As the notion goes, insurance is a push product. It has always been a complicated sector, and selling insurance products has been an even bigger hassle.

The result- Insurance companies started selling their products through intermediaries. These middlemen, also known as agents or brokers, work on sales commission and introduce the common public to the world of insurance. They are responsible for making people aware of the need and importance of buying an insurance policy.

However, the pandemic changed the dynamics of this industry. Where COVID-19 came with uncertainty, life insurers believe that it bolstered the demand for insurance products. From life, health, and protection to guaranteed return segments, all gained severe traction during the pandemic.

Hence, from being a push product, insurance is now on its way to become a pull product. And the primary reason behind this shift is insurance companies making a pivot towards the digital channel. With no field movement and complete lockdown, insurers made a swift change in their distribution strategy. Without any involvement of agents or brokers, they started to sell insurance using direct distribution to consumers. This not only bolstered their sales but also helped them survive the pandemic.

This article talks about the direct distribution channel in insurance, maximizing policy sales through this channel, and its benefits.

What is Direct Distribution in Insurance?

Direct distribution channel or self-directed channel refers to an insurer selling an insurance product directly to a consumer without an intermediary. Hence, they need not shell out commissions to the middlemen. Website, social media, online channels, and kiosks are examples of direct distribution channels in insurance.

Changing customer behaviour:

Recently, consumer behavior has changed due to the rapid adoption of smartphones. It is expected to double from 468 million in 2017 to 859 million by 2022. 65% of India’s population is below 30 years. Also, internet data in India is the most affordable in the world (at USD 0.26 per gigabyte). These are the reasons behind the vast internet user base of around 357 million in 2017, which is going to increase to almost 840 million by 2022.

The 2017 Global Distribution and Marketing Consumer Study reveals that nearly 51% of digitally active consumers (39% of all Insurance consumers) have purchased insurance through an online channel. The direct insurance distribution channel encourages self-service and independent decision-making.

Insurance Market Size

With the evolution of technology, consumers have changed the way they research, compare and buy products. With digital leading the way, insurers need to strategize their business model. Steps that will help boost their direct sales are:

  • Informative websites
  • Self-service models
  • Chatbots to interact with the customers
  • More straightforward and easy to understand insurance products
  • Appropriate messaging across channels
  • Customer-centric business model and value propositions

Ways to Maximize Insurance Policy Sales through Direct Distribution Channels

In today’s world, customer expectations have changed drastically. Customers seek convenience and speed. And to meet these expectations, insurers need to leverage technology that provides meaningful insights.

LeadSquared Insurance CRM empowers insurers to increase policy sales via the digital channel. The features useful for the insurance companies are:

1. Ensure Smooth Application Experience with Self-serve Portals

What do you think is a significant differentiator between insurance companies?

It is customer experience (CX). According to Gartner research, 81% of companies expect CX to be the key battleground in the race for market dominance.

Insurers who have always been more product-centric than being customer-centric are rethinking their approach to business.. The first step towards this could be building a self-service portal.

Direct distribution through self-serve portals

The benefits of a self-serve portal are:

  • Makes the application process paperless and allows you to increase applications from all sources
  • Helps the insurer deliver services in a more accessible and convenient way
  • Lets policy-holders sign-up for insurance policies safely, make payments, paying no heed to cybersecurity risks
  • Allows applicants to see their progress, track application status, and pick up from where they left off
  • Improves customer experience via personalization such as customized toolbars

2. Reduce TAT with Automatic Lead Capturing and Distribution

As the industry moves towards digital, the primary concern for any insurance company is the turnaround time (TAT). This is largely due to inefficient and manual insurance processes.

Insurance distribution automation

This issue can be resolved to a great extent using automation in initial processes like lead capturing and distribution. It will help insurers:

  • Get rid of cumbersome and time-consuming manual processes
  • Reduce lead leakage and capture leads automatically from all online and offline sources
  • Automatically distribute leads to call center reps based on factors such as product type, location, agent availability, language preferred, and more
  • Reduce turnaround time by assigning the lead to the right call center agent within seconds 

3. Provide Personalized Experience with Chatbots

As mentioned before, customer experience is the prime differentiator between multiple insurance companies. Moreover, with COVID-19 forcing people to be at home, insurers have to find a way to interact with their customers remotely.

One way to drive this communication is by using Chatbots. A chatbot is a software application used to conduct an online chat conversation via text or text-to-speech instead of direct contact with a live human agent.

Chatbots have proven to be beneficial in the insurance industry as they:

  • Assist the customer every step of the way while he completes his insurance application
  • Provide personalized suggestions to lower the quote and guide the customer from start to finish
  • Improve user experience while reducing operational costs
  • Manage insurance claims for customers quickly and efficiently while serving as a listening channel that provides actionable insights

According to a Juniper Study, the use of conversational AI chatbots for insurance will lead to cost savings of almost $1.3 billion by 2023 across motor, life, property, and health insurance, up from $300 million in 2019.

