One of the biggest challenges for an Insurance business scoping CRM software is getting behind the headlines and working out how it will provide customer knowledge and marketing opportunities.

CRM is indeed the launch pad for digital transformation and yes, it does bring collaboration, communication and efficiency. Likewise, it does make light work of managing campaigns, sales opportunities and customer management. It also does indeed improve customer service, increase trust and can enable growth. And yes, all whilst providing the board and your teams with dashboard reporting that helps you identify yet more opportunity.

But, at a granular level, what does any of that mean? What are the departmental headlines for adding to the likes of OGI and marketing platforms?

Here’s just a small selection of some of the ways it has helped our insurance and broker clients:

  1. Eradicating data duplication – with departments often having their own silos of information, one customer’s data could be held in over three separate locations but without knowing what knowledge is sitting elsewhere. There are negative GDPR, cross-sell, upsell and compliance consequences. On the flip side, a single customer view allows you to use customer knowledge from across the business to grow without further recruitment, to meet GDPR requirements, to syphon out unwanted prospects and to make sure all marketing messages are entirely relevant to those receiving them.
  1. Improving channel relationship management – Insurance relationships can be multi-layered so it’s critical to be able to identify the complex ones and manage them appropriately, whether that’s through more careful messaging or a key customer programme.
  1. Improving customer conversations – When each department is looking at the same single customer view, they have a full picture of that business’ or individual’s relationship with the company. Every conversation is informed and followed up on which means no red faces, fewer errors and better opportunity creation and handling, meaning retention and growth.
  1. Making marketing more effective and helping sales to convert opportunities – Segmentation improves marketing results and a single customer view where knowledge of a customer is added to with every interaction is step one. Microsoft Dynamics 365 goes beyond that with MailChimp integration and an in-depth view of campaigns and activities for better understanding of success ratios as well as white space analysis. When sales know how a lead arrived, it’s much easier to understand their prospect’s requirements and mindset making the pipeline view so much more meaningful.
  1. More efficient and secure operations – No business can grow smoothly whilst information and administration is in disparate systems. Having a central platform for the business not only brings more customer knowledge and better upsell, it helps communication and action to flow much more easily. Documents are stored centrally and everyone has access to the task lists they need to progress their department.
  1. Reinforced compliance – With better business process flows and a clearer approach for GDPR and data, it is easier to meet compliance regulations. Claims benefit too with succinct audit trails as well as a 360-degree view of the client.
  1. Better reporting – Every organisation has a goldmine of insight amongst its systems but it’s not useful unless it can be surfaced meaningfully. What is true of one department as it stands alone, may alter when you consider the facts from another. With CRM (and particularly with Dynamics 365 because that’s where our expertise lies), management reports are vivid, clear and massively insightful.
  1. Talent retention – Good customer service representatives are like gold-dust and need to be kept. Working with a CRM system (if it’s the right one for your business) removes a lot of the daily task frustration that can mount up. It can also help each departmental team to see its role in the wider business ecosystem. User adoption is key but once you have it, your CRM can succeed. With Dynamics 365 Talent App, there are also fantastic ways to manage recruitment, onboarding and career progression.
  1. Better Business Insight – CRM allows you to see the patterns at play in your organisation and to identify areas of future growth. It allows you to see the opportunity that has perhaps hidden itself up until now because you didn’t have the data to show itself. By analysing customer history, profile and behaviours information, you can better understand future requirements and prepare accordingly.
  1. Automation of routine tasks – Back when CRM first started, this was at the crux of it. And it has evolved to a level of sophistication that reflects the digital age we’re now in. As with all digital technology, the basic rule remains. Get the basics working well then you have your pathway to the bigger transformations such as AI, Chatbots and self-service.


Are you currently scoping your CRM project or looking for tips on how to kick start your CRM strategy? Watch our 8 step webinar series which will guide you through the entire journey of implementing a new CRM system. From covering the basics of what a CRM system does, all the way to choosing a partner and scoping your business case.

The businesses that are growing despite the stuttering economy and uncertainty all have one thing in common – customer insight. And they’re not afraid to use it.

It’s not surprising but many businesses looking at their competitors might think that they have a better management team, bigger budgets to spend or an easier product to sell.  Yet we know that the most exciting business growth comes from customer insight because without it, products would be misfired, resource wasted, leads burned and opportunities lost.

Don’t be mistaken – many of the businesses that you are perhaps comparing your own with are probably working hard at the foundations. The hidden hero of customer insight is the structure where it’s all pulled into so that patterns can be detected and opportunities spotted. Without that, none of the forward-thinking innovations would be possible.

