March 29, 2024

11 Successful CRM Strategies to Grow Your Business

Reading time about 14 min

What is it? A CRM strategy is a business plan to grow sales and improve customer service via marketing campaigns, customer support, and sales teams. Why CRM? Customer relationship Management systems help this strategy by fascilitating the communication with and the service of customers.

A CRM strategy sounds intimidating to many small businesses. Is it about technology or sales? How high-level should it be?

We’ll walk you through the basics to help you start your successful CRM strategy from scratch.

What was once the traditional buyer-seller model has shifted to customer-centric. Customer relationships today require more maintenance, which is why businesses now have entire CRM strategies dedicated to managing them.

Consumers have higher expectations when it comes to customer service. If you can’t give them what they need, they’ll look somewhere else.

When we hear the words ‘CRM strategy’, we’re inclined to think about CRM software or CRM technology. But software is only one piece of a much larger puzzle.

The best strategic customer relationship management incorporates both people and software. It needs:

  • CRM database (with contact information)
  • Management tools
  • Marketing efforts

What are the benefits of a CRM strategy for my business?

There are a number of reasons why your business needs a CRM marketing strategy.

A successful CRM strategy will help you:

  • Provide an enjoyable customer experience at all touchpoints of the customer journey, leading to customer loyalty
  • Strengthen collaboration between sales, marketing, and customer service teams
  • Clearly and quickly identify the most worthwhile leads and opportunities, and move them down the sales pipeline with the help of marketing automation
  • Keep track of your leads and customers as they move through the sales funnel
  • Segment contacts into effective target audiences
  • Run targeted marketing campaigns 
  • Provide data insights for sales forecasting and inform your future business strategies

Read more: 8 Key CRM Benefits for Small Businesses

11  successful CRM strategies  

Our top CRM strategies to follow to drive sales and improve performance.

1. Define your CRM strategy vision and goals

The first thing to do before creating a CRM strategy is to revisit your overall business strategy and high-level business goals.  

Create a vision of what you want to achieve from the CRM strategy. That way it has a clear purpose from the very beginning. 

Think about how you want to contribute to the success of your business.

Increased customer satisfaction, higher productivity and efficiency, and decreasing customer churn rates are all examples of common CRM strategy goals.

Remember, your CRM strategy is not an end in itself. It exists to drive business goals. So you need to integrate it into the overall strategy of the business.

2. Define your target customer with buyer personas

This CRM strategy shows a buyer persona with likes, dislikes, challenges, and a customer image.


Create a buyer persona that represents your ideal customer based on market research and the marketing team’s collective insights. Make it as detailed as possible. Include customer information such as demographic and behavioral characteristics, as well as interests, challenges, and aspirations.

Here are some research methods you can use:

  • Interview your sales and customer service teams 
  • Study different customer profiles and even interview customers directly
  • Send customer surveys
  • Hold a focus group with customers/clients
  • Use Google Analytics to gather demographic data about website visitors

To maintain strong customer relationships and attract quality leads, you need to understand exactly who is purchasing from you and why.

Having a clearly defined buyer profile is essential to becoming a customer-centric business. It’s key to ensuring your teams are focused on the true needs and expectations of your customers.

That’s not the only benefit. Knowing exactly who to target will also ensure your sales and marketing don’t waste time on unsuitable leads.

3. Study the market and decide your positioning

It’s always a good idea to look to the competitive landscape for inspiration when developing CRM strategies.

Ask yourself:

  • Where does your company fit into the market?
  • What is your unique selling proposition (i.e. what makes you different from others in your space?)
  • How do your competitors differentiate themselves?
  • What opportunities exist?
  • Can you learn anything about how your competitors handle customer relationships?
  • What are the trends in your industry right now?

4. Define your customer journey

CRM strategy 2: Define your Customer journey. This image shows a customer journey cycle for a hotel business.

Customer journey example from GCH Hotel Group (source)

To master customer relationship management, you need to know each and every step of the customer journey. Then you need to ensure a top-notch customer experience at each of those touchpoints.

Start at the beginning.

Map every single customer interaction from the moment they first discover you. It might be through social media posts, email marketing, direct contact with team members, or other processes.

This is where you’ll highlight areas for improvement and establish who is responsible for what.

When mapping each stage of the buyer journey, ask yourself:

  • Which team/process is interacting with the customer at that moment?
  • How can these interactions be improved?
  • Look at the buyer personas developed in Step 2. Based on what you know about your customer, is this his or her preferred means of communication? Could there be a more effective way to get your message across?
  • What’s the customer trying to achieve?
  • What challenges does the customer face? How can you offer better support?
  • What content is the customer coming into contact with?

5. Plan how to provide a 360° customer experience

Your CRM strategy planning so far should have highlighted the areas that need improvement.

Now you’re going to look at the structure of your internal processes. Do you have the resources in place to provide a 360-degree customer experience?

Do an audit of roles and responsibilities to check all the necessary bases are being covered.

Here are examples of areas to optimize processes:

  • Presales: How are you doing when it comes to analyzing customer needs, gathering information, and putting together business cases?
  • Sales processes: What sales tasks can be automated to increase efficiency?
  • Customer relationship management: Are your offers tailored to your customers’ needs? Are your communications personalized and relevant?
  • After-sales: Have you got the necessary support systems in place to resolve customer problems quickly? What feedback do you receive on the quality of your customer service? Do you need to be able to follow up with customers regularly?

In short, ask yourself ‘How can I do it better?’ and then make the necessary changes within your organization.

Further reading: 11 Customer Experience Trends for 2024

6. Automate the customer journey

When you have a general idea of your touchpoints, streamline that customer experience with automation workflows. Use automation to stay in touch with leads and send them information, tips, offers, retargeted ads and more.

