Embarking on a CRM strategy can be an exciting, challenging and potentially very rewarding time for any business; the prospect of managing existing leads and capturing new ones, all through one central platform that the whole workforce can access, opens up a new world of possibilities. But, at the same time, it can also be daunting as, no matter how comprehensive a CRM platform can be and how many bells and whistles it can have, it’s the overall management and dedication put into it by a business that will determine its true success.
One could assume that this means a huge additional overhead to manage and implement properly, but the key to efficient, cohesive CRM deployment is to merge with other platforms and automate data sharing. Not only does this eradicate the need for excessive additional resource, but it helps to streamline existing processes and make your business work smarter instead of harder.
The key is integration; linking your various platforms to seamlessly communicate with one another, updating each of them automatically with your various communications with customers.
Success in sales and service often depends on two facets: firstly, having a complete view of each and every customer in one central location; and secondly, that all elements of an organisation’s marketing armoury are working in unison to funnel the correct communication methods.
Your website is likely to be the primary source for incoming sales leads. If working independently, an unwarranted amount of time can be spent inputting data from web enquiries to your CRM system manually. Through integration, you will save time, increase productivity and ensure accuracy of data. In addition, the instant nature of the data sharing means there is no delay in having readily available information, either for reporting or subsequent communications.
As the primary form of marketing communication for most businesses, email isn’t just a simple way to connect with customers but also one that allows for significant targeting and refinement in order to achieve optimum results. By integrating email with CRM, the usual open, click-through and bounce information will be paired with demographic and behavioural data, maximizing the power of your leads and ensuring that only the most relevant, targeted communications are delivered. Data from every campaign is stored centrally, bringing all elements together to paint the most complete picture possible of the successes and failures of campaigns, ensuring that only the most effective are carried forward for future use – something made far more difficult and time-consuming with use of standalone platforms.
Some businesses see SMS as something of a bit-part player in their marketing arsenal, whilst others rely on it as a critical focal point of their communications. With the sheer volume of smartphones, and their prominent position in so many people’s lives, SMS campaigns can be extremely effective way to get targeted messages literally right in front of your prospects. Through effective CRM integration, you can utilise SMS as a complementary tactic alongside emails and direct telephone contact, seamlessly adding them into your communication funnel as reminders or prompts for other more substantial messages. Integrating SMS distribution with email and other initiatives can magnify their effectiveness significantly, adding a further dimension to their importance as a marketing channel.
Dorne Wood, sales manager for new-homes CRM specialist ContactBuilder, comments: “There’s no denying that data integration is a discipline that organisations need to start putting at the top of their priority list and which should work hand-in-hand with CRM.
The business value of integrating web, SMS, email and social media far outweighs the investment, plus it will help organisations to gain a clearer view of the behavioral patterns of customers and enable companies to customise their marketing activities accordingly.”
ContactBuilder is the lead-management system designed specifically for UK housebuilders, and offers a one-stop CRM solution integrating with numerous existing software platforms to meet the specific needs of its clients. For more information and advice on data integration, or to find out more about the ContactBuilder platform, visit contact-builder.co.uk.