Marketers have a number of roles to play but the most important one is to manage leads. The journey begins with identifying prospects and leads, and ensuring that they become customers. Once they become your customers, your next responsibility is to ensure that they refer your business to their network so that your clientele grows. Whether you are managing all your leads on an excel sheet or on an advanced CRM, you are probably still mismanaging your B2B marketing database. You might also be losing out on opportunities because your databases are neither accessible nor updated accurately.
In this article, let us take a look at four ways you can to manage your B2B marketing database better.
1. Invest in a CRM that matches your needs
According to the CIO magazine, one-third of all CRM installations fail, while the Harvard Business Report has drearier figures. The main reason why CRM implementation fails is due to the fact that businesses do not invest in the tool that uniquely solves their needs. CRM tools are diverse and need to be customized before implementing to ensure that they are suited for a particular business. Installing a CRM tool across an organization without considering various ramifications is definitely going to result in failure.
To avoid failures, make sure to:
- Understand your business’ unique customer database needs
- Choose a CRM that can be customized for your unique needs
- Whether you need a complete CRM solution at all, and if just a few modules are enough
- Have a contingency plan to manage your marketing database in case your CRM fails
- Invest in CRM training for your employees
2. Audit and clean your database
Much of customer data that marketers store is unstructured and needs to be cleaned and verified before using. A couple of years ago, the New York Times reported that data scientists spend close to 80% of their time trying to prepare unruly digital data for further analysis. While implementing CRM successfully is a tough task, the database you migrate to your new CRM needs to be audited for errors, redundancies and duplication as well. A number of businesses simply migrate old marketing databases onto a new CRM, without giving much thought.
Few things to remember:
- A database that is not cleansed and updated is not going to help you in your marketing initiatives
- If you find data cleaning arduous and painstaking, you can hire an external agency to assist you
- Cleansed data is easier to derive insights from
- Marketing databases fed to CRMs need to be updated and revised almost constantly
3. Classify and segment your database
Cleaning and updating database is just one part of making your customer data ready for analysis or campaigns. Before you begin to use your database, it needs to be segmented into lists based on various parameters. You can segment your leads based on their income, job title, location, buying preferences, and just about any other parameter that you may think will be useful for your campaigns. Another way of segmenting your list is based on their interest level. Segment your leads into Inquiries, Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), Sales Accepted Lead (SAL), Customer and finally, Advocate.
A few things to remember:
- Database is always easier to process when segmented into lists
- Create lists based on various unique parameters relevant to your business
- Segment your leads based on their position in the buyer’s journey as well
- Create message campaigns based on these lists
4. Put your database into use
Now that you have a cleansed and segmented database ready to use, it is now time to put your marketing database to work. Start with email marketing campaigns that are targeted at your audience, neatly customizing messages based on where they are in their buyer’s journey. Lead nurturing campaigns on social media and elsewhere can help you convert those on your marketing database into actual paying customers. Finally, use your marketing database to identify which of your customers would be ready to advocate your brand.
To make your marketing database work
- Build campaigns based on different segments you have already created
- Continuously update customer database based on their evolution along the buyer’s journey
- Use your marketing database to provide top-notch customer service
- Continue to clean your marketing database on an on-going basis or get external help to do so
Marketing database needs to be updated and cleaned regularly
As you can see, marketing database needs constant work for it to be relevant and usable. Investing in an expensive CRM is just not going to fetch you the desired results unless you work on your customer databases. To make your marketing databases and CRM more efficient, start with cleaning and auditing your existing database. Next, make sure to segment your database into lists based on various parameters. Finally, put your database into use by creating customized campaigns along the buyers’ journey. If you would like to get help cleaning your database or segmenting it, contact us today.