Analyzing the Business Environment to Understand Strategic Context

Study the environment of the organization to understand and determine the customer strategy to pursue. Each organization operates within an operating environment and a more remote or macro environment that influence its priorities.

Actions of competitors, suppliers, and customers go into its Operating Environment whereas the government and politics, global issues, currency fluctuations, interest rates etc. may influence the Macro environment.

The internal environment is shaped by the people, processes, systems, structure, culture, and skills among others.

Several well-established frameworks exist for analyzing the external and internal environments of an organization. As an example ESTEMPLE is an acronym for 8 factors that go into shaping the external environment of the organization:

• Economic
• Social
• Technological
• Ecological
• Media
• Political
• Legal
• Ethical

Analyzing the external environment gives you pointers to the threats and opportunities for your business. Ask yourself – what are the two or three elements in your ESTEMPLE that will provide the biggest opportunities for strategic development? What are the two or three largest threats?

What if any of these opportunities or threats is your CRM initiative addressing?