CRM might have cooled things down for marketers through automation of Lead Management. It is the sales team that bears the brunt when the leads they get from their marketing counterpart don’t lead them anywhere. With 2018 round the corner, marketers need to look for smarter ways to generate leads through their CRM – leads that have a high potential to convert. Let us explore the following ways CRM is going to change the lead generation.

1. AI-powered Lead Generation

Artificial intelligence is bringing a paradigm shift across industries with machines processing large sets of data with superhuman abilities. A number of lead generation tools powered by AI are assisting marketers to understand and find new leads and convert them. AI has enabled them to select the most valuable accounts and even decide on suitable marketing communication based on lead characteristics.

For instance, Node is an advanced AI system to discover and recommend new leads to marketers. The AI system directs you to contact the right lead at the right time using the right communication channel.

2. CRM and Marketing Automation

CRM and marketing automation allows you to collect leads from marketing campaigns. When you automate data collection with the help of add-ons, it gives you the power to generate quality leads. Most leading CRMs are enabled to facilitate processes like lead management and lead tracking.

On the other hand, marketing automation helps you to improve lead outreach along with lead conversion. For instance, important data points like marketing funnel position, campaign ROI, lead numbers, sales-qualified leads, customer demographics and lead time can be easily tracked through CRM add-ons by PowerObjects.

3. Integration with Social Media

Social media is abuzz with user activity and is a great source of leads. What better way to generate leads than a CRM that integrates with social profiles?  Businesses realize the importance of social integration and their options are narrowing down to Social CRM.

For instance, Capsule CRM automatically adds social profiles of customers from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, and GitHub. It allows you to see customers’ updates right on your dashboard, add a profile picture from any of the platforms and tag them with searchable customized tags.

4. Predictive Customer Analysis Tools

When you know what your customers expect from your business, it becomes easy to target them. With the help of data mining techniques, you can analyze existing customer data and spot a behavior pattern. By leveraging predictive analytics, you can find out who your ideal customers are and push tailored content to them.

Track customer activity on your website and generate qualified leads while filtering bad ones early on. For instance, alteryx, a BI platform that offers data mining and predictive analytics used LinkedIn Sponsored Updates to deliver content offers directly to LinkedIn members’ feeds.

5. Lead Data Cleansing

Quality of leads is directly linked to the quality of data in your CRM system. Marketers will need to follow a standard procedure to enter data including account name, address, and job title to avoid incomplete data. They need to conduct frequent data quality audits to ensure your data always stays clean and accurate devoid of duplicated entries.

Moreover, data is always changing because of the change in customer attributes like job, phone number, email address, postal address, or maybe the customer is no more.  Up-to-date data will ensure that whatever marketing campaign you plan generates quality leads.integrate-crm-with-other-business-application

6. Email Marketing Tool

Email marketing is a great way to generate new leads. Collect customer email address on your website in exchange for newsletter subscription, white paper or free report. Depending on what action customers take, your email marketing system triggers a series of emails tailored to specific customer behavior.

For instance, MailChimp is an automated email marketing software with features like autoresponders, bounce tracking, drip campaign management, event-triggered emails and a lot more. It optimizes your marketing emails and generates high-quality leads.

7. Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of dispensing relevant content to prospective buyers at different stages of the buying cycle. During the process, the leads get fine-tuned by focusing on customer queries.  As a result, your leads move a step ahead in the buying cycle and get closer to sales.

Lead nurturing includes a number of tactics like sending out targeted content, multi-channel nurturing, timely follow-ups, and lead scoring. Multi-channel nurturing is often a combination of marketing automation, email marketing, and social media to engage customers.  On the other hand, lead scoring is a technique where you rank leads based on their perceived value to the organization.

8. Ecommerce CRM Integration

Data integration between your Ecommerce platform and CRM system gives you endless opportunities to generate new leads.  As soon as a customer registers on your ecommerce store, the information is automatically fed into your CRM thereby reducing manual entry, data errors and data duplicity.  Gain insights about ecommerce customers directly from your CRM.

Understand how customers interact with your products and optimize your marketing campaign. Find out what’s common among customers who abandon a specific page or a product and pursue those leads by optimizing your website or tweaking your marketing approach. For instance, you can easily Integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM with other Ecommerce Platforms and automate the business process!

9. Sharing Contacts with Another Company

CRM system allows you to understand your customer preferences. Find out what other products and services customers use along with your product. Tap the companies that sell those products and services and exchange your contact database with them.  It is a mutually beneficial approach where you get access to new leads with an opportunity to cross-sell.  Leads generated through this tactic are high in quality.

10. Understanding Target Audience

To understand their target audience, you must understand the problem solved by your product or service. It gives you the ability to identify customers who face that kind of problem. Initiate a marketing campaign and use analytical tools to find out what kind of customers responded to the campaign. It is a continuous process that fine tunes your lead generation abilities.integrate-crm-with-other-business-application

11. ERP CRM Integration

The key advantage of integrating the two systems is data exchange.  Customer data in CRM amalgamates smoothly with ERP data points giving a comprehensive view of every customer. Frontend data in CRM like sales and customer support history can be merged with backend ERP data like finance, and logistics to get dynamic and real-time information about customers. Marketers can use this information to gain insights to optimize their campaign and acquire new leads. The ERP CRM integration creates a unified process flow between the two systems.

