What a CRM Tool Can Tell You About Your Client’s Business
Client relationship management (CRM) tools are often thought of as the domain of the sales team. They allow salespeople to track leads and prospects and empower them to manage pipeline. However, CRMs can be incredibly valuable to marketing professionals as well.
When you harness the data collected within a CRM for marketing purposes, you can create targeted, thoughtful campaigns that speak to the individual needs of prospects and customers, allowing you to generate even greater revenue results in the long run.
Understand What’s Working (And What Isn’t)
The first step to coming in as a marketing consultant is getting your footing and understanding what a business is already doing. The information contained within a CRM can give you a view of your client’s current successes and sticking points. How many deals are they losing out on and why? What are their most popular products? Where are their clients located, and what other demographic information do they have on them? Are their sales steady and growing, or unpredictable and stagnant?
When you know these basics about where your client currently stands, you can begin to develop a marketing approach that leans into what’s already working and aims to fill in the holes and fix the non-functional aspects of their strategy.
Learn Where To Find New Customers
When you understand the kind of customers a business is currently working with, you can glean information about how to attract new ones.
If the customers are all part of a similar demographic, work from there. Let’s say your client is an electrician based just outside a major city; the marketing work that you do for them is obviously going to be different if their demographic is homeowners in the suburbs versus renters in city apartment complexes.
When you understand that the majority of their clients are first-time homeowners in the smaller towns outside the city, you know that that’s your target market. You can then direct advertising spend to those towns and surrounding, similar areas.
You can also create marketing messaging that addresses their specific needs: perhaps the first-time homeowners are reaching out to this electrician because they’re overwhelmed by the prospect of caring for their new home. If you create messaging that establishes your client’s business as the patient, trustworthy voice that can guide homeowners through this new territory (unlike the competition, who might try to take advantage of their customers’ naivety), that frames your client’s value proposition in a way that will resonate with prospects.
Master Talking to Customers They Already Have
Some means of communication are more effective than others, and there’s no universal truth for what works and what doesn’t. A CRM tool allows companies to track prospect and customer interactions across channels, so it can give you insight into what means of communication are most effective with your client’s targets.
Through this tracking, you can see where your client’s business is currently most visible online. If prospects are indicating in initial outreach that they saw your client’s brand advertised on Facebook, then you know that your advertising efforts there have been successful, and you can increase your spend on advertising on that particular platform, while also carrying over the messaging from that effective campaign into other channels.
You can also use the CRM tool to identify and address existing communications breakdowns. Let’s say you’re doing work with a florist, and you notice that they used to regularly do business with a number of event venues in the area, but recently those contacts have dried up. From there, you want to understand why. Did the employee who was managing those accounts leave the business and neglect to hand their contacts off to a colleague? Is the florist good about answering phone calls, which come mostly from individuals placing orders, but bad about answering emails, where they hear from most of their event venue clients?
Once you understand where the communication breakdown is, you can begin to address it. Maybe you put together a wine and cheese mixer (complete with floral designs by your client, of course!) to welcome these old customers back into the fold and give them an opportunity to meet the florist team face-to-face, so that they have a personal connection with their contacts there.
Uncover the Flaws in the Customer Journey
A CRM tool allows you to see deals that were in the pipeline but then were lost. You can also get insight into where in the customer journey your client is having difficulty moving existing customers into more advanced and expensive product offerings.
With this information in hand, you then want to take a look at the cause of the issue. Are prospects giving up because the website is lacking a clear product overview and call to action? Is there a gap in the follow-up with those who have completed forms requesting more information? Are existing customers dropping off because they’re unhappy with their initial purchase, or because the company isn’t reaching out to them with logical offers for the next step up the product ladder?
From there, you can identify the best marketing techniques to fix the problem. If the website is unclear, start by going back and clarifying the company’s value proposition. If requests for additional information are not being responded to quickly enough, create an automated response that will let the client know right away that you see and hear them. That will put the customer at ease and make them more patient in waiting for a response from a live person. If existing customers aren’t aware of other products you offer, you can create segmented messaging to target customers based on specific attributes.
CRM tools are great at storing information and giving reports on the findings. It’s up to you, as the marketing expert, to take that information and use it to create great marketing campaigns. With the additional insight coming from the CRM, you’re able to build much more targeted and effective messaging that addresses the specific concerns of your client’s customers.
If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Customer Relationship Management.