29 Sep SugarCRM’s Secret Weapon: Lead Management and Email Marketing
At echogravity, we use SugarCRM for nearly all of our clients CRM, SFA, and marketing automation needs. The reason is simple: we know it well, it’s cost effective, and it has all of the tools we need to manage a prospect database. However, nearly every single company we talk to either has no CRM, or the one they have is being underutilized. There are a lot of powerful features in the mainstream CRM products and it is almost always the case that companies aren’t taking full advantage of what they are paying for.
Key CRM Features
The most popular CRM tools on the market provide similar functionality: contact management, funnel management, case management, and customization. Looking across the board, products like SugarCRM, Salesforce.com, Goldmine, and ACT! all have some variation of these out-of-the-box capabilities. To some extent, we see companies using these systems solely as a contact management database. Clearly, this is the #1 reason companies purchase these products in the first place. However, the value to purchasing these products is hidden inside another function that we have not yet seen any other company utilize to its fullest extent.
The Secret Weapon: Lead Management and Email Marketing
We call this the secret weapon because not many people use it, it’s got tremendous value, and when used the right way, it brings great results. What we are referring to is lead management and email marketing. It seems to be that companies aren’t using this function because they either don’t know it exists, don’t know how to use it, or have settled on something like MailChimp or Constant Contact. However, the value behind using these tools when used the right way can make a significant difference in the lead generation process, and an increased value of the sales funnel. It sounds simple, right? Email marketing and lead management. Well, it really isn’t that easy and that’s why the most companies prefer the path of least resistance: use an alternate solution or decide not to even bother figuring it out.
How To Use The Secret Weapon
Setting up your SugarCRM system to correctly use email marketing and lead management takes quite a few steps. It can be frustrating at times, but the end result is well worth the pain.
If you follow these 10 steps, you will be on your way to filling your pipeline and effectively managing your leads.
- Dump the other email marketing programs.
- Set up an email account, a system email account, and the campaign email settings inside SugarCRM.
- Create an email campaign in SugarCRM and write an email associated to the campaign.
- Make sure that you have a landing page on your web site that you would like to drive visitors to upon reading your email. Content is important here.
- Create trackers in the campaign that will give you information on what your visitors do with the email and how they respond.
- Create a web-to-lead form from the campaign that you can put on your web site that will automatically load leads directly into SugarCRM.
- Create a workflow that will notify you by email and tag SugarCRM users to the lead.
- Create target lists to receive the email. Attach them to the campaign.
- Send a few test emails to make sure it looks like you want it to look.
- Once it looks right, send it.
- Be sure to have your Google Analytics configured to track activity from your emails.
Yes, it sounds easy, but in reality, it’s not. This is a complicated process, which is why most companies opt out (even if they know it’s available as part of their SugarCRM purchase) and default to another email marketing product. BUT, by doing so, there is a large set of information that is going to be lost in the translation.
The most critical data that is captured by using SugarCRM for email marketing and lead management is the campaign history associated with contacts. We cannot stress enough that the automation of this process is of extreme value to the company and to the sales team. By using SugarCRM for marketing automation, data and actions by your prospects can be captured with their every move. By decoupling the functions by using separate tools, the data is lost.
Those that utilize the SugarCRM Secret Weapon can start making the leap from performing “acceptable” contact management to building a “lead generation” machine. We use these processes at echogravity for our own use, and everything we do runs through SugarCRM. Our contact data is tight, the actions of our prospects are well documented, and the integration of our content, web copy and SugarCRM are such that nothing happens without being logged in SugarCRM. The secret weapon is the foundation of this automation process. If you aren’t using it now, we guarantee you that you are losing deals because of it.
echogravity is a SugarCRM referral partner and specializes in building marketing departments and lead generation for contact center ecosystem companies, IT Services firms, and various other SMB organizations. If you aren’t exploiting the marketing automation opportunities available to you, contact us to get your free assessment on changing your ways.
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.