WHY YOU SHOULD BE MEASURING YOUR MARKETING AND SALES USING A CRM
Do you know if your marketing is working?
Businesses are always saying to us, 'we are doing all this marketing, but we're not sure if it's working,' and when we start asking a few questions, one of the first things we find out, is that there are very few measurement strategies in place. As a business owner or a business manager, you need as much information as possible to be able to make sound decisions about where you should be focusing your time, energy and money. Strong measurement enhances your chances of doing marketing that brings strong results.
The goal is to understand exactly which of your marketing efforts are actually generating results, to measure every dollar you spend on marketing and be able to accurately predict what you can expect in return. The only real way to ascertain that is to test and measure the results. However, we all know that testing and measuring the marketing is only part of the equation, what you really want, and what you really need to do is measure your sales effort. Because it's equally as important, if not more important, to know how effective you are at turning those enquiries into sales. You want to know how each salesperson is performing on an individual basis and use it as a sales management tool - for example, if you discover that one person is more effective than others, you can systemise their approach so everyone can enjoy better results.
How does a CRM help get you better results from your marketing and salespeople?
Using a CRM makes it much easier to track and record both your marketing results, your sales efforts and each salesperson's individual results. A good CRM will actually track the lifecycle of a new enquiry right from initial contact all the way through to the sale.
When you break it down, most sales processes actually have a whole lot of micro conversion points, and when we know what they are and track our customer through each step, we can tell where people might be dropping off - crucial knowledge if you're looking for ways to improve your sales process.
For example, here's a look at all the micro conversion points you might see in a sales process...
- A visitor to your website decides to enquire (micro conversion from visitor to enquiry).
- A new customer phones and a conversation is had. At this point you qualify the customer to validate moving them to the next step, in this example, booking a sales appointment (micro conversion from enquiry to lead).
- Contact made to confirm appointment - 24 hours before (micro conversion from lead to appointment booked).
- Sales appointment occurs in person (micro conversion from appointment booked to sales call completed).
- Customer emailed a quote (micro conversion from appointment completed to quote provided).
- Quote followed up with a phone call.
- More information provided; quote revised (won't happen every time).
- Details confirmed, quote accepted, order placed (micro conversion from quote provided to sale complete).
So, what your CRM does, is tracks your customer through each step, or each micro conversion. It's one thing to know how many leads you're generating and how many sales you're making, but what is really powerful is knowing where your customers are likely to 'fall off' in the process. This helps us to identify what it is we're doing well in our sales process and where there might be issues and room for improvement. This is sometimes different for each individual salesperson.
For most businesses, once we've implemented a CRM, we find really simple ways to change the sales process that don't involve a whole lot of effort but massively improve conversion. It can be as simple as identifying that one of the areas where customers often drop off is after they've received the quote, and perhaps the reason is that there's not enough follow up happening, which is really easy to change. Sometimes what a business really needs is better conversion, not more leads, and that can be much easier to influence.
What are the other benefits to having a good CRM and actually using it?
Having a CRM that monitors the sales process, and our effectiveness throughout the sales process helps us understand where to make positive changes, but there are more advantages to be gained from having a good CRM. A huge benefit of a CRM is the ability to collect and maintain a strong customer database. Maintaining a strong customer database using your CRM opens a world of opportunities for cost effective, simple and highly targeted marketing to your existing customer base.
One of the things that limits a business' success in marketing, is that we often spend a lot of money trying to talk to a small group of people through a mass communication methodology. When in actual fact, you are far more likely to get a result from marketing to the people who already know you, like you and trust you. So, if you can effectively market to your existing customer base, then your marketing is more likely to work, and you're also likely to spend less money on it.
For example, it's much cheaper to send an email to your existing customer base with a promotion than it is to pay for a month's worth of radio advertising. But if you don't have a strong customer database with up-to-date information, then you're left with no choice but to use expensive marketing avenues like radio, or newspaper or Google Ads to reach people.
