It seems that a lot of the problems with CRMs stem from the fact that users don’t completely know what the system offers, or how to obtain that information. If you’re coming in through an authorized reseller partner or consultant of the vendor, that helps the lines of communication to be much more open and convenient, but still, this does raise the following point. If we are to get the most out of our investment in CRM, we must not only know which features are available, but also how to use them. And that’s the subject of our article today.
This article will focus on understanding some of the features a good CRM program offers for marketing automation. While some CRMs do not focus too heavily on marketing automation, this is a crucial part of your relations with clients as many times it is the initial communications that you will develop with them.
So let’s take it chronologically. Are you taking advantage of your CRM’s web-to-lead capture? Do you have to manually enter leads instead of having them flow into your system automatically? Why is this feature such a crucial part of your marketing/sales process anyhow?
We all know that managers have a ton of work to do. They oversee the progress and success of the individuals in their sales teams; they focus on their own monthly, quarterly and yearly goals; they report their findings to upper management, and so on. For smaller companies, in addition to all the above they must play the role of system admin to their sales software, which is usually a CRM. Anything that we can do to minimize the work they manually have to do, the better.
If you haven’t already, make sure you take advantage of your system’s web-to-lead capture. This can result in hours per week saved, which adds up to days per quarter saved.
Once your leads are in the system, now you’ll need your marketing people to send out messages to your leads and warm them up. Are you doing this manually? Is there a dedicated marketing person who selects a group of people every Tuesday and Thursday and sends them literature via email and other marketing collateral? If so…why?
Your CRM should have an email automation feature. With this feature, you can automate all your outgoing emails to prospects, based on the date that you first enter them into a certain track. Thereby, you ensure that they receive emails at specified intervals, and should they respond you could pause their participation in the track at anytime. Fast, easy, and best of all, it’s all automatic! And that marketing person who does everything manually can spend his or her time on more revenue generating opportunities.
Now that your leads are on an automated drip marketing track, you’ll also want to keep track of who is reading your emails, how many times they’ve opened the email, thus tracking the interest level and purchase potential. This is a crucial feature that you’ll need to differentiate your A level leads from your B and C leads and turn those A leads into sales quickly.
And finally, you or your marketing team will want to make sure that you’re getting the most bang out of your marketing bucks, so make sure you utilize the system’s marketing reporting features. If your system is built for campaign management and analysis, you’ll be able to quickly report on the ROI of all your marketing campaigns and activities and ensure that your company is spending its marketing dollars wisely.
So that’s it! Make sure that your choice in CRM is balanced in terms of the tools versus the cost, and then get the most out of it by spending a little time initially to learn the huge array of tools you have at your disposal. Then you’ll see that CRM is a truly wise investment into the huge earning potential of your company.