12. Collaborative Lead Development

Lead generation in CRM automatically happens when a customer enters information on the website. Marketing representative classifies leads based on geography or type of information downloaded. Leads are further pursued based on their participation in webinars, and newsletter subscription.

It is only when the lead shows sufficient interest that it is passed on to the sales team. Sales team prepares a pitch based on lead’s industry, size and specific needs. In turn, sales team provides customer feedback to marketing.  Thus, CRM is used to exchange information between marketing and sales thereby raising the quality of future leads.

13. Online Lead Form

Online lead form, often appearing on landing page, is your first point of contact with customers where customers furnish their contact details in exchange for a coupon code, offer or a piece of content. Online lead forms automatically capture and upload information through CRM integration where it can be easily tracked.

Lead forms are created with utmost care incorporating design and aesthetic elements so that they look attractive and are easily accessible across multiple devices, social media channels and your company blogs.  Lead forms can also include pre-qualification questions to find out if lead qualifies for sales.

14. Simplifying Lead Capture from Tradeshows

Trade shows, events and conferences are a great place to generate new leads where visitors tend to exchange business cards with you.  Manual data entry of card details in CRM system is a time-consuming task and is prone to errors.

Applications like iCapture capture your leads in a systematic manner and organize cards from multiple trade shows in different lists.  It involves a series of automated steps starting with trade show badge scan, business cards scan to email list building.  Directly and indirectly, these tools boost CRM for lead generation.

15. Using Apps to Enhance Lead Generation Initiatives

A number of apps are available for you to test lead generation techniques. Whether it is testing a landing page, checking website for keywords optimization or checking how emails appear on multiple devices, lead generation tools can be useful in many ways.

For instance, SEO for Salesforce is an automation tool to help you identify keywords that drive revenue and support your SEM efforts.  To use this integration in Salesforce CRM, it is necessary to use Salesforce SFA “web-to-lead” functionality along with Google Analytics. Integration of Salesforce CRM is one of the most requested services today to boost CRM lead generation.integrate-crm-with-other-business-application

16. Forming a Sales Pipeline

Lead generation is not just about creating new leads but making them part of a sales pipeline. Forming a sales pipeline is about prioritizing leads based on your sales cycle so that tracking and follow up becomes easy.  Group your leads based on sales qualification questions. Questions could be about leads’ ability to buy your product and probability of closing sale. Does your product meet leads’ needs?  Is there a timeline for when they want to make a purchase? These questions can propel CRM lead generation.

17. CRM Integrated with Lead Management System

Lead management process involves lead capture, engaging with them and sending the qualified leads to the sales team.  However, modern lead management systems help to map the entire lead management process from capture to conversion.

For instance, leadsquared, CRM software, helps you to capture leads from online/offline channels, and third-party websites.  Leads are then integrated with email, qualified through lead scoring, and distributed based on parameters set by you. You can even track and prioritize best lead sources.

18. CRM Lead Analytics

CRM lead analytics help you to understand your leads better by tracking lead performance and analyzing key marketing automation metrics. Get actionable insights and focus on high-quality leads.

For instance, Salesforce recently launched Lead Analytics for Facebook to help B2B marketers track and measure the effectiveness of their Facebook campaign.  The solution capitalizes on Facebook lead ads API by helping marketers to identify quality leads and form meaningful relationship with their customers. Analytics help a lot in optimizing CRM for lead generation.

19. Introduction to Existing Customers

Customer referrals have long been used to generate leads because referrals qualify as leads with a high potential to convert. However, if your customers can personally introduce you to their referrals, nothing can be better than that. Adding a face-to-face touch adds credibility to your marketing efforts and you can track all such referrals separately through your CRM.

20. CRM Integration with Inactive Database

The potential of inactive customer database should not be undermined owing to its ability to reveal hidden leads.  CRM integration with this database helps you to segregate leads based on specific parameters like customer needs, reason for past disinterest, age or location so that you can re-target them through personalized marketing messages cost effectively. Customers who didn’t show interest in your product before for some specific reason may be interested now.

Generate Leads that go a Long Way

A smart marketer has multiple ways to his disposal to generate quality leads. Ultimately it is the quality of leads that matters over quantity. Instead of populating your database with unqualified leads focus on how you can use CRM for lead generation by incorporating different techniques and integrating with different platforms and applications.

Now, you can easily integrate your CRM with ERP or Ecommerce store and automate the business process!


You may also like:
What is the Easiest Way to Migrate from Zoho CRM to Salesforce?
7 Benefits of an Integrated ERP & CRM System for SMBs
Dynamics CRM vs Salesforce CRM – A Comparison