What Does a CRM Manager Do? The Complete Guide

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A CRM manager specializes in customer interactions and handles the software that makes those interactions possible. From implementing and maintaining the software to training employees and ensuring everyone uses it as they should, the CRM manager role becomes more critical as the software becomes more complex.

What Does a Typical Day Look Like for a CRM Manager?

What a CRM manager’s daily life looks like depends on who you ask. While it may seem like a vague job title because everyday tasks overlap with those required of other roles, distinct responsibilities of a CRM manager include:

  • Updating accounts and contacts in a CRM system
  • Monitoring customer relation strategies
  • Recommending strategy improvements
  • Building workflows to manage those relationships
  • Refining existing workflows and strategies
  • Coordinating meetings

Other specific tasks include analyzing purchasing behavior, supervising customer service representatives, managing their team, getting in touch with VIP clients or potential customers, and handling disappointed customers. So, the role goes beyond managing a team and maintaining CRM software.

In fact, the CRM manager is an integral piece of the puzzle that covers gaps in your current processes, jumping from function to function as required to ensure a happy team, happy software, and happy customers.

What Duties Does a CRM Manager Have?

We’ve spoken about day-to-day activities like interacting with customers, handling complex situations, and helping the team strategize new opportunities to deliver excellent customer experiences. Most of what we’ve covered so far are short-term, daily activities that help drive businesses forward day-by-day.

But there are also long-term duties and activities that CRM managers are responsible for.

One of the most important long-term duties is managing customers and the processes behind managing those relationships. The goal is to get your entire team on the same page so that every customer has an excellent experience that follows your processes regardless of who the customer or client talks to.

Doing so ensures that every customer touchpoint is cohesive.

One piece of that long-term strategy is creating and optimizing call scripts, training your team to use them, and coming up with ways to handle calls that don’t fit within the script.

A situation where a customer is proving difficult can even be an excellent teaching moment that helps inform your overall customer strategy. Bt it’s the duty of a CRM manager to realize this, document it, and implement it into your process.

Other typical duties may include training new and existing employees on new product offerings or services. From there, you and your team can highlight sales, promotions, and strategies to present new offers to customers and leads based on what you already know about them from your CRM system.

You can look at buying behavior, previous interactions, and market trends to make educated decisions about how to push your sales, marketing, and customer support efforts to the next level to meet your customers where they are.

While a big part of a CRM manager’s role is handling customer-facing processes and managing your team, there are also numerous duties on the backend, including maintaining customer information.

Over time, contact info changes, people leave companies and join new ones, companies change names, and who knows what else. The only thing worse than not having contact information for your customers at all is having the wrong information or an overload of data with no idea of what’s correct.

So, you may also be in charge of finding and removing duplicate customer data, defining your data storage processes, pulling reports, and figuring out how to replace outdated customer information.

While many CRM tools feature automated reports, CRM managers are typically expected to develop processes and standards around reporting. From presenting analytics to upper management and using it to make data-driven decisions, automated reports won’t always do the trick. As such, it’s crucial to understand how to display information in a way that makes the most sense.

As a key part of the underlying customer strategy, a CRM manager will also be at least partially responsible for other interaction channels, including social media—how it’s used, your company’s messaging, and ensuring your team is up to speed on all of those standards are paramount duties.

This may mean creating company policies and procedures, ongoing training, and continuous analysis of customer behavior on different social media platforms. Sometimes CRM managers use social media directly themselves—or they might be coordinating the message to others. If it affects customers and how happy they are with the brand, you can be sure a CRM manager will oversee the implementation of successful strategies.

Finally, a CRM manager will also review customer evaluations of the brand, specifically service representatives’ work, and will then recommend areas to improve to ensure customers are happy at every touchpoint.

Maintaining a positive brand image is the aim here, and a good CRM manager will relish the challenge.

Who Makes a Good CRM Manager?

A role like CRM manager is suited to certain kinds of people.

The types of people that succeed in this position will be those with substantial customer service skills. They will enjoy interacting with customers and will 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 around 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 person who is highly detail-orientated. They’ll be a person who can spot something that others may have missed, in this case, 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 center or in a similar environment, is key. This experience will help the candidate develop the skillset, mindset, and attitude necessary to be a great CRM manager. 

