Wednesdays With Will: Customer Engagement

By William Marchesano, Technology Advisor & Evangelist
The sales world we once knew is disintegrating as the way your customers once bought has changed.  There’s no reason for concern though, just awareness.  In one of our earlier articles we discussed how marketing is driving sales as buying habits continue to evolve.  Your customers are doing more research prior to engaging with a sales person now than they ever have before.  This means, in most cases, the sales cycle has started before you are even aware of it.  This may be a shift for your sales team whom had become accustomed to being the driving force for initial customer engagement in the past.  They may have lost a great deal of power in what had been their traditional sales process.  But just like their customers, the sales person must evolve as well.
Businesses are investing more in their marketing departments today so they can keep ahead of their competition.  Since the sales cycle is now starting with customers doing their research, it makes sense to increase budgets for creating educational content about how your products or services can address a need.  You’ll also focus on “getting found” so that the great content you created can be consumed.  Though these are two important components for effective marketing, they can be very time consuming and are just the start.  Understanding how your customers are interacting with your content is crucial for guiding them down their purchasing journey.
One of the best ways an organization can set their marketing and sales departments up for success is providing them marketing automation tools.  Years ago, marketing automation almost exclusively dealt with direct mail or email marketing automation.  The rise of the social media channel added a new complexity and opportunity for how you are able to nurture a prospective customer into a client.  With it also came additional tasks and manual processes to take advantage of this new channel.
Using a Customer relationship management (CRM) system such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help simplify these processes and improve your marketing effectiveness.  Dynamics CRM lays the foundation for connecting your marketing, sales, and services team, providing them transparency, and ultimately a higher level of collaboration.  It also delivers your client a complete engagement experience from marketing to sales to services.  Though there is a lot that you can do with the native Dynamics CRM platform from a marketing perspective, sometimes you can use additional functionality.
To augment our marketing automation capabilities, Managed Solution leverages an add-on solution from one of Microsoft’s top marketing partners, ClickDimensions.  Our organization relies heavily on our marketing to drive new business leads to our sales team.  Email campaigns, creating forms for our webpages, creating web content, and designing nurture programs are just a few of the ways we use ClickDimensions to simplify our marketing efforts on a day to day basis.  Since it sits right inside Dynamics CRM it keeps everything in a single pane of glass which makes it much more intuitive than other email marketing and marketing automation systems.  If you are already using Dynamics CRM in your organization and are looking to enhance your marketing experience even further, I’d suggest looking at ClickDimensions.  Here’s a short video highlighting some of the latest features:
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As always, I encourage you to reach out to me to discuss these topics in deeper detail. I hope you enjoyed and found this week’s article informative. If you’re interested in some how-to related CRM material, check out blogs by my colleague Ben Ward here. Till next time…
About the author:
Will has over 16 years of experience in business development, team management, and project management. Will has worked at Managed Solution for over four years and is currently advising businesses on best CRM practices and implementations. Will’s focus is on process improvement and analytics specializing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Will is a Microsoft Certified Professional, with certifications in Presales Technical Specialist – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Sales Specialist- Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Application, Sales Specialist- Office 365, Sales Specialist- SMB Infrastructure and Sales Specialist- Datacenter.
For information on deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM in your organization, please call us at 800-257-0691.
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