For each business requirement that a CRM system can be configured or customized to address, there is often a decision as to whether the requirement should be delivered tactically or as part of a broader customer relationship management strategy.
A CRM strategy should be developed before a CRM subscription begins. Once the subscription has started, there should be an ongoing commitment to a strategic approach to deciding what functionality to deliver to sales, marketing, and other users.
Tactical delivery is less expensive in the short run but less effective in the long run.
Strategy-based delivery is more expensive in the short run but more effective in the long run.
Sometimes, taking a tactical approach to deliver on a business requirement seems like the only option. The budget simply isn’t there to support a strategic approach.
However, a tactical approach to a given deliverable often results in lower user adoption of new functionality than would be the case if a strategic approach was taken.
If the budget is not available for taking a strategic approach, it should be questioned whether the new functionality should be introduced. Why invest in creating functionality that will be under-adopted or not adopted at all by end users? Why invest in functionality that will only produce clutter?
Examples of CRM Strategy vs. CRM Tactics
Taking the strategic path involves fully analyzing the business need, obtaining end-user input, and possibly weighing the pros and cons of two or more delivery alternatives.
Tactic: Add many flat fields to an entity/object/table to capture more data points.
Strategy: Question why certain types of information need to be captured. Determine the reports that should be generated. Consider using a related entity/object/table to manage the new data capture requirements.
Tactic: Import poorly formatted data. Worry about cleaning records, deleting bad records, and merging duplicates later.
Strategy: Determine the criteria for what data should end up in the CRM system. Cleanse the data source(s). De-duplicate the data against existing records before or during the import.
Tactic: Rely on the default user interface for functionality that requires navigating across multiple objects/entities/tables.
Strategy: Determine whether data entry requires users to spend too much time navigating from parent to child and back to parent objects/entities/tables. Consider creating a custom page for inline record creation and editing when multiple levels are involved.
Tactic: Rely on users to manually add a series of tasks that are common to a process, such as new client onboarding
Strategy: Define key tasks, timing, and responsibilities for a process such as new client onboarding. Create an automation that will auto-populate a list with a set of tasks that are common to a specific business process. Develop rules that determine what happens when dates are missed.
Tactic: Purchase a third-party application that is only a partial solution to a specific business requirement.
Strategy: Determine whether a third-party app will address the requirement sufficiently. If necessary, develop the solution from the ground up using the CRM system’s development tools. Get a more complete solution and avoid an additional subscription cost.
Account Based Marketing (ABM)
Tactic: Many B2B companies do little more than declare that they are now doing Account Based Marketing.
Strategy: To be effective, ABM involves working on a series of plans that include content, engagement, technology, sales enablement, and measurement.
The financial decision-maker at a company should be presented with the value of taking a strategic approach to certain CRM enhancements.
For this to happen, stakeholders need to be convinced of the value of an ongoing CRM strategy compared to a series of tactics.