Your CRM (aka Customer Relationship Management) software should be more than just an activity tracker for the sales team. You should be able to manage every facet of the prospect relationship and journey.
It’s also reasonable to expect to manage marketing campaigns. Everything the marketing team creates, touches our customers.
All digital and non-digital channels alike impact your lead generation capability. Transparency into the effectiveness of all campaigns is key to calculating your ROI.
Without the ability to connect prospects to campaigns or events, your only option is to manually track ROI via an Excel spreadsheet, or worse, a pencil, paper, and calculator.
The big question is, are you leveraging the functionality of the software you have? Is your marketing team using the CRM at all?
Many organizations still perceive the CRM as the sales team’s tool, not understanding it is an organizational tool. One that, if utilized, can affect the entire strategy of not just a marketing team, but that of the organizations leadership team.
CRM systems today not only support the tracking of events, but also the entire marketing advertising budget.
To effectively market to your already existing prospect database, you need the ability to segment it according to where each prospect is in their journey to send the appropriate message at the appropriate time. Otherwise, you spend a lot of marketing dollars sending event invitations, e-blasts, and directing prospects to landing pages that aren’t relevant to them. If you don’t reach them where they are, you won’t be effective at advancing them through the sales process.
Here are just a few things you can accomplish by adopting the CRM as a marketing tool:
Stated above, understanding the buyer’s journey isn’t just the job of a sales counselor. If the marketing team understands the steps in the process, they can contribute to the effectiveness of the sales team by creating and delivering branded messages that resonate with the customer based on where they are in their journey.
A robust CRM like Continuum CRM, will also support the segregation of engaged leads from unengaged. You should have a place to store your purchased mailing lists so with the proper messaging, you can include them in your lead nurturing campaigns, yet keep them separate from the engaged prospects your sales counselors are working with. The function of the marketing department shouldn’t be simply lead generation, but nurturing.
Many organizations use separate email marketing software for the creation and distribution of email communication with prospects. But what if your CRM offered it as an included feature?
Not just an integration, but built directly into the system. Think of the possibilities.
No longer will you have to run exports into Excel to upload to a different system to send an email. You could simply send a marketing message directly from the reporting interface of your CRM.
The email is tracked from within, and the sales counselor has full transparency as to which of their prospects are engaging with the emails. You get instant knowledge of statistics on opens, click-throughs, bounces, and opt outs.
Better Strategic Planning
Understanding the demographics and psychographics of your customer makes you a better marketer. Knowing how to capture, and analyze the data gathered on demographics and psychographics of the customers in your CRM system to make more strategic decisions on target audiences, makes you a GREAT marketer. Having the proficiency to hone in on your top market demographics via information vs. speculation will set you apart from your peers.
Ease in Calculating ROI
The best way to easily calculate ROI is to have your information in one place. Entering everything into the CRM, you don’t need to keep multiple spreadsheets in order to understand where you are in terms of budget vs. spend. You can have instant access to the campaign you want to evaluate and in just a few minutes know your ROI, have a clear picture of it’s effectiveness, and see exactly how many prospects have engaged with the campaign.
Sales Team Inclusion
By tracking the marketing campaigns in the CRM, you also include the entire team, marketing and sales alike, in the marketing process. By better understanding each other’s roles, you encourage cohesiveness in the organization and a philosophy of inclusion in planning and executing campaigns.
Instant Access to Information
Often we find the marketing manager waiting for someone else to deliver monthly reports. By leveraging the functionality available to you in the form of dashboards and reports, you no longer have to wait until the end of the month to find out how many leads were generated and which sources produced the highest number of inquiries. You can instantly know at any time, any day, the metrics most important to your role.
More Than Events
The final barrier to using the CRM in marketing and leveraging full functionality, is in limiting your use to tracking events. There is so much more to your marketing budget beyond events. Cost of sending direct mail pieces and advertising opportunities are the largest part of a budget. A great CRM has the capacity to manage these aspects of marketing.