Drip Marketing, Marketing Automation, ActiveCampaign, Zoho

Pass or Fail this CRM Database Pop Quiz

By in Drip Marketing, Money Making Tips with Your ACT! Database, Sage ACT! 2012 Software, Swiftpage Drip Marketing Automation Software | 2 comments

Customer Database SoftwareYou’re a business owner or a director or marketing. You either get why you must use CRM / marketing database software or you don’t. Let’s find out which.

Take this 10-question quiz and give yourself 5 points for each *yes* answer.

1. You have all your contacts, prospects and customers in a single CRM database that syncs to your calendar and contact list (as opposed to orphaned and duplicated contacts in each employee’s address book, multiple spreadsheets, in other proprietary databases, etc.)

2. Your database is segmented/tagged by at least one category so you can send customized marketing messages. (Examples: product type, customer vs. prospect, last purchase date, sales rep.)

3. Your website form submissions, live chat convos, help desk requests, shopping cart purchases, email contacts and accounting software integrate with your CRM.

4. You are able to track online behavior at the contact level, such as “attended a webinar,” “downloaded a white paper”, “purchased a shopping cart item,” etc. It’s easy to run tracking reports that tell you how many new prospects, referrals, and website leads you get each month, as well as which contacts are actively engaging with your social media and email marketing.

5. When you don’t hear from a good customer for awhile, you’re notified and have an automatic “win back” strategy in place.

6. You have a drip marketing autoresponder in place with at least 5 messages for new website leads. Five bonus points if your sales rep is notified instantly and follows up within 20 minutes of receiving a new lead…something you’re also able to track in real time.

7. You know that only 2 out of every 15 sales opportunities are ready to buy from you today–so you have a follow-up drip marketing campaign for each prospect you send a proposal to. Give yourself 5 extra points if that drip marketing campaign lasts one year or more. Give yourself another 5 points if you’re notified when that prospect visits your website again…even if it’s 2 months from now.

8. You do not “batch and blast” your email prospecting. You get permission from each prospect to email them, and you’ve personalized your drip marketing messages, in keeping with CAN-SPAM and GDPR requirements.

9. Every contact in your CRM has a “source code” so you know where each lead and contact came from.

10. You are able to access  your CRM data from any mobile device or website.

What Your Customer Database Score (or Lack Thereof) Means

50+         Congratulations, we bestow Diva Status upon your CRM prowess.

30 – 49   OK, you get the idea, but even small improvements in your sales funnel workflow at this point are worth it. That last 10% of effort that you never have time for is costing you big bucks.

10 – 29   Sorry;  you don’t know what you don’t know. You may think you’re in control of your sales and marketing, but the competition is likely stomping all over you with your passive permission. You need an intervention right now.

0 – 9       How did you even find this website? Kudos for being out there looking for answers. Here’s the CRM we recommend…just get started today. You’re burning daylight!


  1. Database Diva, I loved your quiz. But will there be a make up test for those who messed up? 🙂

    I think in general your points are well taken. I’d like to caution, nevertheless, that in large B2B operations it is very difficult to execute on these principles that you bring up:

    1. More often than not in large companies, Sales and not Marketing deals directly with the customer. So the rep sends the handwritten card and the marketer is oblivious to its impact on the contact.

    2. This kind of ignorance, of course, affects the marketer’s drip campaigns, since the marketer is not the one developing the relationship with the contact but sending communications to this person nonetheless. This is one major reason why Sales reps are so defensive of their contact lists and won’t easily release them to marketers. They fear the wrong message making its way from Marketing to the contact and then the rep having to hunt to words to explain the miscommunication.

    3. Excel, Outlook and your PDA are not really the database. How true it is! But neither are ACT! Goldmine or any tool that may still maintain the records grouped yet in disparate locations everywhere in the company, such as inside a sales rep’s laptop, even if the data are neatly arrayed therein. A central customer database is an invaluable asset to any company. Consolidating independent data sources, whether ACT! or spreadsheets, etc., to feed it, is no picnic, however.

    4. Coding contact data by type in large companies requires understanding the fundamentals of data modeling and taxonomy, because you must deal with the bringing together of data that might seem to match each other on the surface but which actually stand for different things, having been collected by different systems for different purposes. For example, a business address might seem like a slam dunk. Sales collects it and so does Shipping and Receiving. But, oops! One is obviously a ship-top address while the other might be the sold-to address. They may not be the same. Combining the two into a database without making the Ship-to vs. Sold-to distinction will ensure, for instance, a poor direct mail targeting strategy.

    5. I couldn’t agree more about tracking metrics such as open rates, click-thrus and response ratios. When you have a connection between your analytics database and your campaigns database that runs the ezine application that blasts your emails, then you got the best of both worlds. But often these 2 systems, because of their distinct architecture (one supports decision-making through business intelligence and the other dynamic, transactional operations), are disconnected. The former depends on the latter. The lag that you confront when trying manually to get data from one to affect what to do in the other can throw a monkey wrench into your entire campaign strategy’s effectiveness.

    6. Lifetime value can be hard to estimate when you can’t get your revenue tracking system to talk to your marketing database. But it isn’t impossible. However, getting these 2 together in large companies does take some creativity and often diplomacy because of the many players involved in sharing the multiple and even confidential types of data necessary to produce the estimate. Any win-back strategy should start with a lifetime value estimate as a baseline, else at the end of the day you’re targeting everyone equally.

    7. Oh, data entry! I could write a book about how much marketers in large B2B enterprises HATE to enter critical data such as conference attendees into spreadsheets. They also despise modifying spreadsheets that media vendors might have delivered to them in default format into the right file layout necessary to import responses to the company’s marketing database. Only too often this data entry function ends up being outsourced because it’s so “beneath Marketing” to do. But it is incredibly important to avoid the ageing of leads. That’s why using point-of-sale tools, such as scanners and swipe cards is so important if the event manager is unwilling to type the information into an online form or spreadsheet.

    8. Well, in B2B marketing for large companies you need a referral PROGRAM. It has to be an ongoing job to find referrals and not wear out your best reference customers. So managing these offers and client preferences for what they’d like to be a reference on can become a full-time job. And you can’t do it well without a references database well connected to the marketing database.

    9. Nurturing. That is a mouthful for sure. There is so much complexity in executing B2B nurture campaigns, from strategy to content generation to targeting to qualification and conversion. But I find these to be the most exciting campaigns a marketer can put together. They’re highly demanding in content creation and personalization is entirely dependent on a robust database model. But a little bit of effort can go a long way in converting a mass of cold leads into a steady stream of hot leads that keeps the funnel from seasonal dry spells.

    10. Just like #9 above, perseverance and a sound infrastructure can make lead nurturing a possibility and shorten the B2B complex sales cycle in some cases by educating the prospective customers faster. But it does require tracking the maturity of each lead as it crosses certain thresholds. So lead scoring is fundamental to this process. This is too difficult to do, if not impossible, without a specialized database, which is why companies like Marketo, Engage B2B, Eloqua and such exist today to help marketers jump through this technical hoop and automate these response tracking processes.

    For large B2B companies, the database marketing process is most definitely a much more complex operation. But I sure love playing in this field!

    • Arturo, thanks for your expertise and your considered comments. Great insights that again confirm that you can never discuss/debate database marketing too much 🙂

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