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CRM Inbound Marketing Strategy: Best Practices You Should Know

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What are examples of CRM inbound marketing best practices?

Some examples of CRM inbound marketing best practices are optimizing lead distribution and utilizing lead scoring. It also helps that you make it a habit to proactively follow up on leads and create buyer personas to reinforce campaign planning.

More often than not, entrepreneurs exert a lot of effort in improving their sales and marketing operations. After all, these two aspects of your business are responsible for securing more customers. However, it is not enough that you simply invest in sales tools and CRM software solutions. It is more important for you to follow best practices to maximize your investments and make sure that they are reinforcing your sales and marketing goals. In this article, we will be providing you with a concise explanation of the top CRM best practices that you may utilize for your operations.

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Customer relationship management has played a crucial role in inbound marketing and sales strategies. It provides marketers and sales professionals with all the information they need to improve their interactions with clients and yield more conversions. This is why it comes as no surprise that CRM systems have become one of the top technologies that support customer engagement in terms of customer retention (99%) and customer acquisition (69%).

Source: www.emailmonday.com

But of course, as an entrepreneur, you should also know that having CRM platforms at your disposal does not ensure better customer engagement efforts. For you to be able to reap the benefits that these software solutions have to offer, you will need to implement strong inbound marketing and sales strategies with it. These will allow you to attract, engage, and convert prospective clients as quickly as possible without compromising the quality of each lead.

Compared to traditional marketing, inbound marketing can help you save up to 62% in costs for each lead. In addition, this strategy allows companies to yield conversion rates that are six times higher that those who use outbound marketing tactics. Similarly, in a study by the Aberdeen Group, results showed that over 64% of teams reach and even surpass their quotas when they utilize inbound sales tactics for their operations. With these said, it only makes sense that you maximize your CRM efforts by utilizing these strategies.

To help you get started, we have listed down some of the best CRM practices that you should consider implementing. But before we get down to the nitty gritty of that, let us first discuss what is inbound sales and what is inbound marketing. This way, you’ll have a good idea of how essential these are and how they can reinforce your operations.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is the process of attracting and engaging leads to convert them into paying customers. This method involves the meticulous analysis of your target audience, careful creation of valuable content for customers and leads, as well as religious follow ups on prospects.    

As opposed to outbound marketing where businesses promote their brand in the hope of securing customers, inbound marketing’s main aim is for businesses to provide customers with personalized experiences. By doing so, they can build their credibility as a brand and forge strong relationships with their clients.

Some examples of inbound marketing practices are content marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, attribution reporting, and lead flow management. Having knowledge bases for interaction histories, contact details, and customer profiles is also an effective inbound marketing technique that many companies use to support their operations.  

HubSpot CRM is a platform designed for inbound marketing. It offers an intuitive interface that makes it perfect for businesses of different sizes and industries.

What is Inbound Sales?

Inbound sales is a method wherein sales professionals act as consultants to prospective clients rather than agents that blindly offer products and services to whoever might be interested. Much like inbound marketing, inbound sales focuses heavily on providing a pleasant customer experience rather than resorting to assertive sales tactics. With inbound sales, you replace cold calls, scripted pitches, direct mail, and paid ads with more targeted techniques that revolves around what the preferences of the leads.

When used alongside inbound marketing, inbound sales serves as a way through which your representatives can welcome interested leads that get in touch with your company. By the time prospects reach out, your sales agents should be able to use CRM systems to figure out how to better approach them and close deals faster.

CRM Inbound Marketing Best Practices

Inbound marketing and sales strategies are only as good as your execution. This relies heavily on how well you use your CRM platform. To help you out, we have listed down some of the CRM best practices that you should consider implementing to reinforce your campaigns. On top of these, you can also take a look at these CRM optimization tips to get the most out of your platform.

