Knowing exactly where you are in the customer relationship management lifecycle will help you plan your next move with accuracy. Consumer expectations are higher today than they have ever been.
Quite simply, they want more and they are going to get it. When you consider how easily and quickly customers can switch suppliers or jump to your competitors it is essential that you stay on top of the CRM objectives that will keep them coming through your door and staying there.
The CRM Maturity Model is an organizational blueprint that can help you you measure your current CRM position and plan strategies to take you to the next level.
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The Four Levels of the CRM Maturity Model
Maturity Model Level 1: Ad Hoc
Sadly, this is the stage in the CRM journey that many companies get trapped in. The voyage has begun, but there is either just a free or bare-bones CRM solution in place, or the sales team is still relying on offline tools and big yellow notepads.
All contacts are managed in Outlook and each sales professional has his or her own sales process in place, albeit in line with the company’s overall strategy.
Maturity Model Level 2: Tactical
Organizations that have made it to level 2 in the Maturity Model have made a big leap in their CRM efforts and are taking their first steps toward a fully fledged CRM strategy.
Sales professionals are now loading opportunities, activities and leads onto a centralized CRM database and team-based strategies are starting to emerge.
Sales managers can now gain valuable insights from trends and pipelines and help their teams hit targets.
Maturity Model Level 3: Managed
When an organization hits level 3 in the Maturity Model, it has typically discovered the full potential of CRM’s rules-based engine and workflow capabilities.
Each stage in the sales process is assigned rules and data points that need to be followed and achieved before moving to the next step in the process.
The first stage, for example, may require a face-to-face meeting with the lead; the next might require the budget to be confirmed in writing.
Maturity Model Level 4: Fully Optimized
Level 4 maturity takes time, the right software and the dedication and buy-in of everybody involved in the sales process. At this point, a number of objectives have been met, including alignment of marketing and sales functions, integration with other key systems such as ERP and alignment between sales and customer services.
In a nutshell, level 4 maturity gives a 360 view that allows sales professionals to nurture and deepen customer relationships, increase the prospect of future business and pick up on every opportunity that comes their way.
The Critical 3rd and 4th Levels
Customer experience management during the third phase must be very much focused on recording information in such a way that it provides priceless insight into your customers and the opportunities that are possible.
And the fourth phase is not without its share of problems. No matter how much accuracy and detail is now in your data, reps will still spend a lot of their time checking lead sources before even making a call.
What is required is a more predictive approach — a system that intelligently predicts which accounts are more likely to convert based on sets of external and internal data.
Know Your Place
So, which level in the CRM Maturity Model do you think you are at right now? You could be at a specific level or hanging somewhere between two levels ready to make the transition.
Making the jump to the next level of maturity requires a clear definition of your customers, measurement of their current and future value, analysis of data silos and, most important, the right CRM solution to manage it all for you.