Overcoming Marketing Challenges & Getting To The Marketer’s Money Metric

Digital Marketing ChallengesSoftware Advice, an online reviews firm, recently surveyed 125 marketers to find out what kind of results they get from their campaigns.

The survey found that almost 70% of campaigns are web-based. This is not surprising. The three most popular types of campaigns are social media ads, internet ads and email blasts.

What is somewhat surprising is that inbound marketing and drip marketing were the two least popular campaigns. This may be in part due to the fact that both of these are thought to be more of a series of ongoing efforts than an identifiable campaign such as “July Email Blast”.

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Lead Enrichment for CRM: The Benefits of Big Data

CRM Lead EnrichmentThere has always been a tradeoff between how much information a website visitor is asked for when they fill in a form and the likelihood of the site visitor actually submitting the form or “converting” in marketing speak.

In general, the fewer fields that a site visitor is asked to fill in, the higher the visitor-to-lead conversion rate. So, how can you ask visitors for less information on your landing pages and other places that your forms live — and then make up for more scant visitor-supplied data after the fact? For that matter, how can you enrich leads regardless of the source?

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CRM Industry Analyst Quadrants, Matrices, Grids and Quarter Circles

CRM Industry Analyst VisualizationWhile there are hundreds of industry analyst firms worldwide, a handful are well known for their CRM industry analysis and visualizations.

Each CRM industry analyst company takes a different approach to visually representing the CRM market leaders, laggards and tweeners.

Industry analysts’ high level visualizations, along with an accompanying narrative and report, can help a given company determine which CRM vendors should be on their shortlist.

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Toxic Backlinks: What Are They And Why Should Marketers Care?

Toxic BacklinksToxic backlinks are links from sites that can weaken your website’s SEO. Weaker SEO means fewer organic visitors. Fewer organic visitors can mean fewer leads for your sales team.

Toxic backlinks can happen organically, or they can be the result of previous less-than-white-hat backlinking efforts.

What Makes a Backlink Toxic?

There are many factors that can increase the toxicity of a backlink. Here are just a few.

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Zoho CRM Plus – Should It Be On Your Shortlist?

Zoho CRM PlusThis past week, I attended the first day of Zoho’s 2017 Zoholics Sales & Marketing Conference to learn more about the company, its applications and leadership’s vision.

As a company that provides CRM strategy and selection services, we are always keeping our eye out for potential shortlist candidates for companies that are considering a new CRM system.

CRM Switch works with our customers to determine which CRM vendors should be on the shortlist, based on the requirements that we’ve jointly gathered, assembled and prioritized.

Most of the companies that engage us have moderately to highly sophisticated business requirements. As such, the shortlist vendors that we collaboratively decide on need to have a set of key capabilities within their offerings. Among these are:

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CRM Mapping Software: A Wide Range of Options

CRM Mapping SoftwareThe ability to visualize prospect and customer address information along with firmographics and revenue data can be an important CRM adoption factor for salespeople.

For example, when a salesperson is planning a trip to a part of their territory, they can benefit from being able to visualize the highest revenue accounts within an area.

Trip planning is the classic use case for CRM data mapping, but new use cases continue to evolve with the convergence of mobile, GPS, CRM and mapping software vendor growth.

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Data Driven Marketing: What B2B Digital Marketers Can Measure (With the Help of Salespeople)

Data Driven MarketingIn the days before digital marketing, it was difficult for marketers to correlate specific marketing efforts with specific revenue outcomes. Marketing was more of a “spray and pray” proposition than it is today.

In a data driven marketing world, there are a variety of tools available to marketers that can help them to understand the paths to revenue that are working best.

Ultimately, a data driven marketer should be able understand which of the flows through the marketing and sales funnel are resulting in the most revenue.

Read moreData Driven Marketing: What B2B Digital Marketers Can Measure (With the Help of Salespeople)

Two More CRM Vendors Select Their Marketing Automation Dance Partners

CRM Marketing Automation Dance Partners

It’s not a big surprise to industry observers that most of the major CRM and marketing automation vendors would pair up at some point. With two recent partnership announcements, there remains only one noticeable holdout.

Infor CRM and Marketo

Last week, Infor (which owns what was formerly branded “SalesLogix”) announced a partnership with Marketo. This likely means an abrupt end to the informal partnership that Infor had with SalesFUSION.

Read moreTwo More CRM Vendors Select Their Marketing Automation Dance Partners

CRM Lead: How Do I Disqualify Thee? Let Me Count The Ways

CRM Lead DisqualificationExecuted correctly, inbound marketing efforts can create a flow of quality CRM leads for salespeople to follow up with.

Inbound marketing leads are of much higher quality than, say, a list of visitors to a trade show booth. However, there are still going to be a percentage of leads that some salespeople affectionately refer to as “crap”.

