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Kai Prime

10-Step Guide to Boosting Growth for Business With a CRM in 2022

In This Article

  • Boosting Growth for Business With a CRM: Introduction
  • Our 10-Step Guide to Boosting Growth for Business With a CRM in 2022
    1. Understand Your Customer’s Journey to Boost Growth in Your Business
    2. Humanise Your Brand, Grow Your Business
    3. Personalisation and PRM—Attention Boosts Growth for Business
    4. Lean Into Video to Grow Your Business
    5. Email Marketing Isn’t Dead—It Helps You Grow Your Business
    6. Segmenting and Targeting
    7. Focus on Customer Retention
    8. Reviews Help Your Business Grow With Trust
    9. Automate In Your CRM—Correctly
    10. Social Media is Still Important for Business Growth
  • Boosting Growth for Business With a CRM: Conclusion

Boosting Growth for Business With a CRM: Introduction

It’s a busy time for the business world as we get back on our feet, no matter what industry you’re in. With 2022 being a year of ‘re-balancing’, there are now opportunities for business growth.

CRMs are instrumental to your sales process, giving you both a real-time and a long-term overview of your progress with your contacts. But they also do so much more; your CRM is your first point of contact for all your marketing efforts, your monitoring and reporting, and your listening. If you utilise your CRM to work with you in all of these areas, you can achieve some great results: brilliant customer communication, increased engagement, and more sales opportunities—leading to a boost in growth for business.

We’ll take you through our comprehensive guide to make the most out of your CRM, so you can keep up to date and on the ball—and catapult your business towards new heights.

Our 10-Step Guide to Boosting Growth for Business With a CRM in 2022

1. Understand Your Customer’s Journey to Boost Growth in Your Business

Ultimately, CRMs give your business the chance to really get connected to the journey your customers go on. The way you nurture your prospects should be guided by them: their own needs, their interests, and how much they want to be contacted. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a sales process in place—it just means what you say to them will change depending on what they’re engaging with.

More businesses than ever are using a CRM to understand their customers, but ultimately, this is a point worth repeating, because a CRM will only work if it’s a right fit for your business. If you’re not, or can’t, utilise the tools to help you monitor, engage and nurture your prospects—such as reporting, customer service and sales pipelines—then you’re not making the most of your tools, or your prospects.

Understanding your prospects is key. It always will be. So the first, and most vital, step to growing your business is understanding the prospects that underpin your entire business model. You can only grow if you’ve got people on board.

2. Humanise Your Brand, Grow Your Business

In a digital world, it can be easy to feel quite removed from the people your business is engaged with. Those people—from your business, to suppliers, to customers, to curious outsiders—are everywhere, and they’re human too. But—especially during the pandemic—a lack of face-to-face interaction and the transference of communication to email and social media, for example, can make it tempting to hide behind a brand, a name, and not engage.

Except—customers don’t appreciate that. People want to be treated like a person—82% of consumers, in fact (source: Salesforce). 58% of consumers say human-like communications would raise their likelihood of making a purchase or using a brand’s service. This is because of the old adage: people buy from people. Customers and prospects feel locked out if there’s no authenticity or feeling behind the interactions they’re getting from you. The more transparent you are, and the more willing you are to tell a story, the more you’re going to get positive interactions. And these positive interactions will lead, with the right nurturing, into sales.

Keep an Eye on Your Humanity

On a related note, consumers expect more of business than they did ten years ago. They know there are people running the business, and they expect you to have values. Staying quiet on issues and values can be seen as cold; and more consumers than ever choose brands based on shared values. CRMs can keep you informed on whether this is a priority for certain contacts, and if this information you can employ in your customer communications.

Your CRM can help you keep an eye on how much humanity you’re putting into your marketing. Tracking your contact with your prospects can give you an overview of when a human has interacted with the prospect. Too little human interaction will put them off, so it can help you fine-tune your responses—by giving them a follow up call, for example. Or, you might decide to add your name to your emails more often, instead of the general company sign-off, and you might see more engagement as a result. These are decisions you can make that are informed by your prospects and their need to interact with humans, facilitated by those reports in your CRM.

