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How to Maximize Your CRM for Marketing Automation

How to Maximize Your CRM for Marketing Automation

So, you want to automate marketing tasks to streamline communications, improve customer support, and cut your team’s busywork. Now what?

For automation software to do its job, you need a masterful CRM platform. (CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.) Not only does this technology help you manage contacts and sales, if maintained, you can use it to organize and enhance customer interactions across their entire lifecycle (from prospect to superfan).

Here are the best ways to keep your CRM in prime condition:

Update Customer Information

No one wants to send a postcard to the wrong address or use an outdated last name, so make sure your team keeps customer data current. This includes company names and preferred methods of contact, as well.

Study and Learn from Analytics

High-quality CRM platforms will analyze customer trends and behavior. Use this information wisely, and your bottom line will show it.

For example, if demand for certain products or services soars during the holidays, push them more aggressively next year. If one campaign outperforms another (increased open rates or call backs), you should understand why and replicate successful elements next time.

Bottom line—data exists to educate. If you let it sit there without learning from it, your business can suffer.

Focus on Purchase History

It can be easy to get distracted by the idea of shiny, new customers. But experts agree it makes more sense to work on keeping the ones you have. This doesn’t mean you ignore prospects. Only that—from a cost and logistics standpoint—repeat business is easier to maintain.

One of the surest ways to keep customers coming back is to upsell or cross-sell products, and when your CRM stays in shape, using it to study clients’ purchase history helps you do both.

Imagine mega-businesses like Netflix and Spotify. These brands learn what you prefer and make constant recommendations. The practice is built into their business model. And you love it.  

So, if you run a landscaping business and a customer gets their lawn mowed bi-weekly, you might recommend seasonal fertilizer, flower beds, or shade trees. Not only does this practice of cross-selling increase your profit margins, it adds value to your customers’ lives and encourages repeat business.

Integrate Your CRM with Relevant Software

A well-maintained CRM is plenty powerful, but combine its effects with other programs and you can eliminate redundancies and provide more insightful reports. And less tech is always a plus. A few key integrations include:

  • CRM + Email – When you integrate email with your CRM, you can log email communications, access productivity tools, and see customer contact data (all from your inbox).
  • CRM + Social Media – Combining these platforms helps provide insight about your followers (what content they share and engage with the most), making it easier for you to customize communications.
  • CRM + Phones – Calling integrations streamline phone and video calls for your sales team.
  • CRM + Calendar – Who doesn’t need a cleaner way to manage client engagements?
  • CRM + Marketing Automation – We assume this one is obvious but have included it for good measure.

Audit and Audit Again

Every so often (once a year by most standards), businesses should evaluate their processes and systems. It’s the only way to understand and quantify the tech’s value. Here are some questions a solid CRM audit should answer:

Is everyone using/benefiting from the CRM equally?

What are your usage stats (calls, emails, visits, meetings per day or week)?

Is your usage adequate?

Is there missing or inadequate customer data?

Are there missed follow-ups, due dates?

An audit can uncover various successes and/or deficiencies depending on your business goals. So don’t put it off!

Final Thoughts

When fully applied, your CRM can do wonders for your business. But there’s a catch. Like any tech, you must nurture it—keep it groomed and ready for a life of continuous change. Because without quality data, you have little to work with.

To learn more about how marketing automation and Xpressdocs can simplify and enhance your existing marketing methods, head to our website.

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