So you have a website and a CRM system…this means that qualified leads are about to start beating your door down right? As much as I wish that was true, that’s just not the case. The secret to maximizing the power of your website or CRM truly lies in integrating the two platforms with your sales processes. This isn’t easy to do, but if done correctly, can lead to a Pandora’s Box-like effect on your ability to generate business from new and existing clients.
Much like implementing other significant changes to an organization, integrating your website and CRM with your sales processes is best approached in steps. The first step is to collect and manage the information of the users that visit your website. The easiest and least expensive way to do this is via the Web-to-Lead capabilities of your CRM. Web-to-Lead generally refers to a link between the website and CRM that allows information entered on the website to be transferred to the CRM automatically.
Of course there are many different possibilities as to where you could collect this information on your website. The most common location will likely be via a contact us type form. In this instance, the form is already built and functioning. This means that only the link between the two systems needs to be in place.
Another common place to collect this information is prior to allowing your website users to download something from the site itself. This might be a white paper, video, or application download. Due to the data collection form that needs to be in place, this is a more advanced approach, but not overly complicated and definitely something that you should consider if you already have users interacting with your web site in this way.
Once the data is in place within your CRM, what do you do with it? This is where a general understanding of your sales processes is critical. You’ll want to clearly define who owns the follow up for each lead that comes in via the website. For some organizations, this can be decided by zip code or service/product type. Regardless, of how you categorize the leads and assign ownership, it is very important to do so. Going through the effort to collect the information and then not having a process in place to handle that information in a timely and meaningful manner is counterproductive to the end goal of retaining or finding quality clients!
This is simplest and most cost effective way to start maximizing what your website and CRM can do for your organization. Do these things and I”m confident that you’ll start to have some success in generating new clients and retaining your existing ones. Once there is some momentum in the right direction, it becomes much easier for most organizations justify the investment that comes with a more robust integration between the website, CRM, and sales processes.