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Jason Goodman on Unsplash

3. Personalisation and PRM - Attention Boosts Growth for Business

Personalisation

Personalised marketing has exploded into the forefront of marketing strategies, particularly within communications such as email marketing. This only continues to get more crucial to customer interactions.

As popcorn founder and marketing expert Simon Washbrook says: ‘An anonymous database means nothing.’ You don’t get anything out of numbers or an email address. You don’t get who these people are, what they want and why they’d be interested in you. In the same vein, your prospects won’t get anything out of you, either. To them, you’re just a faceless company, removed and unbothered by the prospect’s curiosity in your product/service. 

A CRM naturally encourages personalisation, because it puts your contacts front and centre. That allows any marketing you do to have names attached onto it—to have people receiving the benefits at the other end of the conversation. But you can take this a step further by deliberately refining your marketing towards a person based on their previous activity. From your CRM, you can get a full picture of your prospect’s engagement, so you can tailor your service to them, and get more positive engagement as a result.

At the core of it, personalisation is just about individualisation. Prospects won’t trust you if they know you see them as a number. And if there’s no trust, there’s no business. It’s really as simple as that.

PRM NOW

Bringing a new approach to the forefront of your marketing can help you crack the equation to getting better lead generation rates, and consequently increasing your growth as a business. We’ve called this approach PRM NOW, highlighting how prospect relationship management can be done as soon as possible—i.e. with your leads, not just your prospects.

This means increased, sustained and personalised attention on each of your leads, and this is facilitated by your CRM. Having so much visibility on each of your contacts’ activities will give you a strong foundation on which to build a more attentive relationship. PRM NOW promises your leads a genuine interest in their contributions to your communications, so they expect good customer service, and in return are more likely to be loyal advocates of your company. If you go a step further, as PRM NOW advocates, and implement their feedback into your business, 77% of customers will be even more loyal to your brand (source: Microsoft). That means good reviews, increased business, and positive word-of-mouth interactions.

PRM NOW encourages this from the offset. This means you and your lead will be able to see the benefits of your exchange from the start, and will encourage them to consider you as a real candidate for their custom. For the effort you put in, you get a lot of business out of it, helping your growth for business.

4. Lean Into Video to Grow Your Business

The explosion in video usage online is a widely known phenomenon, touching all areas of life—including marketing. 86% of companies said they employed videos as a marketing tool across their business in 2021, and with the rise of social media apps such as TikTok, this trend is only set to grow. Simply: if you haven’t started using videos in your marketing, start now—better late than never!

Again, videos are a vital piece of content that have the added benefit of being accessible in virtually every type of marketing possible. They can be inserted into your website, your social media posts, your email marketing. If you’re using platforms such as YouTube, they can provide another avenue for clickthroughs to your business. They are already seen as critical to content strategies by 93% of businesses, and continue to be effective at establishing businesses as knowledgeable and trustworthy.

Monitoring video consumption in your CRM can provide excellent insights into what’s engaging your contacts, and where to go next. CRMs like popcorn connect your contact with their activity, so instead of just seeing a general overview of how many times a video was clicked on in an email, you’ll be able to see who clicked on a video, where they found it, and where it took them next. 

This is valuable information for refining your marketing, both in sales follow ups and in your future content strategy. You’ll be able to pinpoint who’s engaging and on which videos, which is something you can talk about with them at a later stage when you’re picking up the phone to follow up. That level of engagement will always be appreciated by a prospect, and cements you further as a candidate for their custom.

5. Email Marketing Isn’t Dead—It Helps You Grow Your Business

You might’ve heard in the past that email marketing is dead—but don’t pay any attention. Email marketing is still one of the strongest avenues of marketing businesses can take advantage of—and, 29% of marketers agree, compared to 25% for content marketing. Consistently, email is the preferred source to feed into other aspects of your marketing, such as landing pages and website visits.

CRMs that feed into your email marketing—such as popcorn—provide valuable insights into your reporting, which can drive better decisions. As long as you concentrate not on vanity measures but the measures that matter (such as clickthroughs and bounce rates), you can glean a lot of valuable information about what your contacts are enjoying, and what they’re ignoring.

With over 300 billion emails being sent a day, you want to face the challenge of standing out from the crowd head-on. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is meeting your audience where they’re at—and when.

