There’s no point trying to sell your products to people who aren’t listening – here’s how CRM can help you find and keep the right the audience for your business.
Just like a singer needs an audience for their music, you need an audience if your business is to be successful. You need to find people that are interested in what you have to offer and with the latest Customer Relationship Management software (CRM), this has never been easier.
What Can CRM Software Do?
CRM software allows you to manage every aspect of customer relations; from finding the right audience to analyzing your customer database. In many ways, CRM is like an intricate address book which logs every personal communication with a customer or potential customer, as well as keeping a track of all marketing communications. If used correctly, this software should become the voice and the memory of the company.
On a basic level, CRM stops you from worrying about day-to-day things like ‘when did I last contact that client?’ but on a more complex level it allows you to target the right audience, at the right time.
Recent studies have shown huge benefits of CRM software, which just shows how important customer communication is. As a result of taking CRM software on-board, customer retention has been seen to improve by huge margins. This has resulted in decreased sales costs and marketing spend and some businesses have reported lead conversion rates improving by up to 300%.
Who Are Your Customers?
First of all you need to establish who your customers are, where they are most likely to research products or services and what they actually want. And this is not a case of reading their minds. You can use CRM software to analyze your existing customers, in order to help you find new ones.
Now that there are so many ways to research products, an increasingly important question to ask is ‘How did you find us?’ the answer to this question is important because it not only tells you where they do their research, but what kind of person they are.
Through research like this, you’ll get a clearer picture of your target audience and be able to focus your marketing efforts on specific areas.
Social Customers, Social Businesses
The role of social media in business is increasing rapidly – it covers every stage of business from marketing to customer care. This means that it’s not only a popular way for consumers to browse and research products but also a way to get in touch with companies.
As a result, the role of CRM software is growing to accommodate the huge social side of marketing. The same goes for the role of contact centers which are not simply for phone calls but for Facebook, Twitter and email.
This push towards social media is forcing every business to become more customer-focused. Not only does social media enable you to find potential customers but reach a wider audience than before.
Why You Should Be Listening As Well As Talking
Social media as one big conversation has implications that are potentially damaging for business. And by this, I mean complaints. Complaining used to be a fairly private affair, on the telephone or in a written letter and the dissatisfied customer may tell a few of their friends.
But now, a customer can complain on social media and their complaint will be read by their friends and potentially all of your customers. Bad news travels fast, particularly if you are tweeting about your woes to 1009 followers.
CRM allows you to manage these complaints, ensuring you respond quickly, offering a solution to their problem and hopefully turning bad PR into good PR.
Your sales teams need to be as mobile as your customers, willing to go wherever the customers are talking and browsing. Using CRM to monitor social networks is one of the best ways to find new leads, audiences and opportunities, as well as seeing where you need to improve.
The Unstoppable Growth Of Online Data
There is a startling statistic that every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization to 2003. This sudden growth in available data is already having a huge effect on the way businesses approach marketing.
It’s not likely there will be quite this much data available on your target audience but it certainly signals a shift towards a better-informed marketing strategy. Companies like Google and Facebook are already able to intricately interpret their customers’ needs and behaviors for targeted advertising.
CRM software allows you to do this with social media. The software is able to translate unstructured data like comments and ‘likes’ into trends, moods and the overall message from your customers. It also allows you to discover a new audience by analyzing your existing customers.
Through social media and your own communication records, you’ll have a wealth of information at your fingertips and CRM or contact management software is there to help you understand it.
There is a huge audience out there for any business – you just have to find it. How have you used CRM software to discover a new audience? What do you think about the increasing role of social media in business?
James Duval is a business and technology blogger, IT manager and a small business enthusiast. He loves to see small businesses thrive and he’s always on the lookout for new ways to compete with the retail giants.