1. Maximize Your Sales Agents Using Lead Distribution

There are plenty of leads for your sales agents to capture. However, there is a possibility that some of your sales professionals are chasing after the same leads. This can create friction among staff and cause your team to waste time and effort. To ensure that this does not happen, you need to utilize lead distribution. With this, all you have to do is set parameters through which your software will auto-assign leads to representatives. You can base it on criteria such as geography, demographic, industry, or specialization. By doing so, you can maximize each sales representatives, tap more leads, and accelerate the sales process with ease. In fact, according to an analysis by Velocify, the utilization of lead distribution tactics can enhance response time and boost lead conversion compared to manual lead delegation.

2. Zero In on Strong Leads Through Lead Scoring

While you need to secure as many leads as you can, it is important that you pay more attention to those that have the highest chance of being converted into paying customers. This is where lead scoring comes in handy. Using this, marketers and sales professionals can pinpoint the status of a lead in the sales pipeline as well as provide them with all sorts of information about a prospect ranging from contact information and profession to interest level and previous interactions. By focusing on these data, it is easier to gauge the likelihood of conversion and determine how much effort you should exert in following up on them.

3. Nurture Leads Proactively by Following Up on Them

Communication is a crucial part of building relationships with clients. So, it goes without saying that entrepreneurs must keep in touch with leads in order to reel them in further down the sales funnel. To nurture your leads, you must follow up on them every now and then. Some CRMs would allow you to create personalized bulk emails ahead of time so that you won’t overlook any leads. There are also platforms that can support multi-channel lead nurturing so that you can leverage social media, paid targeting, and even website creation to engage your prospects more effectively.

4. Create Buyer Personas to Reinforce Your Campaign Planning

Inbound marketing and sales rely on providing leads with valuable experiences that drive them to patronize your brand. This can be done by creating campaigns meant to focus on a certain demographic or publishing content that can address the concerns of your potential clients. However, it can be challenging to design campaigns that are meant to lure in specific types of leads. To simplify this, you will need to create buyer personas.

Buyer personas are research-based representations of the clients you would like to acquire. This should contain specific descriptions that include interests, buying habits, age, location, and the like. Once you have created a profile for your buyer personas, you can start designing targeted campaigns that are bound to capture these leads.

5. Leverage Your Content to Boost Conversions

One of the most effective ways for businesses to attract leads is by giving them information that speaks to them. To do this, you first need to understand the interests and concerns of your customers using lead management. This will allow you to create more specific content that can boost conversions. In line with this, you can even utilize interaction histories get a better idea of what types of content your leads might be looking for.

Top Examples of CRM Software

Now that you have an idea of how to use CRM inbound marketing and sales to your advantage, we can start talking about the examples of CRM software that you should consider. There are tons of great platforms available on the market but there are those that stand out from the rest. Among these are HubSpot CRM, Salesforce CRM, Freshsales, Pipedrive, and Zoho CRM.

If you think none of the products listed below are suitable for your operations, you can also check out our article on the top 20 online CRM tools. This should allow you to have a better idea of the different types of CRM software available on the market and gauge which one will blend with your workflow.

1. HubSpot CRM

An industry leading application, HubSpot CRM was created to assist sales teams in optimizing their operations without having to alter their workflow. It is a comprehensive software equipped with all the essential customer relationship management functionalities minus the complexity that full-fledged sales automation platforms pose. Simple enough for novice users and powerful enough for professional users, this smart and easy solution is chock full of tools that can help you boost your conversions, ensure repeat purchases, as well as reinforce rapport with existing clients.

HubSpot CRM may be used for free if you are looking for only the basic tools. The vendor also has paid plans that range from $50/month to $2400/month depending on the number of features you need. You may sign up for a HubSpot CRM free trial here.

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HubSpot CRM won our Best CRM Software Award for 2018

Some of the most notable features that this platform has to offer are sales pipeline management, marketing automation, and contact management. In addition to these, HubSpot CRM also supports SE and content strategy, data consolidation, lead analytics, and A/B testing. For those who want to further extend the capabilities of the system, the platform can support integrations such as Zapier, Shopify, Gmail, and other business systems.

