Using a CRM to Go Beyond Contact Management

Posted / 07 May, 2018

Author / The Enginess Team

man using smartphone

Despite their prevalence, few organizations leverage the true power of a CRM. Learn how you can leverage CRM features to go beyond contact management and improve your organization's performance and efficiency.

Most organizations these days have a CRM.

From enterprises running sales teams of hundreds with products like Salesforce to nonprofits and SMBs running a team of one with freemium products like StreakCRM, it’s rare to find an organization that isn’t using a CRM for something.

Despite their ubiquity, however, most of the functionality of CRM is left untouched, and this (often costly) piece of infrastructure becomes nothing more than a fancy Rolodex.

Here are four things you can use your CRM for beyond simple contact management to take your digital operations to the next level.

1. Marketing automation

Even if you’re not using the Salesforce/Pardot suite for marketing automation that enterprises use, you can still automate much of your activity.

Consider how much time sales staff spend drafting and sending follow-up emails, sending emails to prospects, or sending chase emails as deals move through the funnel.

A large amount of that email activity can be automated.

For instance, most CRMs now have a way to run a drip email campaign where the recipients get kicked out of the nurture as soon as they reply.

This means a marketing team might draft a 10-email follow-up campaign, give it to sales, and then it is automatically deployed when it’s needed. Now, sales reps are essentially putting in the time to send 1 email, but actually sending 10.

Meanwhile, all the digital marketing activity is logged for each of your CRM contacts.

2. Sales enablement with content

As teams grow, it’s difficult for organizations to standardize their communication methods. Reps develop different techniques and approaches to reach their own quotas.

The problem, of course, is that not all of these are going to be good. But in a large sales team, separating the successful signal from the noise is arduous and time-consuming.

A CRM can help by providing specific content for sales teams to deploy at just the right time.

For instance, marketing might provide sales teams with relevant copy for specific sales stages (e.g. ‘when a prospect reaches out and asks for more info on this specific feature, reply with this specific email’).

This means:

  • Sales teams use their time more effectively
  • Communication is standardized
  • There’s a mechanism to track what works and what doesn’t and roll that out across the entire team.
  • The average improves, meaning sales managers are under less pressure to hire superstars.

3. Sales optimization

Your average CRM, especially those with built-in calling functions like BaseCRM, is a treasure trove of data and analytics.

In fact, it’s usually more of an issue that companies have too much data, rather than not enough.

But within that noise, there are serious sales optimizations you can make, especially if you’re growing or running a large team.

Tracking things like:

  • Pick up rates against call times (e.g. calling before 10 am gets the best pick up rate)
  • Email response rates to different subject lines
  • Engagement with content used in follow-up emails
  • Follow-up cadences (e.g. calling back two days later vs three days later).

Optimizing each of these things even a little makes your sales team more effective and can help you close business faster.

What’s more, it raises the performance of your entire team, which means you’re less reliant on hiring sales superstars to reach your goals.

4. Lead scoring

Lead scoring is essentially a way to rank your leads. Basic lead scoring works something like this:

  1. Marketing tracks engagement across all their digital assets.
  2. Each action a user performs adds to their score. For instance, visiting the homepage gets you 10 points. Downloading an asset gets you 15 points. Visiting the pricing page gets you 50 points.
  3. Once a user crosses a threshold, they become a marketing qualified lead. That means marketing is saying: ‘yep, based on activity, we think this person is ready to buy’.

Then the lead is passed to sales or an inside sales/marketing development rep to further qualify and move through the sales cycle.

Fundamentally, this process is about ranking leads as they come in so sales knows where to start. Most of this activity lives with marketing (e.g. software like Marketo or Pardot) but a CRM helps too.

CRMs can help score leads once they’ve entered the sales funnel with subjective analysis or formulas, enabling the sales team to focus their energy on sales that are ready to close now.

Tracking leads in a CRM allows organizations to:

  • Improve sales velocity
  • Focus expensive sales team members where their energy is best spent
  • Automate more of the pre-qualification process.

Final thoughts

There you have it. Four ways that organizations can do more to make their CRM work for them.

We assume that most organizations have already invested in a CRM. But so many simply aren’t getting the most out of that investment.

With a little bit of simple tweaking, they can

  • Separate the wheat from the chaff of their communications and sales techniques and double down on what works
  • Make sales teams more efficient and keep everyone focused on the deals that are going to close rather than the ones that aren’t.

There’s much discussion right now about becoming data-driven. But we think organizations already have all the info they need to turn subjective processes into objective ones.

And that data lives in the CRM.

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