Creating a CRM Strategy for organizations which just merged after a M&A

Corporate world is always full of merger and acquisitions. The challenge for organizations is how do we go about in crafting a CRM strategy, which CRM tools to keep and which ones to leave and how do we integrate the CRM systems from both organizations? If one of the organizations use Salesforce CRM and another organizations has another salesforce CRM instance or a CRM tool like Microsoft Dynamics, Siebel or any other product, how do we decide which CRM product to retain, plan a stable CRM merger of both organizations quickly, handle problems proactively and get the business value needed for the parent company?

Crafting a CRM Strategy

A CRM strategy at the core should have the following items on a minimal level.

  1. Business Objectives
  2. CRM product decision
  3. IT strategy
  4. Data strategy

Business objectives

If you have challenges defining business objectives, increasing cross sell and upsell opportunities could be a key performance indicator for your CRM Strategy.  Reduction in average time to sell could also be an indicator for the business objective.

Once the business objectives are defined, the next step would be to identify product strategy. This would involve combining similar products, identifying competing products and combining them or creating add-ons for upsell and cross sell. Products with similarities have to be grouped into common categories, bundled up with existing bundles for up-sells and cross sells.

Decisions on which CRM to keep and which ones to retire.


For the CRM tools strategy, an inventory of existing CRM applications like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Siebel etc. and all add on products with your CRM like marketing automation apps, data quality tools, BI reporting tools, functional apps which do specific functions like order management, CPQ etc. have to be identified. Once the inventory is done, an impact analysis for 4 possible scenarios has to be done.

  1. Using both CRMS and use existing apps.
  2. Merge first CRM with second and retiring first CRM.
  3. Merging second CRM with first CRM and retiring first CRM.
  4. If both CRMS are sfdc, Org strategy on deciding which org to keep , merge or delete.

Based on the outcome of the impact analysis, a decision should be done on which CRM tool would be the master CRM and which one can be retired. To help in decision making, the following criteria can be used to help with the decision.


  1. Short and long term Costs on product licenses for both CRMS.
  2. Impact analysis of migrating one CRM to another in terms of complexity, risks and scalability.
  3. Risk analysis on add on applications existing on the current CRM ecosystem like app exchange.
  4. Data quality of existing CRM in terms of duplicate, incomplete and most recent contact information.
  5. Product fit on existing IT strategy.
  6. Resource capability and vendor support.
  7. Strategic capabilities of the products on mobile, social and business intelligence perspective.

Data Strategy

Data is cornerstone for CRM strategy and should have the following items on each CRM system.

  1. Volume of customer data, transactions and prospect data in both systems.
  2. Data quality in both CRM systems.
  3. Quality of prospect data in both CRM systems from a deal closing and prospecting capability.
  4. Complexity in data migration, integration between different systems.
  5. Ability to support reports, customizations and support predictive analytics.
  6. Integrate with the current MDM strategies of IT.

So using the above guidelines, a CRM strategy can be devised by organizations who had just purchased another organization or in the process of acquiring one. I have specific templates which I can share with you on specific criteria’s. Please feel free to post your thoughts or email me at for further questions.

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Author: buyan47

Hi there! My name is Buyan Thyagarajan. I am a Salesforce consultant specializing in Higher Education, Manufacturing and Marketing Automation. My blogs will help you to maximize your Salesforce CRM investments, prevent problems beforehand and make the right decisions. If you need to talk to me right away, you can email me at or call me at 302-438-4097

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