When we talk about the benefits of a CRM, we often focus on two things:
And yes, CRMs are hands-down the most powerful tools for sales professionals to use to organize leads, log historical communications, automate follow-up, and take some of the work of closing business off their plate. But did you also know that CRMs can be powerful tools for professional development? And that one of the teams that benefits most from that development is your marketing team?
The job of a marketer is to promote a product or service in order to gain interest and get potential customers either to or near to the close (where sales teams can then jump in to finish the deal). Since the beginning of commerce, power has been shifting more and more in one direction — from the company to the customer. Commerce started from a place of need and if you built it, they came and bought it. As the marketplace became increasingly industrialized, it created room for more players. Suddenly, customers had options, and thus power. And it’s only continued to advance it that direction as the digital age has made worldwide choices accessible at the click of a button.
The best way for businesses to gain some of that power back is through knowledge. Knowledge about what your customers want or don’t want is the key to your marketing team’s ability to do their jobs well. Here are some of the key ways your marketing team can use CRM reports for growth.
One of the biggest mistakes marketers can make is trying to put themselves in their customers shoes with a line of thinking like, “Well if it was me, I’d like this image.” or “If I was looking for this service, I’d be looking on mobile.” As much as it may sound like common sense, these kinds of actions aren’t empathy, they’re assumption. And we all know what good assumptions are for … nothing.
Marketers can’t put themselves in their customers shoes because of their inherent bias being so close to the product or service. Luckily, CRM reports can help stop this assumptive line of thinking.
Customer reporting not only tells marketers who their customers are according to their demographics, but it also tracks the way they operate — what they click on, what they avoid, where they interact with your brand. All of this information is great for disproving assumptions you may make about your customer and instead, pushing you to understand customers based on the data.
With marketing messaging, being too close to the product or service can again cause trouble. Oftentimes, marketers over or under guess at consumer’s level of knowledge, resulting in marketing copy that’s either too quippy and cute (but doesn’t tell us what you’re selling) or that’s too full of jargon and nonsense (and thus is unreadable). Without data, marketers are taking a stab in the dark when it comes to writing their copy. That’s where CRM reports come in.
With CRM reporting, you can test consumers’ reactions to marketing copy in a variety of mediums — email, social media, web, phone call — and the data doesn’t lie. If a message moves a lead further forward in the funnel, it’s probably working. Do more of that. If leads are abandoning ship after reading a different message, it needs to be changed. With data, marketers can learn to be better writers who straddle the line between being expert and friend, thus both teaching and reaching the customer.
New avenues for reaching consumers are constantly available. Marketers could spend 100 percent of their time throwing spaghetti at a wall of endless innovation and hoping something sticks. But that would be a giant waste of time (and pasta). In fear of that, many marketers avoid trying new things all together, and could be missing out on big opportunity for both professional development and customer growth. CRM reporting eliminates the guesswork — reigning in marketers who are trying too many things and pushing resistant marketers to step outside their comfort zones.
Based on current reporting, you can see where your customers are most engaged. Perhaps it’s on social media, and so you’d like to try a new kind of Facebook ad like video or collection. With CRM software, you can do a test run and either abandon or go in with more force based on what the data is saying. It’s the smart way to innovate and bonus, the reporting makes it easy to prove the ROI of a new venture to your leadership.
You could send your marketing team to a conference or a class to help them grow, or you could use a solution that’s probably already at your fingertips. Your CRM is not only a great tool for sales, it’s a great tool for learning. Use it to study your customers and your marketing efforts in depth, and you’ll see great results.