CRM and marketing automation have been buzzwords for quite some time now. Many businesses have jumped on the trend, however few truly understand how it can transform your business into a power entity. Of course, investing in CRM and marketing automation wont change your business overnight, however, if implemented properly can help you generate more leads and close more deals than you did without the use of technology.
In order to remain competitive, it is necessary to evolve as a business. Stagnant processes result in stagnant growth. Transformation is a critical component of growth, especially in today’s business landscape.
1. CRM acts as a commonplace for you entire organizations data and contact database. Collaboration is a key component to productivity, and in particular, providing an exceptional customer experience.
Every department, from sales to marketing to customer service should have access to the CRM. Each department has a need for customer information. For example, marketing needs contact data to build their buyer personas, while sales needs it to tailor their pitches, and customer services needs it to view their interactions and history with the company. Without this information, each department is unable to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
2. CRM helps establish process within an organization. Whether you are a start up or an already successful business, process creates consistency and consistency is what will keep your customers coming back time and time again. Whether in price, quality, timeliness, etc, whatever it is your customers expect is what you should offer at each sale. Workflows are a large part of CRM. Workflows are a series of activities that happen each time a new lead or sale comes in. It predefines what happens every time, resulting in, you guessed it, consistency.
Workflows ensure that no steps are forgotten and that nothing slips through the cracks, whether it is for a lead or a current customer.
It is important to think about your process at the moment and see how it can be improved upon. Which action/tasks are should be part of your workflow? Which tasks should be automated and which should be given a more personal touch? Think about how your customer experiences working with your customer, and develop processes and workflows that will create a consistent, and amazing experience each and every time.
3. CRM & marketing automation together helps you generate more leads and convert more of those leads into paying customers.
80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw the number of conversions increase. – VB Insight “Marketing Automation, how to make the right buying decision” (2015)
What would more leads mean to your business? More potential for closed deals and a significant increase in revenue.
Together, this technology accomplishes the following resulting in higher conversions:
– Takes repetitive tasks out of the mix and automates them to free up people’s time so they can focus on what they do best.
– Allows communication to be better personalized for each segment of your audience.
– Enhances the customer experience by giving all departments access to the data they need to do their jobs better.
– Allows you to nurture leads and drive them down your sales funnel.
– Helps you increase engagement with your leads and customers.
– Give you a 360 view of your customer so you can better target your messaging and deepen your relationships.
CRM and marketing automation can work miracles, however, as Douglas Karr states:
“As you’re looking to invest budget for automating internal tasks, I’d ensure your goal isn’t to replace people, it’s to free them up to do what they’re best at. If you want to destroy your marketing team’s productivity – keep making them work out of spreadsheets and email. If you want to maximize productivity, make the purchase of tools a priority so your team can have everything it needs to be successful.”
Do not think in terms of replacing your team, instead you are giving them tools to help them succeed, to help your business succeed. The people are necessary to ensure your automation runs like a well-oiled machined, and to develop those real personal touches that long-lasting relationships between brand and consumer require.
Circling back to transformation, change does not happen overnight, and you can only truly transform your business by having a well thought out strategy in place. Do not think that you are going to purchase a CRM and marketing automation platform and it is going to make all of your dreams come true. You need a roll out plan, something that your team can get on board with, realizing that this is the best solution to help them succeed.
1. Choose a CRM system that works for your business. Not all CRM and marketing automation platforms will match your business needs. Select a platform that can be customized to your business. Make sure it has all of the features you need, so you only have to invest in one software versus many.
2. Select a CRM champion, someone to spearhead your CRM and marketing automation initiative. This person will be responsible for onboarding, training, troubleshooting and more.
3. Get your entire team onboard. Explain how this new technology is going to transform their jobs and your business for the better. How will it makes their daily lives easier? Why will sales people earn higher commissions and close more deals? How with marketing benefit from this new tech? There are so many positive reasons, but you need to make sure your teams understands them before pushing some new ‘thing’ they have to use upon them. People by nature are resistant to change, and vision transcends from the top.
4. Create a roll out plan. Establish a strategy that takes your implementation step-by-step. Each step you take is a piece of the puzzle. From data cleaning and importing to developing content and A/B testing, as Dr. Leo Marvin says in What About Bob, “baby steps.” Trying to do everything at once just doesn’t make sense, and you will never be able to visualize the whole picture if you try.
There are many arguments for why you should invest in technology to automate and streamline, but the number one reason is to transform your business into an effective, revenue-generating machine.
Remember, transformation only comes from proactive changes. Start by looking within. Visualize the potential. Commit to change.