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Demystifying sales and marketing technologies

Demystifying sales and marketing technologies featured image

What do all these terms even mean?

Feeling confused by all the different products that make big claims about turbo-charging your sales and marketing? Feeling frustrated and confused is common, even for seasoned industry professionals. Commonly used sales and marketing technologies are rapidly converging, making it harder to be confident that you are using the right technology to grow your business. The many acronyms floating around does not help either.

The Hoist team are here to make it easy – we explain the common ones.

Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM)

At their heart, Customer Relationship Management Systems track who your customers are and the deals that you are in the process of doing. The poster child for CRMs is Salesforce, but you may be familiar with products like Nimble, Hubspot, Pipedrive and Zoho. Over time, they have gotten smarter. The more sophisticated versions can forecast your sales revenue and remind you about sales tasks. They can be integrated with other sales and marketing tools to give a ‘whole of customer’ view.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

In the bad ol’ days, your Content Management System was your website, and you treated it as an island. There was only one version of it, and you didn’t need to connect to your sales, email or social media tools to it. The industry standard is still WordPress, and it’s often cited that more than 50% of the web is built on its platform. It’s important to know that WordPress started life as a blogging platform, so it’s struggled to stand the test of time. Wix and Squarespace follow WordPress in terms of market share and have become popular with businesses looking to build ‘DIY’ websites.

These days, your content management system, the place that you post information for your potential and existing customers, should tentacles into your other IT systems. Without this, it makes it very difficult to get insights into your customer data.

Sales and Marketing Automation Systems

This whole automation thing gets thrown around a lot. We break it down, channelling the spirit of James Brown. Most sales and marketing automations are offered as an ‘add-on’ to either your CRM or CMS, making it hard to compare systems in this day and age.

Segmentation and personalisation

Remember when Mailchimp used to send one single email to all of your customers in your database, regardless of segment? The technology has moved on significantly so that you can target marketing campaigns to specific segments, or defined groups.

Personalisation refers to technologies that tailor what you see based on the group that you are. At its simplest, personalisation is those annoying spam emails that have your name in the title or introduction. But, marketing tools are getting smarter and smarter over time. Some content systems can show you a completely different webpage or send a chain of emails based on a defined set of parameters. Remember those ever so friendly but poorly timed emails you get during a free trial? That’s where they come from.

Chatbots

Those annoying things that pop up on websites that were supposed to be the way of the future? There are two principal types. Artificial intelligence ones analyse your request and responses automatically (if you are hungry, check out the Dominos one 😉!). Live chat connects you with a human and replies in the same way that if you were using an online chat program like WhatsApp. There are some inspiring applications for them – the World Health Organisation using their COVID19 response is on point. Executed well, chatbots can be a crucial differentiator for your brand.

Landing pages

Back in the day, businesses had a single website that had a single main landing page. Move forward 20 years and landing pages no longer even need to be connected to a website. mind blown Landing pages now form part of all different types of systems. Landing pages can sit within your customer relationship system so that all of your sales information is neatly captured; hooked into your email marketing system so that your email campaigns are seamless; or part of a survey that captures ALL of your customer information.

Can you see a trend here about everything being about capturing customer data?!?

The case for getting the right sales and marketing platform is compelling

There is significant overlap between the different customer relationship, content and marketing systems. Finding the right system is even more complex for businesses who also interact with their customers via social media. Getting the right sales and marketing platform for your business means that you can:

Get better customer insights, driving more successful marketingactivities and better products, ultimately increasing sales

or

Increase customer conversation rates, and in turn sales, through remarketing and lost cart features

or

Save time by automating sales and marketing activities like sendingroutine emails, entering customer information into multiple systems andprospecting for new clients

or

Create raving fans that promote your brand through more personalised interactions

To follow up this conversation or to find out what Hoist is working on, email