As marketers, there is always a focus on results and ROI – it goes with the territory. After all, generating value and leads for clients are what ultimately drives their businesses, and keeps customers happy.
And, when it comes to keeping track, it’s a must for communicators to be savvy when measuring the warm conversations they’re having with positive prospects and existing clientele. So, when analysing elements such as goal conversions – for example ‘brochure downloads’ or ‘get a quote’ actions – the success of these can often be determined by using metrics, to highlight if a marketing campaign is working well, or how it can be improved.
However, such insights don’t always offer up vital statistics including the ‘holy grail’ of marketing – evaluating just how much revenue has been produced as a result of the planned activity.
That’s where an effective customer relationship management (CRM) system comes into play.
Steering towards buyer success
This technology won’t be a surprise to many marketers because it’s nothing new. Its capabilities to manage interactions, and understand prospects’ behaviour, have been used for years.
CRM systems certainly go a long way into helping clients see exactly what is needed in order to increase customer satisfaction and create brand loyalty, as well as ensure a healthy turnover and profit in return for the business.
But yet, there seems to be a ripple effect blanketing marketing departments, because such technology is often overlooked. Why is this still the case?
It could be that marketers have not been using the data correctly so they’re not capturing the best insights – and therefore see it as being more time-consuming, rather than helpful. Alternatively, with the gulf of detail marketers now have to take in to do their day-to-day roles, they might simply be put off by the incredible ‘information overload’ they’re presented with.
There’s also a case for how much these tools have changed over the years. The ease of integration between platforms and SaaS products isn’t the same, and it’s taken many man hours to adapt them so they become simpler, more intuitive and less costly.
However, it should be stressed that a strong CRM infrastructure can in fact streamline processes, and make things easier when it comes to homing in on the pivotal information to shape effective campaigns.
With that said, there are several cases to be made for the advantages a solid platform can bring to a business and its customers – starting with revenue.
Having an integrated system in place allows a website to feed direct enquiries to the client and its marketing department – providing a more efficient approach, and better measurements. Another benefit includes Google Ad tracking – which can be linked-up to analyse keyword and campaign data, so that everything is monitored in minute detail for teams to use in their customer communications.
Gaining a strategic advantage
With a good CRM tool in place, firms can organise and store a historical view of buyer activity – and include details like who they are, what they’ve bought, plus when and what may have triggered the purchase. That can be gold dust for a marketing department!
Put simply, it’s this kind of crucial data – which offers patterns and anticipates customer requirements – that gives a strategic advantage, enabling teams to use it to complement their ongoing activity with tailored, tracked and personalised messaging.
By segmenting people according to attributes, such as location, job, business type and previous purchases, it allows for focused marketing, which closely meets each individual’s needs. It also means marketers can communicate different benefits depending on a persona – what could be a targeted advantage for a financial director might require very different language being used to tailor for a CEO.
Managing the sales pipeline
From lead to the opportunities and sales, the funnel is central to CRM because it shows where deals are on the scale. This can help with forecasting, and the ability to refine processes – such as why the conversion rate from enquiry to meeting, is low.
Businesses should be questioning if they are communicating benefits in the best way or if they’re attracting the wrong type of enquiry. This is a core feature all CRM platforms understand – and can subsequently provide the answers.
For a company owner or a sales team, this goes on to offer a great way of knowing what’s coming in – and managing the communications efficiently to give organisations the best chance of moving opportunities along the pipeline.
Becoming more efficient
Finally, when there’s one ‘go-to’ system in place, it opens up the doors for teams to work collaboratively, avoiding duplication. That also means information remains accurate and up-to-date, as well as working wonders in enhancing staff morale – due to less manual work, and more in-house productivity.
Whatever the size of the organisation, the benefits of using CRM systems are plentiful. Why? Because companies can set it up to start tracking the basics, then move on to the more complex elements such as segmentation and buying habits. It’s important to keep things simple initially before trying to be overly-ambitious.
Customers are crucial to the existence and growth of the business, so take every possible step to understand them and their needs, is the real key to success.
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