4. Improve Customer Engagement with Marketing Automation

Marketers spend a considerable amount of money running ads on various channels to sell insurance products. But without knowing the audience and the right time to engage; every effort goes in vain.

Automating the marketing processes reduces the time teams spend on redundant and low-value tasks and eventually improves customer engagement.

Engage customers via marketing automation

The various benefits of using marketing automation are:

  • Reduce response time and enhance prospect experience by nurturing relationships throughout the journey
  • Engage the leads promptly with relevant content at the right time
  • Design prospect journey workflows, automate communication across channels and notify sales teams accordingly
  • Provide complete reports about campaigns, sources, and automation

5. Reduce Response Time with Lead Prioritization

An insurer receives hundreds of applications to work on every day. With several activities to perform, an insurance rep might not give sufficient time to each lead. Hence, he might lose a potential client.

Prioritizing leads separates the quality leads from the junk ones so that the rep can reach out to those most likely to buy first.

Prioritise leads using automation in direct distribution

Lead prioritization can be beneficial in ways such as:

  • Lead scoring makes the follow-up better and ensures fewer lost opportunities
  • Prioritizing leads that are most likely to win improves the conversion rate
  • Enhances productivity by focusing the efforts of sales reps on the right prospect
  • Spending less time on processes and making more money automatically increases the ROI

6. Onboard Customers Faster with Video KYC

Documentation is an essential step in Insurance. While on-field agents did most document collection, insurance companies struggled to digitize this process during COVID-19.

To address the problem, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed a video-based know-your-customer (KYC) identification process that provides an additional customer onboarding method. This can be done by capturing a live photo of the customer and submitting documents like Aadhaar, PAN card, etc.

Insurance video KYC verification

Video KYC can help insurers make their direct distribution seamless in the following ways.

  • Faster verification without the need for physical document collection
  • Live face detection using a robust face recognition algorithm
  • Automatic distribution to verification and onboarding teams
  • Completely connected customer acquisition process right from application to verification, onboarding, and closure
  • Faster verification process and reduced onboarding costs 

7. Ensure Productivity with Real-time Reports and Analytics

Once the automation processes have been set, the insurer must track the productivity and efficiency of the team while also keeping a check on the revenue generated by the marketing campaigns.

Real-time reports and analytics help in performance management and forecast sales for improved revenue visibility.

  • Detailed sales report depicting revenue generated based on product, regions, and more
  • Insurance rep performance reports with new business and renewal generated by each individual
  • Marketing reports to identify best and worst conversion campaigns
  • Lead source and attribution report to check the number and quality of leads from every source
  • Sales funnel information to check sales closed, pipelines forecasted, and revenue committed for a time frame

8. Increase Customer Lifetime Value & Retention with Upsell/Cross-sell Identification

Upsell and cross-sell are the two fundamental processes for any insurance company. It helps sell more to the existing client by either upgrading his policy or adding a policy with the one previously bought. It benefits both the insurer and the customer.

Automate upsell and cross sell identification

But an insurance rep must be reminded of the right time to upsell or cross-sell. Automation helps here by:

  • Identifying the upsell and cross-sell opportunity and notifying the sales rep to take necessary action
  • Improving customer retention rate by engaging with the customer at the right time
  • Sending automated messages to the customer if any opportunity is identified

Direct Insurance: The Opportunity

Short-term health insurance, long-term health insurance, whole & term life insurance all saw a surge of anywhere between 20-40% CAGR during the previous pandemics of SARS & MERS.

This is not the first time the world has seen a virus overturning lives and businesses across the globe.

The question is, how ready is your business to bolster operational load implications concerning increased levels of customer inquiries and subsequent support and counsel they may require?

COVID-19 disrupted various livelihoods, but it also posed an opportunity for insurers to pivot their businesses to digital and still shine through the crisis.

Find out how the LeadSquared Insurance CRM can help you drive more policy sales through direct distribution channels while decreasing your operational costs.


FAQs

What is direct distribution in insurance?

Direct distribution channel or self-directed channel refers to an insurer selling an insurance product directly to a consumer without an intermediary. Hence, no commissions need to be shelled out for the middlemen. Insurers generally use CRM software to streamline their direct sales process. 

What is insurance distribution channel?

Distribution channel in insurance refers to the process of delivering insurance products to their target audience. The distribution channels may vary from direct to intermediary.

What are the different channels of distribution in insurance?

Insurance is distributed to the customers through various channels such as direct channel like website and social media, or intermediary channel like agents, brokers, bancassurance and more.


