Getting Real World ROI with CRM and Marketing Automation
By Brad Banyas
Every business must land new customers to survive. But more than that, they must keep customers coming back for more. Indeed, repeat customers spend about 70% more than new ones, so it makes good business sense to not only capture new clients but also keep them engaged for the long haul.
It is exactly this quest to find and keep customers that has spawned a multi-billion dollar Customer Relationship Management (CRM) industry. Gartner estimates that amount of investment money being spent on CRM will jump to $36.5B worldwide by 2017. Adoption is growing rapidly and there are nearly 11 times more B2B organizations using marketing automation now than in 2011.
But are organizations like yours and mine really seeing an ROI from CRM and Marketing Automation? In my view, not yet. The fanfare that boosted CRM’s introduction has faded, and the reality is that unless you have an enterprise-sized budget and the time and support staff needed to manage the process, CRM can be of limited bottom line value.
Over the past year or two, as we have worked to develop 366° Degrees, our new Cloud-based marketing automation platform, I have had the opportunity to interview many frontline sales professionals. All of them tell me the same thing: If you don’t know a customer has engaged with your campaign, it’s difficult to know when to follow up and close the sale. And after the first initial push on any given campaign, and weeks or months go by, the chances of being aware of renewed customer engagement or interest quickly drops.
Missing Ingredient: Visibility
What is missing is a real time visibility and awareness of customer interest that goes beyond arcane CRM reports and marketing engagement analysis. Let’s face it, sales folks are required by the very nature of their job to quickly move on to the next customer acquisition. They rarely have the time or the inclination to dig through reports or spreadsheets to see if there are month’s-old leads to follow up.
That’s where we come in. 366° Degrees was designed to work in conjunction with Salesforce.com to close the gap between marketing and sales. 366° Degree Activity Streams are real time interactions and engagement located on the lead or customer profile screen in your Salesforce.com CRM. The activity streams are pulled from campaign or marketing communications sent to the lead and contact base in the 366° Degrees Platform.
Now sales executives see in real-time how and when leads or prospects are interacting with things like emails, landing pages, banners, and more. Deeper workflow within Salesforce.com can extend these engagements to kick of other sales cadence activities like who to call, when to call, and more importantly why to call.
Real Time ROI
Real-time visibility within the actual lead or contact record allows sales professionals to determine their own best next steps, follow ups or qualification criteria. Simple workflows can be set up in Salesforce to kick off follow up or sales tasks based on any 366° Degree activity. Automatic Salesforce notifications prompt the next step in the sales cycle. Now teams can trust the data; they are not culling through reports and other non-CRM related data to determine levels of lead interaction, engagement or lead qualification. Bottom line: When sales teams can see what campaigns and activities are prompting engagement in real time they are more effective, profitable and never miss a lead sales opportunity.
# # #
Brad Banyas is CEO of OMI, a leading cloud-based customer communication management platform provider. OMI delivers cost-effective solutions for marketers and brand managers to connect with customers through their 366° Degrees platform. The company boasts a roster of customers that include financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and nonprofit verticals.