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Engage, Relate, Convert – Using a CRM to Make Your Life Easier

Forrester Research reports that leads nurtured in a customer relationship management (CRM) system will convert 47 percent of the time, and that conversion rates can improve by 300 percent with a CRM in place. Additionally, CRM can boost purchase value by 40 percent.

These are powerful statistics to consider as we move toward 2019. What are the reasons for these numbers? Today’s world demands real engagement and deep relationships with customers and prospects. Attention spans are short and our targets use multiple devices and follow multiple social media channels.

CRMs provide the infrastructure you need to build your relationships. It is impossible to touch all your contacts on a consistent and in person basis. Good CRMs enable you to:

  • Communicate automatically about your brand in a way that is authentic, organic, personalized and useful to your customers and prospects using email drips.
  • Set up dynamic marketing lists defined by you that are always up to date.
  • Send out one-off marketing campaigns and newsletters based on preset targets.
  • Drive traffic to specific landing pages using segmented marketing lists.
  • Evaluate customer satisfaction and buying patterns.
  • Deliver messaging to social media channels based on your contacts’ social media profiles.
  • Automate manual administrative processes. If you can create a process in your mind, you can create it in our CRM.
  • Create actions for every contact so that you can follow up with ease.
  • Maintain all emails, comments, quotes and actions in one place so that you have your notes in front of you when communicating with them.
  • Measure what you are doing.

A best-in-class CRM enables company-wide collaboration and information sharing to deliver excellent service and to increase overall sales team productivity. They allow you to see a 360-degree view of customers and prospects and as Forrester’s study stated, survey respondents saw a 20 percent overall decrease in labor costs.

We all share the same goals for customer satisfaction, business efficiency and revenue growth. A good CRM is the key tool to making sure you achieve these important goals. Save time and money and use your CRM to propel you into 2019.

If your CRM isn’t making your life easier or, if you do not have one, CLICK HERE and let us help you make 2019 a great, great year!

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Do you have a customer-centric digital marketing strategy?

If you were asked to define “digital marketing”, how would you define it? You may say it is how you market your business by using your website or your social media profiles. You could say that digital marketing is your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. It could be Google adwords. Many of us tend to focus on one area. For instance, a marketing agency may come into your organization to help you provide a digital strategy, but what they are actually focusing on is your web and social presence and putting other areas on the backseat. Another agency may say they are a digital marketing agency, but they focus on SEO.

Our answer? All of the above and then some.

We believe digital marketing is a customer-centric mindset that puts their customers’ needs first and then uses the right avenue such as Google ads, social media, and blogs to reach our customers’ intended audience.

It is important to have the customer-centric mindset in your business. We want to share ways to foster a digital marketing mindset as an organization:

  1. Always take time to understand your customer: It is very easy to make assumptions based on positive past performance, Customer behavior is always evolving. Through consistent feedback from conversations, emails, and surveys, you will be able to stay on top, and even predict, behavioral change.
  2. Do not chase the new shiny object: This may be more for executives and department leaders. Many companies want to be known as cutting edge, but it is better to be known as a smart company. When smart companies listen to their customers, they know when to integrate new technology and platforms and when to continue using existing technology. When you chase the new technology for the sake up being cutting edge, it can often distract from the business goals and cost the organization.
  3. Set goals and adapt as needed: Many organizations take the right step of setting up goals, but do not take the time to adapt the goals to customer trends and behavior. Successful adaption is a digital marketing mindset that shows you are customer-centric. Adapting does not mean you are changing your goal. The end goal is the same but how you get there may need to change.
  4. Hold each other accountable: Customer-centric organizations are team builders. With digital marketing, it is important to hold each other accountable by having weekly or bi-weekly meetings, testing new technology and making a group decision, and constantly talking to your existing customers.

You want 2019 to be successful, so now is the time to evaluate your digital marketing. We would be happy to facilitate the evaluation, please contact us to learn more.

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More Sales Less Effort

Do you want to make more sales with less effort? If so, put your feet in your buyer’s shoes and imagine your buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey, according to Hubspot, is a three-stage process.

 

  • Awareness: The buyer realizes they have a problem
  • Consideration: The buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it
  • Decision: The buyer chooses a solution.

