CRM managers are in charge of a company's customer relationship management strategy. This means that they have to be able to manage all the different aspects of marketing, sales, and service.
They're responsible for establishing the overall goal of how their business interacts with its customers, and then executing on this plan by assigning tasks among employees and setting deadlines. A CRM manager will also monitor progress so that they can make alterations as needed.
Though there is some overlap between marketing, sales, and service roles within an organization, these three areas typically involve different skill sets that require specific expertise which makes it important to hire someone with experience who has worked in one or more of these fields before moving into a CRM managerial role.
Objectives and Responsibilities of the CRM Manager
Management and Strategy: The CRM manager plays the main role of managing the business’s day-to-day consumer relations protocols, their refinement, CRM segmentation, onsite personalization, and product recommendation programs and platforms.
The CRM Manager also manages key vendor relationships and databases in formulating strategies, strategy execution, asset deliverable management, and the testing of all SMS, emails, among other multi-channel communications. The CRM Manager is also tasked with overseeing the creation of models against lifetime value, retention, churn, loyalty, and advocacy programs.
Along with senior CRM management, the CRM Manager plays an active role in the formation of ongoing CRM strategies as well as the weekly/monthly/annual departmental calendars that enable continuous and consistent testing, learning, and optimization to maximize consumers’ lifetime value. The CRM Manager also structures CRM activities to maximise KPI improvement, ROI, and business impact.
At this capacity, the CRM Manager oversees and coordinates the implementation of new CRM campaign management tools, including email service provider integration, frontend integration, and CRM integration with the internal IT department, third-party ecommerce providers, and email service providers.
He also oversees direct communications with consumers and plays a leading role in deciding on the CRM platforms, structures, and architecture to guarantee that consumer relations are carried out seamlessly across the business.
Analytical/Technical Skills: The CRM Manager is tasked with business-wide consumer analytics and behavioural reporting, for example, he is responsible for the development of consumer segmentation models along with internal and external analysts and based on common characteristics inclusive of purchase history, consumer type, consumer behaviour, and demographics. He drives the continuous optimization of onsite product recommendations, cross-selling and merchandising opportunities based on segmentation models and desired actions.
In this capacity, he also implements relevant, approved online marketing campaigns and offers for cross-platform communications founded on segmentation models and the business’s goals. The CRM manager also provides strategic guidance to CRM strategies that will be inclined to drive maximum ROI. He also performs consumer Journey Mapping and analyzes business touch-points to increase the business’s commercial opportunities.
Collaboration: The role of the CRM Manager is also highly collaborative. The CRM Manager works closely with various departments in the business, inclusive of the senior management and key stakeholders, to develop and launch suitable digital marketing initiatives.
The CRM Manager also works closely with the IT department to better understand all CRM feeds and data flowing in and out of CRM program management tools. This ensures that all data is flowing properly and alert the CRM department of any issue in the CRM campaigns.
The CRM Manager will work with third-party vendors to improve consumer communications and remarketing campaigns in this capacity. He also works closely with senior CRM management and key stakeholders in developing the consumer loyalty vision for the business and instilling that vision across the organizational departments and contact points, for example, social, web, mobile, email.
He also collaborates with the senior management in building conversion metrics and ensuring consistency in all consumer contact initiatives and programs.
Consumer Relations: The CRM Manager also takes the initiative in directly reaching out to consumers to gather feedback and ensure that the business’s consumer relations programs are effective and of high quality and standards. They also facilitate the execution of successful marketing campaigns enabling consumer loyalty.
Opportunity: It is the duty of the CRM Manager to guide CRM campaigns and introduce new capabilities to meet emerging business needs and market trends. In this capacity, the CRM Manager shares new and emerging CRM best practices to give the business a competitive edge over competition in consumer acquisition.
The CRM manager is also tasked with conducting post-campaign analytics to realize recommendations for future CRM campaigns. He maintains a strong knowledge and understanding of the current and emerging eCommerce strategies, trends, and techniques that consistently give the business a leader in consumer acquisition within the market.
Other Duties: The CRM manager also performs other duties as delegated by the Senior CRM Manager, Head of CRM, Director of Performance Marketing, the Chief Marketing Officer, or the Employer.
Frequently Asked Questions
A CRM manager handles sales and relationships with clients using the concepts of customer relationship management. Your primary goal in this position is to identify leads and target audiences for optimal ROI.
- Strategic CRM.
- Operational CRM.
- Analytical CRM.
- Collaborative CRM.
CRM can analyze data and generate reports whenever required. There are mainly three types of CRM applications – Operational, Analytical and Collaborative to perform all these activities.
Who Makes a Good CRM Manager?
The types of people that succeed in this position will be those with substantial customer service skills.
They will enjoy interacting with customers and feel motivated to bolster the customer experience whenever they notice a problem.
Naturally, then, those with excellent listening skills, as well as interpersonal ones, will do best here.
Next, anyone applying for a CRM Manager position will need good computer skills, specifically database management.
They’ll be expected to maintain databases and input information, email others, and use a variety of different channels of communication, so their skills here will need to be strong.
Along with that comes the need for a highly detail-orientated person. They’ll be a person who can spot something that others may have missed, particularly how it relates to the customer experience.
They’ll also be the first to notice the data input process could be improved, or they might teach another member of staff a more practical strategy to keep customers happy on the phone.
Multi-tasking, then, is essential here, as well as excellent overall management and leadership skills. In the best-case scenario, these will be individuals who inspire others around them to advance their skills and seek better solutions to problems.
Of course, extensive, exhaustive knowledge of a company’s products and services will be critical to their success. In fact, they’ll be designing some of these services themselves.
