Increasing revenue with a CRM system: Part 3 – Where did that lead come from?

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In this multi-part series we discuss how using a customer relationship management (CRM) system can help your organization streamline its sales & marketing processes to generate more revenue.  In the third installment of the series we’ll take a look at how a CRM can help you identify what marketing dollars are really generating leads and ultimately sales for your business.

I think social media is working?

Should we invest more money into our Google & Facebook advertising?  Should we attend the annual trade show?  Are these efforts generating leads?  Are they good leads?  How are these investments translating into sales?

Let’s be honest, most of us don’t know.  We just know we should be on social media, have a newsletter, or run our ad in the industry magazine.  We just know its generating leads and those leads become sales.  But do we really?  And even if we do generate leads and sales from these efforts, can we pinpoint how much and what the return is on the investment?

When we ask for this information we are typically given analysis on how a particular marketing medium is performing.  For example, how many visits, click-through rates, likes, subscribers, attendees, etc.  While these are all important measures when selecting and evaluating our marketing efforts, this information doesn’t help us close the loop between marketing and sales.

A better thought out campaign might combine several components to help close this gap.  For example, pairing a landing page with an online ad to collect contact information or an email from the interested party.  While this is a step in the right direction, it still doesn’t link the lead all the way through to the sale.  It can also create islands of information if each method for collecting the lead source is done through disconnected systems.  And it doesn’t close the loop when someone responds to the ad via email or phone.

Closing the loop

So how do we close the marketing to sales loop?  Okay, so you knew this was coming…  With a CRM system!  So how does a CRM system help?  A CRM system can be used to collect and code the leads generated by all your marketing efforts.

By linking the CRM to your campaigns you can begin to track which leads come from which source.  And because the CRM is the same system that your sales team is using to move the leads through the sales pipeline, and ultimately to a sale, we now have the ability to identify what specific campaigns or marketing efforts are generating sales.  Now imagine being able to run reports like leads by campaign, sales by source, closing rate by source, campaign ROI, and so on.  These types of reports will provide your team with critical details as you assess where to invest your marketing dollars next.

So how do you get started?  In the simplest of cases the process can be as easy as selecting a lead source for each lead and opportunity within the CRM.  For more complicated campaigns or high volume lead generation some additional configuration and automation may be required to streamline your efforts.  In either situation, planning ahead is important.  One approach is to identify the reports & analysis you’ll hope to perform on the campaigns your running.  Then you can setup the appropriate fields and values to code the leads and opportunities with the data you need for the reporting.

In the end, the time and effort spent planning out and configuring your CRM appropriately will be easily recouped because you’ll be able to make informed decisions about where to spend your marketing dollar.

About Sales Aspire

Sales Aspire is a software development service company that specializes in CRM and other business solutions to move your company forward.  You can learn more about us at www.salesaspire.com.  If you have any questions about CRM systems or are looking for CRM support please contact us today at [email protected] or by phone at 330-339-4017.