Use your CRM to spot hot prospects hiding in your data
So you’re thinking of buying some data, and I’m guessing that you have some sort of plan as to how you are going to use it to generate sales for your business…
Normally this plan might include one or two of the following projects – Email Marketing, Telesales or Direct mail, all of which will work and generate some nice sales for you. But the most common reason most small businesses don’t maximise the full sales potential from their data lists, is that they don’t look at the bigger picture. Now, admittedly the individual campaigns that they run are probably great, but they only capture the prospects that are ready to buy NOW… what about all those people that are ready to buy tomorrow, next week or 12 months down the line?
This is the problem with looking at your data through individual projects, it doesn’t join up all of the data that you are collecting, meaning you then don’t see the buying behaviours prospects exhibit when they are in the early stages of the buying cycle. This is when they are typically in the research phase, and this is where they typically make 80%* of their buying decision.
Think about the last time you bought something big, you probably did a load of research online, before you went in-store or spoke to a sales person – and the reason you do this, is that you want to be fully clued up on the purchase to ensure that you make the best decision, and at a time that is right for you. In fact, I’m guessing that even when you have done all your research and then gone into a shop to browse, you’d probably avoid a salesperson until you were at the point where you were almost ready to buy.
Now, let’s relate the above scenario to your impending marketing campaign. Your measure of overall success is probably going to be based on sales won, but the initial KPI’s are usually going to be based around Email opens and clicks, number of appointments or enquiries made. But, these only account for the people who are towards the end of the buying cycle. This is the problem with looking at your data on a project level, it ignores the contacts that are in the early stages of the buying cycle.
For example, let’s imagine you ran your email marketing campaign and one of the contacts (let’s call him Dave) had opened a few of the emails, but not really done anything else. Most companies would ignore Dave, and focus on the contacts that had clicked on specific links, perhaps then passing the list onto a Telemarketing company. Who would then call them up asking a serious of questions to qualify them up, ready to pass back to you. But when you think about it as part of the bigger picture, this is just the low hanging fruit, the contacts who are ready to buy now, and they are probably also reaching out to your competitors.
So, let’s look at Dave again, but consider the bigger picture – turns out Dave is actually a smoking hot prospect. Yes, he may have only opened the email couple of times, but he’d also Googled your company and had a good look around your website, then returned a few weeks later after clicking through from a social media post to read a case study, and then he phoned up your Reception to ask an innocuous question. This is a person that has been doing all his research and is close to making a buying decision, all you need to do is notice him and nurture him, so that he understands your offering and you are at the forefront of his mind when it comes to decision time.
So, why don’t more small businesses do this more? Typically they think it’s too hard, and they keep all their data in separate projects (email marketing programs, spreadsheets, etc… that are then copied and used by external agencies), which prevents them from seeing the bigger data picture and the golden opportunities that are hiding in plain sight.
Fixing this is easy, all small businesses need to do is to take control of their data to help find those hot prospects. By using a simple CRM to manage their data and marketing all in one place. The right CRM will do all the above ‘stuff’ without being overly complicated, it will also give you the tools to track all the leads which it generates for you, record yours and your team’s notes / reminders and apply automation to flag up the contacts that are showing buying behaviours. In short, this means the you always see the bigger picture and always know who you need to call, when you need to call them and more importantly, why!
Popcorn is a simple to use CRM that is designed specifically for small businesses, it has just the essential marketing tools to help them to manage, nurture and convert sales and hot prospects faster. Click here to watch a 90 second video.
*Marcus Sheridan revised data from ‘They ask, you answer’
Written for Marketscan by Simon Washbrook of Popcorn.