Today we’re going to address two of these jumbles of letters—CRM and CMS—how they interact with, and complement each other, and ultimately, together, become an integral part of your sales and marketing arsenal to obtain, and keep customers.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Kind of self-explanatory (after you discover what the acronym stands for!), a CRM system analyzes data in order for your company to manage customer data gathered and allows you to interact with potential and current clients to further develop your relationships with them.
Sales Leads—Then, and Now
Before the internet, salespeople relied on phone calls and in-person meetings to develop a leads list. All sorts of opportunities slipped through the cracks due to:
- Unreliable contact information
- Forgotten follow-up calls
- Not being able to keep track of who said what in which meeting
- Salespeople overlapping or duplicating efforts in the lead generation phase
- No access to their leads list when a salesperson leaves
A CRM system allows all your salespeople to enter the information they used to spend hours entering customer information onto siloed spreadsheets (or napkins, in some cases!), into one centralized place on your company’s intranet. Anyone can input, access, update and view any record in the system to find out specific data about potential and existing customers. If the system is cloud-based, this information is available at your fingertips, on any of your connected mobile devices.
And as an added bonus, interactions and nuggets of information from customer meetings can be tracked and stored in your CRM system, and shared with colleagues. After all, you have a sales “team”—right? Your entire team will have available, literally at their fingertips:
- Phone calls made
- Emails sent
- Meetings scheduled
- Presentations delivered
- Customer preferences
- Past orders and purchases
- Next steps notes
The Power of Data
Don’t let the word “analytics” scare you when it comes to viewing and understanding the data that’s gathered in your CRM system. You don’t need the IQ of Einstein or need to recruit an IT interpreter. A CRM system worth its salt will provide you with invaluable information through visual, easy-to-read dashboards where you can select and customize the data you want pulled together on any particular contact in the system in order to best approach or reach out to that customer.
Since social media presence is a “must” for any business to stay competitive and visible in the digital marketplace today, your CRM system is also capable of compiling the social media behaviors of each contact in your system.
Content Management System (CMS)
Like a CRM gathers and helps manage customer data to help build better relationships with those customers, a CMS manages your company’s digital content that is distributed through your website.
Content Drives Conversations
A CMS application built into your website ensures that updates, additions and changes can easily be made by an internal content manager, rather than having to submit every web update to an external web designer/developer (which, in most cases, results in a website that stagnates with no updates applied for months, or even years).
It makes the most sense to have one individual be deemed as your company’s “Content Manager,” in order to ensure consistency of messaging and content style when something is changed and/or updated on your website. And these updates should happen on a consistent, ongoing basis. After all, nowadays, your company’s website is (and should be) the “hub” for your overall branding and marketing efforts.
Everyone on your team should be encouraged to contribute to updates, blogs, and other information that will provide valuable information through your website, to those who you want to target.
A CMS also allows you to incorporate a short contact form on your website, to obtain key information about people visiting your website. Don’t overload the form with too many questions (people are suspicious of giving too much information online to a company they are not familiar with or have not established a working relationship with yet). When a simple form that asks for name, email address, and a field to provide specific request details is filled out and sent, a prompt personalized follow-up email addressing/answering the specific details that was submitted. Voila—a bona fide “hot lead” to be acted on.
How CRM and CMS Work Together
A CMS on your website helps attract leads. A CRM manages those leads. Together, these valuable tools increase business, establish your company as a reputable source, and puts you at the top of your customer’s mind when they are looking for something that your company can provide.
Leads obtained from the contact form on your website are transferred from the CMS to the CRM. You then can review that lead, use the data from your CRM to analyze and determine if that lead is a good fit, and how best to take the next step and reach out to them.
Now that you understand the difference between CRM and CMS systems, it’s time to optimize each platform for your company’s specific needs. At Watermark, we follow best practices to create customized sites using the CMS system that best suits your needs, and help manage your CRM system to ensure that you’re getting the most benefit from your leads. For more information on how to migrate a site, download our comprehensive guide or contact us today to get started!