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Published on: Marketing

Helping Marketing Understand the Power of CRM

This isn’t about the system; this is about the common language.

I am a career-long marketeer, and my husband is in the CRM space. We’ve had a few coffee conversations about CRM, and it was funny how things obvious to him were not to me. Therefore, I decided to summarize the value of CRM for the marketing function, so that we, marketeers, could make another step in understanding how the business operates, better.

Five ways CRM helps marketing perform.

  1. CUSTOMER ACQUISITION & RETENTION

It often happens that marketing, sales and the service teams look at the prospects and customers differently.

For example, marketing can qualify leads based on the self-declared annual revenue, industry it belongs to, interest in specific content on the web.

Sales in their turn might be prioritizing leads whose head office is where the salesperson’s network is.

Services or account management looks at the converted and active customers from the product portfolio and share of wallet point of view.

Not only views vary, so do the systems. Marketing can choose from the multitude of marketing automation tools, sales would use the proprietary or on-premises CRM system installed in the organization, and services would use a bunch of operational systems.

Therefore, three functions which need to form the natural extension of each other providing smooth customer experience are siloed, offering clients a non-synced relationship.

A well-set CRM system can break that silo by ensuring continuity between lead generation, lead nurturing, lead management, sale & onboarding and retention facilitating long term relationships between the client and your business. The system like CRM does not replace the human conversation and alignment between the three functions in your organization – it serves as the canvas for those to draw the perfect customer experience masterpiece.

  1. LEAD SCORING

Building on the previous point, lead scoring is one of the tools helping marketing and sales align on what customer profiles to focus on. In reality the transition of lead from marketing to sales is often bumpy. Marketeers might consider a lead good while it might not be such for sales – then chances it will be converted into a paying client are low.

To build a sustainable lead scoring model all the parties need to be aligned on the end goal the organization needs to achieve at the specific stage of its development.

CRM then becomes a handy tool to operationalize this alignment and automate the transition process.

The process can be easy to work out if you start small – taking one simple campaign and sitting a marketing and a sales person together at the table for just 30 minutes might be all it takes for a successful pilot.

  1. FORMS, forms, forms…

Sign up for the newsletter, download the whitepaper, fill out an event feedback survey, tell us how we are doing – just a few examples of the forms marketing is creating for the customers to fill. It is great to ask for the customer feedback but if you dig deeper, you might discover the information sinks in various systems and is not adding value to any of the parties involved in the customer experience. Remember, if information is ingested, it needs to follow some logic to provide a useful output!

If you’re going to create a newsletter feedback survey form, answer some basic questions before designing it:

  • what we are solving for (do we want to save time, money and resources by focusing on the topics the audience cares about, delivering those in the format they prefer and through the channel they actually use?);
  • how answers are collected, stored and used (is the information accessible by people inside the organization via a consolidated contact report, is the system flagging and alerting when an action is taken by the client, do people in the organization know how to use that information to progress with the conversation at all?).

By answering these you are likely to either create a better form contributing to the holistic customer view or realizing you already have all the information in your system and don’t need that form at all.

  1. CONSENT AND CONTACT PREFERENCES MANAGEMENT

Marketing communications need to comply not only with GDPR or local communication standards but also with specific contact preferences indicated by the customer. If someone called a call center and asked to stop sending communications, this needs to be noted too. The ideal place to keep those pieces of information synced is the unified CRM system.

Still, it often happens that a marketing data person needs to surf multiple systems to ensure all the unsubscribes, opt-outs and dormant relationship records are synced and treated accordingly. It is not an easy task to automate the process and let your marketing focus on relevant communications. But those who succeeded to configure the data management logic and pour data into CRM as the ultimate source of truth, benefit.

  1. PRODUCT MARKETING

80% of your future revenue will come from 20% of your current customers*. And might be even more so in the COVID environment. Integration of product penetration and revenue data into CRM enables marketing, sales, services and even product work together to set segments for cross- and up-sale activities and relevant promotions.

Such collaboration can also help eliminate silos between those departments creating a better not only customer but employee experience.

Although launching or redesigning the CRM system in the organization is not an easy task, the value it brings to the organization and its customers is RELATIONSHIP, the most stable currency in our world.

And hey, Marketing can and should take part in the conversation!

5 ways CRM helps marketing perform

By Kira Tchernikovsky

*https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexlawrence/2012/11/01/five-customer-retention-tips-for-entrepreneurs/?sh=12f4a5685e8d

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