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How to choose the right CRM technology to meet your marketing goals

In the children’s story Alice in Wonderland, you may remember how the Cheshire Cat told Alice, “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” 

In today’s marketing world we have more tools at our disposal than ever, but that also means that losing focus is also easier than ever. Defining our marketing goals upfront is key to a successful endeavor. We should be deliberate in selecting the technological tools that will best support our goals. 

Define your goals

Before you set out to search for new tech, make sure your goals are defined. Some of our potential goals that require new tech may include:

  • Identify highly engaged parties who are interested in our thought leadership but not yet clients 
  • Identifying companies where multiple firm connections may indicate that there is a strong opportunity for conversion
  • Looking for new business opportunities from existing clients where client comparison to model data indicates an opportunity for greater penetration
  • Identifying clients who are possible “flight risks” based on low engagement

Create your CRM technology roadmap

With your goals defined, you have the best chance to design a roadmap to claim success. All journeys need people, processes, and tools. Today we want to talk about the foundational tools needed to reach your goals. In my world, these are the foundation or four corners of any technology roadmap:

  • Website
  • Marketing Automation
  • CRM
  • Data Warehouse

While most organizations have many other tools, these are the core. Each plays a vital link to reaching our goals. Most of this list is probably not a surprise, but some readers may be surprised by the inclusion of data warehouse functionality. 

From data steward to lead generator

For a long time, I thought I could use my CRM software and marketing automation tools to imitate a data warehouse. But that combo doesn’t give you the ability to efficiently collect and analyze all of the data we need for robust data analysis. 

Many of us have reached the same conclusion and would love to add data warehouse capabilities. However, in a professional service organization, these investments are generally prioritized for client service tasks and value. Data warehouse and AI functionality for internal groups like Marketing, HR, and Accounting are not today’s priority. 

While this rings true for most of us, it doesn’t mean we can sit on our hands and do nothing. With lotus and/or other database tools we can get started. By taking this step we can make the true leap from data steward to lead generator.

Creating an ad hoc data warehouse

When you are trying to create an ad hoc data warehouse solution here are some top things to consider.

  • Know who your target is and who it isn’t, so you can eliminate unnecessary data, such as referral sources and job hunters
  • Find the best way available to aggregate multiple users from a single company
  • Develop a parallel system for current clients, to get the information to the client service team 
  • Investigate ways to aggregate the same visitor using multiple devices
  • Consider other data you can add into the equations that may help accentuate or eliminate prospects: you may already have SIC, number of employees, and credit score in your CRM system, but there may also be other criteria you can buy like rate of growth, banking relationship, current tax preparer, and others

Conclusion

Getting these areas right, and other lessons you learn along the way, will not be in vain. When you are ready to implement true AI and data warehouse functionality the lessons learned will be vital in training and building the initial algorithms needed to power the data warehouse.   

You’re not alone. Customer Intelligence tools like Introhive are available that will improve your success and best position your firm for the upcoming changes resulting from new technology like Web 3.0 and 5G.

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