Linking CRM to marketing.
This is a continuation from our series looking at CRM software following on from our last article dealing with setting up.
To highlight the issues involved, do this I’ll recreate a session I did for a client (with slightly amended details) so that you can apply the principles to your own business. To set the scene this business sells high end uniforms to the hospitality industry.
CRM & Marketing strategy, a real life scenario?
When we where redesigning the CRM system I first asked them to define their customer base. The team shouted a few suggestions, restaurants, international hotels, conference centres and some high nett worth individuals. Anecdotally I asked them who they thought was the most numerous, highest sales and the most profitable. There where some vague suggestions but no-one had any definite answers. I then asked the accounts person to export a list in Excel of the customer base by type and an indication of turnover during the year. The accounts system was not set up that way so with a bit of jiggery pockery we got a summary report together and the results where quite different from what was expected. What they thought was the largest target customer certainly was the most numerous but did not produce the most turnover. This then changed the priority and people began to measure the effort involved converting getting those sales to (number of meetings, follow ups, time wasted, request for quotations) what was the end result. The demographics hadn’t changed but the resources applied to achieve the sale had.
Marketing, how to understand each segment.
Next was how does each one of those segments operate, where do they meet, how do they purchase, when do they define budgets. Each segment had its own nuance and therefore a slightly different sales strategy applies. Restaurants meet a couple of times a year at trade shows, but in-between they may start up other franchises or they track when new restaurants where being planned to open to get in at the ground floor. There a lot of contacts made within a short space of time, but the follow up is over a longer period until the final sale is signed off. That means sitting through a bulk of business cards, sorting through the most likely and then prioritising efforts around their timelines. A restaurant opening next week requires immediate response, where a larger chain maybe more profitable but may not be ready for 18 months. This has obvious cash flow implications.
That means relevant contacts would be put into the CRM, defined by segment and then followed up in terms of importance. This can be defined in simple terms such as cold, warm or hot leads.