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From lead qualification to retention: 4 tips on how marketers get the most out of CRM systems


CRM systems ... Are they now also sales tools? Or do they offer more potential for marketing? You might think the opportunities are restricted to the sales side and there’s nothing in it for marketing. Or is there? Let's make one thing clear: there most definitely is! In this article, you’ll learn how to make efficient use of your CRM as a marketer. And what foundations you need to lay before you can really get started. 

rewhere all your leads end up. This is where the magic happens. This is where managing your leads comes to life. Once the leads have been generated, that’s when things get really exciting: the leads are qualified and – in the best case scenario – converted. Now it’s fate that decides your ROMI (return on marketing investment).

But in today’s data-driven world marketers shouldn’t rely on fate. The qualification and conversion rate in your company can be actively improved – if you use your CRM software correctly. What does it take? We’ve put together the 4 best tips for you.

Tip 1: Create harmony between marketing and sales

Apart from all the technical and strategic aspects, a CRM system creates one thing above all: transparency between marketing and sales. As a marketer, you can use this to make a wonderful argument when the cry comes from your sales team: “No leads come from marketing!”. The CRM system should show you how many leads you are delivering, whether leads have been processed or qualified, and how your leads are developing. In this way, you create a common, data-driven basis for discussion and decision-making for your future marketing and sales meetings.

Tip 2: Use your CRM as a basis for analysis

The steps from lead generation, through qualification to conversion should be neatly illustrated in the CRM system. Not only does this create harmony between sales and marketing, it also means that in future you will no longer have to dive quite so deeply into the analysis basement in order to measure campaign success. Look at your leads and the opportunities they create. Above all, look at the leads that sales wasn’t able to qualify. What do these leads have in common? Is it possible that your content doesn’t appeal to the right buyer persona? Do your measures target customers who can’t afford your solution? Nowhere are your “mistakes” illustrated as transparently as in your CRM system. Use this to get even better in future.

Tip 3: Link your CRM with your marketing automation. (And if you don’t have an automation tool – get one)

In B2B in particular, marketing automation software is a must if you value inbound marketing. (And you should.) If you are currently working with automation software, then you know that if the data there aren’t integrated, very little will work. In your marketing automation, you gather a lot of information before the lead even makes it to the CRM. These data need to be integrated into the CRM system if your sales team is going to make the most out of your leads – this is imperative! People often forget that there is also a pot of data gold in the CRM solution. The interface between marketing automation software and CRM is not a one-way street: use the data from your CRM system to plan and execute actions for your existing customers. Not only is this the basis for automating and personalising your measures, but also the cornerstone for integrating a retention strategy. As a marketer, you know that long-term customer relationships are supported by personalised and relevant communication.


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Tip 4 (and cornerstone of all things): Integrate smart data to optimise lead qualification and follow-up

Before you follow even one of the tips above, keep one thing in mind: your CRM software is only as good as the data it contains. This means you need to define KPIs when setting up your CRM system that you can use to evaluate your contacts, leads and opportunities. What information do you need to qualify leads? And where do you get these data from? There are several possible solutions to this problem. Above all, a data interface that enriches your CRM information with relevant data in real time is recommended. For example, this can help you avoid duplicates – the bugbear of every CRM manager. Likewise, it allows you to identify related accounts, instantly recognise industries and gather many more interesting insights.

A second solution is to use smart data before lead qualification: your lead information is enriched in advance, valuable leads are identified and mapped to existing customer segments, and, consequently, clean and qualitative datasets are transferred to your CRM system.

To make your marketing measures even more successful, feed your CRM with qualitative data from the beginning of the customer cycle. And then sit back and reap the rewards that your CRM system offers you.