How Online CRM is Like a Love Note to Your Customer

online crmAlthough the British-American band Foreigner burst on the music scene with the 1984 ballad, “I Want to Know What Love Is”, they were not talking about marketing your business.  However, the lyrics give us a few lessons in love that apply to marketing automation success and how to use online CRM.

 Better Read Between the Lines

The song starts with the words, “I gotta take a little time…a little time to think things over.”  If you are a business owner that is busy dealing with the day to day business demands; you may never take the time to read between the lines of the data in your online CRM.  Your customers and prospects will not stand for that level of disregard anymore.  They insist that your product or service be about serving them in a way that fits what they want. 

In the book, The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics, Maslansky talks about the “post trust era” of today.  This skeptical attitude toward what you offer is not limited by any industry, product or issue.  He cautions companies to step outside the facts, features and even benefits of what you offer.  Instead, we must find areas of alignment between what we offer our customers and their already formed worldview.  Approach marketing communication without a clear vision of what your customer wants and you will lose an ever-increasing amount of business.

You Want to Feel What Love Is 

Way back in the summer of 2012, the Harvard Business Review claimed that solution sales are dead.  They claimed that traditional ways of selling have failed because the organization is competing to meet a recognized need.  Their research indicates that successful sales comes from uncovering an unrecognized need and offer provocative insights about what the customer should do to improve. 

It takes time to develop insight into the customer need and customize your communication to fit the new buyer expectations.  Starting a conversation before the customer has clearly identified a problem requires marketing automation that is agile and responsive.  With today’s online CRM software and a lead nurturing email campaign, your sales process can adapt as you learn more about what “love is” in the minds of your sales lead. 

You Know They Can Show You

Smart use of online CRM technology includes setting up measurement metrics to show you the different steps in the sales process.  Here is a simplified example of a sales process:

 1. Cold calls are made or initial emails are sent to sales leads

2. Appointments are set

3. Presentations are given

4. Successful presentations lead to proposals

5. Proposals lead to closings

 

Simply measuring these five steps in the sales process will give you insight into what is working and where things tend to stall out.  For example, if the sales team is getting lots of appointments, presentations and proposals, without getting your target number of closed sales, you can look at what might be tweaked in your process to increase success.

You may not have established your value to the sales lead adequately before a proposal was developed.  When you break down the steps and measure each step, the sales team spends less time with unqualified prospects.  This can cause a radical shift in your revenue. 

Online CRM software gives you the ability to maximize your sales team’s time and effort.  Sales people often have the incentive of being compensated based on performance.  Their time is limited to make those sales, particularly in the B2B sales world.  You can offer them the insights into sales lead behavior that increases time spent with sales leads that have a high probability to purchase.   

Let the customer show you what they need and you make the sales people happy while increasing revenue. 

That’s what Love Is!

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