2. Salesforce CRM

Salesforce CRM is a software solution built to help marketers and sales professionals keep track of customer information. As part of the sales and marketing suite of Salesforce, it boasts a wide range of best-in-class functionalities that are built for flexibility and scalability. With this at your disposal, it is easier to hold conversations, monitor interactions, and approach customers in the most personable manner to boost sales and increase team productivity. On top of that, it can be accessed on all sorts of devices for better mobility.

Among the many functionalities that this platform has to offer are lead management, marketing automation, sales data monitoring, sales forecasting, territory models, and partner management. It also provides a great Feed First feature that lets displays all the critical information about your operations, so that you can see them at a glance. To top it all off, this tool has the capability to integrate with multiple third-party applications like Zendesk, LeadExec, FinancialForce ERP, and more.

For pricing, Salesforce CRM offers different plans that range from $25/user/month to $300/user/month. These are bundled according to the types of functionalities you will be needing. In case you are still unsure about this software solution, you may choose to register for a demo from the vendor. You may sign up for a Salesforce CRM free trial here.

3. Freshsales

Freshsales is a cloud-hosted CRM software created to cater to the needs of small businesses, large enterprises, and everything in between. It is built to help marketers and sales teams keep track of contacts and manage leads. Using this platform, it is easier for users to prioritize opportunities as well as design more targeted marketing and sales strategies.

Freshsales allows users to get access to features such as advanced lead scoring, interactive pipeline management, behavior-based segmentation, and conversation tracking. It can also provide you with insights on different aspects of your operations as it includes revenue analytics, sales activity reports, trendline reports, territory reports, deal status tracking. The platform also has open API capabilities that allow it to blend seamlessly with almost any other software ecosystem.

Should you think that this platform is for you, Freshsales has a free forever plan for small businesses and startups. For larger marketing and sales teams, they offer paid plans according to the number of campaigns you intend on conducting in a month and the types of features you require for your operations. These range from $12/user/month to $79/user/month. To learn more, you can sign up for a Freshsales free trial here.

4. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a CRM software geared towards sales pipeline optimization. Created by sales professionals and seasoned app developers, this tool allows you to organize lead collection, speed up negotiations, and simplify sales management. Moreover, it offers in-depth insights about critical metrics such as agent performance, lead status, and conversion rate, making it easier to make better business decisions.

Some of the most significant Pipedrive features are its intuitive sales pipeline view, robust contact history tracking, custom goal setting and reporting, and multi-language and multi-currency support. The platform also has a powerful API functionality that allow it to integrate with a multitude of other business systems, third-party applications, and widgets.

As for pricing, Pipedrive is only available in three enterprise plans. Prices range from $15/user/month to $59/user/month, depending on the data storage you require and the number of functionalities you need. These may be billed monthly or annually depending on your preference. If you want to learn more about this platform, you may sign up for a Pipedrive free trial here.

5. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is web-based application designed to help marketers and sales professionals attract more customers and close more deals. As part of the popular Zoho productivity suite, this tool provides robust capabilities that let users grow their business by providing personable and quality customer service to clients and leads.

Primarily focusing on lead and contact management, Zoho CRM also offers a wide range of other CRM tools. Included in these are sales pipeline management, purchase control, lead generation, real-time forecasting, workflow management, and data management. It may also be integrated with your email, social media accounts, and Google apps for a more streamlined workflow. To learn more about what this platform has to offer, just sign up for a Zoho CRM free trial here.

Zoho CRM currently offers different subscription plans depending on the number of users you intend on enrolling in the system. For small groups of no more than 3 users, they have a free edition that includes all the basic functions of the system. For bigger teams, they have paid plans that cost $18/user/month to $100/user/month.

Conclusion

Attracting leads, accelerating conversions, and building strong client relations does not have to be complicated. Sometimes, it’s as simple as creating a solid inbound marketing strategy and inbound sales strategy for your business using a reputable CRM software. However, this is only one part of the equation. It is also pertinent that you implement the industry’s best practices. With this guide, we hope that you were able to get a better idea as to how you can use your CRM platform to its fullest potential and leverage its functions to improve your campaigns.  

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