CRM for lead generation? Yes!

Customer relationship management (CRM) software as a tool for lead generation strategy makes a lot of sense.

Back in the “before times,” sales folks made cold calls on prospects and hoped they wouldn’t get  the door slammed in their face.  But now, in this digital world, there’s no need to bother people who don’t want to be bothered.  Because there are plenty of other people who really, really WANT to hear about your product or service!

Keeping all of your data up-to-date in a single repository like a CRM gives you to opportunity to really dig into your leads. For example, you will have the data you need to better understand which leads are going to be more profitable, which allows you as a small business owner to focus on what is most important for your company. Another great perk to a CRM that we discussed in an earlier blog is the ability to keep track of your current customers and focus on retaining their business as well. Essentially, your CRM will give you the ability to get a snapshot of how your business is doing at any minute.

What is lead generation? 

Lead generation is the process of identifying and attracting prospects who have indicated interest in your company’s product or service. HubSpot has a great Beginner’s Guide to Lead Generation resource that can be downloaded for free to learn more about lead generation. Think blog posts, live events,  white papers, checklists and ebooks. 

People who download or click on your content are folks who are more likely to be interested in finding out more about you than others. In return for this content, people are generally willing to give you some information, such as name, email or location on lead generation forms or landing pages. 

And that information should all be going into your CRM.  You will have a record of what each person has received, whether they have been contacted, what the customer or prospect asked, and other types of information.

22 examples of lead generation forms that convert

Using your CRM, you can generate data reports that allow you to view which leads might be ready to be contacted by your sales team. Others may need to be nurtured along a bit further.     

What kind of data are you looking for?  Well, the kind of data that shows what you are doing is profitable. Suppose you have one marketing campaign that generates lots of interest with several small sales ? And another that resulted in fewer sales but at a larger price point?  Which one will you choose next time to focus on?

In order to understand which is more profitable, you  need to compare the data. A well organized and consistently utilized CRM gives you that data you need to make the right decision for your business.

Which one will you choose next time to focus on?  With CRM, you have that data and you can make a decision that is right for your business.

The most successful teams in lead generation use a formal data collection system — such as CRM — to organize and store their leads.

Getting leads into your pipeline

Leads for most small businesses generally come about after a prospective customer has discovered the business through a variety of ways. Think social media, blog posts or a Google search. 

After following a call to action (CTA), the visitor ends up at a landing page on the SMB website.  Here they are offered something of value in exchange for providing their contact information.  

If you need some help coming up with types of lead generation material, HubSpot has come up with several types of material.  Get your imagination and your marketing campaign started, including: 

  • Ebooks
  • Courses
  • Trials
  • Demos
  • Contests
  • Checklists
  • Email series
  • Guides
  • Events
  • Original research

The possibilities are endless.  And once the visitor has given you their information, you now have a lead. You can enter that into your CRM (preferably automatically) to follow up with and turn into a customer.

Effective marketing campaigns for lead generation 

CRMs play a big role in analyzing your data in ways that allow you to find new customers and move prospective customers closer to purchasing your product or service. This is the stuff successful marketing campaigns are made of.

Although CRMs weren’t designed as marketing tools, there are many marketing technologies that integrate really well with them. In fact, many SMBs track marketing program results and email generation through their CRM integrations. 

Using the data from your CRM, you can create segmented  audiences in your marketing campaigns.  In a previous post on email marketing, we noted that marketers who use segmented campaigns see as much as a 760 percent increase in revenue. Those types of results are hard to pass up!

Tracking—and nurturing—leads

A study by MarketingSherpa found that “79% of marketing leads never convert into sales.”  

What’s going on here?  It may be that once leads are gathered, businesses are not using their CRMs to nurture those leads, gather information or close the sale when the buyer is ready. 

The concept of nurturing leads is simply a way to stay in touch with people who are interested in you while they make their way through the buying process. The pace of the process varies, depending on when the prospective customer came into your pipeline.

You can (and should) use your CRM to keep track of that journey to find out who is ready to be converted to a customer.  At this point, you should have all the contacts in your CRM system. The experience for the prospective customer should feel seamless.  

So if a prospect has downloaded a free demo,  it’s time for you to schedule a 1:1 consultation. That may be exactly what is needed to convert a lead to a customer.

Assessing your marketing foundation with CRM

Having a CRM is one of the basics that any marketing program needs to consider. It is one of its foundational tools for a successful strategy.

Drive your business momentum by generating leads that are housed in your CRM . You want to find those potential customers before they have made up their mind about who to purchase from.

In the end, using a CRM is one of the best ways a small business can to achieve this goal.

If you would like to find out how well your business is covering all the necessary bases to create a solid marketing foundation, take a few minutes to complete our free online quiz.  You’ll get your results right away, so you can begin working toward a stronger marketing program. You can grow your own business the way you want it to grow.

Tomato Fish Is An Indianapolis Consulting Company Focused On Helping Small And Midsize Businesses Make Good Strategic Planning Decisions.