If you're serious about sales and marketing, having a strong CRM is a crucial ingredient for your business because...
- It helps you track the effectiveness of your marketing activities.
- It helps you understand your effectiveness throughout the sales process and identify areas for improvement.
- A strong healthy customer database gives you the opportunity to effectively market directly to the people who you already to talk to.
- Having a good CRM in your business helps you plan your sales activity. For example, making sure your customers are on a regular call cycle, making sure that your salespeople are adequately following up quotes, making sure that you understand what's in your pipeline of potential work in the future, and helping you take every possible step to maximise your conversion as a sales team.
From a sales management perspective and a business management perspective, a CRM gives you more visibility over potential sales, and therefore makes it easier to plan.
How to choose the right CRM for your business
When it comes to choosing a good CRM for your business, the first thing that you should ask yourself is "why do I want a CRM in the first place?" The second thing you should ask is, what do I want to be able to do with that CRM? If you're not sure how to answer that, here are some ways a good CRM can help your business...
- Helps you forecast sales enquiry and results.
- Enables you to track the progress of your salespeople.
- Gives you clear visibility over sales activity.
- Enables you to communicate via your CRM to segmented groups of your customers.
- Helps you budget.
- Helps you plan sales and marketing activities.
- Tracks all client communication to one source.
Usually, people want their CRM to do all of the above. And if that's the case, the good news is there's some really awesome technology out there which is readily available.
We often get asked "what is the best CRM?"
The truth? All of them and none of them. It's kind of like asking 'how long is a piece of string?' In other words, every CRM has pros and cons, and it really depends on what you want to achieve from having a good CRM in the first place.
The real question should be: "Which CRM can do what I need it to do?"
Pipe Drive, Hubspot or Zoho are a few of the more popular web-based CRMs. Or there's a New Zealand based CRM called Exsalerate. Then you have your more detailed systems which require a greater degree of initial investment, like Salesforce.
The good thing about a web-based CRM is they can be accessed from anywhere in the world and you don't need to have a remote server access, which means you can use them on the go. Many of them have apps you can use on your phone or tablet, which is great for salespeople out on the road. They often integrate with your emails and your calendar too, so you can file communications and plan meetings, all in the one place. They also tend to have awesome marketing and sales reporting functionality - some have other integrations with task management, mail marketing and accounting programmes too. Zoho CRM and Hubspot CRM both have native marketing tools.
The truth is that choosing a CRM is actually a highly individualised thing. It's important that you understand why you want a CRM and what functionality you want, but you also need a CRM that is easy to use. A CRM will only ever be as good as the people who use it. So, what you really need is a CRM that your team are going to want to use, that is efficient, intuitive, and user-friendly. There's no point having an awesome CRM that can do all the things you need it to that never gets used - we recommend that you place a great deal of importance on the user interface; if it is easy to use, it will have great uptake.
We often end up recommending systems such as Pipe Drive and Exsalerate, because they tend to be really user-friendly, they have a great interface which is quite intuitive (there's lots of click and drag type functions), and they have smartphone apps attached to them.
How we can help you with CRMs
Our Marketing Consultants help businesses like yours decide what CRM systems are going to be the best fit for their organisation. They then help you to configure your CRM system so you get the best value out of it, providing your business with detailed information that helps you make smart decisions about marketing and sales, and ultimately your overall business strategy.
If you've already got a CRM, our consultants are really good at helping you understand how to extract more value from that tool. So, if you're reading this article and you're thinking, "we've got a CRM, but we don't really use it" or "I'm not sure if I'm getting all the information I should be out of my CRM," then we could be a good place to start. We deal with all kinds of CRM across all kinds of businesses, so we've got a really good idea of what works and what doesn't. We can help you figure out which CRM is going to be the best for your business and then help you implement it and coach you and your team how to use it.
Give us a call to discuss your CRM needs on 07 579 3645.