From Visitors to Leads to Customers: CRM
VCRM to LRM to CRM
CRM is all about customers. Before Customers there are Leads. And before Leads, there can be visitors.
If you have a website, like most of the companies, it is very likely the first sign or indication is the visitor form a company. This we call Visiting Company hence the VCRM.
Leads are known and can be contacted by telephone, email, and letter or spoken on a meeting. These events need to be registered.
Thus a LRM Leads Relationship Management system is required.
Before Leads some companies define Suspects, but they are known too, thus no real difference with Leads.
Thus the flow from Visitor over Lead to Customer is from VCRM to LRM to CRM.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) including visitors
A CRM starts when a first contact is being made, which are
called leads. But when is the first contact?
In most cases these leads have already visited the company website: 7 out of 10 B2B business deals start with an Internet investigation.
It is so easy and fast to make a first screening of any vendor; they (prospects) will do so.
So why wait until you actually get into contact with a potential
customer, as they have already visited incognito your website?
The CRM should capture the visiting information from your website.
This would get Sales one step ahead, as they will be aware of the opportunity before any contact is made.
This “early warning system” can also be used with
existing customers or known parties like missed customers: these are
already in the CRM data base and just need to connect with the
The advantage is in the timely triggering of the salesman to give the known party a call or an email.
Website traffic is not lead generation
A website can have much traffic, but hardly any conversions to
Another website can have little traffic, but a relatively high conversion into leads.
People can find the website on the Internet, read some of the content and then leave.
Website traffic is just an opportunity until the visitor or his company has been identified and then qualified.
Several types of visitors exist on B2B websites, but the two main categories easily to separate are:
- Private / individuals
Of course the individuals can work for a company, but investigate the Internet from their home, thus completely incognito.
Converting website visitors into leads can happen without any interference of any salespeople, but that is only for certain B2B businesses. In most cases a long lead generation process needs to be started requiring multiple interactions between the opportunity and the salesman or team.
Opening up borders and barriers for you and your competition
As the access to the Internet has become common and
available, it has become a great opportunity for both your business and
Opening up barriers and borders for your business, means opening up for your competitors too.
There for you need to act before they act: If a decision maker is
looking into your website, it is very likely he will be visiting the
website of the competitor a little after or has been visiting before.
Thus a system for alerting the Salesmen is required in order to be on time to react upon the visit. And as this is about Customer Relationship, the CRM should be updated automatically.
Change in behavior of the Decision makers
Not solely the reach of your communication through your website, press releases and all other unidirectional communication means has increased enormously, but also the behavior of the B2B decision makers has changed due to the Internet:
- Gathering information on the Internet
- Decision making or selecting between different vendors based upon the information available on the Internet your website and beyond your website.
- The “On Demand” information research and retrieval.
- The convenience of having knowledge within the reach of a mouse click.
This change implies changes to the CRM: the CRM should not be lagging behind on data about the potential buyers, but should get updated whenever a visit is made - automated.
All roads lead to the website
Any document or information send, published or broadcasted
the website name. It is rare to see information from or concerning a
company even by third parties (product reviews) without the mentioning
of the website.
Hence it is logical people will scan and screen your products and solutions first on the Internet, before contacting you or your sales staff in order to waste less time.
The CRM should know about the investigations on the Website.
The actual lead generation or nurturing process
During the actual lead generation process communications will
place between both parties. Most of these communications will generate
a visit on the website.
Getting a visit on the website is a good sign, as it is an indication of interest.
Such indications should be registered in the CRM, together with the act of communication. Thus the links can be made between communications and visits and the interest can be measured.
Relationship Management for Visiting Companies, Leads, Customers
As the starting point of the lead generation process is the Visitor,
the CRM needs to be have the notion of Visitor and Visiting Company.
A relationship needs to be build and maintained with Visiting Companies, Leads and Customers.
LEADSExplorer is a:
- VCRM: Visiting Company Relationship Management for converting Visiting Companies
For building a relationship with any Visiting Company the visits are to be monitored and your communications towards the Visiting Company needs to be registered. Both are represented on one chart, as in most cases communications will induce visits.
For any Visiting Company, possible contacts can be found using the provided Internet Data Mining tools. These contacts can be called, emailed or a letter can be send.
- LRM: Leads Relationship Management for converting Leads into
Leads need to be nurtured by communicating with them into Qualified Prospects.
- CRM: Customer Relationship Management system.
Once a lead has become a customer, the relationship needs to be maintained and further developed.
The website has become impossible to circumvent in any B2B
generation, acquisition and nurturing or even customer relationship.
There for a CRM should not solely have all the typical features and functions for following up upon leads and customers, but should also be capable of capturing the website visits as these are elementary ands important parts of lead generation and customer relation processes.
An effective CRM can bring benefits for both the customer and the salesman.
The CRM helps the salesman to better know the customer.
The CRM should be the sole source of information for sales and marketing. More