Amplify Your Marketing ROI by Identifying Key Customer Characteristics
You’ll get more return on your investment in your CRM system if you identify and capture important customer information. This information will amplify your marketing effectiveness and provide more high quality leads that meet your ideal prospect profile.
Without CRM your marketing is definitely missing the mark and costing your business money and lost productivity. With helpful information in your CRM you'll be hitting the target and be able to implement a much more valued marketing plan.
Capture the following essential characteristics in your CRM fields:
1. The source of the lead.
Every record for leads, accounts (companies) and contacts should have a field to identify where the lead came from. What is its place of origin? For example, in Infor (Saleslogix) CRM or bpm'online CRM this is known as the "Lead Source" and is found on a lead, account, contact and opportunity detail record:
Additionally, each lead source also identifies a type of activity or classification such as email, web, trade show, advertising, etc. providing advanced metrics on how you’re reaching your market.
2. Characteristics of the business account.
The SIC-standard industry code, Industry classification, account type and sub-type come to mind. Depending on your business, the NAICS code may make better sense. For example, from CPA accounting practices firms to paint and coating manufacturers that we support will identify a SIC code of 2851 and NAICS 325510.
For greater ability to classify your accounts, we recommend the use of a hierarchical link of type and related subtype for each account. For example, the account could have a type such as customer, prospect, competitor, partner, or referral source and then different sub-types for customers, prospects, referral sources, etc. Now you can easily filter all customer accounts and drill down to a specific sub-type.
3. Characteristics about the people (contacts in CRM).
This is where the rubber meets the road in business relationship development. People make decisions, influence others, and buy. Contact fields include the critical first name, last name and title. How many times have you gotten an email that started with "Hi ___," because they did not have a first name. Don’t be that person.
You’ll also want to capture their email address, buying decisions role, contact type, their preferred method of contact (phone/email/face-to-face), and active status. Knowing whether the contact is not active, has left the company or is deceased will prevent you from sending an inappropriate correspondence.
Make sure your CRM system also provides you with the ability to indicate who NOT to correspond with. Does each contact record especially offer the option of a "Do not solicit/email" status flag? No reason to become black-listed as Spam...
Also, you’ll want to Identify whether the person is on a newsletter or Christmas card list or a member of a business/trade association.
4. What they have purchased or intend to purchase from your business
From the sales opportunity standpoint, your CRM system can provide detail on the related products and services linked to each opportunity. Once the opportunity closes as won, those same products and services become part of the customer’s sales history.
Having information such as this greatly enhances marketing effectiveness by targeting it instead of applying a rather useless shotgun approach.
5. Other characteristics that our CRM clients have used fields to capture:
- Influence level of the person within their organization
- Influence level of the person within our business
- Number of days since last email, last meeting, last phone call, or last other correspondence
- Level of interest as indicated from past e-marketing campaigns (great for sales calling follow up)
- Year-to-date sales and current year compared to last year sales
- Who buys products but not your supporting services and vice versa
- Internal rating of account or contact to help set priorities.
- How contacts relate to other accounts, such as membership in an industry or trade association.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Get the most from your CRM --
Your marketing will improve when you identify where your leads come from, know what most interests your best contacts, and consistently build a stronger bond with people of interest from shared knowledge.
It’s all there – or could be -- in your CRM system. Ask us how today. We’ll help you get set up to capture key customer characteristics for your business success.