CRM deciphers to customer relationship management. For the first time, this concept came into existence in the 1970s. Before this, customer satisfaction evaluation took place through annual surveys.
Also, big data analysis and sales automation took place through stand-alone mainframe systems. CRM was, later on, popularised in 1997 by Tom Siebel.
From there on, with the genesis of the 21st century, CRM has seen immense improvisation. With the migration of CRM to the cloud, many small-scale enterprises were able to access it.
What is the lead in CRM?
The concept of lead management finds its sources in CRM. Any individual who will be the customer of a company, but currently isn’t is a lead or a prospect.
Evaluation of a lead happens when they enter a company’s CRM. The scoring of the lead depends on criteria, such as:
- Customer’s interest level
- Budget and size of the company
What is lead generation?
The process of conversion of a visitor into a prospect is lead generation. Though sounds easy, lead generation is a tough nut to crack. It requires a lot of research and analysis of customer history.
Your company must aim to convert those visitors who are ready to invest time and take action with your company. It implies that the customer should take company services such as calls to action leading to a free demo.
Some of the commonly employed techniques are:
- Using social media
Posting on social media through posts or blogs is one of the best methods to increase your followers. Although this seems an informal approach, it has promising outcomes.
Through this, the company can provide followers with multiple messages. Messages can either be in the form of videos or images. It is diverting customer interest towards the company product, blog articles, news, etc., also becomes easy. It is where CRM would help you.
- Launching email campaigns
It is a great tool, as customers would have willingly given you their mail-id. It implies that the customer is most willing in your product and would like to receive mail from you.
Inserting a call-to-action option would also render useful. Analyzing your ROI in these campaigns is an important task, and this is where CRM comes into the frame. CRM enables you to filter out your customers based on their engagement in your campaign.
- Writing blog articles
If you want to promote your product concerning a specific feature, then blogging would be an excellent option. The blog typically speaks about this feature of the product.
Adding some call-to-action tabs such as “take a free trial” would do the need.
The outcome of this technique – How does it link to CRM?
The primary outcome is to convert most of the visitors into customers. Here your inbound marketing strategy should be successful in bringing the customer to a landing page where the page provides tabs for “free demo” etc.
How is CRM helping you do this?
CRM provides you with efficient and reliable information about your customers.
- It helps in understanding the customer’s psychology with whom you’re engaging.
- CRM creates a contact file of the visitor, which you can refer to at any point in the future.
- It generates an efficiency report about your ROI and communication actions.
- It will act as a feedback mechanism for you.
- It enables easy customer file sharing. Your sales team can access these details and proceed further to communicate with customers.
- It makes the whole process more comfortable, efficient, and smart.
Ways to generate leads
AI lead generation
With AI being the new cool, we see that there is a paradigm shift across the industries. Encompassing the abilities that process extensive data to super-human things, AI is the new vogue. There are many lead generation tools backed by AI that help in understanding new leads.
AI has enabled them to choose the required and suitable accounts. Also, it helps to conclude better marketing communication based on prospect traits. It further directs you to the right lead through a proper communication channel.
Customer behavior prediction
Targeting customers becomes relatively easy when you know their expectations. Nowadays, you can learn more about them via techniques such as, data mining or analyzing customer behavior patterns.
Further using predictive analytics, you can spot your ideal customer with ease. It will filter out bad leads. Moreover, the generated leads will receive customized content.
Lead nurturing is a process of dispensing tailored content to prospects. It happens at different stages of the buying cycle. Due to this refined content, the customer moves one step further in the buying cycle.
Some of lead nurturing tactics include multi-channel nurturing, target content, lead scoring and most importantly, timely follow-ups via messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, may serve the purpose.
Sharing contacts with other companies
CRM helps in the integration of other products that are put into use along with yours. Contact such companies and exchange your prospect database with them. It benefits both the parties involved and creates a scope for new leads.
Ecommerce CRM integration and ERP CRM integration
- Integration of Ecommerce and CRM databases opens a whole set of opportunities once the customer registers on some of the other Ecom platforms their information is fed to your CRM.
- The main advantage of integrating any two systems is data exchange. The fusion of the data gives a holistic view of the customer. It can also provide insights and to budding marketers.
Collaboration in lead development
Auto lead generation happens when a visitor feeds their information on the website.
The classification of this information happens based on a niche area and Information type. The leads are further follow-up if they take part in any webinars or subscriptions.
If the lead shows a keen interest, then only the sales team prepares a pitch based on customer history.
Other methods in practice
- Online lead form
- Using apps to test and enhance lead generation
- Sales pipelining
- Integration with inactive databases
Generating high-quality leads is a challenging but essential process. Although a marketer has to try many ways of lead generation, database population does not matter if leads are ‘junk’. This is when a CRM comes in handy — for long-lasting and efficient lead generation.
Guest Author Bio: Janhavi Mishra is a Freelance Content Writer and Content Marketer with a belief, “Sketch your Ideas in Letter”.