I have a question for you. But I need to tell you a story first.
Jane Smith fills out a form on your website. She’s completely new to you, so she enters your CRM as a lead. Jane continues to visit your site, reading blog posts, downloading white papers, and attending webinars, until she finally fills out a contact form to solicit your help. Your CRM collects her activity and interactions with your marketing as she makes her way through the stages of the buying cycle, from unaware to purchaser.
Until she becomes a purchaser, Jane is Marketing’s responsibility. She’s being nurtured through the buying cycle by all your marketing efforts in an attempt to persuade her to raise her hand.
As soon as she fills out the contact form, she becomes the responsibility of Sales. Your CRM is now collecting her sales activity as she progresses through the sales cycle.
What happens to Jane once she becomes a customer (or a lost sale)? More specifically, what happens to the heaps of data your CRM now has about Jane’s path through the sales cycle?
The answer should be two-fold:
- Sales uses it to sell better
- Marketing uses it to market better
A quick aside before we move on: If your answer to that question was “nothing,” get started by creating a dashboard that includes metrics about closed sales.
While following up on successful and unsuccessful opportunities is important for sales to hone their process, I want to talk about why it’s just as important for marketing.
As Jane progresses from unaware prospect to closed sale, your CRM collects her initial lead source and her entire campaign history, creating a full snapshot of her interactions with your marketing. This data should be associated with her opportunity in your CRM, allowing you to connect your marketing efforts with dollars won and determine the ROI of your marketing. If you want the nitty-gritty details on how to connect marketing and sales data in Salesforce, I’ve written a post about that as well.
Closed-loop reporting is invaluable. You have to know what’s working and what’s not in order to stay ahead of the competition. Anecdotal evidence and gut feelings don’t paint a full picture. Your CRM allows you to drill into what your marketing is really earning for your firm, so you can figure out how to create better, more qualified leads. This functionality comes baked into your CRM, so there’s no real barrier to entry to getting this data to your team. And your CRM’s reporting may even be augmented by your marketing automation system. Newfangled uses Salesforce and Act-On, and between the two systems, we have the ability to do first-touch, last-touch, and multi-touch attribution reporting, all with minimal effort on the part of our sales and marketing teams.
Closed-loop reporting is invaluable. You have to know what’s working and what’s not in order to stay ahead of the competition.
And it really works.
Each month, we review our clients’ sales and marketing data and meet with them individually to have strategic conversations about what’s working, what’s not, and why. Each year, we do a comprehensive review of those patterns. Consider what we discovered about CRM usage in our most recent annual review.
High-performing agencies who are effectively creating new business opportunities through their digital marketing are using a CRM to track these opportunities and almost all of them are creating ROI reports so that they can monitor the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. (Read the white paper for the exact stats about CRM usage, as well as benchmarks for success in other areas of digital marketing.)
If you’re totally new to CRM, or just looking to get more value out of your investment, get in touch. We can help.