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3 Ways To Use Your CRM Platform For Content Creation

3 Ways To Use Your CRM Platform For Content Creation

Learn how to make a content strategy using CRM data a standard part of your process, whether it’s at the start of a new campaign or in the lead-up to a product launch.

If your CRM could talk . . . oh, the stories it could tell.

All that data about deals closed, deals lost and deals in development contained in your CRM represent an important narrative about how your sales team has developed and improved with time.

In some ways, it’s also the story of your company’s growth. It’s a record of what you’ve learned about deal cycles, overcoming common objections, increasing your share of wallet and retaining customers over the long term.

The CRM is more than a story about your own company, however. It can also be a rich source of stories about your customers.

When reps use the CRM to its full potential, they capture all kinds of details about their customers’ pain points and goals. When they can arm them with products and services that help them address their needs, the CRM winds up storing the secret of how you’ve made your customers successful.

The thing is, they shouldn’t remain secrets. Instead, these nuggets should become stories you tell your customers, as well as to prospects who are still deciding whether to become your next customer.

This may not seem obvious at first. Even when the CRM is used as much by the marketing department as the sales team, many of the ideas for marketing content are based on a wide range of other inputs.

Some traditional approaches include research studies, testimonials that come through first-hand customer interviews or content repurposed from webinars and events.

While there can be great fodder for marketing content from all those sources, the CRM risks being overlooked unless you consciously look at the data from a storytelling perspective. Whether you’re new to content marketing or have had programs in place for years, inspiration from your CRM might be a stone left unturned.

The easiest way to get your head around this kind of thinking is probably by looking at a few examples. Consider informing your next content marketing strategy using data from:

1. Customer Purchase Patterns And Behaviours

Some products and services are easier to sell than others. When the selling is hard, content can help pave the way to an increased win rate.

Look at sales reports in CRM for details around the most common questions customers typically have about a poorly-selling product. These could be answered by a series of explainer videos or posts you publish on your company blog.

In some cases you might discover through the CRM that reps are having to dispel misconceptions about what your products can or can’t do. An eBook or posts shared on social media could clear up any confusion in advance.

Don’t forget to look for data in the CRM about cross-sells, upsells or related products and services that are often sold together. You could give your reps a head start by helping to establish the connection between different products in your portfolio earlier, even if it’s through online ads you run.

2. E-mail Opens And Click-Throughs

A CRM is more than a repository of data. It’s also where a lot of communication happens between reps, their managers and of course their customers.

Many reps nurture their leads initially through drip campaigns, for example, where they offer a series of e-mail messages that increase a prospect’s interest in a product until they’re ready to have a buying conversation.

Study the CRM data about which of the e-mail messages in a drip campaign seemed to resonate the most with leads. There may be a different way to tell that story earlier in your marketing strategy, which could wind up helping you attract even more leads than before.

Other e-mail data in the CRM could help you identity niche segments within your audience and the kind of content they want most. You might spot certain common challenges or asks from a particular vertical market, for instance. This could lead to guides or webinars that increase your firm’s credibility with those buyers.

3. Customer Service Cases

Many companies achieve a superior customer experience by making sure their CRM includes data not only from sales but from agents who work on the front lines, supporting customers long after they’ve made a purchase.

These service cases might reveal the top mistakes customers make getting started with your products and services. Your move as a marketer is to develop content — such as a customer success tip sheet — that reduces the number of times those mistakes are made.

Customer service cases can also detail instances where customers failed to understand your company policies, which could lead to edits on content you’ve already published to your web site.

On a deeper level, those cases may give you a greater insight into how customers perceive your brand and the value you provide. If the market does’t grasp your company’s positioning, it might be time to create content that does a better job of articulating your company’s mission and values across all your top marketing channels.

Final Thoughts

If you use your CRM data to create marketing content of any kind, make sure you don’t keep the process soiled within the marketing team. Share your process and how you discovered ideas with those in sales, customer service or the senior leadership team. This will help spur even greater adoption of your CRM (and therefore more data).

Also, don’t treat using your CRM to source content ideas as a once-and-done exercise. Make it a standard part of your process, whether it’s at the start of a new campaign or in the lead-up to the launch of a new product or service.

Finally, it’s not just the marketing team that needs to do all the searching for story ideas in the CRM! As more people on the team understand how you’re using this data, encourage sales reps, customer service agents or any other CRM users to pitch you, and collaborate with them on bringing the data to life.

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