Marketing Productivity with CRM
Drastically Increase Marketing Productivity with CRM
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” — Henry Ford.
Are your marketing and sales teams operating as if the Great Wall of China is between them? In many small and medium-sized businesses, these departments manage their business contacts in two separate places. In this way, they needlessly isolate one another from information that can help your business grow. That’s because no one has the big picture.
The key to success is CRM that enables sales and marketing to work together to enjoy the true benefits of customer relationship management. Today’s best software is designed for marketing just as much as it is for sales.
CRM Builds Marketing Relationships
While Customer Relationship Management software has been around since the 1980s, for a long time it was viewed as a sales tool. These systems were a way for sales teams to:
- Get a better handle on sales activity
- Organize customer and prospect data
- Schedule follow-ups
- Track their pipeline
At the same time, management used these systems to track sales results. What sales deals are going to close this quarter? Are we on track to meet quota? How much have sales grown year-over-year?
Marketing associates, if they used CRM at all, exported customer contact records and imported them into an autoresponder, email service or other standalone marketing application. And when they ran their campaigns, the information gained disappeared into a black hole with only the leads emerging…and not much information as to why these contacts were awarded ‘lead’ status. Marketing then imported the leads back into the software and tried to avoid duplicate records. Also, they had no easy way to update records on customers and prospects already in the system.
It was at best inefficient, and at worst minimally effective. Communication between departments was poor. Mistrust and tension over the lack of transparency ran high on both sides.
Today, that’s changed. Customer Relationship Management systems can turn marketing campaigns into integrated sales efforts that deliver marketing-qualified leads to sales. Everyone can see and track results. In 2015, value of CRM derives from it being a centralized and actionable database of all information about leads, prospects and customers.
The Benefits of CRM
As Customer Relationship Management systems integrate more and more marketing tools, your company can benefit by expanding usage to include all customer-facing departments. Advantages include:
When the records remain in your CRM system, sales can instantly see associated marketing campaigns. They can, for example, use the intelligence to find existing customers that might be candidates for upgrades and add-on products and services. As records are automatically updated, reps can check a record and see all activity before they call, enabling them to offer the best service.
Highly Integrated Activities
When sales and marketing work together they are a stronger team. Marketing takes charge of warming up leads and making them sales-ready, and then sales works to close the deal with full intelligence about their prospects. Working together, they can collaborate on marketing and sales efforts rather than blaming each other for either bad leads or lack of follow up (depending on which side of the wall they live on).
True Customer Segmentation
Prior to using a CRM system, marketing simply exported names and email addresses and all were considered equal. Segmentation was limited to simple targeting, such as by market or industry.
With customer segmentation, you can target the marketing message to the specific needs or criteria of an individual or segment of accounts. When you target messages by customer segment, you can make them more specific and personal, thus increasing the chances they will resonate with recipients, and generate trust and relationships.
Better Understanding of Marketing’s Impact
Because records no longer need to move in and out of CRM, it’s easier to follow the success of a campaign. Sales and marketing can discuss results and tweak the campaign as needed to optimize it.
Better Measurements of Marketing Effectiveness
Traditionally, marketing has had a difficult time tracking ROI. Metrics such as click-throughs and email opens were as far as it went. But by using CRM to track results all the way through the sales process, marketing can now gauge both campaign and individual account results. Sales, marketing and management can see just how many marketing-qualified leads resulted in sales.
CRM Marketing That Works
As marketing starts using CRM, the best place to begin is with highly targeted email campaigns. Identify the characteristics of your best customers. Determine which leads, for example, are most likely to buy. You can look at both demographics and behavior to do this. For example, are there certain industries or company sizes with which you have a higher close rate? Do leads that download your white papers or watch your webinars have a higher propensity to buy?
The more you search, filter and analyze contact records, the more you’ll know about your customers and their buying habits. Then, it’s an easy next step to align customer segments with specific products and services.
Ready to start your campaign? Save time by eliminating the need to import and export customer records to third-party software. Build your emails inside of your Customer Relationship Management tool.
And create targeted messages that speak to specific needs and solutions. Your email campaigns will become useful communications and so will be more successful than spray and pray email blasts. This is the true value of CRM for marketing…and ultimately your sales.
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