Home » Archives for June 2021

In today’s consumer-focused milieu, customers expect brands to understand their needs more than ever. CRM platforms do not just manage customer contact information but also record how customers interact with them across various channels. 86% of the senior-level marketers agree that it is necessary to create a cohesive customer journey across all these channels. The success of a business now depends on how effectively it can interpret this data.

Advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence have enabled businesses to gain traction rapidly. A notable example is how AI and ML applications are integrated into CRMs to improve sales and marketing outcomes. Modern CRM platforms do not only collect data but also help businesses interpret them. As a business owner, you must have a CRM strategy to use your customer insights more effectively. 

Read on to learn how you can create an effective data-driven strategy using CRM.

1. Delve deeper into the data

When you have a CRM solution implemented in your business, you already have numerous metrics in place. Most of the CRM tools will provide insights to develop a data-driven strategy. Here are some of the key metrics that you must look at to build up your CRM strategy.

Count the responses

Start with the reports of your last few campaigns. From there, look at the top fifty responses. Your marketing campaign may have reached ten thousand people. Suppose out of those ten thousand, two hundred responded, and fifty people finally became your customers. 

Gloss over those fifty responses, and you’ll have all the answers you need to define your customer profile.

Mobile CRM - Lead details

Focus on the top responses

Now, look at the data that you have not noticed before. Most good CRMs provide you with these additional metrics where you can see:

  • how many times a customer opened an email before clicking the link, or 
  • how many pages they have browsed before purchasing the product. 

You need not do number crunching here to discover a pattern in the data. What most people overlook is the report from previous marketing campaigns.

Analyze the patterns in the data

You will find clusters in the data of your top respondents. Maybe you will see that they have opened the email between 8 AM and 10 AM. Then later in the day, they clicked the link and browsed the product. The next day, they made the purchase. 

Look across data over multiple campaigns, and you may find that your target audience is more responsive in the morning and at the end of the day.

You can also look at the clickthrough rates and check if opens cost you more than clickthrough. Did a lot of people open the mail but did not click on the links? That means your marketing campaign did not grab the attention immediately. Maybe they clicked the link, visited your website, but did not do anything. Or maybe, they opened the email multiple times and did not click at all. Information like this can be beneficial to both sales and marketing departments. The sales team can get in touch with your prospects to lead them through the journey, and the marketing team can plan better campaigns for the future. 

Email reports - lead nurturing campaigns

Remember the discoveries

As you sift through the data collected by the CRM, you will find multiple weak spots in your marketing campaigns. You will come across numerous derivative metrics which can help you improve response rates and boost sales. Often, these metrics are not directly associated with your data but are spread across the data. 

These insights will grant you more information regarding who your target audience is, what their purchasing habits are, and more. It is the first step towards making your data-driven strategy using CRM.

2. Pay attention to the surrounding data

Your marketing emails are not the only reason behind your sale numbers. If you are using your CRM platform wisely, you will have a record of every email, phone conversation, and interaction over social media. When you look at your top respondents, you can easily find the blueprint of a successful sale right under one roof.

Qualitative data is crucial.

When you use a CRM to see how well your business is performing, you will look at the KPIs. However, you need to understand that often, a lot of unstructured data can reveal a lot about your business performance. 

When we say Big data, we usually refer to unstructured datasets, such as notes regarding sales, conversations with a customer, and so on. This data can reveal how customers interact with your sales team, the performance of your sales team, and what can be an effective strategy to boost sales

All the data you need is right there in your CRM platform. 

The quantitative metrics come from qualitative data.

Qualitative data directly influences the metrics. For instance, you may find that the conversion rate dropped after you changed the design of your website. The website design may not come up in the CRM as a metric, but you may see that visitors are struggling with navigation. 

Once you find bottlenecks like this, you can fix them.

Create feedback forms or surveys

Good CRM platforms can quantify unstructured data by creating custom metrics. You can create feedback forms or ask the customer to participate in surveys. The same negative comment from multiple customers can reveal a deeper issue with your business. You can use CRM to look up the interactions of these customers with your brand to understand the underlying issue. 

3. Use predictive analytics

CRMs do not just give you a view of the past but also forecast the future. From the record, you may have seen an issue like low conversion rates because of complex website navigation, or a lack of a clear CTA, or maybe badly timed emails. Customer feedback can also reveal a variety of issues that you may not have thought about before. 

CRMs with predictive analysis give you a view of what lies ahead. While you do not need to know the nitty-gritty of statistics, or regression analysis, having some knowledge will help. Most CRMs now come with verbose data visualization and prediction tools that allow you to see how X leads to Y. 

CRM tools are also good at predictions. For example, if you have your email timings from the last few campaigns and the conversion rates for each campaign, your CRM can tell you when you need to send out your next email campaign to maximize your conversion rates. The prediction capability improves as the volume of data increases.

sales pipeline example - data-driven CRM strategy

4. Personalize

Personalization has been integral to marketing. However, now, customers have much higher expectations. Knowing their names isn’t enough. Customers expect brands to know their preferences as well. Therefore, you need to integrate your “surrounding data” into your CRM.