 

As a part of your sales process, you need to understand the stage at which your prospects are and what can you do to build our relationship with them.  You need to deliver content that is relevant to each stage and engage your prospects with helpful ideas to make their journey easy and fun.

More Sales Less Effort

It takes time nurture a qualified sales lead, so what can we do to improve the maturation of the sales cycle and convert the buyer to a customer more quickly? The answers are meaningful content and marketing automation. Sales leads are generated when a prospect has a need and they are aware of you because your marketing is educational, relevant and consistent.

We generate sales leads when we produce content and calls-to-action (prompting an immediate response) that are relevant to each stage. When the buyer engages with us, we take their information and help lead them through the journey to becoming a customer.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation uses technology to automate tasks such as sending emails and scheduling social media posts. There are several marketing automation platforms including Hubspot, SproutSocial, Hootsuite, and our CRM that allow you to easily automate these tasks.

How Can Marketing Automation Improve Your Sales Cycle?

Content and automation are a powerful combination to help you achieve your sales goals. Using content and calls to action to meet your prospective buyer at every step of the buyer’s journey often compels them to engage with you and eventually do business with you. Marketing automation adds a deeper level of relationship building, understanding, and efficiency through the following:

 

  • Consistent Follow-up: From the first point of entry, you can send scheduled messages from welcome to reminders to suggestions.
  • Track Website Behavior: After the buyer’s initial contact with you, track when they return to your website and what they do on the website.
  • Smart Data Collection: As they continue to engage with you, you begin to collect additional data through “smart” forms based on information they have already given you. This way you are not overwhelming them with data collection overload.
  • CRM integration: Marketing automation integrates with your CRM so you can track behavioral interaction and have a better understanding of their needs, so when you reach out to them electronically or personally, you will complete the sales cycle more efficiently.

 

Is marketing automation a part of your sales strategy? Are you performing tasks that can be done more efficiently and effectively with automation? It is time to evaluate your sales cycle? If so, FILL OUT the form to the right for a free consultation.

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Generate Sales with Existing Clients

I would like to share with you a story that is very common in marketing. Our client,  NoName, had a problem. Their sales were flat and their sales pipeline was shrinking. NoName was frustrated and the company’s salespeople were scratching their heads. In the past, doing it the “same old” way seemed to work. In today’s climate, “same old” is out as competitors innovate and do not want to be left behind.

NoName’s executive, Mary Jo, asked me for help, so I began by asking to review her 3 primary lead sources – networking events, the web and clients. Mary Jo was astonished when I suggested clients as a key lead source. Given how much time her sales team spends networking to find qualified leads, the best leads often are your current clients. She immediately saw the logic behind clients as a key resource.

I continued to ask specific questions about her clients. NoName sells multiple products and only 1/3rd of their clients buy more than one product. I asked Mary Jo and her sales team several questions:

  • What characteristics do those clients have that lead them to buy multiple products?
  • What other clients do you have with those characteristics?
  • What can we do to meet prospective clients that have the same characteristics?

Immediately, the team responded with great answers and saw client opportunities. As the client profile emerged, Mary Jo and her team started making plans and laying out the tactics to reach their current and future clients while using analytical benchmarks to measure their success.

One year later, NoName’s revenue is rising and its sales pipeline has doubled. Now, 50% of NoName’s client buy multiple products and 75% of its new clients this year bought multiple products.

How did we analyze client buying behavior?

We used our client’s CRM where a treasure of information is available. Many marketing firms rely on Google Analytics and other data analytics platforms while viewing the CRM as a platform to collect leads. Collecting leads is essential, but by treating the CRM as a valuable data asset, we were able to learn more about NoName’s client purchasing behaviors and needs. We began by segmenting clients by service or product type and then began to create datasets to help NoName make wise decisions about their products, sales, and marketing. NoName is a distributor and has used our CRM for over 2 years now.

The key is NOT to jump on the latest technology, but to diligently use the right technology so you can make new sales.

Spending time with clients is a good strategy and clients are a great source of new business so how are you using your CRM as a valuable asset to your client relationships?  Please contact me at jonr@cccsolutions.com so that we can help you create new sales.

