Information of leads is the bread and butter for any B2B organization. Without having quality information of leads a B2B organization is bound to fail! The amount of information that is available is huge and it cannot be stored on excel spreadsheets and other primitive storage modes, a Customer Relation Management (CRM) is a program specifically designed to store the data.
The marketers of any B2B company should be able to collect the right information and make it available to the appropriate decision maker to allow your company to turn any enquiry into a prospective customer.
The questions you may ask yourself before creating your CRM are-
- What are your clear goals for creating the database?
- Are you building a customer database, prospect database or a customer and prospect database?
- What kind of reporting is required? Standard market reports? Standard processing reports? Response analysis reports?
- Is your database used for lead generation, direct marketing, loyalty programs, customer analysis, or traffic building, etc.?
- Have you reviewed your current database?
- What are your future marketing plans?
Once you have answered the questions mentioned above, you become clear about your objective regarding building your data. It is always wise to be clear about what you want from your CRM before getting started with the process of building 1.
Data cleansing is the process of detecting and correcting (or removing) corrupt or inaccurate records from a record set, table or database.
- You must know what kind of data hygiene is required and how often your data needs to be updated:- weekly, monthly or quarterly
- Data cleansing starts at the very entry of data records. There are a lot of misspelt words, wrong and irrelevant entries made. For example- “Pokemon”, “Abraham Lincoln”, etc. These names are false names. Such data must be immediately cleansed.
- Duplicate data must be cleansed
- Update on a regular basis. 30% of the data collected becomes outdated in a year
- Save time by keeping aside the data that has been checked recently and give your time to the data that needs your attention
- Validate the email address that has been given
- Check your B2B data against CTPS (The Corporate Telephone Preference Service) register as it contains telephone numbers of companies that have requested not to receive any sales calls.
Data segmentation is a process of identifying and classifying different data and segregating them into different groups. This helps an organization to have a clear picture and prioritize the groups that will serve the maximum ROI.
You can segregate data based on:-
- different job titles
- Past purchase, etc.
The enquiries that are made should be evaluated. Based on the evaluation, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) can be identified. MQL is a lead who is deemed more likely to become a customer, it is on the basis of webpages he has visited, or downloaded, his apparent interest and engagement with the business’s content. A Sales Qualified Lead is a lead that is further deemed to have become a prospective customer. An SQL is a lead that has displayed intend to buy a company’s product/ service and is considered fit for the criteria that determine whether a buyer is a right fit or not. An SQL is later viewed as an Opportunity and further becomes Sales Accepted Lead after being reviewed and passed by the sales team. Once the purchase is made, the Sales Accepted Lead is qualified as a Customer.
Inquiry MQL → SQL→ Opportunity → Sales Accepted Lead → Customer.
Things to consider before data segmentation are:-
- Make it simple and easy to understand
- Update on a regular basis because not doing so, could lead to losing a prospective customer
Usage of the information
The information that is gathered after data cleansing and data segregation should be utilized to its maximum. Create separate email marketing campaigns through various thoughtful lead nurturing campaigns that will be of interest throughout the various stages of buying cycles to convert an inquiry into a lead and then into a prospective customer.
Always ensure data security! You must have a regular data back up to keep your data clean, follow all the data protection regulations, make sure you have prior consent of the recipients before obtaining their email ids. Ensure the data collected is safe and legal! You obviously do not want to get into any trouble!
Want quality contacts to send across your messages this Fourth of July
An effective CRM is the most important thing to have for any B2B organization. In a B2B organization, the number of customers are less but they can contribute to the entire turnover. The value and volume of each transaction is very high. Therefore, it is very important to monitor their buying behavior very closely and even the minute details must be taken into consideration. Missing out on those details can prove to be a big loss. You do not want to lose your valuable customers to other suppliers! It could affect the overall sales and revenue.
Since the stakes are very high, it is wise to invest in a good CRM module and have clear set of objectives for your CRM.