Improving Marketing Results With CRM
Marketing is not perceived as an exacting science. Many times, marketing plans, campaigns and other activities are planned from guesswork or past “experiences”. As a result, organizational budgets can be quickly wasted on marketing initiatives which were poorly conceived and poorly executed.
In today’s evolving market, efficient marketing spending is crucial for business growth. More importantly, marketing efforts must be highly targeted and not broad-based to minimize wasted money resulting from sending the wrong message to the wrong prospect. CRM applications are often associated with helping the sales team of an organization in streamlining their sales process. In addition, CRM systems can also have tangible benefits to the marketing area of your business and, in fact, can provide the marketing team with the most visible and significant results of any group using it. CRM can address the many pains associated with the daily initiatives undertaken by your marketing organization:
Pain: Getting quality lead results from marketing campaigns
Determining which marketing programs work and which ones do not is perhaps the most significant pain for a Marketing executive. Results from advertising, direct mail, trade shows and other mediums can be extremely difficult to track. As a result, marketing planning is oftentimes based on guesswork and gut feelings instead of hard facts.
CRM can help!
A CRM solution can offer a comprehensive Marketing lead tracking system which allows marketing executives to access real-time information regarding leads and where they came from. C2CRM, for example gives the Marketing team instant views of leads in the sales pipeline. They will know where a lead came from, when it was entered, the lead status and who is working the lead. Moreover, information can be charted which shows the number of leads which turned into REAL opportunities. Actual sales numbers can then be traced back to the original marketing promotion to help show the true impact that a marketing initiative had on the bottom line. A ROI can then be calculated giving management a tool to assist them to decide which programs should be renewed and or discontinued based on actual data.
Since C2CRM supports “Drip Marketing”, the same lead statistics are available for prospects that exit out of “parent” campaigns to “child” campaigns for targeted messaging. Using a CRM system such as C2, Marketing professionals can end the guesswork oftentimes associated with marketing planning.
Pain: Tracking lead follow-up
A pet peeve of most marketing professionals is watching the leads from a successful marketing campaign sit idle for weeks with little or no follow-up, qualification or nurturing. This can be the result of a poorly organized sales team, overworked sales people or inattentive/inefficient sales teams.
CRM can help!
With a CRM system in place, multiple tools are instantly available for the marketing organization to track lead status and the sales team to efficiently follow up on leads. C2CRM, for example, can provide marketing professionals with reports which show the status of any grouping of leads. These groupings can be pulled by campaign or event (such as a trade show) and can reflect the current status of each lead in the system. Information such as the percentage of leads which were considered dead versus those which are being actively pursued is quickly accessible.
A CRM application can also provide comprehensive information about the status of a lead for the sales team member as well. This information is much more than just good note-taking. A CRM solution such as C2 can offer lead scoring and temperature gauging to prioritize which ones to focus and address first. It can also provide stages within the sales cycle which sales professionals can call upon to properly tag a lead. Once tagged as being with- in a certain stage of the sales process, it becomes easy to prioritize leads based on how close they are to closing. This lead classification is designed to give the sales person a common point of reference for each lead in the effort to not only keep track of his or her leads, but to communicate their status to others. A CRM system can empower each sales professional to properly prioritize their leads and shorten the sales cycle.
CRM can give the reporting tools needed for the marketing team to identify and analyze lead status and ensure that a timely follow up is occurring. It can give sales team members the tools to ensure that no lead is left cold and that they are making the most of the leads provided by the marketing efforts of the company.
Pain: Touching your prospects and customers
How many times does a prospect need to see your product information before they become interested in buying it? That is a tough question to answer. One thing is certain however, the more you communicate with, or “touch”, the prospect, the more mindshare that prospect will have of your company and your products resulting in “brand recognition”. The pain felt in marketing is related to how efficiently a prospect can be reached multiple times. It can be expensive and time-consuming as well as very painful.
CRM can help!
A true CRM system like C2CRM has a built-in “conveyor belt” which can be “activated” to send regular communications to leads, prospects, suspects and current customers in the system by simply tagging the lead. By using this conveyor belt system, you can automate the process of sending corporate information to prospects, leads and customers in the system.
As a result, you’ll be able to provide them with product information and/or up-sell them to additional products and services on a regular basis.
For example, if you have a lead who is interested in product A, and after the initial contact, the lead says that they may be in a position to buy next quarter, then with C2CRM, you can tag them to receive regular communications regarding product A over the next 3 months. This targeted “conveyor belt of information” can include reprinted articles on product A, brochures, reference stories, personal letters from other product A users, and other key pieces of collateral. C2CRM handles the process of follow up via email to help keep your products top of mind with the prospect. Then, C2 can inform your sales reps when they need to call these prospects back to move the sales process to the next step. With built-in notes, C2 lets you keep tabs on each conversation your sales team members have with each prospect so you can track any possible hurdles that have to be overcome in order to close each deal. It’s been proven that the more you get your message in front of a prospect, the more likely they will be to buy your product. Using C2CRM, you can automate this process and increase the likelihood of closing more deals and increasing sales.
Creating detailed reports on the status of leads received from a marketing campaign, or by a particular medium over a period of time can be a daunting task.
CRM can help!
A robust CRM system offers true analytics which can drill down into the database and extract key data to create reports showing related details of interest. For example, C2CRM can allow you to create a report on the fly which shows how many leads from “Trade Show A” ended up being a dead lead, how many are still being worked and how many turned into opportunities. More importantly, C2 can cross examine that database with the database from the previous “Trade Show A” from a year ago to show which event pulled in more revenue. Analytics gives you the power to slice and dice your database as you see fit to compare, examine and dissect different bits of information to help you make informed marketing decisions. Dashboard widgets can also be created to graphically display real-time analytics.
The challenges of a competitive and dynamic marketplace make marketing a crucial component to a successful organization. Businesses which implement CRM strategies are able to arm themselves with tools to not only streamline the marketing process, but build it into a well-tuned machine which is capable of spending money in a targeted and effective manner. While doing so is always the goal of a marketing team, there is a difference between the perceptions of efficient marketing and the reality of the results. That’s where CRM can play a vital role in providing concrete, real-time data which puts little doubt as to where the marketing dollars are working. As a result, your business will save money by spending it where it has the most impact and NOT spending it on wasted efforts.
Many CRM software platforms do not have an integrated marketing automation component. This is an unfortunate oversight because marketing is the lifeblood of every business. Improving marketing effectiveness is can give your business a definitive strategic advantage that can go directly to the bottom line.