One aspect of CRM which perplexes me on a daily basis is the way in which businesses deal with lead nurturing within their CRM.

Establishing Trust mean Showcasing our Capability, Reliability, and Intimacy.

In the professional services domain, we must foster trusting relationships to be successful and with this a need to authentically illustrate our (and our firms) capability, our reliability to do what we say, all with a degree of intimacy to make the relationship personal.  We must empathise with our clients and what they are trying to achieve.

Taking the view that every new name we bring into our CRM is a potential client one day (I see the issue is mostly about timing), the way we nurture all leads should be a uniform experience that leaves the contact with a positive personal reflection and allows us to maximize our long term rewards.

Of course to demonstrate capabilities, showcase our reliability and display intimacy in a authentic way takes time and effort.  And, with distance these factors are made more tricky to manage, so what I tend to see applied is an ‘engage with those that can do now and forget the rest’ ethos, which simply leaves the ‘early conversations’ to fill up a distribution email list.  And, candidly these distribution lists are never particularly successful converters over time.

Go for Low Hanging Fruit, forget the Rest

However, I do need to give a shout out to the best performers who typically don’t apply this ethos, rather they are hyper organized and approach the nurturing task like an athlete…breaking down the conversation and applying metrics against all stages of the process.

Closing the Gap

To the point…The reason for my perplexed state is that virtually all CRMs allow tasks to be created and assigned to team members.  The tier 1 CRM’s (SFDC, NetSuite, Dynamics etc) allow this to be automated.  By creating and assigning lead nurturing tasks to participants in the sales team, the “hyper organized” aspect of the best performers approach can then be applied to all sales people uniformly.  Automation gives all participants a better position and provides management a solid point of reference for measuring performance.

Become an Lead Nurturing Athlete

And then for the curious minded…this can then be extended one part further to measure and report on the appropriateness of the specific nurture task and the success of nurture program generally.  In my opinion, the tier 1 CRMs are crammed full of this measurement and reporting functionality but are rarely fully utilized.