Fishing for Customers: Casting with a Fool-Proof CRM Net

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an all-encompassing term that covers the various strategies a company uses to gather and retain customers. It is intentionally broad—CRM is only limited by a company’s imagination. For most companies, the goal is to provide a steady stream of sales leads, avoiding both monsoons and droughts. A solid CRM provides the tools to generate interest, bring sales leads in, and help those customers cycle back to the interest and buy stages again and again.

Some companies employ the strategy of dropping a fishing line into the water wherever and whenever. You might get lucky and feel a weight on the end of the line. Is it the big one? Is it an old boot? But most of the time, this method gets you nothing. No strategy, no real bait on the line, and you’re coming home at the end of the day with a bad sunburn and an empty cooler.

Mapping out the route

All things are within the realm of possibility, but the land of probability is where the money’s at. If your businesses’ CRM doesn’t have a plan for finding out where customers are, you’re fishing blind. Tracking where your customers are keeps you within reach. Whenever you need those new leads, you know exactly where to go. Gut and guesswork will only take your salespeople so far. Give them a good push in the right direction, and they’re more likely to succeed because the pickings are more plentiful.

Swimming upstream

To take sales to the next level, it’s not enough to identify where the customers are. You also need to know where the customers want to go. Many times businesses already have this information, buried in the data. Customers will tell you via buying habits what their ultimate goals are. Help customers complete those goals, and they’ll be back for your business in the next go-around.

Focused but flexible

Fishing with a lure yesterday might have worked fine, but if they’re only biting on live bait today, you’re out of luck. What it’s really about is relevance. There’s a mind-boggling amount of content and tons of companies out there that might be offering things that look a lot like yours—so your customers want to feel like what you’re giving them is relatable and beneficial to them. ‘The way we’ve always done it’ can’t be the way you always do it, because things change rapidly. Your ability to be flexible with your CRM strategy keeps you competitive.

Where you’ve been, and where you’re going

Your organized CRM doesn’t simply collect data and sit on it, it packages the data into actionable steps. It’s fantastic when customers find you. But are you asking what directed them to you? What keywords or services were the lures that directed them into your sales funnel? Don’t merely accumulate answers to your questions as to how customers came to seek you out. The right CRM software will take that information and other important bits and give you a much richer picture. Your data isn’t working for you without interpretation—translate it into a path forward to generating more sales.

The more you know, the better you can predict

Trying to figure out where to go for sales without any data is like tying a string to a stick and dropping in the first water hole you see. You could get lucky, but chances are you’re just going to look silly trying to bring up the big one from a rain puddle. Collecting data is key, but don’t sit on the data waiting. The businesses that do the best customer growth don’t simply react to customer push. Cohesive and organized CRM generates informed predictions that help you strategically explore new waters. You’re stacking the deck in your favor first.

What works, 2.0

Of course, it’s easier and cheaper to keep reusing the same strategy or content, but life and business are rarely that simple. CRM software organizes information related to your campaigns so you can track what worked and what didn’t. You might have to adapt your strategy, but better to adapt than to have to scrap completely. Then again, analyzing data can help you to identify when an idea is a total bust. You can terminate non-productive leads and move your money and your resources into better avenues before you lose too much.

CRMs Supporting Success

It’s a big circle: a smart and organized CRM gives marketers a solid framework to work in, and they, in turn, bring in sales to your business and enrich the CRM with data and feedback. A clear and focused CRM lets your team cast a tightly woven net in richer waters. You’ll be able to use your data to help predict where to look next, and what tactics are likely to work best. Your organized CRM helps you avoid irrelevant time wasters. Developing a strong CRM lets you proceed with confidence and ensures you’ll be returning from each fishing trip with a full harvest of sales.