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
Information scraping: A crude method to obtain customer information, we usually opt for social media to find the details
Digital marketing: Online Paid campaigns and organic Branding strategies, plus Lead gen using lead magnets, forms, subscriptions, etc.
Email Marketing: Nurturing campaigns, Fibonacci emailing strategies and conversion structures for audience
Sale: Direct and indirect marketing for sales to generate revenue
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 Partnerships are dangling by the threads, clients have withdrawn their projects and market requirements have almost turned nil (except for the essentials).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.
Strengthen your Content Marketing
It is said that by 2030, Content marketing will be the only source of lead generation - people love stories, emotions, or good content. Direct sales will soon be a myth and Customer Profiling will be a new set of Digital Marketing positions. So hold on to your Content Marketers; they will get you that extra dime!
Understand your customer based on the CRM’s customer mapping and lead source
Make and link your websites and deliverables to your CRM to know sources
Use CRM Tagging facility to club audiences for ease in later content marketing
Connect with the Cold Leads using strong storyboards, talk to the warm leads using targeted communication and offer immediate service to the hot leads
CRMs offer an extremely unique classification system: based on the journey of the prospective lead or a customer (yes, both are different), you can either automate or manually club customers for targeted marketing (explained in the next point). Source of the prospective lead, whether interested or not, journey mapping, business type, time in the database, etc., all can be easily used to segregate customers.
Because a person interested in App development would not be interested in Booking tickets, a food business would not be interested in knowing what an IT corporate company is up to and likewise. Targeted marketing drives 67% more sales than generic marketing - people relate to content that concerns their needs.
Segregation of Customers using tagging can be used to the maximum if only one knows how to make the most of email marketing. This has lately picked up a lot of traction, but existed for quite some time now. Generic targeted mailers were almost every time considered as spam, promotional stuff, etc. But now, look at the content and the targeted frequency; leading e-comm websites have aced this feature and their sales are off the charts.
In fact, in 2019 alone, more than 293 billion emails were blasted! And if that’s not a good enough number for you, then here it is:
If done right, for every $ spent, email marketing can get you an ROI of $42.
More than 81% of Small to Medium Businesses still depend on email marketing for their customer acquisition, referral policies, and with a record-breaking 80% retention! Plus, the engagement rate with opening emails is more than 80% than social media platforms.
Create Lead Pages, Forms and Lead Magnets
Most people associate a CRM with lead database and email marketing; what you usually forget are the lead delivery models; landing pages, lead magnets, and subscription forms are a huge chunk in lead generation apart from email marketing.
Lead pages, as the name suggests, are created dynamically to drive customers for a very focused end goal. Whether you need webinar registrations, event bookings, downloadables, etc., you cannot change your main website every time and disrupt the organic influx of leads’ data.
This means you create an additional Lead page, design it to optimize the end goal, have dedicated stats, and use this later for your next campaigns. This brings in leads from social media, search engine campaigns, etc.
You can have multiple deliverables on a lead page: Forms for quick customer information, and educational material that is worth for people to download in exchange for their basic info.
You can do all this and a lot more, if you use CRM to its fullest potential. Connecting Google Ads and Analytics gives you comprehensive information in one view; which ads to run, which groups are doing better, what cost bidding is adept - all this and more.
What do you think we can do here? Let us know in the comments below or mail us on email@example.com