Non-use (and mis-use) of CRM systems by partners is a common frustration for marketers within professional services firms. Duplicate entries, multiple ‘owners’ of accounts and/or contacts or just a complete lack of engagement are common gripes.
But why do partners not engage? Perhaps there is a lack of perceived value in maintaining an up to date CRM. The acronym ‘CRM’ suggests the system is used to manage customer relationships but in reality it is often just used as an online rolodex and doesn’t contain any meaningful or useful information other than contact details for your clients. We firmly believe that prospect data cannot be treated in the same way and that there is great benefit to be gained by keeping the two separate.
Prospects should be nurtured and you should capture insightful information on prospects which will aid your sales efforts. At an organisational level, when is the contract for the service you are offering due to end? How can you gain a place on the relevant panel? What are the current challenges faced by the business and what interventions are in place to solve them? And at an individual contact level – What’s important to them? Where do they sit in the decision-making unit – are they a budget holder? What influence do they hold?
We have developed a best in class Prospect Management System which captures all salient information and provides our clients with insight into how and when is best to engage with their prospect. It is a fully transparent solution that is fully accessible to our clients at all times which allows them to retain visibility of prospects’ engagement with their brand across a number of channels.
Building a picture of your prospect organisations enables your sales interventions to be more timely, relevant and ultimately, successful. This activity provides clear value and should result in the desired behaviour at least for your prospect dataset which may, in turn also have a positive impact on your CRM.