Dear CRM user: This is arguably the most important 5 minutes of CRM training you’ll ever need, if you want a CRM that is well-tuned, delivers on its promises, and gives you unbeatable competitive advantage. ~Ed
Human intelligence is often described as sophisticated pattern-matching or linking concepts together. Example: you learn early in life not to touch that hot stove a second time. (“Thanks, brain!”)
Everything we do is linked to something else, somehow. Our “cause and effect” knowledgebase can be expressed as “If / Then”: If X happens, Y follows. We learn and improve by linking new ideas, events, data and relationships.
CRM, similarly, unlocks tremendous potential advantage, helping you to link activities, people and resources with deals, customers, relationships, and reliable dashboard reporting. Done well, it helps you discover unique and repetitive link patterns and accelerate improvement in sales, service, revenue and innovation. You can then detect patterns in buyer behavior, purchase process, dealflow and more, which in turn can improve your forecasting accuracy and your business intelligence advantage.
The reverse is also true: done poorly, your CRM database becomes a useless mess of disjointed data, and your team coordination, customer satisfaction and data intelligence can suffer.
This 15 page playbook illustrates in just 5 minutes how CRM products are ready-built to help you leverage links and relationships among people, data, sales, products and more. It all comes down to “thinking about linking”.
Have at it! I welcome your reactions, comments and edits. Help keep this crowdsourced tutorial fresh and improved. Of course, I’ll credit you with any changes that are kept. More CRM Pro Tip playbooks to come. Subscribe! It’s all free.
There are two ways to measure social media ROI: (1) direct profit that results when people act on an offer you publicize on a social channel (a promo code, a coupon, or the like); and (2) the contribution to profit and value that results from people engaging on social channels to chat, research, converse, and generally form a positive impression that inclines them to buy, recommend, follow, and stay loyal and satisfied.
We help clients focus on that second, far more lucrative metric, also known as Customer Lifetime Value, or CLV. Ever heard of that? It’s a measure of the profit you can expect to generate from a customer as long as they remain a customer. It includes initial sales, renewals, upgrades, referrals, and other sometimes non-monetary indicators of buyer satisfaction.
How do you measure contribution to CLV? The slide deck linked here offers a glimpse into some of our client work that answers the question. If focuses less on the technology that underpins the effort, although we do provide a resource list, but more on the types of things you can measure and the ways you can capture the upstream inputs to do that measurement so you can determine what works and pivot to do more of that. We hope you find it helpful.
How do you measure social media ROI? Love to hear your stories. Comment below, or really open up the chat by sharing on your favorite social channel!
If you are a social marketing professional and haven’t checked out #SMChat on Thursdays, you may be interested in this week’s installment. Chris nicely sums up the preface to this week’s chat with the existential question: what’s it all worth? He includes some helpful self-test questions for practitioners to assess the value of their social channel efforts. Hope to see you on the call!
Here’s Chris’s article…
Most social networks are built without a design. We follow, we like, we get followed, and *POUF* we’re connected to lots and lots of people, some friends and quite a few strangers. Now what? What value can be gained? That of course is the main unsolved riddle of social media for most people. The initial […]
Maybe you’re the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), the Chief Sales Officer (CSO), or the one doing it all (sing: C-I-E-I-O). In any case, you are deeply involved with setting strategy, goals and KPIs that will help you make your number. Which measurements matter most, and why? Are you swimming in data and metrics, and confused by the options? You are not alone. Here’s why, and how to solve it.
Today, almost all of you customer’s buying journey happens online before they speak with you. Often you aren’t even aware, although that can be fixed too (separate forthcoming post; follow this blog).
This means Marketing and Sales have to jointly engage potential buyers over a longer period of time, using multiple touchpoints, to reliably focus on helping the most needy customers and likely buyers.
Knowing what to measure, and when to measure it, for each Tactic (video, whitepaper, etc.) and each Buyer Journey stage (people ask different questions as they proceed through to a decision), helps you optimize your relationship building efforts and improve sales and service.
The dizzying array of measurements and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) often hinders progress, so we have reviewed the results of a number of client engagements to bring you an easy single-page reference table that you can use with any CRM system to guide your setup of meaningful measurements, accurately gauge progress, and know where your next sale is coming from. Your own circumstances may be unique, but this is a start.
A Handy Funnel / KPI Planner Tool
Click the spreadsheet snippet here to preview a .pdf of this free organizer tool that guides you through the most important KPIs to set for each Funnel stage, each Goal, and each Tactic you use to make customers and happiness happen. Sales and Marketing people across a number of client projects have tried this tool and liked it.
Get the Actual Working Tool – it’s free
The native file is much easier to work with than the Preview. It is an ordinary Excel spreadsheet, and I have pre-set it with split windows so you can scroll right to reveal over 30 KPIs that apply for each Stage, Goal and Tactic, without losing sight of the main row and column headers. Check the last box on the list on this online order form to order your free copy.
Over to You
Try it! I welcome your reactions, comments and suggestions. This KPI Chart will be added to our Resources page shortly, after it has been “out to play” among you for a little while and we have gathered your feedback. Of course, you will be notified of those updates, if you have downloaded the file.
As always, we couldn’t do what we do in this blog without your input, and from the valuable experience we gain working with clients and the many CRM, sales force automation and “social hive” tools we implement for them, too numerous to mention here. Thanks!
Once more, with feeling. Blogging is just about the best way to influence buyers and build loyalty. Here’s why.
In re-reading the book “Webs of Influence” by Nathalie Nahai lately, just to refresh on some principles of User Experience, I am once again appreciating the depth to which she lays out the basic human principles behind online influence. Side note: I really like that Ms. Nahai highlights a “Make This Work for You” segment in each book section (multiples in each chapter) where she outlines a real world use case, bringing her writings beyond the realm of theory and science and into the world of practical use for you and me.
Triggering Social Obligations
In her book, Ms. Nahai quotes social psychologist Robert Cialdini’s statement “There is an obligation to give, an obligation to receive, and an obligation to repay” in human society, explaining that the easiest way to initiate reciprocity is to begin by offering a gift. At any dance party, are you waiting for someone else to make that first move? Be that first mover. Your gift can, of course, be a blog article, where you offer free advice to your audience. Importantly, Ms. Nahai mentions that the gift you offer must actually be something of value. Upshot: skip the listicle theme and the pleas to “like” your content, and just offer authoritative, helpful content.
Gift Ideas that Build Reciprocity
If you’re not yet an active blogger, other gift ideas might include a free Skype session or Webinar, a free eBook or PDF, a special Subscriber benefit such as access to exclusive premium-value content, or a concession or compromise such as a discount on published prices in exchange for deeper insight or other value.
Online Presence Establishes Credibility
By now you probably know that diligent people check out your online presence (LinkedIn, website, social media accounts) before they decide to send work your way. By offering a free Resources page on this blog, as well as making blog articles searchable by topic, we establish credibility and facilitate the reference check process, building confidence in our clients’ decision to select us to help them.
All of this may sound obvious, but bear in mind that closing the loop of reciprocity begins and ends with you. It begins with acknowledging when a prospect or customer has visited your blog, downloaded free content or some such action. It continues when you thank them personally – not just an auto-reply. It continues in the dialogue toward helping them solve their challenge, whether or not they buy. If they buy, good; if they don’t, they still may become a referral source, a colleague, and perhaps even a friend.
Case in Point: Closing the Sale
We recently were hired by a financial services firm to help with a combined website content refresh, social channel buildout, and CRM transformation project. Closing the sale was easier because they acknowledged they had received substantial value just from our blog articles and from a handful of conversations where we discussed the practical application of our knowledge to their set of challenges. In essence, the Discovery phase of the engagement, for which we typically charge a fee, had already been substantially accomplished through that preliminary dialogue and resource exchange. When we pointed out this concession, the Prospect agreed about the value they had already received, as well as their comfort with the progress of that dialogue and their assurance that we present a wise choice. Reference check: done. Confidence: assured. Deal: done. Bam.
Accelerating Sales through Reciprocity
In preparing for the coming year, our team reviewed our own CRM reports, looking at the Sources of client revenue, analyzing the specific events that helped advance dealflow to successful sales. We found a high correspondence between deal closure and the Reciprocity loop that involved prospects accessing our online content, combined with our follow-through in highlighting value already delivered before asking for the sale. In situations where the reciprocity relationship was rather more tenuous, the client interactions seemed marked by more tentative, hard negotiations. In deals where the Reciprocity was high, we also saw a greater incidence of multi-year client relationships. This is the year we build on making Reciprocity a standard, repeatable process.
Over to You
As fellow humans, how can we build better reciprocity into relationships to help one another discover and solve challenges? Can we improve on the habit of acknowledging others’ contributions to our relationships? As sales professionals, can you use your online presence to establish credibility, begin the Reciprocity loop, and close it with your own follow-through? Love to hear your comments and stories.