A contact manager is something many of us regularly without even thinking. Searching the contacts in your phone? You’re using a basic Contact Manager. Looking up a contact on in Gmail? You’re using the built-in contact manager.
Many website providers come with a basic CRM, but are you making the most of it? Does it have the features you need to optimize ROI on your leads?
Let’s talk more about CRMs and the features that can help.
What is a CRM?
A CRM, or Customer Relationship Manager, is technology and strategies used to manage and analyze customers or potential customers throughout the sale process and customer lifecycle.
Using the right CRM can help improve the sales process, and make it easier across all departments to perform their jobs in a cohesive way, giving the customer a more seamless customer experience.
Are you using a CRM? What kind of features do you find useful?
I regularly use a contact manager to perform my marketing and track my efforts; the same CRM our sales team uses to track and manage sales, and our account managers use to better serve our existing customers.
Here are the key features to look for in a Contact Manager (CRM) to make your life easier:
1. Email integration.
For most businesses, emailing is the number way to keep in contact with customers and potential customers. A few years ago some marketers talked about email being dead with the advent of social media, texting, and other mediums.
But that couldn’t be further from the case.
86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes. And 77% of consumers prefer to get promotions via email (instead of text, phone, direct mail, or social media).
If you want to have successful marketing, sales, and customer service communications, email is crucial. But who wants to manage their contact in one area, and log into another email program to measure email marketing effectiveness? Or maybe you need to download your contacts from your email program and upload them into your CRM.
When your time is limited, doing these tedious tasks can be, well, tedious. And costly. Finding a CRM that fully integrates your email marketing with your CRM is going to save you time, and make you much more effective across the board.
That is why when we built our contact manager, we also built our own fully integrated email system to go with it. We know how important and beneficial it is to manage everything from one place.
How can integrated email help?
Set up or edit automated emails to send to your new subscribers. Welcome emails are incredibly effective: on average, 320% more revenue is attributed to them on a per email basis than other promotional emails.
New contacts will automatically be added to your CRM, and you can manage, sort, or view what emails they’ve opened and check their sales “temperature”.
Sales and marketing can work together more seamlessly than ever, with marketing touchpoints and sales touchpoints information available in the same place.
2. Segment or sort your contacts.
Dividing your audience into sub groups based on demographics, purchasing behavior, place in the sales cycle, or other measurable characteristics can have a huge benefit to your marketing, sales, and customer service.
How can segmentation be beneficial?
Segmenting by preferred communication method will ensure you’re sending coupons to the correct device, by text, email, or through an app.
Segmenting by place in the sales cycle will help you send timely communications that will encourage them to take the next step with your business.
Segmenting by product type will help you upsell and know the kind of products they prefer.
Your CRM should have an easy way to sort contacts into these different groups. The more you can segment your audience, the better results you’ll have with your marketing and sales.
I found when emailing our list in the ApogeeINVENT CRM, if I segment by product type, I have a I have almost a 9 – 10% higher click-through-rate on my emails. That is a HUGE difference.
Why? Because the segmented emails are created specifically for the target demographic of those products. The recipients know I’m talking directly to them, and are more likely to click through to our website.
Segment your audience in as many ways as possible.
Our CRM software allows clients to apply tags to each contact, and then has multiple ways of sorting the tags. For example, I can tag a contact with the product type they showed interest in. I can also tag the contact based on the email campaigns I’ve sent, and the system will automatically assign tags based on whether or not they have opened emails (and which emails they’ve opened), clicked on an email, if they came to our website from Facebook, on a mobile device, and many other ways. I can also tag them based on demographics, such as location, gender, age, purchasing behavior, etc.
3. Use Automation whenever possible.
Most CRM software includes automation features that will simplify your life, if used correctly.
I’m always surprised how many people underutilize their software, until I started realizing how many features in our software I haven’t been using!
What are some CRM automation features your software (hopefully) has?
Automatic tagging and audience segmentation.
Set up useful tags or labels so each new contact is automatically sorted. This will make things easier for the sales team. For example, in Apogee’s CRM, it is set up to tag each contact based on where they come from, such as Website, Facebook Ad, Adwords Campaign 1, landing pages, or a website page. This helps us learn a lot about a contact before we connect with them.
These tags allow me to see, at a glance, how effective different marketing efforts are at creating viable leads.
These tags can also help us label each contact based on the product type they are interested in, again helping the sales team and marketing efforts.
If your CRM is integrated with an email system, make sure you are sending out automated emails to your contacts. Welcome email or autoresponders and drip emails will ensure you’re not letting any contacts slip through the cracks, and will help upsell or encourage a sale.
Automated emails are set up to trigger based on certain actions. For example, a welcome email will “trigger” a send when a new contact fills out your form. The welcome email can be used to ensure they open the first email and keep getting your emails in their inbox. It can also make a special offer or give some other incentive to turn them from a contact into a customer.
Autoresponder emails like the welcome email have the highest open rates of any kind of email, so you can’t afford not to use them.
Other automated emails include drip emails, which are marketing emails that send periodically to encourage a sale over time. These can be used for new contacts, contacts who have started making a purchase but abandoned the shopping cart before completing it, and to upsell customers that have already made a purchase.
4. Customer Service
Sales and marketing can work seamlessly with customer service through your CRM.
Your customer service employees can use the CRM to better help customers, and add notes to their customer profiles, as well as note how often this customer has been contacted, what product(s) they’ve purchased, and more.
The more information you can collect on your contacts / customers, the better you’ll be able to provide them with a positive experience.
Having one central place for your team to track information will be hugely beneficial throughout the entire process from first contact to maintaining happy customers.
5. Use reports and analytics
If your CRM offers reports on your contacts, make sure you are reviewing them regularly. Which contacts are hot leads? Are there contacts you haven’t ever gotten in touch with? What shoppers are opening your emails, and how can encourage more open and clicks?
Use the results to improve your website, increase conversion rates, create better emails, and tailor your marketing and sales message to each segment of your audience.
If you’re like most businesses, you’re invested time and money into getting new leads. Why waste those leads by not organizing and tracking them properly? Making the most of your CRM means you’re getting the most out of your investment.
Don’t have a CRM, or don’t like the one you have? You’re in luck; we sell those!