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Build customer loyalty and increased revenue using your CRMs email drip campaign

Before we jump right into the explanation of an email drip campaign, you may ask why we are even writing a blog about email marketing at all. After all there is social media, online advertising, peer-to-peer texting, and the list goes on. Is email even still considered as a viable marketing tool? Our answer is yes.

Optinmonster recently wrote a blog called “Is Email Marketing Dead? Here’s What the Statistics Show.” Here are a couple of key stats from their research:

  • More than 85% of adults send or read email
  • 78% of teenagers use email
  • 99% of people check email every day
  • Every dollar spent on email marketing brings you $38 in return

 

With this in mind, email drip campaigns will help you touch more prospects and save time. An email drip campaign is simply a set of marketing emails that are automatically sent to users based on specific criteria you have put in place to nurture your relationship with the customer. To illustrate, let’s say you have a customer that came to your site and bought a product. After they enter their information, you send them an email with a thank you message and confirmation number.

With a drip campaign, we can take this a step further to nurture your relationship, so they will become a lifetime, loyal customer. Your confirmation email will be the first email of the drip campaign. You can schedule another email asking for product and customer service feedback to send automatically after they received the product. Two weeks after the feedback email, you can send another automated email with recommended related products and then follow up with new ways to use the product they purchased.so on.

This sounds like a lot of work, so is the effort worth it? Yes, and here’s why.

Your audience is constantly changing whether it is demographically or behaviorally. Email drip campaigns help you stay in front of your audience  and, most importantly, understand your audience. How they interact with your emails will give you insights into their behavior and decision making. We’ll give you a real-life example. One of our consultants was hired by a science-based organization to create an email campaign for an event. Because there was not a lot of data available for their audience’s behaviors, he helped write content and designed a layout based on common email marketing fundamentals.

At first, the response was subpar. Our client decided to try minimizing graphics and made the content more technical for each of the drip campaign emails. Immediately, there was an increased response rate with each of the emails. If they had just done one email for the campaign, they would not have known how their audience prefers to read emails. They would have considered it a bust, but because they implemented a drip campaign, they were able to understand their audience and get a favorable response.

Drip campaigns are very effective for:

  • Prospects – Engage your prospects by sending them educational emails to demonstrate your interest and expertise. Drive prospects to your website’s landing pages where they can respond to your emails
  • New signups – Send them a welcome email and then follow up with automated emails for new published blogs, upcoming events, and calls-to-action.
  • New purchase – Begin with a confirmation and thank you, followed by product feedback and then continue to nurture with related products, new products, and product tips.
  • Events – Start with a confirmation and thank you, followed by reminders, event info like parking details, and upcoming related events.

 

Drip campaigns will support your high touch approach so that your targets know you are thinking of them. It keeps you “top of mind” among prospects and clients so they think of you when they are ready to buy or reorder. Our CRM gives you the ability to create drip campaigns to deliver content to your leads based on your contact lists, where they are in the buyer’s journey, and their engagement. If you are not using email because you think it is dead as a marketing tool or you are sending one-off emails to your audience, there is a good chance that you are losing customer loyalty and revenue. It is time to start your drip campaign and see the new customers, longer lasting relationships and increase revenue.

drought

3 Tips to Prevent a Marketing Drought

Business is going well. Products are selling. Pipeline is full. Revenue is increasing. Small businesses work hard to get to this level of success and many do. When business is going well, it is easy to forget about marketing because you shift internal responsibilities to nurture new and existing clients, convert the pipeline, and build better products. This is good, but when a small business starts decreasing the priority on marketing to accommodate for the surge in new business, it is setting itself up for a drought.

How Does This Happen?

It is actually quite easy. When you become so busy with new clients and sales, you  start taking little shortcuts in the areas that help grow the business. In marketing, we often see the deliverables like marketing emails, blogs, and social media posts get delayed and eventually they stop. We see business development meetings get rescheduled or cancelled. This does not happen overnight. It begins small, here and there, to the point that marketing becomes an afterthought.

After a while that pipeline starts to look a little empty and the drought makes its way into the business. Executives and sales managers begin to panic and start chasing anything and everything. They can no longer be choosers and must go after the “low hanging fruit” to keep the cash flow going.

Once a business enters a drought, it can be difficult to flourish again. Here are 4 tips to keep your business flourishing and prevent a drought.

