By Brad Banyas
For any business to survive it needs to land new customers. But more than that, they must keep bringing customers back. Indeed, repeat customers spend about 70% more than new ones, so from business perspective capturing new clients is only half the battle, the other half is keeping them engaged for the long haul.
These exact challenges to find and keep customers have given birth to a multi-billion dollar industry of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). According to the estimates by Gartner, the investments in CRM will reach a point of $36.5B worldwide by 2017. Adoption of the software solution is growing rapidly and there are nearly 11 times more B2B organizations that are actively utilizing marketing automation when compared to the year 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. And practically all of them are saying the exact same thing: If you don’t know a customer has engaged in 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
Traditional CRM solutions are lacking real-time visibility and awareness of customer interest in your business. This element goes beyond typical reports and marketing engagement analysis. 366 Degree Activity Streams are real-time interactions and engagements located on the lead or customer profile screen in your Salesforce CRM platform. These streams of information are taken directly from campaigns or marketing communications.
With this technology, sales executives gain a real-time view of all leads or prospects are interactions with the elements of marketing campaigns (landing pages, banners, etc.). A more advanced workflow within Salesforce can broaden these activities to kick off other sales cadence activities like who to call, when to call, and more importantly why to call.
Real Time ROI
Real-time visibility is a great competitive advantage for sales professionals since it allows them to determine the best course of actions and qualification criteria based on actionable and up-to-date data. 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. There is no need to go through non-CRM related information to determine levels of lead interaction, engagement or lead qualification since all related date is fully integrated into the platform. 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.