A common feature many business leaders ask us for in our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is for all emails to get converted into enquiries automatically.
If you’re a business leader who sifts through hundreds of emails each day, this is a valid expectation. After all, who doesn’t want their (and their people’s) lives to be easier and for things to move faster?
But does valid also mean viable? Let’s discuss three problems that occur if all your emails get converted into enquiries in your CRM tool.
Problem #1. Irrelevant enquiries.
Let’s be honest. How many emails that you receive are deals worth pursuing? How many are irrelevant? And how many are not enquiries at all?
If you’re like most leaders, the majority of your emails are not enquiries but FYI emails, trail mails, and irrelevant enquiries. Around 30% are relevant.
This means that out of 100 emails, while 30 get converted into enquiries worth pursuing, 70 are irrelevant. Someone from your team will need to scan all 100 deals in the CRM, retain the 30 relevant ones and delete the other 70.
Does this sound like a good investment of resources?
Problem #2. Spam.
Many leaders believe that a simple way to avoid the above problem is to create a new email address dedicated to enquiries. In theory, that’s a sensible step. But here’s how it translates in practice:
You share your email address in your marketing material, on third-party portals and your website, and your individual customers. Now the world has access to your email address and contact form. And you get peppered with spam. According to research, about 14.5 billion spam emails get sent every day.
Spam doesn’t just include emails from the prince of an unknown country congratulating you for winning 10 million dollars and asking for your bank account details. It also includes unsolicited cold emails pitching products and services you don’t need.
Is this waste of time and energy worth it?
Problem #3. Cost effectiveness.
Electric Vehicles (EV) are the way forward. They’ll use sustainable energy and also be self-driven. Yet, the technology is too expensive for most car buyers today. As adoption grows and technology improves, prices will fall. But that’s some distance away.
Just like that, a CRM tool that can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to crawl emails and distinguish between enquiries and the rest, is on the cards. But its affordability is a question mark, especially for the SME sector.
5 Best Practices to Collect Enquiries in Your CRM
We’ve written about how to use CRM tools effectively here. Five more proven best practices to capture useful enquiries in your CRM software are as follows:
1. Target Relevant Platforms
Identify the platforms and techniques that generate maximum qualified leads for your business. They could include cold calls, specific third party portals, online ads and so on. Focus on them and reduce your resources on the less effective ones.
This will not only get you better return on investment but also reduce the number of irrelevant emails. Less emails means less clutter and more time to pursue existing leads . That’s a win-win!
2. Tag your leads
The most common reason why businesses cannot identify the platforms that generate good results is that they don’t tag the sources of their leads – exhibitions, cold calls, social media, referrals, and so on. Why? Sheer laziness!
If you want your business to enjoy the results mentioned above (better marketing RoI, less clutter), it’s important to tag the source for every lead, relevant and irrelevant alike.
3. Create a Separate Folder
Create a folder and set rules in your email client for all enquiry emails go into it. Also educate your tele-calling or sales team to move such emails which they find in the primary email account into this folder. Then your people can individually check emails and enter them as leads into the CRM tool.
This sounds like more work. But trust us, it’s simpler and less time consuming than deleting tons of useless emails. Also, this exercise will make your CRM tool show an accurate sales forecast figure.
4. Flush Your Funnel
Your sales team will try to sell your products to customers who don’t need them. This sounds appealing because it generates short-term revenue. But it’s a drain on your business because:
a. It takes long to convince such customers to buy from you, leading to a longer sales cycle.
b. Such customers do not become repeat buyers or share referrals, meaning they’re as good as dead weight.
This is why leaders must monitor whether their people flush the funnel to clear out irrelevant leads. Otherwise the sales funnel always looks full but revenue funnel remains empty.
5. Use Feedback to Refine
Your salespeople are closest to the ground. Collect feedback from them to understand how your strong your processes are. What was the quality of the leads they interacted with? Also understand which products appeal to customers more? How many interactions were needed to close a deal?
When you enter all this data in your CRM tool, you can get insightful reports on the health of your business. When people provide feedback, you can refine your target audience, shorten your customer buying cycle, and improve effectiveness and accountability of your sales team.
What practices do you follow to collect relevant leads and optimize them? Do leave a comment. We would love to hear from you.