We meet people where they are on their spiritual journey. It means understanding their demographic, language, and communication preferences as we interact with them in the moment. As people gain trust and take baby steps, you have the responsibility to offer the right opportunities and track individual opportunity stages.

You are able to forecast, nurture, and connect in real-time with the help of your Church Relationship Management (CRM) platform and its opportunity fields. Lead management and timely follow up remains critical.

I think of CRM in two words: taana baana. The Urdu and Punjabi communities of India and Pakistan understand its meaning. It means to lay the groundwork, to organize, or to arrange something.

Weaving term, “taana baana”, means “the warp and the weft.” Taana or the warp direction refers to the threads that run the length of the fabric. This is also known as the machine direction. Baana is fill, or weft, which are the yarns inserted perpendicularly to the warp. Taana refers to the thread from top to the bottom, while Baana refers to the thread from the left to the right.

We can think of the weaving process, “taana baana”, as an analogy for a customer journey that covers the direction of spiritual formation that our CRM tracks. In a CRM, the opportunity stages go from top to bottom (the warp), while the customer journey goes from left to right (the weft). Our audience journeying with us is the layer we spread (as a horizontal thread) through the opportunity stages that we automate (the vertical threads).

The old way of managing churches was based on ROI (return on investment). We monitored the ABCs (attendance, buildings, and cash). The current way is about the DEFs (Discipleship, Engagement, Faith-building communities). A good CRM helps us integrate both ways as we now seek ROR (return on relationship).

In 2016, I turned to Salesforce CRM for an optimization tool that manages our contacts across many countries and tracks their customized journey. Salesforce offers ten free licenses to churches that make this CRM an affordable solution.

With Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack, we gain access to all features of Salesforce CRM. Salesforce also enables us to create custom fields, objects, relationships, and other elements to the CRM. The web-to-lead feature helps us to convert online forms into lead profiles.

Salesforce’s native apps help us integrate dedicated event tools into our CRM. With Salesforce, we can manage all marketing and communications in one place by leveraging various channels, such as email and text messaging, social media, and marketing automation.

Salesforce spent $15.7 billion to acquire Tableau in 2019. This provides nonprofits with tools to make sense of different data sets. If data is the new oil, then Salesforce is a doorway to better optimization, automation, and organizing for growth.

Visit amitabhsingh.com/smartdashboard (USA or Canada Church Marketplace) for more information about how to implement Salesforce CRM at your church.

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