For example:

  • Set up a welcome email and onboarding series to get leads familiar with your brand or service. 
  • Funnel contacts into workflows for special offers and discounts.
  • Use cross-selling workflows to recommend new products.
  • Launch retargeting Facebook ads to recapture prospects that didn’t bite.
  • Send push notifications when a contact’s favorite item is on sale.

With marketing automation, you can target specific steps in the customer journey to bring leads through your sales pipeline.

7. Know your product or service

Take the time to revise and develop your product/service narrative and elaborate your value proposition.

What are the messages you want to transmit? What benefits do you want to highlight? Why should a customer choose you over your competitors?

Communicate this narrative internally and implement employee training where necessary. Everyone needs to be on the same page, relaying the same message.

This is also a good opportunity to define your brand tone of voice and put in place best practice guidelines for communicating with customers.

8. Implement CRM software

A CRM system streamlines collaboration between teams, stores, gathers, and refines customer data, and tracks all interactions between you and your customers.

CRM solutions simplify contact management and are essential for understanding and catering to your customers.

It’s impossible to drive your CRM strategy forward without CRM software for your business.

Brevo strategic CRM suite dashboard showing deal activity.

A CRM solution streamlines contact management

To choose a CRM platform, evaluate your existing business processes and get input from your various teams. The main factors to be considered are price, capabilities, and ease of use. It’s important to choose a CRM tool that integrates with the other marketing tools you use.

The Brevo CRM Suite, for example, has a Sales Platform fully integrated with the other marketing channels offered. Manage deals in the pipeline and assign tasks to your salesforce for an effective workflow.

Screenshot of Brevo strategic CRM sales pipeline overview.

If you already use Brevo for marketing, communication history will appear in each contact profile along with engagement metrics. You can set task reminders and send emails directly from the contact profile page.

With the Meetings feature, you can also create custom booking landing pages and schedule demos, consultation sessions, and other meetings directly with potential customers.

Brevo Meetings integrated with the strategic CRM Sales Platform.

Get started with Brevo’s sales solutions

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Define best practices to support your CRM strategy using the tools in your software. When and how will your teams use this software? How will you use it to create an engaging experience for your customer base?

Then, set up what counts as a lead, a prospect, or opportunity according to your CRM strategy. Remember to clean your contact list before importing it to start off with an organized and up-to-date database.

9. Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Deal pipeline win probability in a CRM.

All strategic actions need to be backed up by figures and data – and your CRM strategy is no exception. You need to be able to measure its progress.

You outlined your CRM strategy goals. Now, you’re going to give your sales team some concrete targets to work towards. 

Remember to set smart goals for your marketing and sales teams. S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Examples of performance metrics you may wish to include are:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer retention
  • Customer churn (when a customer leaves the company)
  • Profits (overall total, totals per customer/account)
  • Sales cycle length
  • Win rate

Some goals might be increasing your SMS contact list by 30% this year or improving customer satisfaction rates for better long-term retention.

Real company, real success: Fashion retail company Videdressing needed to improve email engagement with customers. Videdressing signed up with Brevo and increased click rates by 15% using data from the CRM to personalize its email campaigns. Read the whole story here

The success of your CRM strategy depends on the levels of engagement and collaboration of your teams and the capabilities of your strategic CRM.

Get your employees on board from the beginning. Keep them informed, educated, and up to date on all aspects of your CRM strategy.

10. Segment and personalize with CRM data

With CRM software in place, you have the tools to build rich customer insights right on your computer. Your CRM can segment customers into groups who share common characteristics. 

Group contacts based on how often they buy, what stage in the customer journey they are, or even based on their purchase history.

Then, create targeted and personalized content for these contact groups. 

  • Send activity-based messages like 1-year anniversaries like Spotify’s Wrapped (year in review) campaign. 
  • Personalize campaigns for frequent shoppers or loyal customers. 
  • Send back to school discounts for young adults.
  • Promote city party essentials for contacts in urban locations.

You can personalize content for any audience group you like and reap the benefits. 

Further reading: The Best Customer Segmentation Examples for Digital Marketing

11. Keep improving with reports and analytics

The journey doesn’t end with making a sale. Track your performance and continue improving your sales cycle and marketing efforts. 

Whether it’s tracking revenue, sales cycle length, or finding where you lost customers, CRM reports simplify analysis. 

A graph showing CRM sales reports dashboard by contact. This is CRM strategy 11.

Knowing how your campaigns perform with concerete analytics will help you see what’s working and what needs to be worked on. 

In Brevo, for example, you can get reports for your sales and marketing campaigns. For sales, see revenue, win rate, reasons for losses or wins, and other key metrics. Marketing campaigns give you insight into conversions, open, bounce, unsubscribe rates, and more. 

A graph showing a CRM sales report. This is part of the 11 core CRM strategies.

Brevo conversion rate sales report

A graph showing sales reports win and loss reasons. This is part of CRM strategy number 11.

Brevo win/loss sales report

Reports take the guesswork out of improving CRM strategies. The result is efficient problem-solving and more time for your team to spend where it counts most.

Launch your CRM strategy today

A well-thought-out CRM strategy will do wonders for your customer retention and sales.

Follow the 11 CRM strategies above and you’ll be well on your way to customer relationship management success! The best CRM is the one that fits your business needs and budget.

Brevo offers all the sales tools you need to drive revenue and deliver seamless customer experiences. Track deals, book meetings, make phone calls, and collect payments — manage the entire sales cycle and all your contact data in one place with Brevo.

Get started with Brevo’s sales solutions

Sales Platform, Meetings, Phone — Brevo has solutions for all your sales needs. Sign up to get unlimited contacts, customizable deal pipelines, meeting scheduling, a free business phone number, and so much more.

Open my free Brevo account now >>

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