It’s a cool Monday morning in the office. The phone rings, and it’s a familiar yet uncertain voice, “Hi, John?”
“Hi, may I know who this is?”
“This is Kat, we spoke last week. You forgot we met to talk about your product?”
You recoil, contract, and try to squirm your way out of the awkward situation between you and your prospect. You forgot to write it down, and worse of all, you have no idea what went on in that conversation you had.
You might have heard this truism enough to last you a lifetime, but the customer is the most important stakeholder in your business. So managing that relationship is the most important thing you can do. And the old ways of doing this just aren’t effective. You need a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
What is a CRM?
According to TechTarget, a CRM tool is “technolog(y) that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention, and driving sales growth.”
The benefits of a CRM include:
- Consolidating and bringing together customer data and touch points to make sense of it
- Setting a customer marketing journey, allowing you to control the customer experience and make adjustments based your prospect’s behavior
- Tracking and analyzing customer interactions such as birthdates, whether they downloaded your latest shared document, whether they opened your email or not, and more
- Better understanding prospects and building actual, solid relationships with them that keep them loyal to the brand and coming back for more
In short, CRM tools help you to automate your marketing process and take the hassle of trying to consolidate everything manually out of the picture, allowing you to focus on the things that are more important; i.e. providing actual value to your customer.
Still not convinced you need a CRM? Here are three signs you do.
No. 1: You spend most of your time putting out fires
Without a central place to consolidate all your customer information and interactions, it can be almost impossible to keep tabs on your prospects and to remember exactly when you last spoke to each and every one of them.
The result can be a constant effort to put out little fires due to information falling through the cracks.
Without a solid system like Infusionsoft to tidy up your customer interactions and help you understand your prospects and customers, it can be a hassle trying event to catch up to the sheer amount of work. Who has time to build relationships in such an environment?
No. 2: You can’t remember where you last met your prospect
You meet a lot of people. In a given day, it’s not unusual to meet with upwards of three or more people.
Take that by a year and you would have met 786 (262 weekdays x 3 people per day) people. That’s quite a sizeable number, isn’t it?
Given that, it is not hard to see why a CRM tool comes in handy.
At Empathi, we use Infusionsoft as our CRM, and one nifty feature that we love is the “Notes” portion, where busy people like us can jot down useful notes about our meetings with people; these notes and nuggets of information can later be used in our personalized, automated emails through the use of a “merged field”.
This feature has proven time and time again to save us time trying to recall our previous chats with the person while helping us maintain relevance and rapport.
On Infusionsoft mobile, a quick and convenient way for sales or busy entrepreneurs is to note conversations down in the “Notes” section, where it also can be used as part of personalized automated emails via merged fields.
We’re getting close to landing 007. Our notes allow our entire team to instantly know where we are in the process.
No. 3 You want to do more marketing with less effort
Let’s face it: marketing can be an uphill challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing.
While the thought of increasing the number of followers as your marketing efforts go along can be exciting, there comes a peak where businesses struggle to find a balance between increasing their customer size while maintaining a personalized experience.
What happens next is marketing disaster.
As customers today demand personalization right down to their name and businesses strive to remember their preferences and choices, it can be taxing on the marketer to keep track of the different names and profiles while keeping a straight face in campaigns.
That is why a CRM like Infusionsoft is so important.
With so many tools and software in the marketing field, keep tracking of your customer seems to be easier at first glance, but in actual fact is getting harder.
With a CRM you can work your way around that and streamline your marketing activities.
With a nifty URL that is generated by the Infusionsoft system, you can integrate Infusionsoft webforms across a multitude of marketing software, like Lead Pages and sign up boxes, and collect data accordingly.
This, in turn, saves you from what I call “personalization clutter”—and maintains the experience you give your prospects while maintaining your marketing activity flow.
One more thing..how marketing automation can take your CRM to the next level
Image source: http://cdn.smartpassiveincome.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/infusionsoft-visual-campaign-editor.png
So far, we have been addressing the topic of how CRM should be at the heart of your business operation.
But, it can be even better when you couple it with marketing automation.
One of the biggest lessons that we learned this year was the power of smart marketing, how we can use efficient tools like Infusionsoft to map out the entire customer journey and instead focus on the things that are more important to keeping the customer happy.
Perhaps one of the biggest things that I learned apart from that was the importance of realizing the amount of personalization and customization that are available in the productivity and automation industry right now.
Software of the past used to rely on manual inputs and buggy codes that would break customer experiences, not solve them. But moving forward to today, we can build an amazing level of sophistication into our automated marketing systems—so much so it can be hard to tell if it’s really automated or there’s a physical person actually sending that email.
If you are like us, and you wish you could work less and throw the majority of your work to automated software and a proven system, then you certainly need a software like Infusionsoft to lift that heavy burden off your shoulders.
Brendan Yong is a Certified Infusionsoft Partner and a Marketing Consultant specialized in marketing automation based in Singapore. His company Empathi Solutions helps Asia-based clients build Marketing Systems to Grow Predictable Revenue using Infusionsoft CRM as the primary marketing automation tool.