use CRM Data for cold calling..

We have thousands of contacts in our CRM.

When I’m discussing lists with new customers they sometimes tell me that they don’t need us to prepare a list because they have thousands of contacts in their CRM systems or Contact Management programs.

he CRMs and Contact Managers usually contain a variety of contacts: customers, prospects, trade show lists, website inquiries or downloads. In our experience the information on most of the contacts is usually old and rarely updated. We spend many hours calling through the file to find that many of the companies are not relevant to our customer, many of the contacts are no longer there or never were relevant to begin with. We spend most of our time disqualifying companies and people, which results in a low output of leads and appointments. Classic garbage in, garbage out.

Why do CRMs get this way?

Time. A company rarely has the resources to review (qualify) every entry made by possibly dozens of inside sales, outside sales or marketing people. For example, you import the list of visitors who swiped their card at your most recent trade show booth. Some follow up calls are made, but not all are reached. Hundreds of names remain in the CRM, but nobody knows if they are a qualified contact or just wanted a chance to win the iPad.

How we make the best of these situations.

For lead generation and appointment setting, we prepare a list of companies in the client’s target markets as we usually do. We match our client’s available CRM data to the new list. This often eliminates hundreds or thousands of companies that should not be in our calling schedule. Where there is a contact available we begin there, otherwise we dig for the contact.

For customer-based programs such as survey, upgrade, add-on or revival of inactive customers, we ask our client for the output from the billing system. This provides a very accurate list of customers, their level of activity, products purchased and most recent transactions. I suggest that our clients categorize the customers into revenue groups to prioritize the calling. We do not need specific revenue history for each customer. These lists usually have an accounts payables contact and not the operations people we need. We cross-reference the billing data with the CRM. This helps to find people who are users of the product or service, or those who are the decision makers. Where we have no match, we call and ask.

Keyword: customer relationship management,crm and marketing,crm system,small business crm software

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