One of the biggest frustrations with inbound marketing in any industry is that companies are missing out on highly qualified leads because they are unable to respond to the best leads quickly enough. Forbes notes that companies are wasting 71% of internet leads on average. For a small business, even improving a few percentage points can make a significant difference in revenue, sales and commissions. But how exactly does a company do that? Managing prospects, prioritizing them in order of how ready they are to buy, and responding to the most qualified leads rapidly is where a CRM comes in. So what exactly is a CRM, you ask?
What is CRM?
The acronym CRM stands for customer relationship management and refers to both the practice and the automated tool to help manage customers. A good CRM program, such as the one included in our SM 360º Marketing Automation Manager, helps companies manage and analyze customer interactions and data to improve customer relationships, improve response time, prioritize leads and drive overall sales growth and customer retention.
How Do I Use a CRM?
With a CRM, you can start tracking your leads, prospects and customers in real time with daily metrics to show you which prospects to focus on. Not only can a good CRM be a great asset to sales and marketing teams, but support teams can also use the tool to help manage their communication flows as well.
Your CRM will:
- Allow you to register leads and contacts, keeping them warm. You can group them into smaller segments for campaigns, and ensure that no one gets lost in the system.
- Track all interactions with a customer from anyone in the company, so that when you do connect with them you know what happened during their last interaction.
- Show possibilities as to the potential of future sales with every contact. Every “no” is a “not ready yet.” You can enrich your connections for future sales.
- Keep your customer base updated with fresh data on contact information, demographic status, job changes and other valuable assets.