For example, you can use data from your customer’s social media profile to personalize your marketing campaign. Surprisingly, only 19% of marketers use birthday campaigns. You can see their tweets, public posts, and comments to understand their interests and cater to them better.

Social Media lets you see customers as people.

By integrating social media and CRM, you can record and aggregate information about your customers continuously. Even if you do not do business, observing your customers’ behavior can help you segment them and develop communications for each interest group. You can be more personal and friendly with your customers as you now know them better.

Create your target personas

You will find that many customers share similar interests, they also behave similarly. Based on demographics and psychographics, you can segment customers and target marketing campaigns accordingly. 

5. Plan your marketing campaign

The final step of your data-driven strategy using CRM is to plan your next campaign.

Your new CRM strategy will let you make customer interactions more meaningful. You will find some derivative metrics, use predictive analytics to judge the response rate of your campaigns, and use social media data to personalize content. 

Data-driven strategies do not only involve finding new insights but also cleverly implementing them. It gives you more place to stand, provides better support, and makes more creative campaigns. 

I hope this article helps you understand the importance of CRM and utilize the data you already have. 

If you’re looking for a CRM to get more insights into your customers and prospects or unable to derive meaningful insights from your existing CRM, check out LeadSquared. You can also try it for free

The digital lending market has played an important role in creating financial inclusion across the globe. However, in India, more than 70% of people live in rural areas, and only 10% have access to organized credit. Banks are hesitant to give loans to people without credit scores.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic had become a roadblock to hassle-free lending. People had lost jobs and hence were cash strapped.

Then, there’s also a need to address India’s MSME sector. It contributes to almost 38% of the GDP and yet has been a very credit-starved segment. The overall credit gap for MSME businesses is estimated to be around $600 billion.

The answer?

India’s digital infrastructure.

Better smartphone penetration and high-speed internet services have improved accessibility. They have also reduced customer acquisition costs and improved credit access to the rest 70% of the populace.

Let us look at the digital lending market potential in detail and the novel methods through which India can unlock it.

The State of Digital Lending in India

Digital Lending Market Summary

Market Potential

To promote financial inclusion, the Government of India allocated USD 15 billion to financial services in Feb 2021.

Experts estimate that the total market growth potential for India’s digital lending sector between 2021-2023 is approximately USD 820 billion. Furthermore, the majority of this potential lies within the near-prime, sub-prime, and thin filer bands of the populace. Therefore, to capitalize on this potential, many investors have infused a lot of capital into digital lending businesses.

Between 2014-2020, the Indian digital lending start-ups have attracted nearly $2.4 billion in new funding. Furthermore, MSME loan start-ups grabbed 54% of the total share.

Additionally, between 2015-2019, credit inflow in business lending start-ups has grown at a CAGR of 72%. It shows that fintech start-ups are looking to capture the SME market aggressively.

Digital Lending Products

The digital lending market is majorly focused on two products:

Consumer loans and credit cards:

According to a 2019 report by ICICI and CRISIL, consumer loans in India may hit nearly $1.3 trillion in size by FY24. Furthermore, smaller Indian cities will be a driver for this expansion. Additionally, consumer durables and Pay Day loans are also experiencing higher demands due to liquidity crunch amidst the pandemic. According to Inc42 analysis, over 120 million working-class Indians are the potential consumers of credit card companies.

Business loans for SMBs:

Less than 10% SMBs have access to organized credit, creating a pending credit demand for $600 billion. The primary reason for this challenge is the unreliable credit data from this segment. But, with the increasing use of alternative scoring methods, digital lending is changing this scenario.

Types of lending models and businesses

Digital Lending Models for MSME Businesses

The digital lending market for MSME has seen growth in the below segments:

  • P2P Lending:

It is a form of debt financing wherein borrowers can request a loan from another individual without involving financial institutions (FIs). P2P lending in India has seen a drastic inflow of new market participants over the last two years, experiencing over tenfold growth.

  • Point-of-Sale Lending (POS Financing)

It is a solution where any merchant can partner with FIs to offer solutions to their customers at the time of purchase. Not only does it increase merchants’ capabilities, but it also enables the customer to extend their margin of payment using credit facilities through the FIs.

  • Invoice-Based Lending

Invoice financing is a way for businesses to get short-term working credit against the invoices of pending customer payments. Moreover, IT companies use this option to pay their employees, smoothen operations, and improve short-term liquidity.

  • Crowd Funding

Crowd Funding platforms match businesses that need to raise capital through investors. They do this by showcasing their business plans, funding requirements, and market potential.

