A customer relationship management tool is a vital piece of any marketer’s tool kit, but it’s also vital for sales folks. These two teams need to work together to forge cohesive relationships with customers, and a shared CRM strategy could be key to successful collaboration.
CRM software handles all your company’s relationships in one hub, including leads' profiles, interactions with leads, outreach messages, and more. It exists to organize, enrich, and nurture relationships. A CRM helps companies stay connected, streamline processes, and ultimately improve profitability.
What does this look like? A CRM is a software tool with features spanning marketing, sales, digital commerce, and customer service interactions. The tool connects these often disparate departments, so individuals within your company can find themselves interacting with others — leads and co-workers alike — more intuitively.
In a CRM, insights are available in a central location to everyone who needs them. For this reason, a CRM can play a crucial role in connecting the different roles in your organization, especially sales and marketing.
For the sales team, CRM software keeps track of sales history in one place, helping make sense of the journey from lead to sale. Sales emails are stored and searchable, while basic tasks are automated in order to expedite the sales process. For marketing, the CRM is a hub where marketers can see the entire buyer's journey and spot which messages and materials led to leads taking particular actions. It allows marketers to understand trends in the sales process so they can hone their conversion strategies.
Having a shared CRM is important to bring meaning to different strands of information. Imagine a potential customer, Lauren. She first appears on the CRM because she signed up for a webinar on transitioning to digital.
Once she took this action, we were able to follow her engagement with our website.
We can see that she might be open to more traditional sales events and that she might need help with content marketing. Now we can send Lauren targeted emails to nurture her into a sales-qualified lead. We can share resources related to the topics we know she is interested in, along with answers to some of the pain points we know leads similar to her have expressed. Marketing and sales can act in cohesion to build a relationship with her.
Customer relationship management doesn’t have to be confusing when everyone is united through one piece of software and can see what others are doing to engage with leads. These three strategies will help you get the most out of that shared system:
Your choice of CRM is important. Every team is different, and there are many sales and marketing tools to choose from. If you want to really get the most out of sales and marketing collaboration, look for software with marketing automation baked in so that data is collected from the very beginning of a lead’s journey with your company and marketers can adapt seamlessly to whatever insights arise.
Your CRM is only as good as the data that is being put into it. So if you have sales and marketing people using the system differently or inconsistently, it will be very difficult to pull lead trends from the system. Do a regular audit of your CRM to make sure everyone is inputting information regularly — and in a consistent format.
The CRM gives marketers and salespeople the ability to connect their work. To make collaboration as successful as it can be, both teams need to give feedback to each other and review what they’re learning. For example, if we see that sales-qualified leads are getting on the initial sales call but are not closing after the proposal discussion, this is good data to discuss with marketing to determine whether additional resources could be created to help aid in the sales process.
Through a shared CRM, marketing and sales can enjoy a greater level of harmony in their work. They can see exactly what leads are reading and where they’re engaging so they can craft targeted, personalized communication with the best chance of provoking conversion.
I'm the director of brand and content for Intero Digital. I'm a wife and mom to two beautiful girls, and I'm a big Missouri sports fan and lover of sushi. I have a passion for using marketing to educate, tell stories, and drive business results.