Getting the Most Out of Your CRM System

Getting the Most Out of Your CRM System

Few people would argue that a quality customer relationship management (CRM) system is an important revenue and lead generation tool for companies. Unfortunately, many companies that have invested in a quality CRM system are not getting as much as they could out of that system.

One of the most common complaints salespeople have about their company’s CRM system is that although it yields a large amount of data, most of that data is irrelevant or doesn’t provide any significant insight to help them do their jobs better.

While CRM systems are designed to generate a great deal of information about customers, it is important to remember that when it comes to CRM systems, less is usually more. To put it another way, CRM systems work best when those systems are set up to provide only the information that is relevant to the sales team.

In order to ensure that your CRM system is as effective as possible there are some things to keep in mind. When it comes to setting up your CRM system; begin with only the fields, tabs, and functionality you absolutely need. This doesn’t mean you can’t add more fields, tabs, and functionality as needed; but you never want your sales team to be distracted by unnecessary information.

Remember, CRM systems should be used to improve the efforts of your sales team. While it is tempting for management to want to collect as much information as possible through the CRM system, this will not help your sales people do their job. Even if information collected is significant to management, if it doesn’t specifically help salespeople close sales, salespeople do not need it.

CRM systems can yield exceptional outcomes. Unfortunately, in many cases management is unable to grasp how much, and what type, of information is necessary for their sales team to do their best work.

While CRM systems are touted by many in the sales industry as the place to compile every single piece of information about a customer, designing a CRM system in this manner can actually hurt your sales efforts.

When your sales team feels there is too much information to process and dig through when they use a CRM system, you can be sure they will stop using it. CRM systems are intended as a way to keep customer data organized in a way to help your sales team. If your sales team stops using it, no matter how much you have invested in the system, it will have been a waste of money.

Increase Sales through B2B Telemarketing

Increase Sales through B2B Telemarketing

Implementing a B2B telemarketing campaign is an excellent way to increase your company’s sales. That’s because a B2B telemarketing campaign is one of the best ways to identify prospects as part of your lead generation efforts.

Despite the success of B2B marketing campaigns, many companies mistakenly believe that telemarketing campaigns are not as effective as other types of lead generation efforts such as social media or direct mail. Statistics, however, do not support this belief. In fact, a survey by B2B Marketing magazine reported that 60 percent of marketing managers say B2B telemarketing is effective for lead generation with an additional 30 percent calling it “very effective.”

Marketing experts report that B2B telemarketing owes much of its success to its reliance on human interaction. In other words, people want to talk to people.

If your B2B telemarketing campaigns have not been as successful as you would like, you might be going about it the wrong way. What follows are three things to keep in mind when implementing your next B2B telemarketing campaign:

  1. Cold-calling is not dead. In fact, cold-calling is one of the most effective methods telemarketers use to generate qualified leads and identify prospects. The key is to know the people you are calling and focus on that knowledge. It also is vital to keep your call script concise while capturing the interest of the person who you are calling.
  2. Build on events. Generating leads from trade shows and other business-related events can do wonders for your B2B telemarketing efforts. When you follow-up by phone with individuals who attended your events, you have the perfect lead in for sales generation.
  3. Focus on appointment setting. When you use B2B telemarketing for appointment setting with prospects, you are helping to secure essential face-to-face interactions with potential customers.

It is important to keep in mind that while B2B telemarketing is effective, it still takes time. Many leads need to be nurtured over long periods of time. B2B telemarketing efforts allow you to keep track of potential customers and remain engaged. And the more engaged you are, the more likely a prospect will turn into a client.

Finally, B2B telemarketing is an excellent way to stay in touch with current customers. Since it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, staying in touch with current customers always makes good financial sense.

How to Clean Up Your Email List without Deleting Potential Leads

How to Clean Up Your Email List without Deleting Potential Leads

Looking to clean up your email marketing list but concerned about deleting legitimate leads in the process? You’re not alone. Many business owners are concerned that through the process of email lead scrubbing they may inadvertently remove quality leads.

While this is a valid concern, if done correctly, email list scrubbing will actually improve your business development and lead generation. That’s because such efforts help to ensure that you aren’t wasting your time and money on uninterested, outdated, or bad leads. Email list scrubbing also will:

  • Lower the number of individuals and companies that mark your emails as SPAM.
  • Improve your deliverability and email open rates.
  • Keep you legally compliant by taking unsubscribes off your list.
  • Allow you to better segment your emails.
  • Increase email content relevancy.
  • Save money if you are being charged per email sent.

Marketing experts agree that approximately 25 percent of an email list becomes irrelevant each year. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to tell which 25 percent have gone bad. If you are wondering what emails you need to remove from your list, here is a quick guide for which addresses to remove:

Unsubscribes: If an address unsubscribes from your list, you are required by law to remove it.

Duplicate or invalid addresses: Every email address needs to be checked to confirm that it is a working address and that it is not being duplicated.

Addresses that didn’t opt in: Removing these emails is the best way to improve email deliverability, as well as open and click through rates.

Alias addresses: When you see an address like [email protected], you should know that most ESPs won’t deliver the email because one or more of the email addresses associated with the alias did not opt in to receive your emails.

Disengaged recipients: Don’t delete these emails immediately, but if a person or company has stopped opening or clicking through your emails, you need to try to reengage them. If reengagement fails, it’s better to remove them from your list before they mark you as SPAM.

Bouncing addresses: While some emails that bounce back do so because of a temporary problem, others bounce back because the address is invalid or blocked. In those cases, you need to remove the address from your list.

Finally, many businesses have trouble deciding how long to keep an email address on their active list. While no one would delete the email address of an active customer, it’s harder to know what to do with email addresses that appear to be abandoned. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of any address that is consistently bouncing or marking you as SPAM, and try to reengage the others. If the other addresses still bring no response after reengagement efforts, it’s time to delete them, as well.

You’re in Front of the Decision Maker, Now What?

You’re in Front of the Decision Maker, Now What?

Much attention is paid to the very important task of making sure that salespeople are able to get in front of – or on the phone with – decision makers. Equally important, however, is knowing what to say to a decision maker once a salesperson gets the chance.

Speaking with decision makers can be intimidating. After all, lead generation efforts are in most cases only seen as a success when they culminate in a meeting with a decision maker. No matter how experienced a salesperson or telemarketing professional is, presenting to a decision maker is not always easy.

Thankfully, there are ways to interact with decision makers so that the conversation goes as smoothly, and as successfully, as possible. The first way to do this is to recognize that time is money. Important people don’t have a moment to waste. While it is natural to want to launch into your sales pitch as soon as possible, make sure you always let the decision maker know that you understand that he or she is very busy and that you don’t plan on spending too much of their time.

An opening such as, “I understand you are busy so I will only take a few minutes of your time,” will go a long way. Such an opening allows the decision maker to concentrate on what you have to say instead of how quickly he or she can get you to wrap it up.

It also is important that a salesperson acknowledges the elephant in the room – or on the line. For example, if it is likely that a decision maker will turn you down because there is no money in the budget for what you are proposing, lead with that fact. “I know you might not think you can afford this service, but I’d like to tell you why you will actually make money by using it.” Stating this fact keeps the focus on your service, or product, instead of why there is no money to pay for it.

Finally, once you have made it clear that you understand how busy the decision maker is, and that you have a product or service that they really need, it’s time to do what you said you would do. This means explaining in a clear, concise, and well-researched manner how you can help improve business. And when it comes down to it, there is nothing more important to a decision maker than knowing you value his or her time and that you want to help grow their business.