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CRM Through New Eyes

By Billy Jennings on 5/10/22
Referencing If You Market Podcast Episode 161#: Sales & Marketing CRM Collaboration Done Right, With Wes Schaeffer 


On this episode of the If You Market Podcast, host Sky Cassidy sat down with The Sales WhispererⓇ Wes Schaeffer and tackled CRM or Customer Relationship Management, a few do’s and don’ts, and how to get the most out of it. 

You might be wondering why a salesperson is talking in a marketing podcast. The answer is that marketing and sales go side by side. A good marketer must know how to work with sales to maximize the business’ marketing capabilities and vice versa. But before we dive too much into it, let us first understand what CRM is: CRM, or Customer Relationship Management as defined by Salesforce, “is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.” Honestly, it is not enough that you make connections with your customers, whether they are potential, old, or any other distinction there is. You also have to use the data you acquire in the process to implement strategic changes and ideas in order to make it a winning experience for your customers and prospects.

If you are new to marketing, or business in general, Wes has some advice: pure standalone CRM is dead. Although the system has been proven useful ever since its emergence, it also has to keep up by incorporating new techniques with the constantly developing business world. “CRM is not just about it but also prospect relationship management, [and] whole audience relationship management.” Human input still plays a vital part despite most business procedures and transactions being converted digitally. More importantly, CRM proves its usefulness to your people as well: “I remember telling, trying to get a salesperson to use a CRM seems to be a classic problem when CRM is implemented, but telling this person, look, talking about scaling, I know you think you can remember all your clients, but if you want to have more of them, the CRM is going to help you, not just have your ten accounts that you can keep in your head. But what if you had 100 accounts? Wouldn’t that be great? You’re not going to be able to remember and not miss calls and not miss, you know, times that you’re supposed to be following up and stuff like that without some sort of system. That’s useful for sales.” 

Wes also said that as soon as your CRM is live,, it’s already running and acquiring data. It enables you to grow your sales without having to expand your staff or misuse existing resources,which is  especially crucial  for small businesses.

You choose how you will utilize the data in your CRM, since it is the central location of all of your information. CRMs are also great tools for coming up with relevant information to send your email list(s). This is a feature that  Wes says is crucial.  The old mantra seemed to be more of a shotgun approach.  Just getting your email in front of the faces on  your list again and again til eventually they buy something- but this can not only turn things stale for your readers but eventually push them away from your brand.

In Wes’ own words, CRM allows you to make “educated guesses on where the buyer is in their journey.” In their example, customers go through some sort of a “journey” before buying a product, mainly if they are expensive and is a considered investment. Think of going to a store just for leisurely browsing (admit it, it’s therapeutic). Imagine if a sales rep followed you around and offered you all kinds of stuff. They keep going even after saying you’re just looking around and not intending to buy anything. Not an excellent experience, right? Both for you and the salesperson. However, when you’re nearing the “finish line” of the buying journey, then that’s when a salesperson’s help should in theory be most beneficial. Another is a salesperson’s approach: instead of asking customers.  “How can I help?” try using “What brings you in today?”  You’re no longer throwing a vague question out there that will likely elicit a vague response, but rather you are gently  putting the customer on the spot to tell you exactly what they’re looking for and thus allowing you to better serve them- and not to mention in less time.

Since CRMs are a data acquisition system, you’d be silly not to deep dive into the numbers, since they are there to help you in the first place. Sky says  that “the more information you can push through, the more useful it is for the CRM,” there is a tradeoff to that, according to Wes. If there are too many fields to fill in, some people might opt not to. But, if someone did fill out all of those, you have a genuine prospect. “You need to understand where the sticking points are in your business [and] how much information to ask for people,” Wes added.

In connection with the importance of human input, CRM also helps with actual in-person marketing. Wes said: “If marketing and sales and operations had their act together, they would be setting up this lead asking pertinent questions, finding a true need, and then equipping the salesperson to show up and ask good hard questions that that would persuade the prospect that you were the right person for the job. When you show up, we demonstrate our proficiency by our bedside manner, right? By the questions that we ask… Why do you trust them? And they’re like, that’s the way they make me feel. How do they make you feel like you’re good and comfortable? That they know me, that they care. How do they demonstrate that the time they take to engage by their bedside manner, how’s it going?” Equipping your salespeople with the right tools through the help of CRM will increase your chances of securing prospects who are indeed the right people for the job.

As our speakers wrapped it up, Wes emphasized getting the right tools for the right stage of your business to make all of these happen. Technology isn’t always the first answer. Although CRM has been proven beneficial, sometimes, getting back to the basics of asking your customer about their experience along their journey the old fashioned way is a great place to start.