Creating SMART Goals for Legacy CRM

5 min read
December 08, 2021

Legacy CRM, or a CRM that you inherited from your predecessor might just be the best asset your business has. You may not yet know it but a CRM gives your back and front offices incredible power. There is a good reason why marketers and professionals refer to the CRM as the central source of truth. So, like with any asset, you should be looking to maintain or improve it. By creating SMART goals, you will be able to set realistic, approachable, and achievable expectations for both yourself and your business.  

If you do not know what SMART goals are, then prepare to be blown away. SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely. Now this may sound like a bunch of adjectives to you, but these descriptors will help you to create goals while at the same time creating a plan to achieve them. The genius of smart goals is that it forces the creator of the goals to also think about how they will achieve the goal while creating them. It sets up the creator for success rather than failure. The best thing about smart goals is that they can be applied to almost anything. But SMART goals for your inherited legacy CRM will be sure to take something you may consider to be a burden to a true asset to your business.  


Tip 1: Determine What You Want to Focus Your Goals On.  

While “improving” your CRM may be one of your general goals, it is not specific enough to be a SMART goal. SMART goals require you to look at the details of the problem in order to determine the path to remedy it, rather than creating lofty goals. So the first step is to determine the specific problems of your CRM that you need to address.

 Here are some common ones:

  1. Contacts are siloed. This means that contacts are not universally shared across all teams and team members. Contacts may be getting notified by different teams, causing frustration and confusion to the contact. 
  2. Many duplicate contacts in the CRM. Team members not being trained on the CRM, and contacts not being properly imported into the CRM.  
  3. Low engagement among contacts, low email open rate. Emails may be getting sent to spam folders or low priority folders causing customers to forget about you and your business. You may have only one or two problems that you need to address or you may have many many problems. I suggest you only start out with 5 problems, and 5 smart goals.   

Although, I cannot direct you exactly to your best possible goals, I have some general recommendations for those who need help to revitalize a CRM.  

In general your goals should focus on these topics: 

  1. Getting yourself re-trained on the CRM software.
  2. Getting your staff retrained on CRM software. 
  3.  Implementing a schedule or regiment for dealing with duplicate contacts
  4.  Creating templates for importing contacts. 
  5.  Purging contacts whose emails have bounced or have unsubscribed.  

Tip 2: See if your goals hold up to the SMART goal standard. 

So at this point, I have strongly emphasized the importance of attributes of smart goals: specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely. But how do you actually know if your goals are up to standard? Some of the attributes such as “relevant” can be quite subjective and will vary greatly depending on the goal creator and the organization. There is not a scientific process for measuring smart goals, unfortunately, but a good way to understand if smart goals are up to standard is to look at successful examples of SMART goals.  

We want to improve email open rates by 30% in 3 months. 

This is an example of a SMART goal created by a real organization that was ultimately successful.  This goal was created by an organization that was struggling with declining email open rates due to a CRM that had too many bounced contacts and unengaged contacts. Both of these factors limited their ability to improve their email open rates. So in order to rectify this problem, they purged contacts that had emails that were bounced or unsubscribed. By doing this they were able to attain their goal in less than the given time frame.  

Here is a break down of the SMART goal: 

  • Specific: This goal was specific to email open rates, a branch of their marketing effort.  
  • Measurable: This goal gave a measurement of 30%. This type of measurement is excellent for creating smart goals because it is very easy to calculate and  to keep track of the progress being made.  
  • Actionable: This goal is actionable because there was a process that could be done in order to change the situation. This included removing bad emails and contacts from their CRM.  
  • Relevant: This goal was relevant to their wider goals and what they wanted to achieve.  
  • Timely: This goal sets a time frame that they wanted it to be completed by. This is excellent for goals because it not only holds the organization accountable for achieving this goal, it has the potential for the goal creator to make milestones for himself.  


Tip 3:How to Evaluate Your Smart Goals and What to do if You failed to reach them 

Since SMART goals have a timeframe, you will know when it is time to check to see if you have reached your goals. When you set your goals, it is important to set a reminder for yourself and for your team when the time frame is up. This could be in a project management software such as Asana or in a team calendar. Holding yourself accountable for these goals may be the most important aspect of setting goals because otherwise they are simply wishes.  So once the time is up for the goal it is important to immediately check the progress on the goal. If you have set milestones, which I highly recommend, you can determine if you hit those milestones in a timely manner and eventually your goal. If you reached your milestones but not your goal, then that means something, most likely went wrong recently. Or if you struggled to reach milestones at all, then there is something more fundamentally wrong with your goal. 

If you have failed to reach your goal, then do not panic and do not blame yourself and your team. This is bound to happen to every organization at some point. The important thing is that you examine exactly why you did not reach your goal. Sometimes, it is something that is completely out of your control. External factors such as a pandemic may disrupt your business goals and the only thing to be done is to change your goals. However, sometimes the failure to reach the goal could be one of two things (or both): the goal was too lofty to be reached or there was not enough action taken to complete this goal. By determining which of these two are the culprit, or if they are both, you will be able to set new goals.  


If you have reached your goals, then congratulations! It may have taken you many tries or just once in order to reach your goal but either way it is exciting and quite an accomplishment. Remember, creating SMART goals is just the first step to revitalizing your legacy CRM. To find out what else you must do, check out our blog on Inheriting a Legacy CRM. 

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