Following the DMA Awards last December, we were reminded of why insight is so important.

Ikea’s strategy to boost family card swipes happened because they knew usage rates from their data. The insight led them to the opportunity and that led them to their campaign which then went on to revive a stagnant customer loyalty programme and increase revenue. We can guess that they are continually monitoring that data now and looking for more insights for future initiatives.

When Royal London wanted to increase over 50s life cover sales and market share through paid search, it targeted individuals, not keywords. To do that, they needed to know enough about their existing over 50s customers. Their outstanding campaign results meant they also needed to continue that level of individuality on the customer journey that followed.

Virgin Trains could never have run their public transport customer survey through multi-channel marketing automation without efficient and thorough insight analysis guiding them to their next move.

A CRM strategy  can help your business gather the insight and analysis you need to drive business change and growth. CRM is not the result, it’s the strategy to get it. It’s the structure that holds up the award-winning campaigns, initiatives and results so that they’re effectiveness can be forecast and their results analysed.

It’s the engine that keeps the business running as a unit, not as a collection of silos. It’s where staff can singlehandedly spot an opportunity to pass on to other departments. It’s where insights surface in the most unexpected places.

It’s not just where technology can increase the efficiency of every team member and every department. It’s not just a repository for segmentation and delivery. It’s not just a boon for compliance, GDPR and data security. It’s not just a place to organise and see the sales pipeline.

It’s where ideas can come from.

And like all good things, there is a way of doing things that will bring better results and that will challenge you to examine the reasons for wanting it.

So, in your rush to get to those business headlines, remember the role that CRM plays in getting you there and give it the time and focus it needs to bring it into play effectively.

Want to know more about building a CRM strategy and what CRM can do for your business? Watch our Webinar Series ‘Your 8 steps to CRM Implementation Success’ and start scoping your CRM business case now.

So, you have the remit to explore CRM for your organisation.

You might be the CEO, the CTO, the COO or the Project Manager. Or maybe you’re just expected to report into them with your findings.

Either way, the CRM scoping and selection process knows no job titles and whilst the journey can be shortened, be very wary of missing out each of the important steps.


Here are five important things to note:

  1. CRM is way beyond a sales management tool. It’s a business strategy that lets you identify the needs and behaviours of your customers to win their loyalty. This isn’t just about seeing what they’ve bought and knowing what to sell them next. It’s about their every single interaction with your organisation and CRM lies at the very core of every area.
  1. Finding the right CRM system isn’t about which one is the most popular, or which one is cheapest, or indeed which one your competitors use. It’s far more complex. Integration with existing systems and software, customisation options, the appropriate levels of functionality for what you need now and in the future as well as user adoption all matter. Indeed, even the way that a software vendor interacts with its partner network is important so that you know where responsibilities lie for proposals, implementation and ongoing support.
  1. Whether you are migrating from one CRM system to another, moving from Excel, working with sector-specific compliance software or upgrading existing CRM, the process is king. There are objectives for every stage of the CRM scoping process, all of which are designed to help your business meet its objectives for CRM. And in most cases, create new ones once you know what is possible.
  1. It’s not a solo effort. Creating a CRM strategy and finding the right solution takes not just process, but collaboration. Stakeholder engagement is important. Every department can benefit from CRM but only if the right questions are asked of the right people from the outset. Customer services, operations, compliance, data security, IT, sales, marketing, administration, product development, distribution. The list goes on.
  1. Preparing a business case is crucial. It provides your board with the rationale, recommendation and expected ROI of your CRM proposal. However, what starts out as a detailed document is often reduced to no more than a few pages for the C Suite to read over. Make sure you know what they are looking for and stay true to the original objectives, as well as identifying the new opportunities that CRM creates.


Step-by-Step CRM Webinar Series

We’re often asked about every single one of the areas above. So, we’re running a free (and objective) Step-by-Step CRM Preparation Series that will make sure you have thought of everything.  It’s one thing to know what should be done, but sometimes insight from people who have done it before makes all the difference.


STEP 1: Your CRM Strategy in 2017

In the first of our webinars, we look at what a CRM strategy is, as well as why and how businesses across every sector are using CRM to meet their business objectives and challenges.

Watch our webinar and find out more about the whole series, here. And if you’d rather bypass the webinar series but still want the knowledge, why not give one of our consultants a call on 0845 226 8170 or have a look at our discovery day options.