Tools that have dual purposes are becoming extremely popular in businesses, especially those that are keeping an eye on costs.
As with most agencies, sales is a major part of growing your business and ensuring that the company growth continues, meaning lots of money is spent of CRM software. Most will go with with recognised software such as Salesforce, that costs thousands of pounds due to reputation, but there are other options available, especially for those:
- needing to keep costs down,
- not a salesperson by trade,
- spending too much of your income on tools for delivery.
It is times like these where you need to be inventive with your toolset, and use tools for dual purposes.
In the rest of this post, I am going to talk you through using one of the best tools to generate natural coverage available to SEO and PR professionals for Business Development!
The tool that I am referring to is of course Buzzstream!
Before we get started, I am going to assume that you have a Buzzstream account and you know how to use it. I am also going to assume that you have connected your preferred email account to the tool to ensure emails are connected. If you have none of the above then please visit the resource section here.
Right, lets get started!
Create your sales project
As with any Buzzstream outreach campaign, you need to first create a project specific to your needs. To do this head, up to the top left and select the dropdown. Within here you will see the button New Project as shown below.
Once you have clicked the New Project button, you need to name your project. For this example, I have used Business Development. Now you need to assign the project to yourself and untick the send backlinks checkbox.
Now the project has been created, it’s time to focus on the pipeline.
Create your pipeline stages
Within the project you have created, head over to the settings and select customise fields. Under Custom fields for Link Partners select Add new custom field.
This will allow you to start adding your pipeline stages, however you first need to give it a name and change the filter to Dropdown.
Once you have changed the filter, you will see a new set of fields appear. This is where you need to start entering your stages.
In my example I have used the following:
- Cold call – contacted
- Warm lead
- Warm lead – response
- Brief received
- Proposal sent
These may not be exactly what you require, so you will need to change these to suit your requirements. Once you have finished adding your pipeline stages, you need to select the project that you want the fields to be enabled in. Since you are already within the correct project, the checkbox should already be selected.
Click save, and head back to your project.
Import your prospects
If you have not been using a CRM to date, the details of your targets are likely to be in a little bit of a mess. Luckily, Buzzstream offers you multiple ways to upload your information. Click on the Add link partners button and select one of the three options that is suitable for you.
Now that your prospects are within your project it is time to start adding them to the relevant stage of the pipeline.
Updating the pipeline status
The next stage could be time consuming if you have not uploaded your contacts by XLS. However, it is a step that is necessary and it will mean you are aware of what type of contact is required for the prospect.
The quickest way of editing the pipeline stage is selecting it within the main dashboard as shown below. On selection of the prospect, you will need to select the pipeline stage from the dropdown and then hit save. You will need to complete this process with all of your prospects.
Confirm contact details
As part of the Buzzstream tool, it automatically finds all potential contact methods for the specific website/prospect that you have entered.
It is a beneficial step to go through each prospect and review the contact details. This will mean editing email, phone and address details and accepting any social media accounts they find. This will ensure that you have as much information about your prospect as possible.
Be aware, that the details found by Buzzstream may not necessarily be the correct information. Therefore you need to cross-reference it against the prospecting details that you already have.
Making contact and keeping details up to date
As with any CRM system, you will need to ensure that any information taken is added to the contact. Buzzstream provides a notes feature which will allow you to add any information that you take down during meetings or phone calls with your contact.
If you have email communication with your prospect and your email is connected to Buzzstream, all your correspondence will be imported to the contact information. This will allow you to see any previous conversations that you have had, whilst also being able to easily review previous agreements made between the two parties. If you are unable to connect your email (I do not seem to be able to), then include your Buzzbox email address into the Bcc and all your communication will be added as if it was connected.
As you progress the prospect, you will need to change the pipeline stages through to conclusion by editing them as shown above.
The more you use this method for your business development, the more inventive you can be with the features that are already available. Below are just a few extras that you may want to use.
- Assign tasks to others: If there is more than one person working on the lead, you can assign them tasks.
- Using tags: Although you are keeping all your data online, you may have some offline outbound activity happening. Using tags, you can add them to contacts to easily show what marketing campaign they have been part of, to provide a more personalised approach.
- Create template responses: To speed up the outreach process, you can create templates that provide the outline of the communication that you want to send. These templates can be edited on each send to ensure that the approach is personalised.
And there you have it, using Buzzstream for business development!
This is a perfect example of a tool that can be used for multiple tasks, and why during your toolkit review it is essential to understand what each tool can do.
Are you using Buzzstream for sales or for a task other than link building? Do you think Buzzstream could be the answer to your CRM issues, even as a temporary solution? Are you using another tool that is not a dedicated CRM system for business development? I would love to hear from you in the comments below or other on Twitter @danielbianchini.
Image credit: Sean MacEntee (Flickr)