Throughout this series on CRM optimization and the evolving needs of our clients, I have written at length about the trend for organizations to shift their focus and expectations regarding their CRM systems. When leaders stop viewing their CRM systems as simple tools, and begin seeing them as a performing asset, they allow their CRM system to be utilized to its full potential, which in turn allows the organization to achieve outcomes that align with their overarching business objectives. Simply put, the end result is improved customer/client relationships, greater efficiency and business optimization, and the creation of an all-around, better experience.
This entry highlights how a business-aligned CRM solution can improve your marketing and communication integration, resulting in both a positive prospect/customer/client experience, and increased productivity for team members, as well as for the organization.
Why should you care? How many times have marketing and sales teams played the “finger pointing” game for lack of results (If you gave me more/better leads…. If you followed up on all of the leads you were given….etc.)? What are your prospects and customers hearing/seeing from you? What do your teams need to be more successful? Stop and think for just a moment. So many challenges in today’s business environment span the organization, and start with the expectation to do ever more with less and less. Whether it is having information and answers at the ready when our prospects/customers/clients make requests – regardless of who they asked; enlisting our team members for assistance building a proposal; providing account management and relationship services; or providing exemplary customer service, the list never seems to end. These are a few of the reasons that it is imperative to be positioned to work together and respond efficiently, in a manner that demonstrates competency and builds trust with every interaction.
Consider the following:
- Marketing specialists have theorized that it will take at least seven touches before the marketing message you are delivering will have any significant impact
- In many industries, it currently takes “too long” for a “field” sales rep to respond to an inquiry from a prospect/lead received from marketing
- By 2020, the “customer experience” will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator
- Organizations implementing digital transformation (CRM solutions) can drive up to 8% more operating income than peers that have not made this change
Here are some examples that demonstrate how an advanced CRM solution can provide better results due to marketing and communication integration within the system. These illustrate the improvements to your marketing and communications, and the corresponding positive affect upon the sales and customer service teams, that you can expect when you elect to implement an advanced CRM solution:
Example #1: Automated lead management and processing functionality. As organizations begin to rely on a multi-channel approach to their marketing and communication strategy, more emphasis is being placed on the digital portion to generate leads and relay communications to prospects/customers/clients.
- Reduces response time to inquiries, as they can be processed from source (email response, website SEO or form response, etc.) and directed to a team member’s activities without human intervention and positioned as a part of the team embers “to-do” list.
- Score the interest/receipt/response from your digital channels and funnel them through to the appropriate team member. Tracking and scoring website access, email response, social interaction (for consumer based organizations), then creating activities for the team member to focus on for the “best” results.
- Provide all staff with access to marketing messaging directed toward a specific prospect/customer/client, allowing for swift, knowledgeable assessment of the call/inquiry
Example #2: Customers expect organization members to know what’s “going on” with their accounts
- Establish a formal approach for various steps in the marketing, sales, support, and account relationship processes that is accessible to relevant team members, such that they are positioned to advance the customer/client relationship
- Provide access to all team members, from marketing through service/support, on planned, active, or recently completed interactions, allowing answers, or follow up to be provided accurately and in real-time
- Track all activities (marketing communications, calls, emails, meetings, etc.) in one location that appropriate resources can view
Example #3: Customers receive and respond to communications from multiple channels
- Use tools to test messages, then use marketing automation to send out the “best response” messaging
- Track responses for each lead to understand where/what messages connect with what type of prospect/customer role to drive additional traffic and constant improvement
- Plan for marketing communication with existing customers to maintain “top of mind awareness” beyond field or inside sales contacts
Example #4: Use analytics to identify “where my desired fish are” for targeted marketing/messaging
- Analyze existing customer information to build “profiles” for focused prospecting activities
- Apply “profile” information against existing lead databases, or purchased lists, to identify new prospects or prospect locations near existing customers for targeted activities
- Share information discovered with the sales team, enhancing their ability to visualize their opportunities, with both existing customers and new prospects; build programs for formal follow up and to track progress
It is vital that we use our systems effectively. By providing the tools and processes your team needs, they can communicate with, and support your prospects/customers/clients, giving you the competitive advantage necessary for success in today’s fast paced, ever changing environment.
In my next post, I’ll spotlight how customers who implemented an advanced CRM solution are able to grow existing “customer” relationships.
Moving your business forward faster.
Read the other blog posts related to the Affiliated series on CRM Optimization: