Keeping track of every customer and all their details without a CRM can be a pain point for most small businesses. After all, processes often develop as they’re needed and may rarely — if ever — get tweaked or updated. As a marketer, you might be using a mix of tools. Tools like spreadsheets, virtual documents, and point solutions, can help you run your marketing campaigns and analyze the results. But you can dramatically boost your efficiency, strategy, and ROI with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. A CRM stores information on your prospects and customers. It includes data like their interactions with your company and key details like their contact information, industry or background, location, and organization size. Here are the top four ways to enhance your marketing strategy with a CRM. #1. Segment your leads, prospects, and customers (and understand what makes someone likelier to buy/a good fit) Imagine if you owned a restaurant. Every single person who walked into your restaurant, regardless of their tastes, dietary preferences, and appetite, got the same meal. How many people would be happy? Probably only a small percentage. In the restaurant world, this would be a ludicrous concept and yet it’s similar to sending the same marketing campaigns to everyone in your database. The information in your CRM is invaluable when it comes to sending relevant, targeted emails to your recipients. Segment your lists based on location, gender, age, industry, purchase history, website behaviour, event attendance, persona, and more. To give you an idea, you might send an email to people who live within a 20-mile radius of your new store to invite them to the opening. Or you could email everyone who bought a specific product when a related product goes on sale. Not only will segmentation improve your conversion rates increase, it will give you a better sense of who your “best” customers are. Imagine you review data from the last quarter and see 20% of your biggest purchases came from a single region. It’s a good idea to prioritize and actively target new leads in that region over less profitable ones. #2. Personalize your emails with CRM contact fields Have you ever gotten a message that’s so well-written and personalized you don’t realize it’s a mass email until later? That’s probably thanks to personalization tokens (a.k.a. email tokens). These let the campaign creator write one generic email that’s sent to every email address on the list. The only catch? The details of each sent email change based on the recipient. Let’s say your email reads: Hello [contact_name], Hope you’re enjoying the lovely spring weather in [contact_city]! To help celebrate the season, we’re offering 40% off our planting supplies. There’s room in your garden shed right next to that [last_product_purchased], right? Cheers, Gabrielle at Home Sweet Home Personalization tokens (also called “email tokens”) fill in the blanks by taking the information from your CRM and seamlessly inserting it. You can add a personalization token for any field (standard or custom) in your CRM system, letting you send infinitely customizable messages. It’s an easy way to add personalization at scale. #3. Improve the marketing-sales hand-off One of the biggest sources of conflict between Sales and Marketing? Lead handoffs. Not only do leads constantly slip through the cracks — meaning a salesperson never follows up — but those who do make it through are often rejected by Sales for being “poor fits,” “not interested,” or “tirekickers.” A CRM can mitigate, if not completely eliminate, those issues. First, having a CRM system lets you know exactly how old a lead is. The contact creation field will tell you how many days, hours, or even minutes it’s been since they indicated interest in your business (by filling out a form, requesting more information, etc.) That ensures your sales team will follow up in time. Second, a CRM enables you to track lead scores, or quantified estimates of how likely a prospect is to buy based on factors like behavior and similarity to your ideal customer. With this score, Marketing is held accountable. Their department might be responsible for generating a specific number of “qualified” leads (or leads with a lead score higher than X number) every month. Sales is held accountable too. If they get a predetermined number of good leads each month, then they should commit to following up with 100% of them at least once, 90% of them twice, 80% three times, and so on. Some research suggests the average deal requires five follow-ups. If your reps aren’t following up this much, they’re leaving money on the table. #4. Set up closed-loop reporting to gauge campaign ROI Closed-loop reporting transforms marketing from a fuzzy, intuition-based discipline into a data-backed science and it tells you where your leads came from, which channels drive the greatest lead quantity, and which channels drive the greatest lead revenue. Armed with this knowledge, you can make the most accurate decisions about where to invest your time and budget. To set up closed loop reporting, you need to integrate your marketing analytics software with your CRM software. Now every action your visitors take (from their first visit to your website to purchase) will be tracked in your CRM system. For example, you can quickly see how many customers your social media campaign generated in the last month versus your email marketing campaign, or how much closed business came from leads who downloaded eBook A vs. B. Powerful information, right? This is also highly useful when discussing results with your coworkers, boss, or CEO. Rather than saying, “I started blogging four months ago, and it seems to be going well,” you can say, “Of the 3,000 people that read our blog last month, 800 became leads and one-third of those ended up buying. That’s an estimated $10,000 in influenced revenue from the blog in one month.” There are of course a number of CRM software solutions out there. Most cost between $20 per month and $100 per month. In the case you’re bootstrapping and it’s too expensive for you you can always use a free CRM software solution as well. With a CRM, you’ll be more organized, productive, and profitable. What’s your secret to using CRM Software? Please leave a comment below and share!