The practice of reaching out to those interested in your products or services, and turning them into customers, is nothing new. But landing leads on the way to increasing your customer base through Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can make the process far more streamlined.
Without the information, data and insights such software can provide, converting leads into customers is going to be a tough task. That’s why CRM software is one of the most powerful tools in your business’ arsenal. With mountains of visitor/customer data gathered, stored and sorted in one handy place to lean on, your methods of conversion stand a better chance of creating long-lasting customers.
Struggling to generate leads? If you’re not used to using CRM software, then we’re here to help. Below we’ll run through some effective methods that could well help make your B2B lead generation a lot easier than you may be used to.
Top tips for generating more leads
Work out what you want in a CRM package first
Before you set about using – or even investing in – CRM software, understanding what you want to get out of it first is key. Will the CRM be used by the whole organisation or a select few departments? Which processes and workflows will the CRM be automating? What interactions are you looking to record? What data are you looking to generate? How are you planning to use this data to help you boost sales and execute more effective marketing campaigns?
And you should also look at your existing business software. Does it have enough in-built CRM functionality, or does it need to integrate with other third-party platforms? For example, email marketing platforms like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor, etc.
When you can answer these questions and know what you need from your CRM software, you can begin to look for CRM software that can properly suit the needs you’ve identified.
Put all your data in one place
If your information is spread out in silos across your business, then it can be difficult to unify it and use it to secure conversions.
This is where finding the right software is crucial. A fully integrated CRM platform will enable you to collect, centralise and retrieve real-time visitor/customer information when you need it. It offers a complete picture of all your customer interactions and sales pipeline. And with your data in one place, you can identify opportunities to boost sales or discover any issues customers are experiencing, and create solutions to deal with these pain points.
By managing a single database, you can also send information out to phones for sales reps, who can add new contacts when out on the road that syncs back into the system.
Analyse your data
With all the data you have to hand, you can now begin mining it for key insights to lay the foundations of your lead generation initiatives. It’s a good idea to segment your customers based on any commonalities and criteria they may share, for instance.
Elsewhere, the real-time analytical capabilities of your lead generation marketing efforts are well worth exploring too. By doing so, you can differentiate between which campaigns and marketing materials create lots of sales but make lower profits and those which create higher profits but fewer sales.
How well you know and understand your customers’ buying habits and preferences is what empowers you to put yourself in the right place at the right time.
Map your customers’ journeys
Whatever your lead generation initiatives are, tracking the journeys of your customers – both existing and potential – is going to be a key step. When you have an overarching view of who’s buying from you and their buying cycle, it becomes far easier to target particular customer segments.
It’s worth noting that customer journey maps are in-depth and require time and effort to create, especially since you’ll be charting everything from their first interaction right up to them becoming a customer.
In doing so, you’ll need to define objectives that cover all the journey’s touchpoints. For instance, an email campaign to make them aware of you could be the first step. It’s also a good idea to create customer personas based on the markets you want to target; this allows you to better understand who they are and why they might choose to purchase from you.
Turn leads into clients
You’ve garnered yourself some leads. Now you’re ready to turn them into customers. Depending on your business, this could be a long or short process, but your CRM software goes a long way towards simplifying the process.
By managing your sales pipeline and tracking the interactions within it, you can identify and then prioritise the leads that look more likely to convert at every stage of your sales funnel. What’s more, your analytics will also be able to point you towards the sales opportunities which could reap the highest value.
Score your leads
Not every lead you land will be worth pursuing. Targeting leads that won’t end up converting can be a tremendous waste of your time. That’s why it’s always a good idea to score your leads.
In the first instance, you will need to settle on your own particular lead scoring variables e.g. this could be anything from L1 leads, who are as of yet, unaware of your products and services, to L4 leads, who are in your target market, know about your business and are perfect candidates for what you have to offer.
Next, you will need to ensure your CRM platform can be customised to reflect your lead rating variables. This will allow your sales and marketing teams to focus their efforts accordingly.
Always monitor your data
CRM software provides an invaluable 360-degree view of your leads, prospects and customers and their level of engagement. It also reveals the latest insights on things like customer behaviour and trend forecasts. Through these, you can then make any tweaks to your sales and marketing initiatives if you need to.
That means you’re not beholden to strategies that aren’t providing you with the desired results month after month. By looking at data, analysing it and then making the necessary changes – on a regular basis – you get the best results from using your CRM software to generate leads.
How to nurture leads into conversions
Once you’ve identified the leads which you know are worth pursuing, there are several different methods you can use to turn them into (hopefully) returning customers. The following isn’t exhaustive, but definitely provides you with some strong starting points…
- Create targeted content: With your customer personas to hand, focus on creating content that specifically targets them based on the characteristics you’ve identified. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to the content you can take when it comes to lead nurturing but creating something of value to your reader is key e.g. ‘How to guides’ always go down well
- Use multi-channel lead nurturing: Similarly, don’t just focus on one channel to target your leads. Use a mix of email marketing, social media, web content and direct sales outreach to nurture your leads.
- Follow up with leads in a timely manner: It’s important to be pro-active with your leads. Strike while the iron is hot and reach out with a follow-up email or phone call in good time.
- Personalise your communication: Personalisation is an effective way of getting leads on your side. If you’re using email marketing, then sending triggered emails whenever a visitor downloads your content, clicks on a link in an email or simply visits a certain page on your website sends a strong message that you’re engaged with those visiting your site.
- Align your sales and marketing as one: When both teams are on the same page, it’s possible to strengthen your lead nurturing strategies and customer retention rates. To achieve this kind of synchronicity, work on identifying the points in the buyer’s journey where your prospects move from the sales-focused points to more marketing-based points.
How can Intact help?
Intact solutions offer CRM functionality within its framework as standard or optional modules. We can also facilitate seamless integrations with third-party software such as Campaign Monitor, Mailchimp etc., which allows you to manage everything within a single database.
This integration brings pipeline management into greater focus, making the act of getting out quotes, qualifying leads and taking prospects through the journey of becoming a customer simpler and more streamlined.
With its built-in CRM module, Intact iQ can help to shorten your sales cycles, improve the quality of your information and deliver unmatched customer service. For more details, head to our product page or get in touch with us today.