Businesses of any size depend on customer relationship management (CRM) tools to organize the sheer volume of leads needed for a sustainable sales pipeline. Yet plenty of CRMs aren’t managed to their full potential, or are managed incorrectly. Here’s our list of the top four ways you may be using your marketing CRM wrong.
1. You Aren’t Paying Attention to Contact Details
A large portion of the leads in your CRM will likely be uploaded from Excel files. But there are plenty of times when you and other reps from sales and marketing may manually input new contacts into the system. The only downside to this manual entry is when you don’t pay close attention to how you’re entering that information.
For example, when you’re filling in details about a new lead, make sure that you capitalize their first name, and that only their first name is listed in the first name field. Any subsequent names (middle, last, nickname) must also be appropriately listed. The reason for this is simple. If you use marketing automation to follow up with this lead, chances are that its emails will include code that will auto-populate their first name at the beginning of each message. And if Jane Smith’s first name is actually typed out “jane,” or “Jane S.,” or “JANE,” you can imagine how obvious your email automation will appear to her if and when she receives it.
The bottom line: be thorough about your contact details. That need for accuracy extends to the active email addresses you have for these leads (the primary way you’ll be reaching out to them), as well as phone numbers and physical locations.
2. You Aren’t Segmenting Your Contacts
You are definitely using your marketing CRM wrong if you aren’t dividing up your database. Contacts are often put on segmented lists based on industry (for example, healthcare versus education) but could also depend on job title and function (CEO versus accounting). The reason for this is to ensure that your marketing emails convey the right messaging to the right people.
Consider our industry example: if you’re targeting leads in healthcare and others in education, your messaging will likely need to be different for each group. While it’s technically possible to draft content that is high level enough to pertain to both, you’ll have a better chance of engaging your leads — and getting them to respond — if you personalize that content as much as possible. Then you can send each version to the appropriate group because you’ve already segmented those contacts.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to segmenting a database, so how much you choose to segment yours will depend largely on the content needs of your business. After industries, you may wish to tailor your messaging based on specific products, services, or job functions of your leads if you think that will improve your chances of new business conversations.
3. You’re Contacting Leads Too Much
A good CRM will help you track each interaction you have with a specific contact, often referred to as their life of lead. This includes your email marketing campaigns, and the key performance indicators you need to measure them: open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and unsubscribe rates. These statistics help you identify whether your content is resonating with your audience, or if you’re using your marketing CRM wrong by emailing your leads too much.
What are the indicators of too much email? If most of the direct responses you currently receive from your leads are now negative, or you’re seeing a substantial drop in direct responses overall, chances are you need to rethink your email frequency and content. It may also be a combination of factors that act as red flags when viewed together, like seeing a high unsubscribe rate, a low open rate, but a healthy IP address from the same email campaign. We mention IP health because IP addresses that are flagged as spam could mean that your emails are going to junk instead of inboxes. This article discusses how this affects prospecting, but it’s also applicable to email marketing at any stage.
Generally speaking, try not to email more than every couple of days. This gives each lead the opportunity to read your first message, think it over if they need to, or come back to it later if they’re busy.
4. You’re Neglecting Your Current Customers
So far, our comments above have focused on potential leads for new business. But you could also be using your marketing CRM wrong if you’re leaving out your current customers. Why? It costs far less to retain current customers than find new ones, and a CRM is an easy tool for managing these relationships.
The same recommendations above still apply: be mindful of the accuracy of their contact details, how they’re segmented out from the rest of your leads, the types of content that they receive, and how often you’re emailing them.
Think You’re Using Your Marketing CRM Wrong? We Can Help.
If you’d like to learn more about the best methods for keeping a healthy database of active leads, we’d be happy to show you. Marketing Armor has partnered with organizations like yours to help them grow and manage large-scale contact databases using email automation services that offer the same functionality as many CRMs. And, if your team already relies on its own CRM or two (Salesforce or Marketo, for example), the tools we use will likely integrate with them. Those include:
Prospecto, our prospecting automation service. It uses proprietary software to analyze the firmographic data of the leads you want to contact in order to find and verify their active email addresses.
Marketing automation, including SharpSpring and HubSpot. These platforms offer in-depth reporting that is essential to tracking lead engagement and conversions.
Do you have questions about CRM solutions, emails, or other areas of your digital marketing strategy? We want to hear about them! Click the link below to schedule a free consultation.