How to Articulate a CRM Vision

Introduction to the New CRM Paper from Heller Consulting

We’ve come to understand that putting your whole Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) picture together is a journey of three stages from aspirational to strategic to practical. It’s a critical process to go through, and it’s not always easy or quick. However, the benefits are enormous, giving you:

  • Measurable outcomes
  • Greater commitment from all levels of the organization
  • Confidence derived from sound planning

We cover all three areas in Heller Consulting’s paper, Making CRM a Reality, but today we are going to focus on the first, how to articulate your CRM vision.

For those visual thinkers, here’s how the process of three stages from aspirational to strategic to practical fits together:

Three Stages of CRM Implementation

A vision is just that – a seeing beyond what is visible, an aspiration, an inspiration. A “CRM vision” is an articulated aspiration about your nonprofit’s relationships with constituents – those you serve and those who do and support the serving.

Some important questions that can help your team develop a CRM vision are:

  • What do you want your constituents’ experience to be when they interact with your organization? Dream big, this is aspirational! And it often ties back to the values and mission of your organization.
  • How do you want to engage with your constituents?
  • How do you want everyone in your organization to relate to your constituents – values, message, approach?
  • How do you want everyone in your organization to relate to each other – values, collaboration, teamwork?

If (and when!) you realize your CRM vision, you will also need to consider how that will impact:

  • The experience of your constituents?
  • The experience of everyone inside your organization?
  • The impact your organization can have? 


When this vision is distilled into one or two sentences, it becomes a powerful touchpoint for everyone involved in its realization. During moments when it feels like the work to bring the vision to fruition is mired in technical minutiae, or if there’s a decision to make about whether or not to move forward with a piece of technology, or at dozens of other times, referring back to the CRM vision can provide clarity and focus.

Download The CRM Paper Now!

For more information on how to create a CRM vision, how that leads into a CRM strategy or for an example of what a CRM vision might look like, download the paper, Making Your CRM Aspiration a Reality now!

Monika McMahon

About Monika McMahon

Monika joined Heller Consulting after spending 8 years in the Boulder technology startup scene. She is an expert in Social and Digital marketing, adopting and implementing new (and old) platforms for organizations ranging from ecommerce, SaaS, and nonprofits. Monika not only understands how these platforms work but how to use them to meet business objectives. When she is not educating and sharing her online talents, she can be found enjoying the music scene in Denver.

One comment

  1. Having a concrete vision before trying to do a solution rollout is so important, it’s not even funny.

    It really helps to know what your goals are, what you’re trying to accomplish, know your needs, and know what are “nice-to-have’s” so that you can set out to find the right solution from the get-go and have successful, smooth sailing from there on out.

    CRM isn’t a basic address book or task manager. It’s an integral part of your business that needs careful consideration.

    Brad Hodson
    JobNimbus

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