  • Pay Later Loans

An upcoming mode of financing (popular with e-commerce platforms) is Pay Later loans. They are instant loans of small ticket size that enable the customer to purchase an item and pay for it later in a scheduled manner. Sometimes, these payments are interest-free.

  • Supply chain Financing

FIs are also lending short-term working capital to MSME businesses through supply chain financing. Essentially, enterprise institutions with good credit scores can partner with multiple suppliers (that lack access to organized credit). MSMEs can then collect their payments directly from the FIs based on the pending payment invoices.  

  • Digital mortgage

Digital lending platforms enable mortgage loans through completely digital channels. It helps in shortening the traditional timelines and increasing onboarding efficiency.


Business Models in the Digital Lending Market

  • Lead Generation Model

Third-party marketing agencies like Bankbazaar, Paisabazaar, Credit Mantri are a few examples. These businesses connect with prospects through marketing channels and capture data. Also, they direct those leads to lending websites.

  • Online Lenders

Lending businesses with completely digital customer journeys fall in this category. They use AI and ML-based algorithms for credit underwriting and reduce the cost of customer acquisition. For example, Capital Float, Aye Finance, Rupeek, and Earlysalary are a few such lenders.

  • Credit Data Models

Credit Bureaus like Experian, CIBIL, Equifax, and more are some mainstream data aggregators. In addition, platforms such as Perfios and CreditVidya help FIs like banks and NBFCs through their alternate scoring models. They use AI and ML to generate credit profiles and assist in measuring creditworthiness.

  • End-to-end Lending Platforms

End-to-end or full-stack platforms contain all the above – lead generation, online lending and authentication, risk assessment, and more. For example, PayU has merged LazyPay and PaySense, two of its digital lending platforms, and created a unified full-stack platform. Another example is the Noida-based fintech start-up PayMe India.

Digital lending in NBFCs and Banks

In new customer acquisitions, fintech has a lead in the digital lending market. A BCG analysis shows that Indian fintech accounts for almost 30% of all new acquisitions. In comparison, NBFCs have only 10% of the share, and banks (public and private) have 19%.

Traditional FIs are partnering with fintech companies to use their digital capabilities. FIs are:

  • Utilizing a marketplace (MPL) fintech that can assess borrower creditworthiness and generate risk profiles and connect with leads. In this instance, the MPL platform acts as a matchmaker.
  • White labeling fintech capabilities like underwriting, application processing, collections, etc., and increasing conversions. Fintech lends these capabilities to FIs on a subscription-based model. The model is advantageous for FIs because they remain customer-facing even while using the tech infrastructure of fintech.

Some traditional FIs are building their own digital lending channels to compete with Fintech. It is to see which model serves its purpose best for the FIs. Higher new acquisitions, reduced TATs, and reduced risks will be some KPIs to determine the best approach.

Ideas in Focus

The lending industry is evolving rapidly to reduce the cost of operations and serve more customers. Additionally, the aim is to extend financial inclusion to many credit-invisible individuals. Let us look at two main priorities for the digital lending market:

Designing a Contactless Infrastructure

Interpersonal interactions were a major part of the Indian lending market. The pandemic came as a realization of the need for a digital, end-to-end onboarding journey. As a result, businesses integrated various tools into their processes.

For example, LeadSquared, a new-age loan origination tool, enables many FIs like Capital Float, InCred, Godrej Housing Finance, and more to capture loan inquiries from organic, social, third-party channels using out-of-the-box connectors.

Also, introducing a tool like LeadSquared helps lending businesses:

  1. Design self-serve customer portals
  2. Conduct pre-screening checks by integrating with third-party bureaus
  3. Collect documents
  4. Automate credit underwriting
  5. Reduce TATs
  6. Identify cross/up-sell opportunities
  7. Generate detailed reports

With LeadSquared, Finance Buddha was able to increase their loan conversions by 30%. Using such tools also enhances customer experience and improves customer acquisition rates.

Credit Risk Mitigation and Collections Using Data Analytics

Undoubtedly, AI and ML have a major role to play in the next few years of digital lending evolution. Financial institutions are using cutting-edge algorithms to assess credit scores. The alternative credit decision-making engines or ACD engines use unconventional data sources to understand credit behavior and generate risk profiles. Consequently, it helps FIs create healthier loan books.

Additionally, these algorithms can help build propensity models that enable better collections. Analysts can use such models to identify at-risk loans through repayment behavior or other parameters. Risk officials can then notify collection officers to take corrective measures. Furthermore, businesses can extend this process to entire industries for better portfolio management. It will also help them risk rate any borrowing entities and avoid concentration risks.

