Optimize Your SEO Sales Pipeline Using Your CRM
As digital marketing evolved, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) quickly became a natural mainstay. Optimizing content for search engines ensures online visibility, fueling lead generation and acquisition through organic traffic.
In much the same way, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software boomed over the same period. Today, CRM is the single largest software market, and solutions continue to become more powerful and affordable.
In turn, combining the two quickly drew marketers’ attention. Surely, two tools of such caliber could likely synergize well, despite their different initial scopes.
In this article, we will explore this potential for synergy as we discuss ways to use your CRM to optimize your SEO sales pipeline.
The relationship between CRM and SEO
First, let us briefly establish where the two may begin to overlap. We will keep the following brief for text economy, but will hopefully cover both the conceptual and practical overlaps sufficiently.
#1 A synergistic competitive advantage
At their core, they both seek to offer a competitive advantage in the increasingly competitive digital marketing arena.
Where SEO seeks to satisfy search engines and users, CRM seeks to solidify communications and streamline operations.
In this regard, CRM serves to spearhead the business software that lets marketers stand out and be better than the rest. Meanwhile, SEO lays the groundwork for user satisfaction to further solidify one’s competitive advantage.
#2 Lead generation and acquisition
Second, and perhaps most notably, the two synergize as regards lead generation and acquisition.
Specifically, SEO drives generation through page and content optimization for search engines. In turn, CRM helps acquire generated leads, and both may then nudge them along your intended customer journey.
With that robust foundation in place, you may then implement such strategies as conversational marketing to further enhance your pipeline.
#3 The User Experience (UX)
Finally, both ultimately hinge on offering an impeccable UX.
SEO thrives on delivering value, as that is Google’s express goal as well. In doing so, it produces engagement signals from satisfied users that boost it further, improving lead generation rates.
CRM explicitly does so too, as it intends to manage customer interactions for PR, personalization, and retention, ultimately pleasing customers.
It is here where SEO’s audience insights and CRM’s lead analysis tools may overlap most strongly, both seeking better UX.
How to use CRM to optimize your SEO sales pipeline
With this significant conceptual and practical overlap in mind, let us now delve into specifics.
While you may have CRM refine your SEO sales pipeline in many different ways, the 5 that follow should provide a strong starting point.
#1 Align your departments
The very first, overarching goal, even as early as when you first pick CRM candidates, should come in department alignment.
Consider how often leads slip through the cracks, or how often sales outreach fails due to poor timing. Such sales shortcomings may only diminish as marketing, sales, and service departments align, and CRM offers ways to achieve this.
Among them, you may consider the following:
Data consolidation. CRM databases allow departments to break down data silos and facilitate easier cooperation toward the same goals.
Communication channel consolidation. Similarly, consolidated communication channels help departments coordinate more efficiently.
Lead analysis. Achieving the above, marketing and sales departments may tap into the same lead analysis tools for improved performance.
#2 Consolidate audience insights
As outlined above, the primary area where the two converge strongly is audience insights. In this regard, both can consolidate your grasp on your audiences’ wants and needs, improving your pipeline in the process.
In this regard, you may first pinpoint such SEO and SEO-adjacent metrics as:
- Traffic sources
- Engagement rates
- On-page behaviors
These you may further enhance through such tools as Google Analytics’s Site Search, Behavior Flow, and User Explorer. You may also use heat maps, as many SEO professionals do.
In turn, you may combine those insights with CRM tools like:
- Lead segmentation and nurturing
- Behavioral analytics and interaction records
- Predictive modeling, if available
In combination, the two should offer a very solid overview of your audiences’ needs and journeys. With it, you may refine both your customer journey mapping toward a more efficient sales pipeline and your cross-channel interactions toward improved customer satisfaction.
#3 Personalize your emails
With such insights in hand, you may then effectively employ your CRM to optimize your SEO sales pipeline through personalization. While your SEO will have you personalize content marketing, your CRM will allow you to do so through email outreach.
There are ample reasons to do so, and LinkedIn cites some relevant statistics that prove email personalization’s value. Among them, notable ones include:
- “36% of people want companies to provide more personalized experiences”.
- “70% of Millennials aren’t favorable towards brands that don’t send personalized emails”.
- “Marketers typically see a 20% increase in sales revenue when their email campaigns are personalized”.
To do so, you may begin with 3 notable personalization factors:
- Copy. You may leverage data customers have consented to sharing with you to personalize your email copy. This may include using their name, mentioning prior interactions or purchases, and so forth.
- Relevance. Drawing from lead nurturing data, you may then ensure email relevance. You may segment audiences based on lead status and target them with relevant emails; informational content and offers for new leads, product recommendations for converted customers, and so forth.
- Timing. Lead status aside, the time of day also affects outreach efficiency. You may thus mind your outreach timing for each recipient segment, maximizing open rates and ensuring more final sales.
#4 Leverage automation
On the subject of outreach timing, automation will also be an invaluable asset. There are ample reasons to use automation in your digital marketing efforts, and your sales efforts are no exception.
Here, you may employ automation to further allow CRM to optimize your SEO sales pipeline. Examples of automation across the customer journey can include:
- Email automation. Many CRM solutions focus heavily on email and sales automation, and this you may use to your advantage. For example, you may schedule email outreach for different audience segments even beyond regular office hours. This will enhance your campaigns’ efficiency without adding to your workload.
- Agent notification automation. In addition, you may leverage agent notification automation to improve response times. For example, sales representatives may be notified when leads become qualified for contact. Similarly, appropriate support agents may be notified of more demanding queries, allowing for swifter responses that help ensure customer retention.
- Follow-up and event trigger automation. Finally, you may consult your combined analytics to determine which events and journey steps may require automated outreach. Hubspot offers an excellent example of this, where inbound leads generated through content would receive a personalized email.
#5 Follow-up and manage leads
Finally, having touched on follow-ups, we may conclude with this final way you may align departments’ operations. This simply boils down to lead management, from follow-ups for qualified ones to discarding unresponsive ones.
Here, your marketing and sales teams may work in unison to determine whether your SEO efforts have matured leads sufficiently. The 3 fundamental questions they may consider are:
- Is this lead sufficiently nurtured for outreach? Premature outreach can drive leads away and hamper your SEO efforts. Carefully consider which leads have progressed enough to warrant contact.
- Does this lead warrant a follow-up? Most leads require multiple follow-ups to finally convert, and each one can be personalized for maximum efficiency.
- Should this lead be discarded? Finally, many leads will simply never convert. Identifying and discarding them early can significantly reduce your department’s workload without reducing final revenue.
Notably, Brevet finds that the average conversion requires 5 follow-ups, while “44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up”. Thus, persisting with well-timed follow-ups is just as crucial as discarding definitively unresponsive leads is.
Use sales prospecting processes and tools to add more people to your email list.
In summary, personalization is key when using CRM to optimize your SEO sales pipeline.
Conceptually and practically, both hinge on offering value to your customers and securing conversions. At the same time, CRM seeks to streamline internal communications and operations to maximize operational efficiency.
The 5 aforementioned practices leverage their overlaps to ultimately benefit your pipeline. While far from exhaustive, they should hopefully help inform your efforts.
At Innovative Flare, we have the knowledge and expertise to optimize your SEO sales pipeline. Contact us today to find out how we can help your small business.