  1. Marketing must ALWAYS be a priority

    Marketing is like exercising. You have been consistently working out and it shows. You have energy. You are healthy. Somewhere along the line, life gets busy with kids, work, and extra activities. You begin to miss a workout here and there and next thing you know, you have lost all that you worked towards. Marketing, like exercise, must be a priority. You need to lead your organization in the mindset that shortcuts with marketing today will affect your business tomorrow. It might be tempting to shave off 30 minutes of your business development meeting or push back a marketing email to spend a few more minutes on a project, but, if you do, it will show in one way or another. Keep marketing a priority and you will keep filling your pipeline with quality leads.

  2. Take time to analyze

    Data is like a mentor. Individuals spend time with their mentors to help them mature as a person and grow in character, career, or skill. Spending time with the data you collect gives you insight into your customers’ behaviors. It helps you know when to adjust your marketing and content. When you stop analyzing your data while continuing to write content, your content may begin to be irrelevant to your customers because their behaviors and buying habits have changed. Do not underestimate the power of your data. It helps you keep your content relevant.

  3. Listen to your customers and share the feedback with your team

    Your customers want to give you feedback both positive and negative. When business is good, we think our customers are happy. Most likely they are, but it is a grave assumption to think you are meeting all expectations. Take time to schedule personal visits or phone calls with your customer with the sole purpose of asking for feedback, especially when business is good. Do not try to make excuses if the feedback is negative or try to upsell if feedback is positive. Just listen and most importantly take the feedback back to your marketing team and use it to strengthen your marketing efforts. If you do not share your feedback with your team, it is a waste of time for you and your customer.

Following these tips will help prevent your business from going into a drought. It is our desire to see businesses succeed. If you do not have a marketing strategy to help curate content that drives inbound lead generation, we would love to talk to you. Contact us for a free consultation.

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Create A Proper Marketing Strategy Review to Build a Profitable Marketing Strategy

For many organizations, the end of the fiscal year is coming up soon. Whether you are a September 30th or calendar year-end, the approach means year-end budget reports and planning for the next fiscal year. This can be a stressful time for different departments because they need to validate your expenses and assess your goals of the previous year while justifying your proposed budget for the next year.

Your assessment and justification can be very stressful on your organization’s marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy’s goals and budget are a profitable asset, but many times they are viewed as a costly asset that needs to be done. A costly asset is one where the same strategy is executed year after year expecting increased results. To build a profitable strategy,

What does it mean to properly review a marketing strategy?

Profitable strategies start with the customer. Do you still know your customer? Has your customer’s behavior changed? How is the customer engagement different now then 12 months ago? If your organization does not know your customer, your marketing strategy is just a guessing game and becomes costly with little ROI.

Once your organization has a firm grasp of  its customer, you need to review your marketing goals, how to measure the goals, and the tools used to reach the goals. This part of the review is very important. We know that the customer’s behavior changes, but so does technology. You may be using technology or digital tools that may or may not be the right tools to help reach your new goal or help build and nurture a relationship with your customer.

To ensure a profitable marketing strategy, your organization needs to ask the following questions?

  • Does my CRM collect the right information from customers, so that we nurture the relationship effectively?
  • Am I producing the right content on the correct social platforms?
  • Has my customer shifted from one social platform to another?
  • Does my analytics platform collect the right data, and does it have new features that I need to learn to collect better data?
  • Am I spending money on a marketing platform that no longer meets the organization’s business goal or the customer’s need?

As you prepare your marketing strategy for the next year, you do not need to go into it with a mindset that it is a necessary evil, but, with a proper review and plan, you can turn your marketing strategy into a profitable asset. At CCC, we love to help organizations succeed through inbound marketing strategic planning, so you can increase lead generation and customer conversion. Call (301) 332-0613 and schedule a FREE phone review of your current marketing strategy and goals. We will help you get on the right path to plan your marketing strategy for the next fiscal year.

Tip:

  1. You have different audiences that need or want your product. When writing content for social media, adapt your message on each social platform based on your audience’s everyday language. Same message but different words. By doing this, you will be able to connect more personally with each audience.
  2. Did you know that you can use Google’s Free Tag Manager to track phone calls from your website when a customer views your site on their mobile device? This is can help you see which product or service page gets the most phone calls on your website.

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