CRM software is becoming a more and more indispensable tool for businesses of all sizes.
A 2013 study by Nucleus Research identified that every $1 spent on CRM software yields $5.60 in revenue. Not surprisingly, with even the potential of that kind of return on investment, the appetite for CRM software is increasing. Another recent article predicted that CRM software will be a $36.5B market by the year 2017.
In other words, the CRM software boom is on.
We figured who better to comment on the current intersection of CRM technology and sales and marketing best practices than John Jantsch.
For those following the online conversation about sales and marketing optimization, John Jantsch is a name that will be familiar. John’s spoken at TED conferences, hosts a popular podcast, blogs prolifically at both DuctTapeMarketing.com and DuctTapeSelling.com, and regularly shares his insights and expertise with a dedicated social following numbering well into the six digits. Most recently, he’s published a new book: “Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer—Sell Like a Superstar.”
Do contemporary businesses need a solution that integrates CRM functionality and marketing automation/analytics into a single product?
John: I believe it’s more important than ever that sales and marketing and for that matter service, be fully integrated. There are technologies now that can combine lead generation, nurturing and scoring, however, I further believe that sales teams need to get involved in identifying and nurturing leads long before most organization deem it appropriate.
What software technologies can help data-driven organizations put a quantitative value on their social marketing efforts?
John: I think that many of the new breed of social CRM tools are a great starting point for creating value through social media participation. Most analytics tools and marketing automation tools can also help an organization define the impact social networks have in terms of driving leads and creating awareness.
You’ve written in previous books about the 4 C’s of marketing. How can social CRM type tools support each of the 4 C’s?
John: Let me start by first listing what I call the 4 Cs of marketing: Content, Context, Connection and Community. I think it’s vital that organization think in terms of addressing these four areas as essential element of prospect’s journey to becoming a loyal client. A social CRM tool, combined with a strategic approach to content creation, can support an organization’s ability to make content relevant and engage community members in more personalized form of relationship building.
Many businesses struggle to pinpoint the balance between organic and original direct engagement and promoting their company or brand at scale. What advice do you have for them?
John: In my latest book, Duct Tape Selling, I address this issue by encouraging organizations to get their sales teams much more involved in the traditional marketing process. I think this balance can be addressed by encouraging individual sales professionals to define ideal clients, create personalized content and build individual authority in the marketplace. Sales departments must embrace a much more inbound mindset in order to better blend with the inbound and outbound efforts of the marketing department.
What are your 3-4 most indispensable marketing or CRM oriented software tools? Why?
John: I’ll hedge my answer a bit by stating first and foremost tools that integrate CRM, social, content and marketing automation. So, for example - Salesforce with SpringCM and Pardot or Exact Target is a powerful set up, particularly for organizations with sales and service teams. I also use Hootsuite to manage many social media functions and WordPress is a foundational content/web site management tool.
For more great tips on optimizing your marketing and sales efforts, follow John on Twitter at @ducttape. For advice and insights on selection of CRM and other business software systems, check out @FindMySoftware.