July 13, 2020

Using CRM Milestones for Better Customer Acquisition Marketing

If your company is focused on customer acquisition and has any type of lead generation strategy or sales cycle set in place, you already know the importance of customer relationship management systems (CRM). CRMs can not only manage existing customers. They also keep track of prospective clients in your marketing pipeline. If you use digital marketing strategies for customer acquisition, a well-run CRM can boost marketing efforts considerably.

There is one universal fact about customer management systems, regardless of the brand or system –– if garbage goes in, garbage comes out. In fact, many companies experience a poor return on investment from their CRMs. That’s usually because they simply aren’t tracking the right project milestones in the system. However, with a deeper understanding of your acquisition process and close attention to detail, you can make the most of your business’s customer relationship management software. And maybe give your digital marketing strategy a little boost. 

Why CRM milestones are important for your acquisition strategy

Tracking whether or not a prospect becomes a customer is the main objective of many businesses using a CRM. In fact, our digital marketing agency has seen several cases in which businesses only recorded milestones in a CRM that included “closed” or “lost” customers. 

At Statwax, we regularly use digital marketing CRM milestones in several ways. These touchpoints can determine if a new lead is more likely to move to the next stage in your acquisition pipeline. Milestones can also be used to feed information into digital marketing platforms. There, they can be used to optimize for post-lead outcomes and to automate lead-scoring processes. 

Milestones that illustrate the prospect nurturing path are vital to understanding what marketing touchpoints make a prospect most likely to close. It’s critical to see how many leads are contacted and the amount of time that process takes. With that information, you can’t evaluate the efficiency of your customer acquisition methods. Recording individual, post-lead CRM project milestones is the key to accurately showing the customer journey.

Be specific when recording the initial lead

Many CRM software systems will automatically record prospects as a lead or new opportunity. However, the best systems take this one step further and include multiple milestones associated with a new lead. 

Your website may have several acquisition opportunities. These can include everything from encouraging users to schedule a demo to download a whitepaper. By default, a customer relationship management system may mark each interaction as a new opportunity. But, to properly uncover how prospects become customers, you need to evaluate based on the type of lead. 

You will want to split each of your lead capture opportunities into separate groups of new prospects within your CRM platform. You can use automated CRM tools to then assign the prospective customers to sales representatives. With this setup, you can look back and determine which of your digital marketing tactics made a stronger impact on a potential client. 

Match the sales journey

As a good rule of thumb, any touchpoint a prospect has encountered with your company should be marked in your CRM software as a project milestone. The more details captured in your CRM system, the more you can evaluate which touchpoints are currently working well. This information can also help determine which digital marketing tactics should be optimized. For example, if every prospect must view a demo at some point during the customer journey, make sure “demo scheduled” and “demo completed” are recorded. If a pricing discussion takes place before any agreements are set, include “pricing discussion” as a project milestone. The options for CRM customization are endless and are unique to each business.

Record the time between each milestone

No matter if you have two or 200 milestones recorded in your customer management system, you should always mark when those milestones occur. Many CRM software systems will do this automatically. However, you may have to manually set rules to make sure those timestamps are recorded.

By using your existing customers as a baseline, you can then establish how much time prospects should spend at a particular project milestone before moving forward. You can eventually pull a list of prospects for each milestone. You can then analyze the average time a prospect took to move from one marketing touchpoint the next. This helps clue you into which prospects may be higher quality. In addition, you can see where inefficiencies are developing along the sales process. This will tell you which touchpoints are helping eventual customers move faster toward conversion.

The endless customization options can be both the beauty and the trouble of a customer relationship management system. You can capture countless milestones and information fields in your CRM. But if you don’t know how to use them to improve your customer acquisition process, the data is meaningless. By starting with these basics and analyzing your main digital marketing milestones, you can begin honing your post-lead strategy. 

Looking for more ways to use the data from your CRM software to increase customer acquisition? Talk to our digital marketing experts today.

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