Our customers tell us that they have two different approaches to finding prospects and, strangely, it can be related to fishing (stick with us here).
Sometimes they ‘cast their net out’ using a variety of different marketing techniques and hoover up as many prospects as they can. And sometimes they ‘go hunting with spears’ to catch a few big fishes. By ‘big fish’ we mean enterprise level customers that will bring in a large amount of revenue.
In this article we look at how you can use your MIS to do both methods of sales and marketing.
Fishing with Nets
The CRM module in the MIS is great for the usual B2B ‘fishing with a net’ technique.
There are four key benefits to marketing with the CRM module in your MIS:
1. Keep all your contact details in one place
Having a shared database of contacts means that you can nurture your leads by keeping in regular contact with them, by all different methods of communication. Staying in touch with leads makes it a lot easier to predict when a prospect is ready to order.
2. Profile your customers
The more information you gather about your customers/prospects, the easier it will be to identify the different types of products they will be interested in buying from you. It also makes it easier to upsell to existing customers.
3. Create targeted campaigns
The really great thing about a CRM that’s integrated with your MIS is that all historical data is stored, including estimates, jobs, why any estimates weren’t won and, of course, records of products they have already shown an interest in.
4. Assess the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns
It’s common knowledge that you’re meant to measure the ROI of your marketing efforts but most of us find it hard to assign an actual monetary figure next to individual campaigns. It can be especially difficult for printing companies, as getting estimators to ask what prompted someone to ask for a quote can be difficult. But having an integrated CRM makes this much easier.
Fishing with Spears
This account-based approach works best when the sales and marketing teams work closely together throughout the process, and it’s a process that your CRM can really help with.
1. Identify your ideal customer
Put together a list of attributes that your ideal customer would have, include qualities such as size, location and annual revenue to start with, then as you get further into the process, you can start adding more qualities.
2. Compile a list of targets that fit the criteria of your ideal customer
Once you’ve created the list of criteria you want to meet, conduct some market research and create a list of companies who fit. Your sales team will be a valuable resource here, so use their knowledge and experience of the market to help you.
3. Discover contacts and map to your accounts
This is where you can do more in depth research into each of the companies on your target list – find out as much as you can about the companies and the person you will be interacting with to make sure they’re relevant. And do the same for the key decision makers in the company.
This is when you can really get the most out of LinkedIn to find out all about the people who work there.
4. Deliver personalized, account specific interactions
You can now create interactions, but make sure these are targeted specifically at each account. Content can address the pain points of the individual contacts that make up the buying team, but it should focus on the company as a whole and the deal you’re trying to make.
The best strategy for this is usually to have a long-term plan in place which involves a number of interactions. Sales and marketing need to work together on the touchpoints.
Using your CRM and MIS to manage sales
There are four main tasks that the sales team can use their CRM for.
1. Make sure sales estimates are followed up
You can use the CRM to create specific tasks for different members of the sales team and ensure that they’re keeping the customer updated on their estimate or job.
2. Analyze lost opportunities
Record your lost opportunities and note the feedback given from the prospect to make sure, in future, the same thing doesn’t happen again. For example, if a job was too expensive for them, note this down, as the sales team will then know for next time that they might need to go in with a lower price to win the deal.
3. Track pipeline stages
Record where an opportunity is in the pipeline and how likely it is to happen, by percentage, and ask them to keep it updated whenever they speak to the prospect.
4. Sales Forecasting
Sales reports are crucial to monitoring a sales team, without them you can’t set or track targets. If you have a CRM module you can use this.