In 1997, with the joint efforts of Siebel, Gartner, and IBM, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) became popular means to get, store, and use customer data for sales and marketing. But back in 1986, ACT! stormed the world with a Contact Management Software – a tech that would take forward the pioneering work by Robert and Kate Kestnbaum.
How did CRM begin? The first records state that ‘database marketing’ scrapped or sourced and analyzed customer information. Applying statistical modeling, this data was then used to initiate customized communications with them and other potential customers.
A powerful business tool had such a humble beginning; yet, today, how many companies do we know that can operate without a CRM in place? Surely one that does not wish to grow. How many CRMs are in place today? Enough to generate more than 11 million jobs in the next 2 years.
What does CRM do exactly?
Usually considered as a hub for all target audiences of a business, a typical CRM will have a marketable chunk of people at any given point in time that can be nurtured (for future conversions) or interacted with (for immediate sales). But CRM is that and much beyond.
It is a concept that is assisted by technology to churn interests or requirements into sales and revenue.
Any CRM begins way before you get the customer information; Here are 6 milestones in a CRM operation:
Customer Profiling: The first step to filter and sharpen the right customer type for the business we are running
1.Information scraping: A crude method to obtain customer information, we usually opt for social media to find the details
2.Digital marketing: Online Paid campaigns and organic Branding strategies, plus Lead gen using lead magnets, forms, subscriptions, etc.
3.Email Marketing: Nurturing campaigns, Fibonacci emailing strategies and conversion structures for audience
4.Sale: Direct and indirect marketing for sales to generate revenue
5.Customer mapping: Channelling mediums in the most effective campaign that gives most leads
A lot of other sub-process exist therein, but you have the gist. But a CRM can only be powerful if used correctly; in fact, a properly driven CRM – based marketing can give an ROI of almost 87% – sometimes as high as 245%.
So how to use a CRM to kickstart your Business. Or, reinvent, post the COVID-19 pandemic?
Businesses have taken a serious hit in this global crisis. Partnerships are dangling by the threads, clients have withdrawn their projects and market requirements have almost turned nil (except for the essentials). In this tough time, the realisation is key – basic amenities will have thrived; the rest has taken a backseat, and now is the time to redo!
That’s why Plan!
The world we lived before COVID-19 isn’t the same we will live post the resumption. Perspectives have changed and hence, every company has to come up with a content strategy from ground level. How to communicate, how to layout awareness and nurturing campaigns, everything has flipped.
That’s why layout a plan with your marketing and business development team.
- Draw out revenue charts and models based on your average customer spend
- Plan your next set of projects/clients you would aim for
- Connect with vendors in your business and those you have worked with
- Look for the pain points of your customers and vendors to draw partnerships
- Use free webinars for lead generations – Use topics touching ground reality
A CRM can plan out all of this for you – from funneling, you can estimate an average spend, understand the clients and vendors whom you can work and trust for revenue, feedback that you have received on topics they would like to get educated on, etc. Use all this to create awareness campaigns which are explained next.