A key process of the CRM journey is to incorporate leads – or sales – management. A CRM solution can provide an essential two-way communication channel, delivering benefits to both sales and management teams.
- Tracking, qualifying and converting leads gives valuable feedback on the success of campaigns, advertising, website content, telesales etc
- Marketing teams can report on converted leads - value of sale, length of time to close, potential further sales, helping identify the best lead generating channels
- Sales teams must be familiar with the content of marketing materials, to facilitate informed discussions with leads / customers
- Sales data captured can help marketing to adjust content and messages eg. FAQs to help qualify leads and progress decision making
Existing customer data
- Data captured from support / customer service quickly shows common issues from existing customers
- Data collected from the marketing and sales journey, creates a profile of your customers: where they are found, interests, information and processes that helped them buy, and other useful demographics, action the data for both converted and lost leads. It is just as useful to know which leads you DON'T want as those you do!
Adjust the focus
- Give your sales team the tools (in their CRM solution?!) to track the problems faced by the lead, not just the products/services offered and prices quoted
- Connect with the lead via social media if possible. Leads may not be ready for a decision yet (subscribers to blogs/newsletters are, by their very nature, passive). This is a soft way of building the relationship, and gives the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to solve customers’ problems
- Send relevant, interesting (non-sales) information throughout the sales process – and consider continuing even after the lead is officially closed; there may be a further opportunity later
- Consider lead scoring, pass leads to the sales team when the score indicates a likely readiness to buy (using existing customer data to build a profile) and leads with a low score should remain part of the marketing process for nurturing to readiness
Your organisation can use CRM along the marketing and sales 'journey' to help define future strategy, and at the same time, an organised approach ensures no leads get missed.
By Stephen Todd, Director, webCRM UK