Make the use of technology – CRM and CX tooling – strategic with The Golden Circle of CRM and CX tooling model. The key words for this model are continuous improvement, management by objectives and agile. Strategic? Technology is an inseparable means for the – strategic – end: Effective and Efficient Customer-driven business. The use of CRM and CX tooling to facilitate – think of digitalisation, gathering customer insights – a successful Customer-centric operation. Management by objectives? The successful strategic use of CRM and CX tooling is therefore of great importance for achieving the objectives! Continuous improvement and agile? To achieve this, make technology strategic with a continuous development process which is linked to the overall objectives. In this way, respond effectively to strategic developments such as the rapidly changing needs of markets, customers and employees. How do you approach this with The Golden Circle of CRM and CX model? Read on!


  1. Introduction
  2. The Golden Circle of CRM en CX tooling™️
  3. Foundation, strategy customer centric business with OGSM connected to the overall strategy
  4. Plan
  5. Operationalize
  6. Collaboration: customer journey
  7. Analyze
  8. Conclusion and more information

1. Introduction, Effective and Efficient Customer-centric operations.

Effective and Efficient Customer-driven operations, on a high level:

* Effective? Achieving the profit and turnover targets.
* Efficient? An operation with minimal waste.
* Customer-centric operation? Translate the changing demands and expectations of customers into the products and services tailored to the customer.

The above matters are all subject to change. After all, markets and customers are developing and changing. The number of touchpoints is increasing rapidly. In response to this, organizations are developing and growing: responding to new opportunities that present themselves, saying goodbye to outdated propositions.

Not developing and standing still leads to extinction! In practice, the introduction of CRM and CX tooling is often an one-off implementation exercise. The result is a high investment that makes little or no contribution to the changing needs of the business. The solution? The Golden Circle of CRM and CX tooling.

2. The Golden Circle of CRM and CX tooling™️

Means and an End? CRM and CX tooling – the means – to facilitate the challenges with customer-oriented business – the end -. However, in practice I often see that the means becomes the end. A complete focus on, for example, a certain CRM tool without looking how this tool contributes to the objectives.

To this end, I work with the Golden Circle model of CRM and CX tooling which is developed by Within this model, you recognize the concepts of the Deming’s quality circle (PDCA), the OGSM model and the Agile Scrum model:

  • The PDCA quality circle. A model for continuous improvement based on Plan, Do, Check, Act.

Continuous improvement is the first key of this model!

  • OGSM. The OGSM – Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures – model originated by the management by objectives ideas of Peter Drucker. It makes clear how the different parts are related to each other. The OGSM is a strategy on an A4 and forces you to make sharp choices! (And not a 100-page strategy that states what we all want without making explicit choices.)

Management by Objectives is the second key of this model!

  • Agile Scrum. Agile – literally agility or flexibility – is a way of working in which one is aware that circumstances (customers, markets) are subject to change and can respond appropriately.

Agile is the third key of this model!

Summary, the key words for the Golden Circle Model are: Continuous improvement, Management by Objectives and Agile.

3. Foundation, strategy customer centric business with OGSM connected to the overall strategy

As a starting point, which problems to be solved with technology? What is the dot on the horizon and how can technology facilitate this? The translation of this into a strategy for customer-centric business. A strategy that is linked to the overall strategy and objectives (and not a stand-alone initiative).

I like to work for the customer-centric business strategy with the, management by objectives, OGSM model. Below is a fictional elaboration

     Objectives. This is a qualitative objective, where do we want to be with customer-centric business over a certain period? The objective must inspire and provide direction.

Example: “in 3 years, engaged customers and engaged employees through a 360-degree customer view and data-driven way of working”.

     Goals. Translation of the qualitative objective goal into quantitative goals.

Examples: an NPS of 40, reduction in churn by 10 percent, improvement in cross selling by 12%, a margin of 25%.

     Strategies. The concrete (sub)strategies for achieving the objectives. Tip, work with a maximum of 6 strategies: after all, everything has to fit on an a A4 sheet and this makes the choices clear!

