Few organizations today could thrive if they relied solely on Rolodexes, paper lead sheets, or Outlook address books. Whether they use a SaaS solution like Zoho or Salesforce.com, or a robust customized CRM solution, most organizations are convinced that they’re getting an excellent result from their CRM investment.
The question is, could they be getting more if they added a robust distributed marketing platform to their CRM solution? According to Edgar Rodriguez, Distribion’s EVP and a 20-year-veteran of the industry, the answer is yes.
In the example below, a local insurance agent uses a system that seamlessly links corporate marketing’s distributed marketing platform with his own local contact list and the corporate lead management system to streamline and automate the day-to-day sales process — with real-time reporting, activity notices, and metrics available at the local and corporate level.
“The fusion of CRM and a comprehensive marketing automation solution will increase the ROI of your sales and marketing organization, improve your close rate, and deliver more revenue,” he says.
How? A distributed marketing platform helps:
- Automate marketing and sales support campaigns, saving time and money, and allowing you to do more with less. “It’s a question of ability,” Rodriguez says.
- Convert and nurture leads. “The more automated the process, the easier it is for local and field sales people to follow up on all the leads that marketing generates — whether they are initially ‘BANT’ qualified or not,” Rodriguez says. (BANT = Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline — the traditional sales qualification process developed by IBM.)
- Prioritize leads and contacts, by centralizing reporting. “A distributed marketing platform gives corporate marketing and local marketing far more information about each contact, because information is shared and consolidated,” Rodriguez explains. “And with real-time tracking of every interaction, you can do things that just aren’t possible any other way. For instance, if you get an instant notice when someone downloads a white paper from the corporate website, it’s a pretty good indicator that it’s a great time to call them because you know they’re at their desk and you know that your company and brand are top of mind.”
- Consolidate and improve CRM data quality. By integrating CRM and marketing automation to avoid multiple data silos, it’s easier to avoid duplicate data and to keep data up to date. “In marketing and sales, it’s all about the accuracy and timeliness of the data.”
- Validate and prove marketing strategy and execution. With sales and marketing metrics in one place, it’s easy to identify and correct problems, predict revenue, and see precisely how marketing and sales activities contribute to the bottom line.
“CRM is great, and I couldn’t live without it. But CRM by itself isn’t enough in the highly competitive world that I work in — and it isn’t enough for our customers, either. It’s important to remember that CRM systems are designed to deal with individual leads — while marketing always works with segmented groups of leads,” Rodriguez adds.
“By integrating a comprehensive distributed marketing platform with your existing CRM system, you optimize the entire process for maximum return.”