The benefits of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform for keeping track of existing customers are generally quite well documented; the ability to build and draw insight from customer-specific information can enhance understanding and help businesses to connect with their customers. But how does that process work for new business prospects and customers you haven’t acquired yet? How can you use your CRM as a lead generation software?
Thankfully, the fundamental benefits of a CRM can be applied to your Lead Generation processes. In fact, to be truly successful, any system needs to facilitate a range of sales and marketing activities aimed at accounts and contacts from way outside the sales funnel; helping to guide them through to the point of order and onward into retention and expansion.
We are, primarily, a sales and new business development company. We have trialled a number of different CRM systems over the years including the likes of Salesforce, MS Dynamics and others. Each has typically fallen foul of one or many of the drawbacks associated with using a CRM for prospecting; be it a lack of useful information or even information overload with a whole suite of features that are of no use to what we are trying to achieve. The majority of these platforms had been designed from an external perspective for use by salespeople; therefore there was a lack of adequate solutions.
On the contrary, how about a platform designed from the salespersons’ perspective, by salespeople, for prospecting activity?
We came across Zoho in 2015. It provided the capability to customise the platform for our particular needs and break the rigid structure of previous systems. Having the freedom to create a bespoke system tailored towards our specific requirements, we could design a platform that took into account all the frustrations we found in other systems and reflected the information that would help to drive our prospecting activity.
How do we use Zoho as lead generation software?
The ability to customise the Zoho CRM platform has given us a CRM designed for prospecting and lead generation. We call it a Prospect Management System (ProMS) because it has enabled us to drive a new business development approach which is fundamentally different to the approach to retention. Trial ZOHO CRM
By combining Zoho Campaigns with CRM we can track e-marketing campaigns, identify who is interested, and what messages are resonating with those prospects; thus enabling us to target the right prospect, with the right message at the right time in their buying cycle. Trial ZOHO Campaigns
Real-time visitor tracking on our website helps us to see what people are interested in and gain valuable insight that we can use to increase engagement. The added ability to identify hot prospects based on their landing page, time on site and referrer campaign; coupled with rules to automatically initiate proactive chat invitations, keep us on-top of our prospects. Once we engage with a customer on live chat, SalesIQ automatically adds them as a lead in our CRM. We can then identify them when they return to the site at a later date. Trial SalesIQ
Building on the capabilities of SalesIQ, Zoho’s PageSense feature creates heatmaps and scrollmaps based on visitor interaction. Similarly, creating a funnel analysis to see where visitor dropoff occurs can help optimise each page. We integrate Pagesense with Google’s AdWords and Analytics; this way we can make strategic data-driven decisions to ensure an optimised and user-friendly webpage that acts as another useful tool for our lead generation.
Finally, tracking our social media presence helps us to promptly interact with all stakeholders across multiple channels. Furthermore, tools to schedule, post, research and analyse performance of our content make managing our social media presence easier and more effective. Trial Social
Furthermore, these features are available as mobile applications, giving us the ability to keep working whilst on the go; whether we are travelling to and from work, or visiting one of our international clients at one of their offices.
When thinking about a CRM, think of the wider sales and marketing activities required for a successful lead generation strategy. If implemented and utilised correctly, a CRM can be more efficient and drive profitable new business for your organisation.
We are an approved Zoho Consulting Partner; we work with organisations to determine the features that are relevant for their particular needs. Crucially, we also provide the training and implementation strategy that ensures the most effective use of the platform.