CRM tools have become the most potent tool companies can leverage to elevate customer interactions and give their operations a competitive edge. But besides keeping your current customers happy and engaged, they also have the immense potential to help you generate more leads. You can turn your CRM into a lead nurturing machine by collecting, analyzing, and organizing data on customers and prospects so that you can successfully automate your communication and follow-up process.
This article will tell you the steps you need to follow to achieve this.
1. Define Your Ideal Customer Profile
The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) describes the perfect customer your company delivers to. When done correctly, the ICP can help you accurately define the problems you’re trying to solve for your customers and prospects, develop new products or services with the customers’ needs in mind, and implement a better sales strategy. To correctly define your ICP, make sure to consider the following:
- The target company’s budget, revenue, and size. This will tell you the approximate budget that your customer will be able to pay for your products or services.
- The industry your ideal customer activates in. Think if your products or services serve specific sectors, and outline those.
- The geographic area your business will deliver to. If there are any geographical restrictions regarding your ability to provide your products, outline an area where your business can operate.
- Make sure you can deliver on product service limitations. If you have a service level agreement (SLA) with your customers to meet a specific response time, think if you can provide quicker responses in case somebody needs it.
Although this is not a complete list of aspects to outline when defining your ICP, these will provide a good starting point.
2. Set Up Lead Capture and Management Protocols
After you have an ICP, you must set up lead capture and management protocols. The easiest way to manage this is to use your Marketing Automation platform and integrate it with your CRM. The MA will feed your CRM relevant information on lead interactions. Here are some tools you can use to start capturing leads:
- Landing Pages
- Web Forms
- Email Campaigns
All these will give you more insight into your leads’ interests based on clicks, interactions, and actions.
You’ll also need to define lead or funnel stages (awareness, interest, consideration, and decision). Then, you can correlate each interaction captured to a funnel stage, offering the proper context for nurturing your leads.
3. Automate Your Lead Nurturing and Follow-Up Processes
Maybe the best aspect of deploying CRM tools is the automation element. After capturing and managing your leads, you can use your CRM to accelerate the lead-nurturing process.
Your CRM can help you automate your customer interactions so they become progressively more relevant to your leads. Your CRM will offer you enough insights on each lead based on their behavior, preferences, and needs. This is usually measured through click-throughs, reading time, registrations, and other content interactions. This way, you can personalize your messaging and ensure it reaches each lead at the right time.
For example, use your CRM paired with your MA platform to create and schedule email campaigns, social media posts, phone calls, and text messages based on different triggers. Let’s say that you’re running a drip nurture campaign. If a lead clicks one of the links in an email, another email will be sent to them. This is a great way to progressively push them down the funnel with relevant messaging and interactions.
Another way to use your CRM as a lead nurturing machine is by setting up reminders and notifications for yourself and your team members to follow up on different leads with emails, phone calls, or even meetings.
Regardless of your choice, a CRM is a great way to automate most of the process and only manually intervene when necessary. In the long run, this will save you more time, giving team members the bandwidth to have meaningful conversations with leads in critical moments of their journey.
4. Analyze and Optimize Your Strategy
As always, you must evaluate your strategy’s success and adapt. CRM tools provide valuable insights into your leads and existing customers. Use it to:
- Generate reports and dashlets on demographics, lead and customer behavior, and feedback.
- Use your data to improve your marketing campaigns, messaging, and offerings.
- A/B test your campaigns and see which best delivers highly personalized messaging
- Using your CRM is to spot and solve any bottlenecks or gaps in your lead nurturing process, helping you to increase your strategy’s efficiency.