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Fostering more-effective sales and marketing efforts with customer data collection, tracking, and updates. …

Fostering more-effective sales and marketing efforts with customer data collection, tracking, and updates.

Whether you’re B2C, B2B, or B2E, you likely have (or want) prospects that you will convert to leads and from leads to customers. How you identify prospects, engage and nurture leads, and convert to customers is probably unique to your company and the products or services you sell; the software that you use to facilitate this process is called a CRM or customer relationship manager.

There are myriad CRM applications available, both standard apps and SaaS models but that in and of itself is not a determination of the scope of functionality. Some CRMs are a small step up from list-management applications or a series of features within other applications, such as an email-automation application. Others are complex end-to-end relationship identification, engagement, and closing tools, such as Salesforce.

In this article, I’ll discuss how a CRM can be an effective method for enabling and empowering both your sales and your marketing teams, while keeping the ­C-suite informed and involved.

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  • 1. The CRM Cycle Fostering more-effective sales and marketing efforts with customer data collection, tracking, and updates.
  • 2. CONTENTS PAGE 2 CONTENTS.......................................................2 YOU SHOULD READ THIS ARTICLE IF YOU:........3 TAGS.......................................................................3 INTRODUCTION ..............................................4 ACQUIRING A PROSPECT LIST ............................5 CLEANSING YOUR LIST..................................5 CHOOSING A CRM ...............................................6 UPDATING YOUR CRM WITH OFFLINE DATA.....6 USING YOUR CRM FOR MARKETING..................6 TRACKING YOUR EMAIL ENGAGEMENT ....7 SUMMARY ..............................................................7 ABOUT SPIDER TRAINERS ....................................7 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS
  • 3. PAGE 3 YOU SHOULD READ THIS ARTICLE IF YOU:  Are considering implementing a CRM system  Need more information about CRM to emailautomation integration  Have questions about acquiring lists to feed  Wonder about offline activities, such as phone conversations and sales meetings  Would like to create more visibility between marketing and sales efforts your CRM system TAGS        Customer relationship management CRM Marketing Automated marketing Offline marketing Sales management       List acquisition Lead scoring Cazoomi Radiology Data Spider Trainers Cyndie Shaffstall List management ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS
  • 4. INTRODUCTION PAGE 4 Whether you’re B2C, B2B, or B2E, you likely have (or In 2009, Forrester Research estimated that 47% of all want) prospects that you will convert to leads and from CRM initiatives fail and the primary reasons for these leads to customers. How you identify prospects, failures are centered around a lack of focus, a lack of engage and nurture leads, and convert to customers is buy-in from stakeholders, and approaching the probably unique to your company and the products or software as a technology rather than as a solution to services you sell; the software that you use to facilitate managing customer relationships. this process is called a CRM or customer relationship manager. In this article, I’ll discuss how a CRM can be an effective method for enabling and empowering both There are myriad CRM applications available, both your sales and your marketing teams, while keeping standard apps and SaaS models that in and of itself is the C-suite informed and involved. not a determination of the scope of functionality. Some CRMs are a small step up from list management applications or a series of features within other applications, such as an email-automation application. Others are complex end-to-end relationship identification, engagement, and closing tools, such as Salesforce. According to Manoj Ranaweera, CEO, edocr.com, “The customer-relationship management process can be illustrated as: lists + enrichment + qualification + emailing + scoring + sales + updating. Repeat.” I agree wholeheartedly that the process we’ve outlined here has nuances that we have not disclosed, but for the purpose of an introduction, I’ll focus on the 35,000-foot view. ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS
  • 5. PAGE 5 ACQUIRING A PROSPECT LIST person for the type of contact they will receive from our customers. This raises the bar on both deliverability and engagement.” I am often asked by clients to weigh in on the topic of list rental and purchase, and my answer remains the “I want to ensure that the prospects’ names that same: it depends on the list. After sending millions of we collect are high quality and the appropriate emails for our clients over the years, we know that the point person for the type of contact they will vast majority of commercially available lists do far receive from our customers.” more harm than good, but we’ve also found that even — David Ramsey, president, Radiology Data some of the worst lists can be gently nurtured in order to avoid a total loss. In short, purchasing or renting a list can be a viable Direct-mail lists, for instance, have shown to be option for your business, but don’t forego your powerful aids in the nurturing process and using this homework. Make sure you know how the list was vehicle as an introduction before beginning an email generated, what expectations the people in the list campaign can mean the difference between expense have for receiving marketing messages, and, if you and revenue. intend to email, use direct mail to first establish the List vendors range from the nefarious — lists of relationship. millions for a pittance — to the notorious, such as CLEANSING YOUR LIST those offered by Dunn & Bradstreet or other reputable Whether you have an existing list or you have companies, and how each vendor collects the data will be reflected in the deliverability of your emails or direct mails. As an example, we spoke with David Ramsey, president, Radiology Data, and learned that their lists of hospitals and outpatient imaging centers have been methodically built through the process of making acquired a list, cleansing your list is an important process and one that should be repeated regularly. A CRM is a powerful tool and one that will help you to send appropriate messages and correspondence, shorten the sales cycle, manage contractual documents, and more, but it will only be as accurate as the data within. individual phone calls to each of the