The Big Difference Between CRM Strategy and Tactics


laptop on desk CRM strategy

CRM or customer relationship management is a comprehensive approach to managing customer communications and relationships. Some people treat CRM as a software only, a method by which they manage customer contacts, but it’s so much more than that.

CRM systems offer you a powerful tool by which you can acquire, retain, and create loyal customers. One area that people often confuse in CRM is strategy versus tactics. Actually, people confuse strategy and tactics in general, often mixing them up or using them interchangeably. The two are quite different and your approach to using a CRM system  will make a big difference in how successful you can be with your customer relationship management.

Strategy Is the What, Tactics Is the How

The big difference between strategy and tactics is the questions they answer.

Strategy almost always asks what:

  • What do we need to capture this data?
  • What will customers care about this email?
  • What approach is better than our competitor’s approach?

Tactics answer the “how” questions:

  • How do we add new data fields to the CRM system?
  • How do I integrate social media into the CRM?
  • How do I reach 200 prospects with this email?

Strategy tends to focus on the underlying reasons, which flow up and into an overarching strategic approach to customer relationship management. This approach may take a longer time to implement and cultivate, but the relationships built from a strategic approach tend to be built on a solid foundation built over many transactions and communications.

Tactics can be deployed quickly and may get a quick hit in terms of sales or other metrics. But single tactical campaigns disconnected from an overarching strategy often fail to build mindshare among customers. Customers can’t connect the mental dots if tactical campaigns are initiated without a strategy. You may see a quick hit or bounce in sales, but tactical campaigns are costly over the long run since they tend to contribute to customer churn and increase acquisition costs.

When to Build Your CRM Strategy

The time to build a CRM strategy is actually before you choose a software to run your CRM system. Consider the many ways in which customers currently contact your company for information, and how often conversations turn into relationships and sales. This forms the basis upon which you’ll build your CRM strategy, discovering the best ways to cultivate customer relationships and build long-term connections that lead to repeat sales.

Customer relationship management is a strategy, and the software serves as a tool to achieve that. It is enacted through tactics that support the overarching strategy. Once you understand this difference and build out your strategy, it’s time to find software that supports your CRM goals. And when that time arrives, BAASS Business Solutions would be happy to provide you with a solution to help your business reach its full potential.



BAASS Business Solutions

BAASS Business Solutions offers consulting, assistance and support for businesses seeking software solutions to enhance their productivity and profitability. CRM solutions can help you manage customer relationships with ease. Contact us for more information or call 1-888-650-5544.

About The Author

Zainab leads the CRM Practice at BAASS and brings a wealth of experience in both the strategic and tactical implementations of CRM. Her extensive background includes consulting, design, and project management. Zainab is a Sage CRM Certified Engineer and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) with a Master's Degree in Statistics.