As we’ve discussed on many occasions here on the TribalVision blog, modern marketing is about much more than a flashy logo or sleek brochures. It’s an overall image and way of business; it’s the true embodiment of who you are as a company and how you want to be perceived by the public. The key element in achieving a consistent branding message for your marketing is consistency, and that takes intent, skill, and organization.
With your intent in mind, you set out to train your team members so that their customer interactions at every point of contact are in line with your key values and brand. However, without proper organizational tools, this simply never comes together very cohesively, as people slowly start tracking customer contacts, handling various situations, and reporting trends in their own ways. This makes data hard to analyze and makes it extremely likely that your message will become muddled and varied over time. The answer is organization, and that’s where CRM comes in.
CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a method of utilizing technology – typically a standardized CRM software used by all employees – to foster a single system of organization company-wide. CRM is most useful in sales, customer relations, tech support, and marketing. Some CRM systems are cloud-based, while others require software installs. In all cases, proper integration of a CRM will necessitate staff training for effective use.
By using a CRM, you can save time, boost productivity, increase efficiency, keep better tabs on your team, save money, and increase revenue. Here are a few tasks a good CRM — such as Zoho CRM, Highrise CRM (another great tool from the folks at 37 Signals, makers of Basecamp), and Salesforce – can do for you:
- Sales Force Automation: This aspect of CRM allows users to save time by automatically pulling lead data from your website and pushing those leads to the most appropriate customer service or sales representatives.
- Sales Tracking: The sales tracking part of a CRM enables users to quickly and easily identify leads that have gone cold so team members can analyze the data, follow up, or adjust their practices as needed. This is particularly helpful in forecasting sales and progress, which is ultimately good for your bottom line with regard to sales and resource allocation.
- Productivity: One of the nicest aspects of a solid CRM is that email and spreadsheets are integrated. This means everything is in one place, and that just makes everything work more smoothly. Plus, you can create, send, and analyze data on bulk marketing emails and drip email campaigns right from your CRM.
- Social media: By enabling users to link contacts’ LinkedIn and Facebook profiles directly into a CRM, your staff has all of the contact information they need right at their fingertips, which is even more attractive when you consider that many CRMs integrate with mobile and Google apps.
Systems to foster lead management and nurturing, email integration, task and proposal management, contact organization, and social media integration all help your team function more efficiently and keep leads from going stale or falling through the cracks. Some CRMs go a step further. Highrise, for instance, features a Facebook-style newsfeed in which users can view the company’s latest activities to see who’s doing what, all in real time. Plus, Highrise is available as an iPhone app that seamlessly integrates with dozens and dozens of other sales, marketing, customer service, and business productivity apps.
TribalVision’s team of marketing experts is well versed in the latest and greatest CRM options. We can help you streamline your in-house marketing activities through CRM integration.