In a market where customer preferences and behavior constantly change, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool becomes indispensable. Studies state that there will be a 12% CRM adoption growth  over the next five years. CRM also takes up the largest share of expenses among enterprise software.

Effective CRM strategies are not limited to data and the quantitative world. As the name suggests, understanding, nurturing, and letting customer relationships take center stage in the plan for business growth is the anticipated outcome of using any customer relationship management tool.

Since it is evident that businesses have and will continue to invest heavily in customer relationship management software, what are some of the CRM best practices for businesses to effectively manage customer relationships?

CRM Best Practices for Managing Customer Relationships

Set Clear Goals

Setting clear goals is the first step to developing any CRM best practices. Your CRM strategies will depend on what you want to achieve with the CRM – what is your goal?

If you aim to use the CRM to 2X your revenue in the next quarter, focus on utilizing features that will directly help with customer retention, cross-selling, and upselling opportunities. Measure the impact your CRM strategies will have on your end goal. This way you will know which one is the right strategy for you.

Your goals cannot be vague, they should be clear and SMART.


If your goal is to double the website traffic, you should also have a clear view of

  • In how many days do you want to 2X your website traffic?
  • What metrics will you be closely tracking to check the increase in website traffic?
  • How will increasing the website traffic help your business?

Identify and Work on Your ICP

An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) or a buyer persona defines the perfect customer for your business. It talks about what qualities, behavioral patterns, and characteristics make them the best fit for your products or services.

You cannot provide a seamless customer journey and an enriched customer experience if you do not understand your customer in the first place. An ICP can evolve as more features or solutions are added to what your business provides.

Customer feedback and market research through surveys are a common way of knowing who is your target audience and what they want. A CRM is best utilized when you segment your target market based on parameters such as buying history, pain points, demographics, etc. Only then will your content and product seem relevant.

Personalize Customer Experiences

A new sign-up expects welcome messages and introductory resources that will familiarize them with your brand. A repeat customer would like to see the latest updates and upgraded packages. These two customer experiences that you provide will not be the same.

One of the CRM best practices along these lines was already discussed in the previous point. Besides segmentation, some CRMs are also capable of providing detailed reports on the progression of customers along the buyer stages.

These reports provide opportunities for personalizing customer experiences as discussed. Omni-channel marketing through Customer Relationship Management tools provides multiple touchpoints for personalization under each buyer stage.

Automate Workflows

Technology is meant to save time, and resources, and take the load of manual tasks off our hands. Utilize the option of automated workflows in your CRM to complete tasks and activities without human intervention.

One of the best practices using the automated workflow is to set up reminders and notifications for pending tasks and upcoming meetings. Automation triggers contribute to creating a better customer experience by moving the leads through different stages of the sales funnel.

It ensures there are no missed leads, tasks, or opportunities. Besides alerts and reminders, email automation is another area where a Customer Relationship Management tool can help your marketing team save time and expedite processes.

Set Up a Prioritization Process

Chances are, all leads captured in your CRM will not provide the same revenue opportunities. Some might not even meet lead quality standards even after extensive filtering. A prioritization process would make it easy for CRM users to cater to high-value customers first.

Lead scoring through pre-defined parameters is one such CRM strategy that will help you provide personalized attention and exceptional customer service as per individual client needs. Your sales, marketing, support, and success teams can concentrate their efforts on the most valuable opportunities, thus making good use of their time and resources.

Prioritizing your customer support process based on urgency ensures prompt resolution of critical issues. This has a positive impact on customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Training and User Adoption 

Similar to customer experience, the training provided to different teams should also be specialized. Sure, the sales team will benefit from knowing how to best utilize different lead sources and change their sales pitch accordingly.

However, they would also be able to contribute to the larger business goal if they know which package or feature is most liked by customers through surveys conducted by the support team.

Don’t compartmentalize your CRM training.

Customer needs keep changing, new features or products get added every other quarter. Why should learning be limited to one session every year? Set up a continuous process of knowledge transfer between CRM-using teams.

Embracing Customer Feedback

Your customers are your greatest asset, both in terms of revenue generation and product improvement. Customize your Customer Relationship Management tool to conduct surveys after a user has spent considerable time using your product.

Pay special attention to the frequency of tickets raised against each issue and get your concerned team to come up with better solutions. Your customer satisfaction scores and feedback are a strong indicator of how well the CRM strategies work.

Constant negative or critical feedback is a warning sign that your CRM best practices are not so good after all.

Key Takeaways

Most CRMs come with a user manual or training resources. However, they are generic and are not catered to your particular use-case. Using a Customer Relationship Management tool for your business is like watering your succulents.

They are susceptible to changes around them and the amount of water they need changes from season to season. Your target audience and business goal should decide which CRM best practices will yield results you want.