its elements.

You must constantly measure and evaluate every aspect of customer interaction. A/B tests, control groups, surveys, and studies, counters, and sensors are far from a complete list of tools for evaluating customer experience.

CRM Strategy Implementation

Implementation of CRM strategies is associated with major changes – cultural, organizational, process, technological. Investments are required in employee training, process optimization, and automation. Underestimating the scale of change will inevitably lead to failure.

Employees of various departments are involved in the development, coordination, and implementation of CRM strategies. Each of them has its own interests, problems, and tasks. Taking into account all these multidirectional forces is one of the main challenges for strategy developers.

Success Factors For Developing A CRM Strategy

  • Management support – involving top management in the implementation of the strategy.
  • Working group – the presence of a sponsor and cross-functional group with a clear matrix of responsibility and a motivation system.
  • A scorecard and a model for evaluating the effectiveness of implementing a strategy to regularly evaluate progress and match results with initial expectations.
  • Implementation plan of the strategy, including a feedback collection cycle to identify problems encountered during implementation.
  • Communication plan for effective teamwork. The plan allows you to track who, what and where did in the implementation of the strategy.
  • The presence of an educational program for employees working with clients.
  • Promotion of strategy within the company. It is necessary to convey the strategy to each employee involved in their own language.


The strategy is not static. This is a flexible roadmap for working with clients, constantly adapting to changes and new challenges. The process of managing change in strategy should be defined initially. They must regulate the rules of the game and the area of ​​responsibility.

In addition, you need to take care of employee motivation. They are the main sources of ideas for optimizing customer service. It is necessary to think over mechanisms for approving new ideas, as well as a system of rewards for active participation in implementing changes.

QArea is a full-cycle software development company with over 280 qualified engineers and 18 years of experience in the international outsourcing market. We offer clear communication, a wide range of niche skills, and broad expertise in various domains.

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