Creative University Ep. 9: CRMs for Sales, Marketing, and Support
Hello and welcome to Creative University episode nine! Please be sure to subscribe to our channel for future videos in the world of marketing, web design, development, and other hot tips that will help you manage your campaigns. Now, I’m here with three members of our wonderful team who are here today to discuss CRMs and how they can help you manage sales, marketing, and customer support tasks.
What does CRM stand for and what does it do?
“Customer Relationship Management” is what CRM stands for. CRMs that you might have heard of are HubSpot, Salesforce, and Pipedrive. But there are a lot of them out there.
It’s a technology platform or software as a service that companies use to manage their customers from a lead all the way through to customer support. And some CRMs are better at varying portions of that, be it on the marketing and lead side or on the customer support side.
The primary goals of a CRM are to enhance that customer satisfaction, improve retention, and ultimately drive your business and revenue. It allows you to have a clear picture of everything from the moment they enter your database until the moment they become a customer and beyond.
How can CRMs streamline the sales process?
Think about a business that’s established already but has no good tracking of its customers. In the worst-case scenario, the phone rings and you don’t have any clue who it is that you’re talking to. Maybe they introduce themselves and recognize their name, but you don’t remember what contracts they’ve signed, when the first time you spoke to them was, or what their pain points are.
A CRM can help you stay organized with all of that information. From a sales cycle standpoint, that’s extremely important. When you’re using a CRM to help sell or you’re just selling in general, it’s critical to know what the problem was that you were trying to solve, what their contact information was, and all of those key things.
Maybe there are multiple salespeople on your team and now you need to know what was said to that prospect. It really does keep everything united and organized in a system. You’re able to keep track of all the information and make sure that you’re delivering a successful solution to the problem that’s been communicated through your conversations with the prospect.
CRMs also offer automation capabilities. When you’re dealing with a lot of potential leads or a lot of customers, it can sometimes be difficult to manage them all efficiently and be reminded of everything that needs to be done. With automation, you can build your relationship with that potential client while also saving time so that you can then focus on priorities at that particular moment.
What’s the difference between an MQL versus an SQL?
We use HubSpot for our CRM. HubSpot defines specific lifecycle stages from subscriber to lead to a marketing qualified lead (MQL) to a sales qualified lead (SQL). And then from there, it goes to opportunity if it becomes more than an SQL and hopefully, finally ends up as a customer. You can see that there are six lifecycle stages of a potential contact or company within the HubSpot database.
An MQL is a lead that is deemed to be more likely to fit your marketing criteria. It can include things like demographic information, the size of the business, behavior patterns, and engagement with specific marketing content. For example, maybe they downloaded a guide or a whitepaper. These leads are usually generated by marketing efforts.
An SQL, on the other hand, is a lead that has more specific criteria important to the sales team that would indicate a higher likelihood of them actually closing to become a customer. Take the example of a trade show. You can talk to probably 50 people in a matter of a day – if not more. Some of them just take your information. But other ones really capture your engagement, talk to you more, ask you more questions, and want to find out more.
The first situation that I explained where they just kind of take some information and leave, that could be more of an MLQ. And the person that asks more questions and talks to you more often is definitely an SQL. The primary difference between an MLQ and SQL is what their intent is. Are they just intending to find out more information about your company? A marketing qualified lead. Are they really close to intending to make a purchase with you or somebody else? A sales qualified lead.
How can you move a lead from an MQL into an SQL?
There’s not going to be an exact science here. The relationship management component is really important. We encourage clients to implement a lead scoring system that automates some of where a person is in the relationship cycle. The marketing qualified lead might get scored based on how many touchpoints they have with certain types of content that you produce or how many emails they open.
For instance, we can’t say if someone opens three emails that they’re a marketing qualified lead for everyone. If you only send three emails a year, they might not be a marketing qualified lead for you. Frequency of content, frequency of opportunities to engage, and then the type of content that’s being produced – whether that’s more awareness, consideration, content, or conversion-focused – will help drive how they’re scored.
That goes into what makes someone a sales qualified lead. If you’re producing whitepapers with a lead capture that’s very focused on an industry segment that you’re an expert in, you may be able to track the people who have downloaded this whitepaper, opened it two more times, and then engaged in a chat on your website. Hey, they’re a sales qualified lead now. They have expressed interest. Let’s stop sending them automated responses and get them in touch with the salesperson.
You’ll also want to make sure that marketing and sales teams meet consistently to make sure that they’re aligned on what these qualifications are. Alignment makes it a lot easier for sales to accept a lead that comes their way because they know certain criteria have been met.
Once the sales team engages with this contact, it’s also really important for them to give feedback back to the marketing team. If it wasn’t a good lead, why wasn’t it? Maybe there was something that could have triggered it in a lead scoring system or something of that nature.
How can CRMs assist with customer support?
CRMs are particularly helpful for providing context during the first handoff from sales to the account manager. If you’re set up properly, then there’s a lot of detail tracked in the CRM that may not make it into a final statement of work or final contract. It does a lot of the administrative behind-the-scenes database management for a customer relationship.
To that end, it acts as the central database for customer information. If you’re set up to track businesses and people from this business that have engaged with your content frequently, you’ll have multiple people who might be potential customers. Only one of them might be the one with the authority to sign a statement of work.
Account management isn’t necessarily managing one relationship. It’s managing the relationship of the whole business. So, what did the Director of Marketing see? What did the Director of Finance see? How do we need to have them talk to each other to understand the value of the services we’re creating?
CRMs will also often include a lot of other tools alongside the primary CRM tool, like a ticket system for support. For instance, I know Zoho and Salesforce and HubSpot have add-ons that can make those CRMs a more central repository and tool for all of the relationship management across the whole process.
If someone’s coming in, maybe we fulfilled the contract. They come back with a request. The CRM might have a way to quickly spin a ticket into work items without having to create whole new workflows. So, the CRM provides a lot of central pre-built tools that can make that a lot faster and easier than having to go put together new tools from all the other options out there in the world.
How can CRMs enhance the customer experience?
Post-sale, let’s say somebody is a customer and they are using your product. Maybe they purchase something and they need more installation guides. Maybe they have questions about various parts that go along with this product, or something’s missing in what they purchased. There’s a lot of opportunities to keep that information attached to that contact and the company record.
Then, as different support people come on, customers might not always get the same individual every single time. The good news is that the support team member can read all the information right there about what’s been done, what’s been talked about, what’s been sent, and what the customer is looking for. It really just helps create a much more personalized experience with that customer.
We’ve all been in a situation where you get on a phone you talk to somebody, you give them your information, and you tell them everything. They say, “Okay I’m going to transfer you to somebody else,” and the new person says, “How can I help you?” Then, you have to repeat the whole thing. Basically, the CRM prevents that.
You wouldn’t want to have to reiterate yourself over and over again to the rep on one call. With the advancement of customer experience tools, people’s expectations are a lot higher. As a purchaser, as a decision-maker at a company, you expect that your support rep has things organized.
You assume they know what you’re talking about, everything that’s happened before, and everything that maybe should be coming later. That allows you to elevate the user experience and the customer experience to where you demonstrate the value of a relationship with you as a company.
Grow your brand with a customer relationship management platform
Customer relationship management platforms can help your business grow by streamlining the sales process, automating marketing tasks, and delivering efficient customer support. Want to experience these benefits at your business? As HubSpot partners, our team at Creative MMS, powered by BNP Engage, would love to help you set up your CRM for success. Contact us today to learn more.
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