You don’t have to worry about age demographics: email is popular regardless of generation. 92% of Gen X use email, the biggest chunk by far, but 89% of Millennials use email, which becomes 85% for Gen Z (Marketing Profs).

96% of consumers check their emails daily (Email is Not Dead), and just over 4 out of 10 consumers are using their smartphones to check their emails (HubSpot)—taking over web applications for the first time in 2021. This trend is only set to grow, as Gen Z, famously the most smartphone-reliant generation, continue to age up into marketable audiences. This means optimising your emails for mobile isn’t just helpful, but imperative. If your customers can’t read your email properly, they’re not going to bother with you.

When's the Best Time to Send Emails?

But what about sending times? Of course, this varies depending on your business. Whilst there are guidelines out there, the best evidence you’re going to get is from your own results! This is why having a CRM with in-built email marketing tools will encourage your business growth, because you’ll see in real-time how effective your email marketing efforts have been.

Using your CRM to test and measure your emails will ensure you get the right emails to the right people, at the right time. With these insights, you’ll stand a much better chance at meeting your prospect where they want to be met, which will translate into increased, sustained engagement; and better conversation rates; and more growth.

orange and white @ sign leaning against wall for growth for business article
Onlineprinters on Unsplash

6. Segmenting and Targeting

One of the best aspects of a CRM is the ability to segment contacts depending on the information you’ve got on them. For example, in popcorn, segmenting can be driven by the tags you give a contact, meaning you can segment by more niche tags as well as the standard filter you’d expect. Your ability to divide your database into groups like this gives you the ability to refine your communications whenever it’s needed.

Segmenting is an effective tool when it comes to targeting your prospects based on who they are and the marketing they’ll benefit from—and it’s an essential tool for tailoring your outreach. Going hand in hand with personalisation, people expect a tailored service from the businesses they engage with: 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that offers a tailored experience!

Your successful engagement with prospects across multiple channels will be in part due to how easily you can segment your marketing to bring that tailored experience. Your communication with that prospect will be unique; they’ll react differently to your efforts. What matters is your ability to accommodate for this, whether through adjustable sales pipelines, email campaigns, or testing and measure through the reporting in your CRM. After all, if you can’t adjust, then you won’t be able to listen to what your prospects need—and one of the things they need most is the impression that you really care about them.

7. Focus on Customer Retention

Customer Retention vs Customer Acquisition

With many businesses having to hunker down through the pandemic, it makes sense that customer retention would be at the forefront of a business’ mind. But improving your customer retention has always been a successful strategy, regardless of worldwide events. In 2020, existing customers made up 65% of businesses’ trade. For this, you have the probability of 60-70% if selling to an existing customer. For a new prospect? It’s only 5-20%. (Source: Forbes)

It seems counter-intuitive to say that focusing on what you’ve already got can help you grow. But the truth is, if you’re not concentrating enough on your existing customers, you could potentially be losing out on more sales opportunities. Plus, it’s seven times more expensive to convince a new lead to buy from you than it is an existing customer. Already, by shifting your focus to more customer retention, you’re saving yourself money that can be plugged into helping your business grow.

Loyalty

Loyalty is the gift that keeps on giving for businesses, but this isn’t without some effort on your behalf. 23.5% of customers will leave if your customer service isn’t up to scratch (source: Yopto)—of course, it only takes one bad experience to make the taste of your business turn sour. 

CRMs can be a key way to prevent this happening, because you can keep up to date with your customer even after the sale. Asking for feedback and providing the right engagement through your marketing channels (such as email marketing) can show them you’re still interested in their investment in your business. Continuing to monitor and engage with your customers through your CRM will ensure you can nip any bad experience in the bud, and nurture them enough to encourage another sale when the time comes.

Loyalty programmes are a fantastic method for customer retention, which you can also track in your CRM. Check out our article on loyalty programmes here.

8. Reviews Help Your Business Grow With Trust

Reviews are one of the most effective ways of promoting your business—and having your business promoted by others. Review engagement was up 50% from pre-pandemic levels, meaning that people are taking more time than ever to consider other consumers’ experiences before choosing to engage with a business.

