Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have been around for decades. From long before the days when everything took on a digital skin, CRM systems have been helping marketing and sales teams reach more quality leads more quickly. Only now, CRMs are far more powerful, smarter and more expansive than in earlier days. The digital milieu has gifted us with great new iterations of trusted tools – and CRMs are no exception. Let’s take a look at how these modern-day customer management tools are helping inform lead qualification strategies by placing our ideal customers in sharper focus.
Better Lead Nurturing
We mentioned earlier that CRM systems have become more expansive. This means that modern applications no longer operate in silos, which results in them connecting to other technologies to gather far more data. For example, smart forms used on websites can directly channel the data they capture into your CRM to consolidate your lead data and inform your conversion strategies.
You can also connect your email automation system to your CRM and trigger actions within it to send the right emails to the right leads at the right time. These are just some of the ways CRMs help nurture leads more effectively through integration with other tools.
One of the best features of today’s CRM systems is that they have fairly impressive data analytics capabilities. Today’s systems allow marketers and sales teams to get more contextual understanding of their leads by helping them spot patterns in behavior that may prelude a conversion or indicate disengagement.
Much of the lead scoring process becomes automated as clever algorithms analyse lead data, correlate certain segments, and help you place leads into smaller groups, giving you more granular control over how you qualify or disqualify them. This means less hindsight analyses of what went wrong and more accurate qualification practices.
Centralised Customer Data
Centralised customer data not only helps paint a clearer picture of who your leads are, but also puts everyone in your company on the same page. With a unified interface to examine leads, sales and marketing are able to quickly share information, discuss the results of their campaigns, pull reports, and make adjustments to address fault lines in their conversion strategies.
Centralised data repositories make it easy to find the right information fast, as people are often looking for data on the go. Modern systems even allow teams to access lead and customer metrics from smart phones or tablets as they go about their day. This reduces the time and human effort involved in getting everyone in the same room to discuss a report or make a fairly simple business decision.
CRMs provide fantastic context to every engagement brands have with their leads. With data pouring into the system from marketing and sales collateral, communication efforts are informed on lead sentiment, demographics, preferences and experiences with your brand. This context provides great pick-up points for that next email, text message or product information that your leads are most likely to respond to favourably.
Not forgetting those who have converted to become customers already; use your CRM to continue engaging your customer base. Collect data around them to further your understanding of the trends and developments that affect your market. SaaS companies, for example, stake their success on long-term, subscription-based customers who are continually engaging their product/service as it evolves. Your CRM system can inform you on how to develop your software product according to customer reviews, comments and approval ratings of features and updates they would like to see in the system.
Modern CRMs are like Swiss Army knives, tackling a large set of challenges that marketers face when reaching out to their ideal customers. With so much information coming at us, it can be hard for marketers to make sense of all the anonymous website hits, form submissions with fake data, leads that go cold at the last turn, cart abandonments and demo requests that never materialise. CRM systems help us make better decisions by giving us a realistic view of who the people are that are most likely to convert into loyal customers.