If you want to transform your business’ leads from cold to hot, consider integrating your customer relationship management (CRM) with your digital marketing efforts. To do so, you’ll want to map out the process in full — and while it may sound complex, it’s a solid tactic to help you develop effective marketing strategies that are personalized to your prospects.
Stay tuned for some go-to action items you can take today to develop a stronger digital marketing strategy for your B2B or enterprise business.
What We’ll Cover:
- Step 1: Laying Out the Marketing Logistics
- Step 2: Discerning Prospect Qualification
- Step 3: It’s Time to Nurture Those Prospects
- Back to Step 1: Marketing, Again
- How It All Comes Together
- Your Marketing Efforts are Not Mutually Exclusive
What is CRM, and Why Integrate It with Digital?
CRM is a form of marketing that guides you to track and manage relationships with each customer (whether they’re a current or prospective customer) throughout their consumer lifecycle. This comes into play the moment a prospect becomes aware of your brand until you get paid. In most cases, it continues on even after the invoice is settled, because you’ll often have more products or services you want to sell to encourage continued patronage.
Fusing your CRM with digital marketing opens up a world of possibilities for your business. And when you literally map out individual funnel trajectories — perhaps even creating a visual dashboard on your CRM database — it allows you to maximize your digital potential. You can visually show your findings to company executives to prove efficacy and increase your marketing budget, ultimately boosting your marketing results over time.
Here’s how to go about CRM-based digital marketing, step by step.
Step 1: Laying Out the Marketing Logistics
It’s worth noting that when you’re heating up your leads with CRM-based digital marketing, the marketing aspect of it is both the first and last step. It’s like a beautiful pair of bookends — holding your collection together while you do the hard work and make your way through all the stories.
But here we’re talking about the first round of marketing. More specifically, we’re looking at your marketing entry points, and how you connect that to your qualification matrix for your CRM.
Think of it this way: Everyone comes to a website via a source. A source is an entity that drives traffic to a business. It could be Google, Facebook, YouTube, email outreach, automated marketing or even your demand-side platform (DSP) — there are so many, and these are just examples.
You may have a single source or upwards of 10, so what happens when each of them hit an entry point on a website?
An entry point could be a:
- Industry study
- Blog post
- Pop up
- Social outreach
- Lead form(s)
Again, there are endless possibilities, and these are just a few. But every entry point is unique and brings a different level of qualification to a prospect.
Various levels of qualification are important, so it doesn’t matter whether someone has never even visited your site before. You may just be building a list of contacts from LinkedIn or Twitter, or simply compiling a list of email addresses of prospects you want to reach out to in the future. The point is that you know where they came from. It helps you decipher between cold and warm leads so you know where to go next.
For example, a consumer may complete an intro lead form, giving you their basic information. Getting them to complete a second lead form will provide you with more detailed data about your prospect, like confirming they’re budget qualified and have all the other qualifications you desire in a hot lead. Now that you know they’ve completed your in-depth lead form, you can presume they’re a fantastic prospect. This means you know that you need to take additional steps to secure the lead before any ink dries.
Action Item: Mark every one of your entry points within your CRM database. That way, you know where all of your leads came from.
Step 2: Discerning Prospect Qualification
Once you know where your prospects are coming from, it’s time to figure out who they are.
Lead scoring is a great tool for figuring out how badly you want to work with a particular prospect. To put it differently, it’s a way to quantify how much this person aligns with your target audience. Someone who fits your target is more likely to provide great value, so it’s obviously someone who you’ll want to focus on and remarket to.
When creating a lead scoring matrix, there are a few things you’ll want to focus on:
- Entry point – This is where you’ll thank yourself for mapping out those consumer entry points.
- Customer type – Some things you may want to consider are their location, industry and business size.
- Decision-making time frame – Are they looking to make a decision in a week, a month, three months or longer? Knowing this will help you figure out what part of the funnel they’re in and how aggressively you should market.
- Budget – Are they budget qualified? If they don’t have the funds to afford your product or service, they’re not a qualified prospect. But once you confirm budget qualification, you’re well on your way.
- Project – This one is important for the consumer’s long-term lifecycle. Project their value down the line, even after the first invoice has been settled.
This tactic doesn’t end after purchase. It’s a great idea to keep tabs on customer qualification and map the customer journey until you’ve sold them all you can sell them — or maximized their value.
Action Item: Create a lead scoring matrix for all your prospects in order to qualify them based on key factors.