Conclusion

The digital lending market may host up to 48% of all lending transactions by 2023. It is the highest penetration of digital channels in any segment across India. Experts have a bright outlook of the industry due to:

  • A fintech ecosystem that is in its growth stage
  • Increasing participation of non-traditional players
  • A stringent yet nurturing regulatory environment
  • Evolving partnerships between institutions

Finally, by becoming more customer-centric, the digital lending market can improve customer acquisitions. Digitizing lending processes will also be a major step towards financial inclusion for the other 90% in India.

Find out how the LeadSquared Lending CRM can help you digitize and increase your customer acquisition numbers.



I am an avid user of LinkedIn Ads. After running more than 500 campaigns across different geographies, objectives, and formats, I have learned some techniques to improve their performance and ROAS.

Here, I will be sharing my personal experience and the dos and don’ts to help you get the desired results. So, let’s get started.

Any ad specialist worth their salt knows that digital advertising is all about constant testing. And no strategy is one-size-fits-all. That stays true for this as well. While my learnings will help you head in the right direction and avoid the mistakes that I made early on, you should constantly experiment and treat only your numbers as your guiding light. 

Let’s break the article down into three parts:

  1. Selecting the right objective
  2. Strategic bidding
  3. Selecting the right ad format.

LinkedIn Ads Objectives

The process of creating an ad campaign starts with setting up an objective for your ad. That is, what do you want to achieve from your ads. For example, if you want to increase sign-ups for newsletters, website conversions can be your ad objective. 

LinkedIn Ad objectives

Every ad you create will have a specific goal. When you hover over an objective, it will open a description pop-up to help you understand the purpose better.

Objective description

You can refer to the following table while selecting the goal for your ad.

GoalMaximizeWhen is it used?Who will see?
Brand AwarenessImpressionsYou want your ad to reach a wider audience or you want the audience to know about your product.Everyone will see the ad on their LinkedIn feed.
Website VisitTrafficYou want to drive traffic to a particular landing page or a website page.Audience who are most likely to click on your ad.
EngagementTrafficYou want to drive traffic to your post.Audience who are more active on LinkedIn and are likely to interact with your posts.
Lead GenerationConversionsYou want your audience to fill up a LinkedIn lead gen form.Audience interested in your offer with a history of filling up lead gen forms.
Website ConversionsConversionsYou want your audience to interact with the CTA button on your website.Audience interested in your offer.
Job ApplicantsConversionsYou want applicants to fill up a job application.Audience who are actively looking for jobs with a history of filling up job applications
Source: LinkedIn

Let’s look at a funnel describing the stages a consumer must go through for buying a product or service.

LinkedIn Ad conversion funnel

According to the AIDA model (Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action), you must know how and when to communicate with your buyers. Similarly, while running ads on LinkedIn, you must know the type of goal/content you should select to move your consumer to the next step of engagement.

Let’s go into the details of all these goals:

1. Brand Awareness

This goal is appropriate when you want people to know about your brand, product, or service. 

Most advertisers overlook this step because they’re under the impression that people already know about their brand. And I think that’s fair when you’re working for an established brand. 

Still, you can use this goal as a medium to promote your brand values. For example, you can showcase work culture (like Flipkart), indulge in co-branding activities with partners and influencers (like Burger King), and many more.

However, if you are a newbie in the market and want people to know more about your brand/product/service, I highly recommend you keep some budget for brand awareness ads. They can add massive value to your business by helping you build domain authority, boost brand presence, and increase website traffic.

The performance of brand awareness is calculated based on the number of impressions.

Here’s an ad that I ran with brand awareness as my goal, targeting a particular brand in India. The offer showed them exactly what they were looking for. It is also an example of Account-Based Marketing (ABM), where I tried to showcase how LeadSquared could cater to all their requirements. And now we were at the front of all those involved in the decision-making process for evaluating our product.

LinkedIn brand awareness ad examples

You may not generate revenue from brand awareness ads directly. But they do contribute to moving the consumer a step forward in the buying journey and boosting your brand presence in the market.

2. Website Visits

This goal is the second stage of the AIDA funnel, where you try to generate interest in your buyers’ minds. This ad can help you reach customers who may be interested in learning more about your product/service. Another way of looking at it is as a method to increase traffic to your website. This ad will reach people who are more likely to click and can help you land more visitors to a specific web page.

The ad performance is measured based on the number of website visits.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to add website visits audience to your remarketing list on LinkedIn. They’re the people who have already shown some interest in your web page. I am sure that a remarketing campaign based on this audience will help you generate high intent leads, assuming that your audience size is decent.

Here is an example of a website visits ad. Through this ad, I promoted a content piece written specifically for the BFSI segment back in July 2020.

This ad aimed to increase traffic to this page by encouraging maximum people from the finance segment to read it. 

The results: I could capture the interest of a niche audience segment, increased traffic to the webpage by 3X, and later used this audience to run remarketing ads.

LinkedIn website visit ad example

3. Engagement

People who engage with ads are more likely to be interested in a product/service. That means it is easier to get results from people who engage with ads rather than the ones who just see them. This is where engagement ads can help.

