7 Ways CRM Can Improve Discipleship

Steve Gladen, Global Small Groups Pastor at Saddleback Church, pulls from his 20+ years of small group ministry experience to encourage and equip listeners to lead healthier, growing and more effective small group ministries. In this episode, Steve is joined by co-host Derek and special guest Matt Hamilton (who has 35 years of Tech Sales experience at 7 global companies) to talk about 7 ways CRM can Improve Discipleship. In this episode we break down the following: 

  • High Level Perspective
  • Personalized Service
  • Central Repository of Information, accessible and sharable
  • Data Insights
  • Time is Our Most Precious Commodity
  • Continual Improvement – adapt or die
  • Soul Food – nurturing relationships that foster growth and positive impact


1. High Level Perspective:

 – We’re all in sales – it’s just a question of “what’s the product?”

  – Clear vision & benefit statement – don’t make people guess

  – Concise, positive, fun, high energy, memorable

Everyone’s favorite subject: Themselves!! The more you know about them, the more impactful & engaging you will be.

  •  God’s tool to move them beyond themselves-Small Groups (our product) – to fill the spiritual void they have from a broken relationship with God. Small Groups bring back (read Acts 2:42-47) community, Biblical knowledge, personal development (Discipleship), serving, evangelism and worship

2. Personalized Service

  •   Our world demands real time interaction with deep personalization
  •   Personalization = You Care / You Understand Me = Credibility
  •   Credibility is critical in a noisy, misguided world

3. Central Repository of Information, accessible and sharable


  •   A good memory is great but it isn’t transferable or scalable (institutional Knowledge)
  •   One source of information for all team members to access
  •   Requires thoughtfulness on the required fields vs. optional fields
  • Start small, think in terms of the bare essentials or Minimum Viable Product
  • Too Much Information or Layout / Architecture = can drown the initiative
  • Shared information shows competence, increases confidence & greatly improves customer experiences

4. Data Insights

  • Ability to spot trends – very powerful in driving outcomes
  • Move from reactive to proactive – address issues earlier 
  • Cohorts & Patterns – ability to compare outcomes & experiences over time
  • Increase personalization and value to customers / people
  • Competitive advantage – data can bring knowledge & knowledge is gold

5. Time is Our Most Precious Commodity

  •  Use it wisely & maximize impact
  •  Don’t waste other people’s time – they will reward you through avoidance
  •  Learn through data analysis how to improve time management – adjust regularly
  •  Serve people with the method they prefer, it’s not about what you want or like
  •  Focus on building the perfect day & week (activities done every day / week)
     Don’t let things slip – if a day is subpar, make it up the following day

6. Continual Improvement – adapt or die


  •  Static approaches die no matter how great they are
  •  The world is changing, people are changing and the approach has to stay current Data analysis will spot trends, help reveal required adjustments and highlight areas of application (who or where I need to apply the adjustments)

7. Soul Food – nurturing relationships that foster growth and positive impact

  •  People are attracted to ideas & other people that have a positive impact on them
  •  Align the interaction to provide value / positive impact with every touch
  •  Feedback is essential and needs to be regular from a diverse group
  •  Try to score or grade user experience or engagement – If you don’t measure it, it’s very difficult to monitor performance and spot changes (good or bad)

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