facilities. During An especially helpful best practice is to have your list the call, an introduction is made defining the purpose processed through the national change of address of their call and information collected concerning the service offered by the USPS and licensed vendors. An appropriate contact person, type of equipment, NCOA will update the physical addresses for each buying practices, and more. prospect ensuring that mail is sent only to valid According to Ramsey, “I see both sides of the coin. I own a business that needs prospects to whom we can market, but I’m also in the business of helping other addresses (saving postage costs) and that you don’t head out the door for a meeting at an address that changed two years ago. companies with their prospects. With this unique Other best practices include removing duplicates and vantage point, ensuring that our data is collected in a appending data to gain information you don’t have manner that produces the best results for my (such as gender, age, income, revenue, and so on). customers is of the utmost importance. At the same Maintenance processes can be a great drain on time, I want to ensure that the prospects’ names that resources, but with each cleansing session, the process we collect are high quality and the appropriate point will go more quickly, and you will find fewer errors. ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS
  • 6. PAGE 6 CHOOSING A CRM If you’re just now in search of a CRM, the likelihood is that you’ve been tracking your prospects, leads, and customers in a spreadsheet or database application. The good news is that in most cases, you will be able to directly import this data without too much effort and, depending upon the size of your company, users, and other factors, you will have many to a few possible UPDATING YOUR CRM WITH OFFLINE DATA As you develop your CRM system, you will use it to import/add prospects, nurture leads, monitor their position in the pipeline, track the value as an opportunity, manage contracts, close sales, and more. The interactions you have with leads offline in activities such as phone calls, meetings, trade show visits, and CRM solutions from which to choose. other events that occur outside the application, will be In order to choose the best application, you should critical to an accurate understanding of each lead’s give consideration to the following (but this is not an status. exhaustive list): As we pointed out in the introduction, the inability to                      Available budget Desktop application vs. cloud-based solution Who in your company will use the system Number of system users Calendar and scheduling integration Mobile app or access to certain features through your mobile device Number of prospects you have Pipeline management gain buy-in from stakeholders is very often at the root of a failed implementation. In order to be successful, the people who use the system need to be involved in the selection, deployment, and training of which CRM you will use. Only then will you gain a commitment and concerted effort from them to add prospects and keep lead and customer records up to date. Contract management USING YOUR CRM FOR MARKETING Extended reporting Your marketing department is a wealth of information Opportunity management Customization on the sales readiness of your leads. With today’s Technical support analytics software, marketers have unprecedented Multiple language visibility into the behavior and preferences of Import and export functions recipients. When your sales team is armed with Data sync with marketing lists information about messages read, white papers Lead scoring downloaded, videos watched, podcasts heard, and Email sending other engagement points, the lead’s interest level in Custom HTML templates your products or services can be inferred. Dial phone numbers Social-media integration For a feature comparison, information, and reviews on some of the contenders, visit SoftwareAdvice.com ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS
  • 7. PAGE 7 “When you use your CRM, Excel, or other tools separately from your automated-email marketing, you’ve probably found yourself searching through old email conversations trying to determine engagement or have received an angry reply from a prospect you emailed who had already optedout. CRMs and email-automation applications are designed to work in tandem. As the account owner, it’s your job to ensure they do.” — Clint Wilson, CEO, Cazoomi TRACKING YOUR EMAIL ENGAGEMENT SUMMARY Your B2C, B2B, or B2E organization will benefit from a CRM deployment as it collect prospects, tracks lead activity, and reports when leads convert to customers. With dozens and perhaps hundreds of CRM applications available, choosing the appropriate feature set and gaining stakeholder buy-in will ensure a successful implementation. ABOUT SPIDER TRAINERS Spider Trainers is a company of experts in email development, web development, search-engine Integrating your CRM with your email-automation optimization, analytics, graphic design, ad creation, system will enable marketing and sales to work more multimedia creation, social-media postings, writing, closely together for the benefit of the organization and editing — and CRM-to-email integration. through the sharing of data. In instances where you have chosen disparate systems, software connectors created by Cazoomi can bridge that gap. These connectors will enable you to pass sales lists, in whole or in part, to the email application and data collected about engagement with the campaign back to the CRM. Lead scoring is information with both the CRM and email-automation system that indicates the level of sales readiness, usually with increasing numeric values, but not always. Capitalizing on advanced integration between your CRM and email-automation application, engagement with campaigns can increment lead As marketing-automation architects, we analyze your needs and create campaigns for you that ensure your return on your email-automation software investment — even when you’re feeling the pinch of full workloads and too-few resources. At the Spider Trainers’ resource center, we have a library of publications designed to help you with your marketing efforts. While we may be guilty of giving too much information, we know that the empowered and informed client is the successful client. We hope this article and our other resources do that for you. Please call us at 651 702 3793 or email cmeyer@spidertrainers.com to learn more. scores in the same way that sales and offline engagement that is being tracked by the sales team. The syncing of this data to and from ensures that marketing messages are on target and that messaging improves sales readiness. ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS