By CommenceCRM

Customer Awareness: The First Step In Any CRM Process 

a man holding a tree with illustrations

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a powerful tool for understanding your customers and improving interactions with them, but only if you know how to use the CRM to its full capabilities. Even after investing a lot of money in CRM software, many businesses continue to struggle with their CRM systems. The trick is to follow the CRM process, which follows customers on their journey from lead to a loyal customer. 

So what is the first step in the CRM process? Generating mutual awareness between you and your customers should be the first thing you do with your CRM. You have to collect data about them, segment them into unique personas, and develop marketing campaigns for them. The CRM tool is a strategy that helps keep the customer experience meaningful. 

Awareness: Introducing Yourself To Your Customers 

The CRM process is a concept that drives the right actions so you can convert an unqualified lead into a qualified prospect and finally a customer. These are the tangible steps each organization takes to educate potential customers about your brand and cultivate a relationship with them until they become a returning customer. The CRM process is a long game that begins by identifying leads and generating new potential customers through brand awareness. 

Brand awareness is defined by how well a consumer recognizes your merchandise or services by name and how familiar your target market is with your brand. Creating a strong brand awareness helps you introduce your product to new customers and allows you to get to know them in return. 

Marketing is usually in charge of growing brand awareness in three ways: 

  • Learning about the target audience through research to identify your target demographics, their interests, their preferred channels of communication, the messages they respond to, and what they care about
  • Segmenting the target market by creating audience personas based on customers with similar demographics or behaviors so you can identify the persona most likely to become a customer
  • Creating marketing campaigns to reach more of your target audience by testing which messages work, forming unique campaigns for specific audience segments, and implementing strategies for lead acquisition

In order to make people aware of your brand, you first have to grow your awareness about your market. Logically, you have to look at your customers and the lifecycle they go through to understand what makes them tick. This process takes a lot of research, introspection, and data collection — and this is where your CRM can do a bulk of the work.

Implementing CRM For Marketing and Customer Awareness

Although it is the marketing department’s task to get leads into your sales funnel, having a sales CRM in place can help you collect data and assess information to glean valuable insights. This will help you drive more people down your sales pipeline and cultivate brand awareness. 

Imagine trying to find customers without having any idea about them. Where would you find them? How will you talk to them? It would be like starting blank but CRM software can solve this problem for you. CRM is a tool that can show you patterns from past leads or customers to give marketing a clear picture of who their target audience is. You can even look at sales notes from past customers to understand what prompted a client to buy into your merchandise before.

Aside from demographics, behaviors, and motivations, CRM platforms can even help you capture leads across various channels such as your website, email, inbound phone calls, and social media. You can even gather and house valuable data in your CRM system. 

CRM technology and business strategy can support each other in the following ways: 

Centralizing customer dataCRM tools combine sales, marketing, and customer service in one database. Customer data such as their name, phone numbers, address, and last contact with the company are all recorded in the CRM software. This allows departments to work smoothly in the management of all customer-related activities since they access the same information. 
Supporting a customer-centric strategy A customer-centric strategy simply means that your customer is at the center of everything you do. You want to give them a meaningful experience each time they come into contact with your organization so they will form a positive opinion of your brand.

CRM software also promotes customer targeting, as the data stored on the CRM allows you to check who is your most profitable potential customer and their preferences so you can act accordingly to boost brand satisfaction. 

Monitoring campaign performance Instead of guessing how well your marketing campaigns perform, CRM will help you keep track of the ones that customers actually respond to. This can help you identify the campaign that performed best so you can recycle messages and templates for a new set of contacts. 
Automating customer-facing processesCRM processes begin with a lead or the name of someone you think you can sell something to. Usually, this person is someone who filled out a web form and provided you their contact information. Once the lead enters your CRM system, the software will take it through an entire sales process. 

The CRM tool will remind your sales rep to follow-up with the prospect and record everything that happens so you will have a full library of documents, calls, and emails. More importantly, CRM can automate content personalization for your target audience. 

For example, the emails you send will automatically address customers by their name instead of something obviously meant for mass marketing like “Dear Customer”. As you tailor your content and provide a suitable service for your customers, you can develop a better response rate over your competition. 

What Comes Next In the Pipeline? 

CRM platforms were developed to improve overall customer satisfaction by understanding the needs and concerns of your target audience so you can be more strategic about the relationships you form. Growing awareness is just the beginning of the CRM process; CRM-use should continue throughout the sales pipeline. 

Step 1: Acquire and qualify your leads. 

Once you have built brand awareness with your leads, they have to learn more about and engage with your business. A sales employee can utilize CRM to set up a live chat on your website so they can reach out proactively to potential customers and begin the relationship on the right note. Your CRM tool can also help you qualify and filter out the leads that aren’t suitable so you can prioritize the best leads and turn them into long-lasting customers. 

Step 2: Convert prospects into customers. 

After engaging with your prospects (or qualified leads), your sales reps have to determine which ones are interested enough to make a purchase. CRM platforms tend to come with a lead-qualification tool that generates the criteria you should look for based on historical data. The sales rep can nurture these leads and build their trust with assistance from marketing, who can craft resources like case studies and white papers to help convince prospects into the sale. CRM will also automatically make follow-up reminders so your sales team misses no opportunities. 

Step 3: Drive merchandise or service upsells. 

Often we think of returning customers as people who buy more products every now and then. Another way to gain more value from existing customers is to persuade them into buying more expensive upgrades. A CRM tool can send your customers personalized recommendations through email and craft smart lists based on similar purchase histories. 

For products, you can email custom templates for relevant product releases as well. If you’re in the service industry, check-in calls scheduled on your CRM database will allow you to ask your customers how you can improve your service. It is likely that their needs may have changed and they are ready for an upsell. 

Step 4: Maintain proper data management. 

Your CRM tool is only as good as the data that enters it. If human employees are in charge of manually entering information into the database, you would likely end up with a lot of incomplete or incorrect data. This could create problems for future users who need to access the data to make a sale. Regular data cleaning is important so your information stays reliable and up-to-date. Training your employees to keep data clean is another way to boost data efficiency. 

Commence CRM: The Best for Any Customer-Centric Business 

To maximize CRM technology, a human touch is needed for a strategic, customer-centric mindset. You have to focus on your goals of winning customers over and building long-lasting relationships with them. Let Commence CRM take care of the tech side while you manage the human side of things. Email us for a consultation today.