Big Data. The term refers to large amounts of information that businesses and organisations collect from online and offline sources. Sounds like something that could only help the likes of Google, IBM and Facebook, right?
15 years ago, this would have been the case. The kind of customer data that could help seriously drive revenue would have been scattered across filing cabinets, employees’ memory and floppy discs. It would have taken an enormous amount of time just to collate enough data to be useful, let alone to analyse and apply it.
However, things have changed. Today, brokers can easily collate customer data and use it to improve their sales cycle and be a true revenue driver. Although brokers aren’t going to be collecting data on anything like the scale of large corporates, they can take advantage of the data they collect in a similar way.
Small businesses can now engage in the ethos of Big Data, intelligently using their customer data to improve their business outcomes. And a CRM - short for Customer Relationship Management - is perhaps the easiest way for brokers to access and use this data. A CRM is a system that enables a business to manage their interactions with customers. CRM software - like Zendesk, HubSpot CRM or Salesforce - enables you to store, view and organise customer information. This software can enable you to reap the benefits of Big Data, even on a small business budget.
We looked at CRMs in more detail back in January if you’d like some more information about them.
How you can use data from a CRM to drive revenues...
Understanding your data enables you to analyse customers’ actions, showing you structured data that measures online visits, click throughs (the percentage of visitors who click another link on your site) and bounce rates (the proportion of people who press the back button after viewing just one page). This can give you an insight into how customers behave on your website and respond to your business more generally. It lets you see what aspects of your marketing is effective and helps you to determine what needs to be changed.
Being able to see this kind of data is a game changer for your marketing efforts.
Get to know your customers
Here is where the concept of Big Data gets seriously interesting. A CRM lets you store lots of data about each prospect or client, including:
- Social media information
- A historical record of your interactions with the client
- Their name and personal information
By using this data intelligently, you can utilise data to deepen your understanding of your customers. This is ultimately how large corporations use their Big Data, you would just be doing it on a smaller scale.
You can use your data to develop a clearer picture about who your customers are and how certain types of customers behave in your sales cycle. The really clever bit comes next - a CRM can provide predictive recommendations about how best to deliver the right service to a particular prospect. You can even gain an insight into which customers will respond most positively to a specific recommendation by analysing their background data.
These suggestions can really go a long way to increasing your conversion rate (the proportion of prospects that become customers).
Qualifying in and qualifying out
You can use the data you collect about prospects to organise them into defined groups. This will provide your team with a clear view of what your best customers have in common. It will also enable you to see what traits less profitable prospects share.
By knowing who your best customers are, what they care about and what type of communication they respond to, you can use your resources more productively on the sales and marketing side.
In your CRM, you can use your findings to score leads and prioritise well-qualified customers as they move through your sales pipeline.
How can I get started with a CRM?
Getting started with a CRM is easy. There are even free CRMs available online. CRM softwares automatically track customer interactions, whether they’re in an email, across social media or on a call. It might take your team a bit of time to learn how to use your CRM to win more customers, but it’s well worth it in the long run.
Refining your sales and marketing through intelligent data collection and analytics can revolutionise your business’s growth. By collecting data about your prospects, CRM software gives you an added layer of visibility to your sales pipeline, helping you take your sales and marketing to the next stage.