Let’s make sure we understand the purpose of engagement as an objective to set the right expectations. Engagement, when used as an objective, encourages likes, comments, and shares. It also involves visits to other social media platforms and websites. 

If you are looking forward to increasing followers for your company page or want your audience to engage with some content, engagement would be the right objective.

Here’s an ad that I ran with engagement as an objective. The idea here was to aim for more clicks, likes, shares, and comments. The acquisition of Aakash education by BYJU’S was a hot topic for discussion among the EdTech community. Therefore, I decided that engagement would serve the purpose of interacting with the audience.

LinkedIn engagement ad example

4. Video Views

Video advertising is currently the most popular way of reaching your audience online. It lets you share more information in less time with your audience. Usually, the objective of this ad lies in the middle of the LinkedIn funnel – to engage the audience.

The optimization goal for this ad will be maximum video views i.e., LinkedIn will push your video to the maximum number of people and aim to maximize the number of views for your video.

On LinkedIn, you can use video not only as a goal but also as an ad format. This ad can run for all three objectives present on LinkedIn – brand awareness, consideration, and conversions. I will talk about video as an ad format in detail in the later section of this article.

Here’s an ad that I ran using video views as my goal. This video was an interview with our CEO with a leading news channel on how we aim to grow our business by 2025. My objective was to get the maximum number of people to watch this video. So, I managed to get 3K views by spending US$80. It also got me 73 clicks, which means 73 website visitors who I could retarget later. 

5. Lead Generation

LinkedIn ads are expensive, in general. A lead can cost you anywhere between US$10 – US$100. When you send someone to a landing page, it creates friction, and you automatically add an extra step in the conversion process. Now, the visitor must manually fill a form with multiple fields that can reduce your overall conversion rate. 

But, when you use lead gen forms, visitors need not fill in all the details themselves. LinkedIn populates the form field through their profile data automatically, which they can submit in a click. With the lead gen form, I have seen an almost 50% increase in the conversion rates.

The optimization goal for this ad is form fill, which is the bottom of the funnel goal. It is mostly used for generating leads via downloadables, sign-ups, demo/free trial requests, etc.

You can capture these leads into your CRM via direct integration with LinkedIn or through Zapier (It’s super easy!). The next steps would be either nurturing those leads with relevant content or passing them to your sales team, depending on the type of content they have consumed.

Here’s an ad that I ran with lead generation as my goal. The call to action here is to sign up and try the product for free. When a visitor clicks on this ad, he is prompted to fill up a pre-filled form. As soon as he clicks the submit button, the lead gets captured in our LeadSquared CRM and is distributed to the salespeople based on pre-defined logic.

LinkedIn lead generation ad example

6. Website Conversions

Using a lead gen form with multiple custom fields can sometimes creep out the audience. You also miss out on the chance to retarget these people because they did not visit your website. Today’s audience is very tech-savvy and wants to know the value they get before giving out their contact information to any advertiser. 

Website conversion can inspire more visitors to download an eBook, sign up for a newsletter, or purchase a product. 

Pro tip: A quick loading page with social autofill and relevant content can help you convert more.

Website conversions can be used to get form fills or drive any other conversion goal on your website page/landing page. 

Here’s an example of how I used website conversions as a goal to drive registrations for a virtual roundtable event. After clicking on the register button, the visitor is redirected to a personalized landing page, where he can sign up for the event by filling up a form. 

You can also consider enabling the LinkedIn Autofill form button by using a simple script on your page. Since the registration form is pre-filled now, it can help you increase conversions on your landing page.

LinkedIn website conversion ad example

7. Job Applicants

LinkedIn is the #1 go-to place for 87% of the recruiters around the globe. LinkedIn provides recruiters a modern platform to set more precise targeting than the traditional platforms. Recruiters can capture the interest of candidates for a particular job profile. 

Job Applicant goal helps you promote more job opportunities. It can help you increase brand awareness, speed up the hiring process, and get the best applicants for your job profile. 

Here’s an example of a recruitment ad with job applicants as the goal. When a visitor clicked the ad, he was redirected to a landing page, wherein he could submit his application which would be contact details in this case.

LinkedIn job applicant ad example

Now, let’s look at the next most important aspect of LinkedIn Ads – Bidding.

How to Decide Your LinkedIn Ads Bidding Strategy?

As for now, LinkedIn supports three types of bidding strategies:

  1. Manual Bidding
  2. Target Cost Bidding
  3. Maximum Delivery (Automated)

So, the next question is: How to decide your bidding strategy?

Over the years, LinkedIn has evolved and has become extremely simple for advertisers to select bidding and optimize their campaigns. The type of bid you want to use depends on your campaign objective.