A crap or bad lead should be marked as Disqualified in CRM. Although, since salespeople are among the less compliant CRM users, a bad lead can sometimes be left in an Open or New state indefinitely.

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Low CRM Adoption by Salespeople: The Quest for a Cure

Cure for low CRM adoptionCRM adoption by salespeople is generally better than it was in the era when client/server systems dominated.

The advent of cloud-based CRM systems made it easier for salespeople to access customer and prospect information from anywhere and from any device. Mobile device access has continued to improve over time.

However, the world continues to ring with complaints about CRM under-adoption. While salespeople are not the only culprits, they are the most oft-mentioned offenders.

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6 Levels of CRM Expenses

Six Levels of CRM ExpensesThe cost of a CRM subscription is not the only component of CRM expense. In fact, depending on the size of an organization and/or the complexity of requirements, there can be at least six different levels of CRM expenses.

Below is a chart and an associated table of CRM related expenses over a three year period for a hypothetical company with 50 CRM users. The chart and table are embedded from this spreadsheet. Feel free to save this as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or to make a copy in Google Sheets. From there, you can plug in your own user count and assumed per user costs.

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Our Most Popular CRM Content of 2016

2016 CRM ContentCRM Switch is not a media company or a product review site. We are a CRM and marketing technology planning and strategy company. However, because of ongoing CRM content development efforts, we had over 200,000 visitors to our blog in 2016.

Several years ago, I took marketing thought leader David Meerman Scott’s “think like a publisher” advice to heart and started writing about CRM topics on this blog.

Read moreOur Most Popular CRM Content of 2016

CRM Company Headquarter Locations – A World Map

CRM Company HeadquartersIn a flat world, does it matter to a CRM buyer where a CRM company is headquartered?

Generally not. However, there are cases in which the location of a CRM company can influence a CRM buying decision.

An emerging brand is often better marketed in its local area than in others. A small business owner in St. Louis is far more likely to have heard of Less Annoying Software than a small business owner in Seattle. Conversely, someone in Seattle is more like to have heard about PipelineDeals than someone in St. Louis.

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8 Reasons Why You Should Never Develop a CRM RFP

CRM RFPTraditionally, the RFI/RFP process has served to help buyers at companies understand important feature/functionality differences between multiple vendor solutions, so that a large group of potential vendors can be whittled down to a short list. An RFP can also represent an initial round of vendor scoring. RFPs have even been used to disqualify vendors early on.

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What Do CRM Professional Services Cost?

CRM Professional Services CostCRM user license costs are only part of the initial cost of a CRM system. Another cost is CRM professional services.

Some companies make the decision to self-implement their CRM system. This is usually because there are people in-house who provide a combination of CRM-related business analysis experience and the right level of technical aptitude to manage tasks ranging from system configuration to data migration.

Many companies look to third parties to perform some or all of their CRM implementation. Unlike the cost of CRM user licenses, the cost of CRM services is not based on straightforward unit pricing.

In fact, there is a very large range in what organizations pay for CRM professional services. Some companies use CRM with only some minor changes to the systems’ out of the box configuration. Other companies consolidate functionality from multiple legacy database systems into their CRM system and develop custom integrations. These companies can end up spending well into five figures over the course of time.

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Sales and Marketing Synergy: How Can it Be Achieved?

Sales and Marketing SynergySales and marketing synergy is an often covered media topic and is often discussed within organizations.

Over the years, sales and marketing departments at many companies have been at odds with one another. In some organizations, the relationship between marketing and sales is downright contentious, with each complaining about the other behind the others’ back.

It’s a well-documented problem. In fact, many people have written about the need to break down “the wall” between sales and marketing.

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Technology Evaluation: Should It Be a Technological Exercise?

Technology Evaluation Hammer and NailERP, CRM, Martech, Intranet, LMS and eCommerce are some of the technology categories commonly associated with a formal technology evaluation process.

A thorough technology evaluation is often an in-house effort, but many companies contract with third parties for assistance with an evaluation.

Why do some companies bring in a third party? They may not have the inclination to do the requisite staff interviews. They may not have time to research the market for a short list of potential solutions.

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8 CRM Administration Best Practices

CRM AdministrationWith the prolific adoption of CRM systems over the last several years, there has been an ever-increasing need to find qualified people to take on CRM administration duties.

For larger organizations, “CRM Administrator” is often a full time job. For smaller companies, CRM administration can be one of many areas of responsibility for the person assigned to the role.

In either case, CRM administration can be a new set of responsibilities for many people. Here are eight best practices to consider for anyone who is new to the role.

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5 Reasons to Define Your CRM Requirements First

CRM Requirements FirstIn the CRM purchasing process, a common sequence of events for CRM buyers is to first go through a round of vendor demos and to then decide on and commit to a specific CRM vendor. After the purchase of the CRM system, the next step is to go through the exercise of defining detailed CRM requirements. Finally, a CRM implementation is performed based on those defined requirements.

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