If Not, Why Not?

I hear it all the time:  We want to do more marketing with our CRM.  We want to pull in leads from our website.  We want to automate follow-up communications to qualified leads. We want to be able to maintain a library of template letters and emails and we want to track and see who got what and when.  We want to be able to segment our database to get out more targeted promotions with relevant and compelling offers.  We want …, we want …, we want.  What about do, do, do?  GoldMine is capable of all these things and more.  If you’re not doing these things now … why not? 

I’ve heard all the excuses, and they’re cop-outs:  Our data is a mess.  The salespeople don’t supply the information. I can’t do it. Here are the reasons firms are not marketing better with their CRM:

1. Fear of Sales – Salespeople play an essential role in generating revenue, and the marketing people know this.  Salespeople are also responsible for collecting information on prospects that marketing relies on.  After all, salespeople are communicating with leads, prospects and customers.  They’re talking with them and researching them on a regular basis, so the salespeople have first hand opportunity to collect and correct the information in the CRM database. Unfortunately, too often the sales force does a sloppy job at best with updating contact information.  But marketing often tolerates this because they’re afraid of losing a good salesperson, or pissing off the sales manager.  Or, maybe marketing is worried that salespeople will just complain back about the quality or quantity of leads that marketing is generating. Don’t be afraid of the sales force!  Keep in mind that sales and marketing teams have mutual interests. It’s up to marketing to gain the support of your sales force and it’s up to sales to give it. 

2. Lack of CRM Skills – The marketing director who relies on the CRM for their database should know more about the software than the sales force.  In addition to knowing what the salespeople know about maintaining records in GoldMine, the marketing director also has to use powerful database tools that are often off limits to salespeople.  What’s more, whereas the salespeople manage the database one record at a time (one relationship at a time), the marketing director also has to be able to apply a macro perspective to the database through queries, reporting & analysis, and global updates. 

3. Use It or Lose It – Direct marketing experts know too well that lists depreciate, fast. So it’s “use it or lose it.” The post office or the Internet tells you when an address is undeliverable.  Do you have a procedure for cleaning up your data?  Do you use third-party service providers to clean and enhance your data?  Do you import your web leads, tradeshow leads, and other lists into your CRM database and get communications out to them quickly?  There are many ways to use a list to keep it fresh.

Regular marketing communications build brand awareness and generate more qualified leads so the salespeople can focus their time and talents on higher quality leads to produce greater sales results. 

Take advantage of telemarketing to qualify leads, update data, or do initial appointment setting.  Marketing can do many things that help salespeople close more business.  The quality of your marketing lists, including your house file, decline in accuracy if you don’t use them.  If your firm isn’t using your CRM for marketing you’re losing money, your salespeople are wasting their valuable time, and your data is depreciating in value.  

Marketing facilitates sales so sales and marketing need to work together to achieve synergy and be more efficient!  With the cooperation of the sales director, marketing can build resources and functions into the CRM that salespeople can use to be more professional and productive.

Everyone who works with the database must recognize that they play an essential role in maintaining the data.  The more that marketing uses the database, the more salespeople will too.  It’s time to use it or lose it!