Ensuring Your CRM Strategy Supports Your Business Goals


CRM systems are a critical tool for businesses of all types and sizes, acting as so much more than just a database of contact names.


CRM tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365 enable people across the business to keep track of customer interactions, decisions, proposals, and more, providing a ‘single source of truth’ for all departments and – when used correctly – preventing miscommunication and misunderstandings that pollute customer relationships. 


It also streamlines workflows, creating greater efficiency throughout the sales process and beyond, making it possible to shorten the sales cycle, reduce the cost of selling, and generate more repeat business. But, for a CRM system to work effectively, there has to be some strategy behind it. It’s not enough to gather data – you also need to be able to work with it, analyse it, and use it to your advantage. Dynamics 365 can reduce your workload but cannot act without your input. So, aligning CRM strategy with business goals is a critical foundation for any successful CRM implementation.

The Importance of CRM Strategy Alignment

Let’s go back a step. What is a CRM strategy? Separate from the tool that makes it happen – what do you want to get from developing these customer relationships? We all know that the ultimate goal is to give customers the best possible experience so that they buy quickly, buy bigger and buy more often, so let’s play out what a CRM strategy might look like with an example:


I want to turn my happy customers into brand ambassadors.


How am I going to do that? I’m going to start by making sure I have plenty of happy customers, treating them well by getting in touch not only to sell them things but to check how the things I have sold them are performing and whether they need help – as well as offering them access to freebies, or tips to improve performance. All in all, I’m going to be a good partner, adding value at every turn. 


At the point when I feel I have a happy customer ready to be put into play, I will ask them to write testimonials for me, or perhaps co-write an article for a relevant publication, or even feature in a video that I can use on my website. I might even extend an ‘introduce a friend’ offer if that felt right for my business.


I can use my CRM system to track the development of this relationship at every touchpoint. But only if the tool is fit for purpose and the users understand all the potential it offers. 


To pull off the strategy outlined above, I would need to ensure that all customer-facing departments understand the strategy and how to act on it. Are the customer service or after-sales team keeping in touch with customers? Is marketing thinking about ways to convert customers to brand ambassadors? Are salespeople cognisant of their role in this strategy?


A CRM strategy is much more than inputting data and integrating various applications into Dynamics 365 or your preferred CRM tool – it’s about using this information to achieve your business goals. Without that alignment, you risk degrading the customer experience and having the opposite impact of what you hoped. For instance, looking at your CRM as a selling tool only (and not a nurturing tool) could lead to disgruntled customers who feel harassed by their account managers and are highly unlikely to become brand ambassadors. Alternatively, treating your CRM as a glorified rolodex prevents you from doing anything with all the data collected.

CRM Strategy

QGate’s approach to CRM strategy alignment

In our view, it’s never too late to start over with your CRM system. 


Whether it’s being under-utilised, misunderstood, or misused, it’s possible to rescue your CRM and your strategy. We offer a bespoke CRM Rescue & Recovery service for that exact purpose – because we found so many of our customers had lost faith in their existing CRM setup and needed a jump start to get things moving again. Even a fantastic tool like Dynamics 365 will underperform when not used properly.


Central to our Rescue & Recovery Journeys is a system audit that aligns CRM use with business needs. In cases where businesses have an existing CRM strategy, this is an opportunity to revisit that strategy and measure how CRM processes are serving it. 


Many, though, don’t have a CRM strategy but only a broader business strategy. In this case, we can look at how your CRM could serve this strategy, how it’s working at the moment and the difference between the two – the so-called performance gap. A lot of this work can be done by examining the system itself to look at the data sets, features, utilisation, etc. But we also value user feedback, which helps us identify user priorities and pain points so that we can customise and optimise the CRM to better meet business needs.

Aligning Your CRM Strategy with Business Goals

Aligning your CRM strategy with your business goals is a relatively straightforward process but requires time to put into action. Our four-step pathway to CRM recovery identifies where the problems are occurring and how to resolve them.


  1. System Audit: We start by conducting a thorough review of your CRM setup to identify gaps between current usage and business needs. We’ll see whether your system has all the features it needs, whether it’s being used to its full potential, how the data is structured, etc.
  2. User Feedback: We’ll then talk to users to understand the strategy, outlining their pain points and what they’d like to see done differently, helping in prioritising fixes and enhancements.
  3. Customisation and Optimisation: Based on this information, we’ll work on your CRM directly to optimise and customise the system to meet your needs. This might involve adjusting workflows, improving data quality, or integrating with other systems to enhance functionality.
  4. Training and Support: To ensure optimum engagement and adoption, we’ll then provide training and support to enable your team to effectively leverage the CRM. You might consider ongoing training sessions and a help desk for CRM-related queries.


Advanced CRM systems like Dynamics 365 can significantly reduce your workload by integrating with other tools and using automation to replace manual tasks. But to get the most from your CRM system, it needs to do more than that, serving your wider strategy and helping you meet your business goals. A specific CRM strategy will enable you to make this happen by putting the necessary process frameworks and integrations in place.


Of course, like all strategies, a CRM strategy should not be static. Instead, it is a living entity that requires regular reviewing and adjustments to ensure it continues to meet business needs as they grow and evolve.


If you need help developing a CRM strategy that aligns with your business goals or reigniting your existing strategy, give us a call.

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