The 6 Most Important Marketing Features of Your CRM
No tool is more important to the success of a digital marketing agency than its customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRM enables marketers to efficiently execute many essential duties needed to excel at their position. Marketing Managers can launch, track, and measure complex and personalized marketing campaigns. They are able to monitor each customer’s interactions, preferences, and history, while working more closely with sales to manage customers through the sales funnel.
The overall value a CRM platform offers an agency is obvious, however, some features are more valuable than others. As marketers who rely on CRM to drive our agency’s success, below are the key tools we recommend utilizing within your own CRM system.
1. Workflow Automation
In a typical workday, you and your employees spend far too much time completing repetitive work. Workflow automation can assist with this issue. Utilizing the tool, CRM can reduce or eliminate the manual time spent completing tasks by accomplishing them for you.
For example, a CRM can:
- Direct new lead contact information to the right sales representative or department
- Send preset response emails to messages received by sales or customer service
- Send follow-up messages to both leads and salespeople if a prospect doesn’t respond in a set time frame
- Generate reports on the timing, length, and even contents of calls made by your sales department to individual leads
- Generate profitability reports including task completion, time tracking, client billing, and expenses
By taking the repetitive work off your plate, a CRM can carry out important tasks automatically, freeing up your team to take on new clients or focus on the creative and analytical roles for which you hired them.
2. Third-Party Integration
As of April, 2020, there are over 8,000 martech tools available to marketers. In addition to a CRM, you’re probably already using some of these software solutions for email, cloud storage, project management, time tracking, and more.
By integrating these essential tools with your CRM, you can seamlessly work across multiple tools, streamlining work processes. For example, you could assign tasks from Gmail, sync sales and order information with your accounting software, build and launch email segments, and back up your data with Dropbox or other online storage solutions. Any integration saves time and removes the possibility of human error for a more efficient workplace.
3. Social Media
Some CRMs have social media functionality baked right in, allowing you to take advantage of advanced features like:
- Social listening tools that allow you to monitor and analyze what people are saying about your brand
- Insights and analytics into the amount of social engagement your brand and clients are eliciting
- Collect information about who your customers are across platforms
- Manage the day-to-day of publishing and responding to social posts
Social tools will save you money and save your marketing team time that they would have spent learning two pieces of software and switching between them.
4. Lead Nurturing
Every lead will have a slightly different journey towards converting, and your best chance at successfully closing is in keeping track of each of those journeys.
CRM makes this possible. Within the tool you can create a customizable lead management process. You’re able to analyze and score leads, automatically follow up with nurturing emails and downloadable materials, and allocate them to the right salesperson to successfully close them. A CRM can even keep track of when and how a lead was most recently contacted so you can follow up.
Chances are, a substantial amount of your company’s correspondence with leads runs through email. According to Lifewire, the average office worker receives 121 emails a day. Most of these workers don’t have the time or resources to give each one the attention it deserves.
The email feature within a CRM addresses this issue and helps keep your sales team organized and productive, linking with their calendars to schedule appointments and engage prospects and using templates to save your salespeople time crafting messages. Templates might include:
- Basic information about your company, segmented by the industry of the lead you’re contacting
- Follow-up email to be sent after they download a whitepaper or ebook
- Follow-up email after your first phone call
- Follow-up after your first meeting
- Onboarding and educational emails after they sign on
- Customer success emails based on their usage of the product
The set of emails you generate will depend on the unique needs of your company and your clients, but whatever emails you send can be built and automated so that you never forget an important piece of correspondence.
6. Detailed Reporting
Tracking your results is one of the most important aspects of any marketing plan.
Almost every CRM comes with powerful reporting tools, generating reports like:
- Number of leads brought in
- Number of sales generated
- Which agents closed sales, how they did it, and how long they took
- Number of outbound calls being made
- Effectiveness of email campaigns
- Stage at which leads converted
Beyond the basic reporting outlines offered, CRM reporting is also customizable. Top-end CRMs will allow you to craft custom dashboards that only show the data you’re interested in, generating tailored reports that contain the most relevant performance metrics, and delivering them to executives on a regular basis.
The Bottom Line
A CRM is no longer optional for any company interested in running a truly comprehensive, integrated marketing program. The important thing is that you find a CRM with the features that will enable your company to find and nurture leads, convert them to customers, and help those customers achieve as much success as possible.