Step 3: It’s Time to Nurture Those Prospects
Once you determine where your prospects are coming from and who is actually qualified as an ideal lead, you’re going to want to nurture them. Meanwhile, you need to continue mapping your marketing to your CRM so you can track all your contact efforts and their outcomes.
All prospects are different, and they require varied levels of communication. There are a lot of possible results here, like:
- You haven’t yet contacted the prospect.
- You contacted the prospect, but they didn’t respond.
- You contacted the prospect and they responded saying they’re not interested ever.
- You contacted the prospect and they responded saying they’re not interested yet.
- You contacted the prospect and they’re interested now.
Each of these requires different types and amounts of advertisements. Even if you’re already working with a consumer and they’ve signed the proposal, finalized the contract or even paid in full, they’re not over in your CRM database. They’ve only invested in one product or service, so it’s time to consider selling them on additional services over time through various long-term marketing strategies.
Action Item: Map out your level of contact for each prospect (and adjust it on an ongoing basis, since this will change). Tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
Back to Step 1: Marketing, Again
Sure, you could view this as step four, but for our purposes we’re making things cyclical by sending you back to the first step:
And this is where we really connect your digital strategy to your CRM.
You have all your data mapped out, like entry points, lead scores and contacts. Now it’s time to decipher a marketing (or remarketing) strategy for all of these lead scenarios, whether hot or cold.
For example, what is your strategy for those you haven’t contacted yet (AKA your upper funnel strategy)? How are you first introducing them to the brand? Listing entry points are a fantastic way to figure this out.
If you’ve contacted your prospect with no response, you want to continue using the same strategy. But if some time passes and you still haven’t received a response, you may want to up the ante with an account-based marketing strategy (think sending something physical in the mail, like a gift basket or book). This gets them a little more qualified while simultaneously continuing to nurture them down the funnel from your storyboard marketing strategy to your mid-funnel advertising.
If you’ve contacted your prospect and they’re not interested, you’ll need to readjust your strategy to win them over. Here’s where you find out where their primary pain points lie, and shift your strategy to objection-based marketing. Ask yourself, what are the main objections for your product or service? What are the main reasons they wouldn’t want to make the switch? You can show them testimonials or address common issues. As you might expect, these ads will look different from others.
Action Item: Redefine your marketing strategy based on the information you previously mapped out in your CRM. You may need to shift to account-based marketing, objection-based marketing or a totally different strategy altogether.
For warm or hot leads (like people who are interested, but not yet, or those who are interested now), your strategy will change even further. Discounts can really move the needle here. Of course, it depends on your customer base and how comfortable you are providing discounts. In addition, you can send firm affirmations about how great your offering is. This is the CTA language, like buy now, sign up today or this is a limited offer!
By now, they know you and — hopefully — like you and trust you. So at this point, we’re just dealing with a high level of saturation for remarketing using database marketing strategies (like email and paid networks).
Action Item: For warm or hot leads, set a saturation point (i.e. 2-4 touchpoints around the web throughout the week) until your prospect makes a decision. Adjust your saturation point depending on precisely where that prospect is in the funnel.
How It All Comes Together
So we’ve laid out how to map your CRM and your marketing together, and it looks a little something like this:
Marketing — Qualification — Nurturing — Marketing
After you get to the end, you basically redo the entire process until you’ve maxed out the value for all of your consumers and prospects (so, in all honesty, you’ll probably never be done). If you have additional products and services, this could become a cyclical pathway — with adjustments made for returning consumers or existing clientele.
It’s so important to take the time and map all this out, ultimately building a visually representative CRM dashboard around it. It can seem intimidating or complex at first, but the juice really is worth the squeeze on this one. When executives and CMOs see your beautiful, mapped-out dashboard, they’ll be able to see what you see.
What’s great is that we’re at a point in digital where you can connect all these facets of marketing. You can even see in real time how everything is performing, which can affect the marketing department’s future cash flow and bring never-before-seen certainty to business owners.
Your Marketing Efforts are Not Mutually Exclusive
While compartmentalization may work in some parts of your business (though work and play are commingling more than ever before), that belief system doesn’t apply to marketing.
CRM marketing and digital marketing are not mutually exclusive sectors. Rather, they’re two sides of the same coin; using digital to strategically map consumer lifecycles and nurture prospects where you want them to go is crucial in the modern age. With or without a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that’s keeping folks at home and on their devices, customer relationship management is nothing without digital — and digital, dare I say, is nothing without CRM.