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CRM Strategy - Vision Statement

31 Jan 2012

| Author: Rob Smith


CRM Strategy - Vision Statement

Implementing a CRM is a business change – usually a major business change – that will have a wide impact on the organisation. I've found it useful to provide a vision statement for the CRM Strategy, based on a common structure. I try to keep the vision statement to a single page to make it more digestible to different groups of staff, so keeping the individual topics as bullet points.

The structure and contents of the CRM vision statement I've used are:

Who is the customer?

  • Customer Types - the stakeholder groups the organisation wishes to communicate with. For organisations such as NFPs, this can be quite a large list; for commercial organisations, it is likely to be based around the customer lifecycle from prospect to service customer.

Organisational Issues

(CRM is achieved through people in the organisation, the system and processes)

  • Mission – the purpose of the organisation and the top-level purpose of the CRM
  • Strategy – organisationally, how is the organisation going to approach relationship management; departmentally, how are different teams going to work together?
  • Perceived Benefits – to the stakeholders and for the organisation
  • Confidentiality and Ownership of Data – including what data can be accessed by which departments
  • Change Management – how change will be managed for the introduction of a new system, and thereafter how improvements will be managed
  • Other Management Issues (if any need to be included)

Data Issues

  • 360 degree view – the ability to see every single interaction a customer has with the organisation (subject to security rules)
  • Centralise Customers – a single source of truth for the key data for customers, in a single system
  • Data Storage – including reporting requirements, which might necessitate a data warehouse
  • Data Control – source, accuracy, currency, relevance, legality and quality


  • Customer Relationships – what are the linkages between customers and how they are connected to companies (where relevant)
  • Internal Relationships – who in the organisation is related to which customers
  • Understanding Customers – what individual customers wants from the organisation (for many organisations, a very complex and important area)

Customer Issues

  • Campaign Development or Marketing – the ability to manage a marketing campaign to selected customers over a period of time that is specific to these customers
  • Selling and Cross-selling – targeted to individual users
  • Communication Channels or Touch Points – CRM needs to include all touch points, including the website and social media
  • Customer Experience and Choice – tailored communications and communication preferences
  • Customer Journey – for commercial organisations, this is likely to be the traditional prospect to service lifecycle; for membership organisations, this is likely to be the journey through membership grades and engagement with groups and events; for donor charities, it will be the level of support for the charity (which can be difficult to define)

Systems Issues

  • Efficiency – one of the key objectives of CRM is to improve the organisation’s efficiency through automation and improving processes
  • Automation – the use of workflows and trigger to automate processes
  • Standardisation – standardisation of how CRM will be used across the organisation
  • Support – training and documentation


What do you think? Have I missed anything that needs including in the vision?


This is the second of a short series of blog posts summarising the main points from an article I'm in the process of writing which will give an overview of Peter Flory's PhD thesis "Towards a taxonomy of reusable CRM requirements for the Not for Profit sector" – the above structure was suggested in Peter's thesis.

The first post in the series was "How NFP CRM is Different".


IndigoBlue provides support to Not-for-Profit organisations to create and implement their CRM strategies – if your organisation is looking for this kind of support, please get in touch.

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Rob Smith

Joint founder of IndigoBlue in July 2002, Rob has over 20 years’ experience in IT, and in addition to leading the company he continues to provide strategic management consultancy to a number of clients.


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