Marketing – Truly the Last Bastion of CRM Opportunity?

The weird thing about CRM, is that it is usually best used in the sales processes that occur BEFORE a person becomes your customer. Lead funnels, pipeline management, etc.

And what department is at the forefront of bringing in customers?

Marketing.

Yet, most CRM tools are used only by sales agents or customer support reps. Marketers have gotten a free pass when ti comes to CRM for a while. A lot of that is changing. Tools exist that automate some processes and better track spend, but until recently many marketers couldn’t tell you what promotions or activities resulted in sales and which were junk.

Want proof?  A new study shows that marketers stink at CRM.  The study found that marketers can generate leads, but fail when it comes to actually doing something profitable with new customers and their data.

SugarCRM has aimed to address this type of data issue for some time. From ROI reports for each campaign, to multi-channel closed loop marketing, the idea has always been to keep track of 1. How you get your customers 2. What they react favorably to and 3. Identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities. A strong CRM platform acting as a system of record makes this type of scenario pretty easy to attain,. The data is all there – the marketers just need to use it.

I think we are still in a “learning curve” situation with marketers. Just as sales agents resisted CRM software in the 1990s, some marketers fear being held accountable for what was considered a very inexact science. The culture change may take time, but top-down mandates to marketing to use the CRM systems in profitable ways will effect long term change, and help create more streamlined and profitable marketing departments.