Businesses can leverage CRM (customer relationship management) software to maximize their time by marketing to contacts, nurturing leads into hot prospects, and keeping in touch with clients. Using CRM software means you can do these things automatically. Here are 4 best practices successful business use to increase their profit.
1) Scan business cards on your phone for automatic input into your contact & prospecting (CRM) database. How often do you collect business cards from BNI meetings or network events just to tie a rubber band around them, call once or twice and discard into a desk drawer? Instead use CRM software that makes automatic solicitation as easy as taking a selfie!
2) Capture the contact details of your website visitors as they input their data directly into your CRM database which in turn automatically emails them your best solicitation material. Watch your leads grow exponentially by offering a service, product or information that the visitor wants, have your CRM create what’s called a “squeeze page” which will allow access to that material after the prospect inputs their contact info on your website page.
3) Nurture your leads to grow TOMA –Top of Mind Awareness, which will put you into position to sell when they are ready to buy. Most leads aren’t ready to buy right away. Studies have shown that most of us think about buying a product or service long before we actually purchase it. To ensure you are on the prospects mind when they are ready to buy you need to be constantly reinforcing your brand. One of the ways, if not the best, to do this is to setup an email touch campaign where automatic emails are periodically touching the client educating them with your products and services and making certain they will recall your brand name.
4) Don’t let your sales process be whimsical, follow a process that works the best! CRM software can help you with high conversions by following a doctrine of self-imposed best practices. CRM software will facilitate best practices you’ve found to lead to highest conversions into your sales process. Setting up the sales process and tweaking it as needed should be very process oriented. Once the process is defined CRM would guide you through the process with reminders and accountability.
For a more in depth on how you can use CRM software to connect with clients read part 2 of this series. In part 2 I will explain the enormous time saving benefits of using CRM software to collaborate, share data and diagnose processes.
Prior to the selection of a Marketing Automation system, it’s important to find a company that will work with you and fit the technology to your needs. Larger vendors have traditionally looked at the mid market as a simple downgrading of their enterprise wide solutions without any particular focus on the specific nuances of mid size business needs. A scaled down version of an application designed for a large enterprise probably won’t meet the needs of a mid-sized company as well as an application designed specifically for the mid market.
You should base your ultimate decision on your organization’s specific requirements, but the following tips will provide a good start:
- The most important thing to look for when exploring solutions in Marketing Automation is a technology partner with enough experience in the mid market to understand your problems and needs.The most frequent mistake in mid market companies is to believe that CRM is simply software and not a relationship with a technology company. Effective solutions can only be created when a technology partner takes the time to analyze your current methods, needs, staffing and goals.
- Marketing Automation solutions should have the flexibility to work as part of a larger CRM solution provided by the vendor or be adaptable by that vendor to software solutions you may already have successfully implemented.
Marketing solutions may be advantageous on their own, but true integration with other customer touch points is a valuable and powerful component in the concept of one-to-one marketing. Any customer is only as loyal as their last interaction with your company; therefore, the implementation of an effective marketing automation system as part of an overall CRM solution needs to extend into the policies and people of your organization.
If you have been in sales for a while, chances are you have heard the three letter acronym “ABC” which stands for “Always Be Closing”. This means you should be asking for the order every opportunity you get!
What’s wrong with that? After all, you can spend a lot of time and resources trying to sell your product but if the prospect does not buy it, you have no revenue to show for your efforts!
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to work with two sales people Tim and Chris. Both were equally good at closing deals in their own ways.
Chris would always be closing. Chris would frequently ask his prospect “What would it take to close it today?” He would come up with ways to close the deal whether it was discounts, deadlines or something else.
Tim on the other hand would never ask for the order. The prospects would ask Tim when Tim would be able to get them started. Tim hardly gave any discounts or any deadlines.
Chris had a much higher percentage of product returns compared to Tim.
What’s the secret to Tim’s success?
Tim followed the golden rule that people buy from people they trust. He would spend sufficient time to figure out if the customer would truly benefit from his product or he would recommend another product which would meet customers’ needs better. He would build genuine trust with his customers.
If you believe in Tim’s approach, as a sales manager, how would you train your entire team to follow it?
First create a guided sales process. Then train the entire team. Then evaluate if they are following the guided process.
Are you working 60+ hours a week? Is it because you love to work or because your business demands it?
Many people pride themselves on putting in long hours at work. It gives them a feeling of productivity, making them feel like significant contributors to a greater cause, and giving them satisfaction, happiness, and a feeling of self-worth.
Are all those hours really productive, though? If you track the hours you spend actually working every day, you would be surprised to know that much of your time is spent thinking about your next task, tonight’s dinner, or how you’re going to get to your kid’s soccer game.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to find a solution to increase your effectiveness and efficiency at work so you could go home for dinner at a descent time?
Try replacing those long, unproductive hours with a CRM that defines processes and allows you to share information easily. You can keep to-do lists, activities with reminders, and notes which encourage immediate action. You can assign tasks to team members easily, automate work based on assignment rules, and be notified when changes happen.
By incorporating a few simple steps, you can easily increase your productivity.
Here are 10 steps to help manage your time better:
- Define your work and your deliverables
- Define your team and their roles
- Get the right CRM module for the team
- Automate as much as possible
- Use dashboards to get an overview and drill down to the micro-details when required
- Share required information with your team
- Create reports with the click of a button
- Export or import data as needed
- Customize the CRM for your convenience
- Get easy access to support for your implementation problems
So if you have successfully implemented your social media campaign, found your leads, and need conversions to happen, it’s time to focus on marketing automation and reap the benefit.