Businesses are made up of individuals with unique skills, personal networks, and insights they build up during their work.
However, while this may be the case, many organizations struggle to coordinate these special areas and find systems that get people working together.
The sales and marketing relationship is a prime example. These departments connect with prospects and customers at different stages but often fail to coordinate and leverage each other’s strong points. The result: they fail to turn prospects into clients and first-time buyers into loyal customers.
A good customer relationship management (CRM) system is a big help in this situation.
In the State of Inbound 2018 sales and marketing report, over 30% of respondents found it increasingly harder to close a deal.
New customer acquisitions that rely only on marketing for growth can also be 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining existing clients.
The takeaway here is that sales and marketing collaboration can yield huge returns. Effective exchange of leads between marketing and sales is also vital.
A company’s CRM can help the sales and marketing departments to continue building strong relationships with clients during a deal and beyond. It also enables staff to share their insights to help each other.
So, how specifically can you use your CRM in a beneficial way?
Maximize Your CRM in the Pre-sales Process
To help sales staff leverage existing networks and find connections
An HBR article notes, “People at [the middle management] level gather valuable intelligence from direct contact with customers, suppliers, and colleagues. They’re in a position to see when the market is ripe for a certain offering.”
While sales teams usually find it easy to explain the value of a product to a mid-level contact, “obtaining management endorsement is tough,” says one Singapore-based sales manager.
This is where a good CRM system helps.
Business-card-based Sansan is a CRM/CMS (contact management system) that creates an organizational tree of companies. This tree shows which contact in a company has a connection at the prospect company; it also includes the history of each connection. Notes on topics such as traits and interests can also be recorded for further client insight.
Using Sansan, a sales manager, for example, scans cards and records notes; this informs everyone in the AI-informed network about the new lead. If the sales manager is after a contact at another company, they can find someone who has a connection there. If any of their colleagues have a connection, a warm introduction can be made, which increases the chance of sales.
To help sales and marketing collaborate better
When businesses participate in roadshows, events, and exhibitions, they typically score and qualify the leads they acquire. Hot leads are followed up, warm ones are set aside and cold ones are dropped.
Given how hard it is to fully convert a lead, sales usually never get around to registering all contacts in the CRM. The warm ones get lost to recency and the cold get buried. This reduces the overall ROI.
Do hot leads stay hot?
Singapore-based marketing professional Andy Ang points out that one would expect customers to shift from awareness to interest, to desire and finally taking meaningful action. Ang reckons this journey “is no longer linear.”Factors such as competition and product trials can kill a deal in the final stages. The lead can go back to the potential or even the interest stage.
With a good CRM, every detail of the client interaction can be recorded and becomes accessible to everyone in the organization. Sales reps can share their concerns through the CRM and leverage internal relationships.
A group of leads that are going cold can easily be re-tagged for touch by the marketing manager. This can effectively prevent the customer from sliding away from the buying process. Recency loss of warm leads can also be avoided.
Sansan saw this, and build its solution so that sales can simply tag these leads in bulk and signal their marketing manager to nurture them. The cloud-based aspect lets this happen in real time. The marketing team can then send segmented, dedicated mails through the CRM’s mailing function or an integrated mailing solution.
What about cold leads? Don’t just dump them!
They may be cold now, but if the CRM can find a touchpoint with someone at the company, there may be a chance to convert them into warm leads.
By facilitating collaboration between sales and marketing in this manner, CRMs make it easier and quicker to cross internal hurdles in the sales process.
What Happens After the Sale?
Retaining clients, as mentioned, is more profitable to businesses than acquiring new ones. Even a 5% increase in customer retention can improve a company’s profitability by 25%.
Taken further, the average repeat customer spends 67% more from months 31 to 36 than they do from months 0 to 6.This means businesses need to nurture them during the crucial period between months 6 and 30. CRMs can make this easier as well.
By letting sales and marketing swap notes and insider info on contacts
Comprehensive CRM solutions like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are able to integrate with social media. This allows marketing teams to gather data on clients’ engagement on social channels and spot opportunities for further engagement. For example, if a client consistently responds to content for certain products, marketing can push that information along to their sales counterparts, who can then start a conversation about those products with the client.
By using a service like Sansan, which integrates with both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365, the sales and marketing teams can share notes about the client’s responses. They can then stay constantly updated on the progress being made with each client.
Tracking this also benefits new hires. They can check the notes left by their predecessors and quickly get up to speed on the client and the company’s relationship with them. They can also keep updated on each client’s transaction with the company. Offsetting losses during transition and onboarding also increases profits.
When sales and marketing teams work in alignment, organizations can expect more sales wins. CRMs make reaching this goal a lot easier.