Marketers are brilliant at outlining and strategizing around the buying lifecycle of customers, but they generally start once the customer is—well, a customer. CRM needs to start before that, when prospects begin to show an interest in a brand or company, and the relationship should be strategically managed starting with the very first contact.
Using a hosted customer acquisition management system that includes lead generation and management, analytics, source management, and responsive technology is the best way to make sure that prospects are not dropped on their way to becoming customers—and that it’s the best prospects, the most qualified, who make it through the system. It’s a truism that follow-up is the most important part of customer prospecting, but without a strategy and a system in place to do it, it’s easy for customers—and therefore income—to slip through the proverbial cracks.
For marketers who are putting increasing resources into customer acquisition, it’s essential to determine where those resources will go, and that can only happen with a CAM solution offering top-notch analytics. Customer acquisition management requires excellent metrics so that marketers can strategize campaigns and tweak them as results come in. Getting well-qualified leads and nurturing those leads into customers cannot happen if there is no way to measure progress, to see what works and what doesn’t, and to change strategies if one isn’t working. The results of these metrics will be different for every company, but the most important factor is being sure that the changes and adjustments made are on the back-end … not in the customer experience area. That needs to be smooth, clear, positive, and consistent.
Lead-generation managers often make the mistake of getting caught in maximizing quantity acquired for the lowest cost per acquisition. Once a marketer has instituted a overall customer acquisition management strategy and solution—again, best done by using a third-party hosted solution—then only the best, most qualified prospects from the strongest sources will be coming through the pipeline, and CAM managers will be able to devote themselves and their resources to nurturing positive qualified prospects rather than tremendous quantities of bad leads. and the CAM strategies will flow automatically and seamlessly into CRM strategies as prospects become customers.