Unleashing the Marketing Power of Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Part 2: Feeding the Sales Pipeline and Tracking Marketing Results

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“What were the results of our last email campaign?” “Why should your marketing budget be increased?” “Where are all my leads?” If you’re in the marketing world, it’s likely that you have heard these questions on more than one occasion, and maybe you’ve struggled with your response. However, my hope is that after reading this, you discover that not only are there ways to feed sales and track marketing results, but that you can do it quite easily with the help of technology.

In the second part of this two part article, I’ll focus on how Microsoft Dynamics CRM has helped me track marketing results and feed sales, which have helped me to further unleash the marketing power of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. (If you haven’t read Part 1 of this article, be sure to check it out.) Since my experience with these areas is based on my usage of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the following will be based on feeding the sales pipeline and tracking marketing results with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Feeding the Sales Pipeline
Sometimes there are challenges around the handoff of prospects from marketing to sales, which can easily be understood, as both the marketing team and the sales team often have goals and pressure around performance. Through my use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, I have found that feeding the sales pipeline can be achieved by combining marketing processes with technology. Through our organization’s use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and marketing processes, we have segmented our database and pushed towards consistent and targeted nurturing efforts, to name a few, to enhance our nurture activities.

Since Microsoft Dynamics CRM can easily track emails, direct mails, phone calls, etc., it helps in organizing our nurture marketing efforts and communications, so when a prospect is ready to be handed over to the sales team, the sales person has full visibility into not only what communications the prospect has received, but in some cases even what the prospects interaction was with the marketing piece*. (*There are a variety of ISV/3rd Party applications that when paired with Microsoft Dynamics CRM allow for even greater amount of prospect information including read-rates on email campaigns, insight into what links were followed, and some even offer lead qualification scoring, which can be a great enhancement to the sales/marketing components of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.)

Tracking Marketing Results
Marketing, just like any other areas of your organization, has a goal; marketing at my company is no different. Whether your marketing goal is driving awareness, continuing to build upon established partnerships, creating new relationships, or uncovering sales opportunities, tracking your marketing efforts, and their results, is vital. In my opinion, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a great technology tool to help you in tracking your marketing activities and marketing results.

Say you are planning an event that is geared towards your nurture database. You send a postcard invitation, two follow up emails, and then make calls to your nurture list to drive attendance to your event. Let’s say that after receiving one of your emails, a prospect contacts you stating they would like to have a demonstration of your product. Within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can easily take this prospect, and reassign it to a sales team member, all while keeping a history of your marketing activities with the specific prospect.

What if a sales person receives a phone call or email directly from a prospect from an ad they saw in their local business magazine; can the prospect still be connected to a marketing initiative, even if it is new prospect? The answer is yes; with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a prospect can easily be connected to a marketing initiative by utilizing such categories as lead source or source campaign.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM also provides built in reporting capabilities for marketing initiatives, where a report can pull on various campaign aspects including created opportunities, closed opportunities, prospects generated, etc., making it easy to access campaign performance reports. It is vital for marketers to have visibility into how in-market campaigns are preforming, so that any needed adjustments can be made in a timely matter, so as not to adversely affect the remaining aspects of the campaign. It is equally important for marketers to have visibility to the results of completed campaigns, as this information is key in planning future marketing initiatives, as well as in determining marketing spend areas and campaigning for additional marketing funding.

I hope you found these examples of how I have unleashed some of the marketing potential that Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers as it relates to feeding sales with leads and tracking results of marketing initiatives. For additional information on unleashing the marketing power of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, contact OTT, Inc. at info@OTT-Inc.com.

By OTT, Inc., Minnesota Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

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