A colleague of mine was shocked to find that the large company he just joined (multiple offices in multiple states) didn’t have any organization around their lead tracking via a customer relationship management (CRM) system. I mention this because some of my clients will be glad to know that even large companies have trouble organizing and leveraging prospective clients. There are so many robust software tools available, the hard part isn’t picking the right tool for you; it’s configuring it to draw customers down your marketing funnel.
Creating and automating (where possible) a process that brings customers to your website and engages them to begin a growing relationship with your company will require some careful thought and senior management participation. Ultimately you’ll want to leverage your CRM’s capabilities such as those listed below in order to “reel-in” your prospects. The idea is to create a logical process that the customer can follow beginning with a low level of commitment and growing to a higher level of commitment and leading to frequent interactions with that prospect. Ultimately it will lead to a conversion from prospect to customer!
CRM Capabilities to Leverage
• Downloadable offers that encourage an exchange of “currency” between you and the prospect
• Landing pages that enable that “currency” exchange and establish a contact in your CRM
• Regular and relevant content to continuously remind prospects of your value proposition
• Email and personal follow-ups at appropriate intervals
In the examples above, “currency” refers to anything of value between you and a prospect. Your currency may be information such as a Tip Sheet or a White Paper. Your prospects’ currency may be their permission to allow future communication as a result of providing you their contact information. Most CRM’s have these capabilities built in and they can be integrated into your website to supercharge your other direct marketing efforts.
I’ve heard it said that a CRM is a philosophy, not just a marketing tool. I agree because a CRM is only successful if everyone in the organization who touches a customer pledges to contribute to the intelligence of the CRM. Otherwise it will remain – DUMB.
The CRM is a place where you can define and automatically track the types of interactions your company has had with a prospect. Examples of data points that your CRM can help you organize are:
• Name of the person who brought this prospect to the company
• Whether the prospect taken advantage of an offer
• Whether the prospect has subscribed to your blog
• Whether the prospect has downloaded a document from your website
• Whether the prospect has participated in an online training or product demo
• Whether the prospect has been spoken to by someone in your organization via phone
• What was learned from the customer during that phone conversation
• Whether the prospect is interested in receiving more information about your company
• What type of business challenges the prospect is currently wrestling with
Once your organization reaches a certain size, you’ll need a robust CRM to help you effectively manage customer relationships. In the meantime, start by thinking about your marketing funnel. Implementation of a CRM (and a digital marketing strategy for that matter) will be much easier if you do!
Contact us if you’d like to know more about CRM systems that can serve your needs!