An individual applying to a CRM role will also need an analytical mindset that enjoys a process-driven approach to tasks.
They’ll be a strategic thinker first and foremost and someone who has a passion for developing, nurturing, and improving customer relationships.
And CRM Managers will have a positive outlook on the brand, one of which they very much enjoy being part of—they will not be afraid to take on a role that carries a lot of responsibility.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that to become a CRM Manager, experience as a customer services representative or manager, especially at a call centre or in a similar environment, is key.
This experience will help the candidate develop the skill set, mindset, and attitude necessary to be a great CRM manager.
The Importance of a CRM Manager
Digital disruption is profoundly changing marketing roles. The birth of the digitally empowered consumer has turned the tables on traditional business-consumer relationships, resulting in the constantly increasing influence of customer satisfaction on business growth.
Maintaining customers’ loyalty has turned into a digital battle, fought with the weapons of predictive analytics, data-mining, creativity and innovation. Leading the troops are the Directors of CRM.
Director of CRM is a relatively new position, brought on by a growing focus on existing clients and customer equity.
Companies with a dedicated CRM manager outperform those without one in all parameters related to customer-centricity and personalization.
But while scrambling for new CRM talent, many recruiters find the role elusive and hard to frame.
We spoke with the top-performing Directors of CRM among our clients to try and frame the skills, experience, responsibilities, success criteria and pressing challenges for the people executing what management guru Peter Drucker coined “a company’s primary responsibility”: catering to its customers.
Education and Prior Experience
Directors of CRM come from diverse professional backgrounds. Some came from within their companies, starting from roles such as VIP manager, customer service, email marketing etc., while others came to their position from a variety of fields, with experience in either analytics, management, or creativity.
Of the respondents we surveyed, the most common educational background was in Marketing and Business Administration, followed closely by Communication, Economics, and Information Technology. In addition, some CRM Directors studied Political Science, Marketing Management, Finance, International Business and even Design and Music.
Prior work experience was topped by management positions in Customer Service, Customer Communication and Online Marketing, followed closely by Promotions, Multi-channel Marketing and Operations. In addition, some of the respondents worked in the areas of Digital Consumer Marketing and VIP Account Management before attaining their present position.
Main Responsibilities and Success Criteria
In all verticals and businesses, Directors of CRM are responsible first and foremost for defining, executing and evaluating the global CRM strategy, also referred to as “customer communication strategy” or “customer engagement strategy.” This includes developing a customer segmentation strategy, creating and executing marketing campaigns and promotions, and implementing new technologies, infrastructures, and marketing tools.
Performance is measured primarily by CRM KPIs: conversion rates, retention rates, churn rates and customer LTV. Other KPIs also figure in: traffic, logins and CTR, and response rates to campaigns and promotions and ARPU. On a broader level, Directors of CRM also cite customer coverage, innovation and differentiation as success criteria. The main goal quoted most often is “creating a frictionless sales experience that reaches the customer with the right message at the right time.”
The characteristics of powerful Directors of CRM fall largely into three categories: general management skills, analytical skills and creative skills.
This paints a very accurate picture of the well-roundedness associated with the modern marketer – part manager, part scientist and part artist. These are the top professional skills quoted as most valuable by Directors of CRM, ordered by number of mentions:
- Management skills: project management, people management, communication and interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, attention to detail, flexibility, the ability to simplify situations, the ability to work under pressure, curiosity
- Analytical skills: strong data analysis skills, the ability to tell the signal from the noise, analysis and segmentation of customers, customer behavior understanding, sales expertise, monitoring and evaluation
- Creative skills: creativity, innovation and originality in content creation, email marketing, mobilizing visual assets and finding the right voice for social media.
- All CRM professionals in our study emphasizes that understanding the customer is key. This concept resonates across the board: “having a deep understanding of consumers,” “knowing your customers in and out,” and “the ability to put yourself in the shoes of your customers” are all sentiments that pertain to the centrality of the consumer and to the real need to get to know him or her as profoundly as possible. As one of our interviewees put it: “Understanding your business’s customer is key; not only how and when each customer is likely to buy, but also the motivation behind it.”
What Else You Need to Know About CRM Manager
Hopefully, the picture is clear and your comprehension of the functions and duties of the said expert is not blurred. Still, you will appreciate other interesting facts about managing customer relationships.
- A clearer visibility of clients’ needs and desires allows managing interplay with them much better to make them satisfied, loyal, and increase the probability to convince them to pay money for your goods/services.
- Despite the possibility to automate numerous CRM aspects, this process is not an instrument but a component of a complex system to change business practices to meet clients’ needs.
- Learning to manage customer relationships is a new system or even a science that bears a tremendous cultural impact on staff.
- Short-term or immediate is not the epithet to characterize CRM execution. In other words, have plenty of patience since shaping a CRM mindset is a long-term process.
- A three-hundred-sixty-degrees approach to interaction with clients is available via a decent CRM. It means that you will hardly miss an opportunity to satisfy the customer and, in turn, improve your reputation.
- If such questions as “Why did he/she make a certain decision?” or “When would she/he need this item?” are still relevant to your company, a decent CRM will provide you with the long-awaited answers. A customer analysis will be more profound and efficient for the current and future state of affairs.
- Customization of the trade cycle for each client is accessible using the more refined approaches to CRM. As a result, chances to make the sale increase due to the contentment of demands and incentives of a certain client.
- CRM comprises versatile functions and aspects of any company. Regardless of the customer relations type you are involved in (collecting money, manufacturing products, selling products etc.), your business will benefit from a decent approach to managing relationships with clients.