Examples: customer journeys in view with all touchpoints and pain points through journey management. Customers are ambassadors through a remarkable positive experience. Involved employees by putting employees at the center of the business operations.

    Measures. The dashboards and concrete actions.

  • Powerful dashboards can be developed with CRM and PowerBI for example. Measuring are we on the right track?
  • Concrete actions, the actions to be followed with journey management for example. Translate the strategy for committed employees into actions for onboarding, progression and outflow.

4. Plan

4.1. Selection of technology

In case there is no technology yet or technology that is outdated and needs to be replaced, an involved technology selection process with a delegation of relevant stakeholders. Because there are different images and (brand) preferences with technology, I always start with the “Why” question. What operational and strategic problems do we want to solve?

More information about CRM and CX tooling selection? CRM selection


4.2. Introduction of technology

After the selection of the right technology, a committed implementation project follows.

More information about CRM and CX tooling implementation? CRM implementation


4.3. Prioritize and improvement actions

This is part of the Agile Scrum methodology. The design and setup of the product backlog, including the improvement actions. A product backlog is the “stock list” with a division into (long-term) roadmap and short-term “PBI’s” Product Backlog Items.

A PBI can be described in different ways:

  • a detailed user story: as a CX professional I want to have insight into the experiences of the touchpoint website, so that I can focus on the desired experience.
  • in broad terms as an improvement action, the elaboration of which will follow in a next phase.
  • a detailled description of a management report or dashboards

The advantage of working with PBIs is that it provides insights. What needs to be done and how to make targeted choices: what do we tackle now and what do we tackle later?

5. Operationalize, sprint backlog and execution

This section is also part of the Agile Scrum methodology. The Sprint Backlog is the collection of all PBI’s selected for a sprint. In short, in a sprint the selected PBI’s are converted into concrete functionalities.

Functionalities that:

  • contribute to the Objective
  • are required by law and regulations
  • are required to carry out the operation effectively and customer-oriented (as well as the sales, service and marketing processes.)

For the execution, start to working with the functionalities delivered from the sprint. Measuring whether these delivered functionalities meet the set goals; the ROI.

6. Collaboration: Customer Journey

The crux of customer-centric business:

Company-wide collaboration facilitated by technology with the customer as a connecting perspective.

Collaborate according to the various Customer Journeys (and not based on isolated department goals)

Example. Breaking down silos with technology as a contribution to the Objective “engaged customers and employees”: a smooth transition for customers and employees from marketing via sales to service for the daily support. This journey facilitated by technology.

7. Analyze

Are we on track with the Objectives and Goals? Are adjustments required in the Strategies? Or are there adjustment needed to be made with Measurement. Adjust existing actions or implement new actions? What are the – new – actions for the coming quarter?

I see the following three types of analyses:

1. Operational

The short-term improvement actions that arise from the operation: experiences of customers and employees. These experiences require immediate action: “closing the loop”

2. Tactical

The analysis with the results of the 2. operations (addressing structural customer complaints for example) and 3. the collaboration/ Customer journey. Which – structural – improvement actions can be initiated?

3. Strategic

Course determination linked to the Objectives and Goals. What are the strategic development actions for the coming quarter (or another schedule)?

8. Conclusion and more information

Technology – such as digitalization with CRM and optimizing customer journeys and touchpoints with CX platforms – can be used to respond effectively to the high and continuously changing expectations of customers (CX) and employees (EX). Although technology is crucial, it is a means to an end: successful, distinctive customer-centric business.

In summary, the Golden Circle of CRM and CX Tools, strategically deploying technology based on:

1. Continuous improvement: learning, improving and developing

2. Management by Objectives: clear choices and direction as a dot on the horizon

3. Agile: an agile organization

This requires leadership: inspiring, exemplary behavior, coaching. New leadership is often an effective strategy, especially if there are underlying problems. In this way, a silo-driven organization continues to have the “silo culture” when technology is deployed without realizing what the actual underlying problems are.

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