In a great post on the SugarCRM blog last month, Andrew Staples highlighted five ways to drive revenue from your CRM. He stated that only 17% of customer relationship managers believe their CRM is generating revenue. I co-sign Andrew’s premise that CRMs should absolutely be helping you drive revenue growth, and want to take it one step further. As the central hub of your revenue teams, your CRM needs to be supporting your revenue growth. A critical step to making this happen is connecting your marketing, sales and support systems with the CRM as the central platform.
Connecting Sales, Marketing & Support Systems Drives Growth
Here are some of the ways connecting data to your CRM helps you driving revenue growth.
Visibility helps sales reps be more effective
The bar for a quality sales rep conversation has become increasingly higher. Prospects need to get value from sales reps in the context of the most important challenges they are facing, for prospects to give up some of their time and engage with a rep.
The key to this engagement is relevance, and sales reps stand the best chance to be relevant by having the right visibility on how a prospect has engaged with their company.
How did they discover you? What topics did they engage with on your website? What content did they look at? This type of engagement has a direct impact on conversion rates for leads to opportunities, which in turn impacts pipeline and revenue.
Closed loop reporting helps managers optimize the end-to-end sales & marketing process
Another key to driving revenue is having a pulse on what sales and marketing activities are leading to pipeline growth. By identifying underlying growth drivers, you can double down on those things to accelerate more growth. You want to answer questions like:
- What are the top sources of business that result in pipeline and revenue?
- Is this being driven through specific partners channels, through the website or through outbound marketing programs?
- To what degree is the website contributing to pipeline growth, and which areas of the website are contributing?
- What marketing program investments are yielding growth?
Aligning data across departments builds more effective acquisition, up-sell & retention programs
Sales, marketing and support are three legs of the stool supporting your revenue growth. The more you can align data across the three groups, you will have a stronger your integrated view of the business. Some of the revenue driving initiatives that will now be possible include:
- Target new customers based on what your most successful customers are doing with the product
- Identify successful customers to be part of customer advocate programs
- Identify successful customers for a certain product line who are strong candidates for upsell to a second product line - and then engage them through marketing programs
Five Keys to Getting Your Data Right
There is one fundamental key to executing this, which is getting your data right in your CRM. Here are five tips for getting this right. We call them our CRM DQ (Data Quality) tips.
CRM DQ Tip #1 - Create a standard mechanism for tagging your marketing lead sources
Your closed loop marketing reporting is going to require consistent data that is clean to roll up and analyze. Look at all the ways data is getting into your CRM and apply standard definitions for the tagging of this data, for both automated and ‘human’ processes.
CRM DQ Tip #2 - Avoid manual data uploads
To make point #1 more feasible, connect your data automatically to your CRM wherever possible. Phase out manual spreadsheet uploads. Phase in automated data connectors whereby you can map data once between your CRM and data sources such as marketing automation systems, websites, event systems or webinar systems.
CRM DQ Tip #3 - Take a “less is more” approach to making data visible to sales
When identifying which data you want to make visible to your sales team, take a “less is more” approach. Salespeople will take a just in time approach for talking to their leads. So the data that gives context to sales calls needs to be easily absorbed.
CRM DQ Tip #4 - Be diligent around processes to ensure your data is de-duplicated
The rubber often hits the road for the accuracy of your reporting and the use cases we discussed above with the question of - is your data de-duplicated?
Use cases start to fall apart when there are multiple records of a customer, or a prospect, or a company.
Throw closed loop reporting out the window. Forget about drawing insights by connecting support to sales to marketing. This is why it’s so important to invest in having the right process to review and cleanse duplicates and ensure you have that true unified data set for your commercial team.
CRM DQ Tip #5 - Leverage your CRM reporting infrastructure
Your CRM system gives you the reporting infrastructure to drive the revenue growth use cases we’ve discussed in this article. Rather than reinvent the wheel, configuring the reports in your CRM gives you a trusted, “single source of truth” for your teams to align around and leverage to drive revenue.
This will get the job done provided it’s supported by the right data feeds and data quality processes.
- To support your revenue growth, your CRM needs to be your connected platform across marketing, sales & support
- Sales visibility, closed loop reporting & creating programs with aligning data across teams are three specific steps you can take
- Data quality is a critical underpinning, and we share five tips to ensure you have clean and consistent CRM data supporting your growth initiatives