When To Hire a CRM Manager

You may be wondering “when should I hire a CRM manager?” It’s a good question and one in which there are various views—much like the role. The first thing to say is that all businesses will be at different stages of their journey, so a lot of the when relates to that. 

To start, think about your company and the challenges it faces daily. Are there times when you wonder why a customer made a particular decision, but have little data or evidence to support a reliable answer? If so, a CRM manager would be the person you go to—they would provide the data and the reasoning behind why X customer did Y. If your company regularly faces questions like this one, a CRM manager would be a great next hire for you. 

Budget is another important factor to consider, as the expected annual wage of a CRM manager is anywhere from $80,000 to $120,000. There is, of course, some variance to this, but generally speaking, hiring a CRM manager will be the sort of thing a business wants to do when there are strong signs of growth, and ideally, when the budget allows for it. 

An enterprise business with the funds to hire a CRM manager might wish to do this as soon as possible to gain deep insight, while a smaller company might wait until it becomes a necessity or until new resources can be allocated to support the hire. A lot of this depends on a business’s unique circumstances.

Another factor to consider is if there are conflicting objectives within your company.

For example, do sales staff receive instructions from the marketing team they don’t want to accept? In this scenario, a CRM manager would act as a bridge between the divide—a link that can successfully join the dots up and minimize friction.

They may even act as the central point of contact for department heads, minimizing conflicting goals and keeping things running smoothly. If that’s a scenario you can relate to, then now is probably the time to hire a CRM manager, budget permitting.

If a new or expanded CRM system is being introduced to a company, this is another situation where a CRM manager would be instrumental. CRM systems can run without a CRM manager, but those that have tried this method tend to end up with more issues than they had hoped for—ideally, you would bring in a CRM manager along with a new system.

There’s little doubt having access to a complete customer analysis is an effective tool for any company, so it’s just waiting for the right time to acquire one.

Considering Becoming a CRM Manager? Start Here

You may be considering becoming a CRM manager. It can be a great role to work in, and the future looks bright—for instance, CRM is expected to reach more than $80 billion in revenues by 2025.

So, what exactly are the skills and expertise you’re going to need, along with the required education? Well, as we mentioned before, a strong marketing background is critical.

This is a person who can quickly analyze consumer behavior and demographic data to deliver the right brand messaging at the right time.

Good communication skills are a must then, as are the need for excellent project management and creative skills. There are multiple responsibilities required for this role, so the best person for the job will enjoy taking on and managing multiple areas at once. 

On the education side of things, we’re looking at a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Information Technology, Public Relations, or Business Administration. However, having a Bachelor’s degree in a less related field isn’t a dealbreaker if they have enough marketing, management, and/or CRM experience from their career path after college.

Of course, they’ll also need to be a likable person in general who can create durable relationships with others and maintain them. So, this a people-centric person who will be required to manage cross-department feedback and engage with customers where needed to fix any problems. 

Someone that thrives on interacting with others. 

In terms of a career path, a CRM manager can move up to Senior CRM manager, then Head of CRM, and finally a Director of Performance Marketing. There is a clear path for progression then, and the chance to get promoted is likely if you do well in the role. The pay at all levels is also respectable. 

Here are some quick tips to help break you into the role:

  • Customer service skills and managing customer relationships are at the core of the position, so they’re vital. Getting some experience in this area beforehand can help your chances significantly.
  • Most CRM managers tend to find jobs in the finance and technology industries, so be sure to search there first.
  • 43.7% of CRM managers have a bachelor’s degree, 16.3% have master’s degrees. Some still secure the job without these. It’s fair to say that a degree will likely increase your chances.
  • Many CRM managers have previous experience in roles as sales associates, or more generally, as customer service representatives. They often seek leadership-style positions after these roles.
  • The average salary is $87,771, with a job growth rate of at least 5%. Promotions in this role are often available. 

Overall, making sure you have the required experience, skills, and education will increase your chances of becoming a successful CRM manager.

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