Review management is also a growing expectation, which means it’s becoming even more important to be on the ball about where your reviews are going. As it stands, the priority is Google, with Yelp, Facebook and Tripadvisor rounding out the top 4. This means having the right information and a quick response rate are becoming vital.

That’s a task on top of tasks, especially if you don’t do that already. If this is you, you wouldn’t be alone—businesses are typically slow to respond to reviews—but customers want responses anyway. Though 53% customers expected a reply to their negative review in a week, 63% of customers said that businesses never got back to them. Letting bad reviews linger can curtail good business, with 94% of responders saying that seeing a bad review has put them off engaging with a company. (Source: ReviewTrackers)

So how can you stay on top of reviews? Simply—by encouraging leaving a review as part of the customer journey. Your CRM can help you add this into your sales process, especially if you add this as a new step in your sales pipeline. You can also embed this into your email marketing and social media channels. If your CRM can review the activity that comes from either of these channels, such as in popcorn, you’ll be able to monitor where the reviews are coming from, and who’s leaving them.

silver imac with monitor that says in white text 'do more' with silver keyboard on wooden desk for growth for business article
Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

9. Automate in Your CRM - Correctly

Automation is rapidly becoming a more popular tool for businesses, due to the ease that it provides for users. In fact, 51% of businesses used marketing automation in 2021, in a trend that looks likely to increase—and 40% of B2B companies are looking to adopt the technology.

The benefits of automation are obvious: less on your mind, less admin tasks, which means more time to concentrate on other things. But automation needs to be used in moderation, and this moderation is entirely dependent on your business. Corporations and enterprises will have to use a lot of automation by default, simply because they have so many processes going at once that automating some of them is essential just to function. For SMEs, however, this will not be the case. There’s no need to automate processes that aren’t even there. In this case, SMEs, you need to make sure you’ve got the right size of CRM, so you don’t overcomplicate matters.

There is also the danger of getting the balance between automation and human service wrong. Harking back to our previous point, consumers can tell when there’s no person on the other side, and feeling removed from the process will not warm them to your company. 

There is a balance you can achieve, between human and helpful. Again, this is dependent on your business. But test and measure, and when you find the right level, this will free up your time to concentrate on other parts of your business. With this new direction, you can throw that effort into helping other parts of your business grow, and positively impact growth across your business as a result.

10. Social Media Is Still Important for Business Growth

Organic or Paid?

Social media users increased by 8.6% in the United Kingdom between 2021 and 2022—increasing by 4.6 million in a year. 

People are on social media. They are using social media for many things, but 28% of people reported using social media for brand research too. That means there’s an audience out there, if you know how to reach it.

Because organic reach, in a very, very saturated space, is getting increasingly difficult, businesses are finding better success in paid advertising. Employing paid advertising will help you drive traffic to the places you want your audience to go, which you can then add to your CRM and monitor as they begin the journey towards becoming a customer.

Organic or Paid?

Social media users increased by 8.6% in the United Kingdom between 2021 and 2022—increasing by 4.6 million in a year. 

People are on social media. They are using social media for many things, but 28% of people reported using social media for brand research too. That means there’s an audience out there, if you know how to reach it.

Because organic reach, in a very, very saturated space, is getting increasingly difficult, businesses are finding better success in paid advertising. Employing paid advertising will help you drive traffic to the places you want your audience to go, which you can then add to your CRM and monitor as they begin the journey towards becoming a customer.

Boosting Growth for Business With a CRM: Conclusion

CRMs are instrumental in boosting growth for business. As long as you use your CRM properly—monitoring your prospects’ activities, collecting information and understanding where you need to go next—the potential for your business to grow is boundless. What consumers crave, especially after a pandemic, is a presence: they want to know you’re interested, and that if they keep their curiosity they’ll get a reward from the engagement too. CRMs therefore help you achieve this, keeping you present to the prospect whilst also not letting you lose sight of what—or who—is important. With lead generation and customer acquisition firmly managed by a CRM, you’ll give yourself the time, effort and resources to concentrate on other parts of your business—freeing you to nurture growth throughout your business. 

How does popcorn’s CRM help you identify areas to boost your growth? You can check out a breakdown of our CRM tool here.

Enjoyed this post? Comment below or read through our blog for more lead management and CRM tips, especially for small businesses.

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