Here’s a detailed table from LinkedIn to make you correct the bid type for your ad campaign:

LinkedIn Ad bidding strategy
Source: LinkedIn

Note:

  • CPC – Cost Per Click
  • CPM – Cost Per Thousand Impressions
  • CPV – Cost Per View
  • CPS – Cost Per Send

1. Maximum Delivery

Automated bidding or maximum delivery uses CPM bidding and charges for every 1000 impressions. So, there is no cost limit to the amount that you are bidding for every click.

For a very long time, we have been under the notion that automated bidding will only make you spend extra money. But depending on your campaign objective, automated bidding will help you get maximum results from your daily budget. 

So, when do you use automated bidding?

A) Your current ad has a good conversion rate.

Let’s imagine a situation where I am running a lead generation ad with a 50K+ audience size.

After two days, I notice that the current CTR of my ad is more than 0.7%, and the conversion rate is more than 33%. (All great metrics!)

I will switch to automated bidding because it will help me optimize for a lower cost per lead, as I am getting more clicks and conversions.

That is, this bidding strategy will help me get more leads for the same amount of money. 

B) You want to increase visibility.

Automated bidding charges on impressions. Thus, the ad will be shown to as many people as possible. You can use it to increase visibility amongst your forecasted audience.

Here’s an example of how I used automated bidding to drive results from one of my campaigns. 

The CTR of this campaign was 1.08%, and the conversion rate was 56% (which is amazing). 

LinkedIn - automated bidding example
LinkedIn - automated bidding CPC

My average CPC was Rs. 75 with automated bidding.

LinkedIn automated bidding vs manual bidding

If I had used enhanced CPC, the average CPC would be around Rs. 150 – 200. (See the image above)

As automated bidding pushed for more leads in the same budget, I reduced my spend by almost 2X.

2. Manual Bidding

As the name suggests, this bidding allows advertisers to control the bid costs manually. That is, advertisers can select the maximum amount that they are willing to spend.

The algorithm works to optimize for maximum clicks/impressions/views/send, depending on your optimization goal.

When do you use manual bidding?

A) The audience size is small.

If the forecasted audience size for your campaign is less than 50K, your reach will be less. So, you will have to bid higher to reach more people. When audience size is small, campaigns become expensive. That’s why it’s important to set a cap on the costs.  

B) The click-through rate is less than 0.7%.

It doesn’t make sense to use automated bidding when your ad’s average CTR is less than 0.7%. I am saying this because the number of impressions will increase over time. If the click rate is poor, cost per click (CPC) and cost per lead (CPL) will shoot up if you’re using automated bidding.

Let’s take an example of a campaign where I used manual bidding.

In this remarketing campaign, we promote a direct offer – to try our product for free.

My forecasted audience size is 20K, which is relatively small. So, I already knew that I would get clicks, but the conversion rate will be less (12% in this case).

LinkedIn - manual bidding example

You can see that LinkedIn has pushed down the average CPC to Rs. 139, whereas my current bid is Rs. 230. With automated bidding, the overall campaign cost would have increased by almost 20K.

LinkedIn - manual bidding CPC

3. Target Cost Bidding

This bidding is a type of automated bidding which you can use to specify your target cost. It is currently not available for lead generation, website conversions, and job applicants goals. 

The algorithm will optimize to get maximum results while staying within the cost range that you have set. You need to monitor this campaign closely because the costs may fluctuate.

Learn what objectives and optimization goals support target cost bid types and how they’re charged. 

Honestly, I haven’t worked around this bid because it’s relatively new. And I prefer to use automated and manual bidding instead.

Now, let’s move on the LinkedIn Ad formats and when to use them.

LinkedIn Ad Formats

Once you have defined the goal, targeting, and bidding strategy for your ad campaign, the next step is to set up ads for your campaign.

You can choose from ten different types of ads on LinkedIn:

Ad formats in LinkedIn

Every time you hover over any ad format, a small description pops up, which makes it simpler to understand.

LinkedIn - automated bidding example

Below is the summary of all the objectives and supporting ad formats provided by LinkedIn:

Summary of objectives
Source: LinkedIn

1. Single Image Ad

A single image ad is the most used ad format by advertisers worldwide (It’s my favorite too!). This type of ad consists of a creative and an ad copy. You can use this ad format for every goal except video views. You can use this ad format for marketing to a user at any stage of the funnel. 

Some handy tips:

  1. Use a CTA in the creative
  2. Always use your company logo
  3. Limit to 30 words on an average for ad copy
  4. Use customer logos/testimonials to add credibility.
  5. Add human images.
  6. Don’t overcrowd the creative with too much text.
  7. Try to include a numerical stat.

Pro tip: Always run A/B tests on your ad headline, i.e., intro copy and ad creatives. It will help you optimize for a better performance. I A/B test almost everything!

Here’s a single image ad by Salesforce which they are using for recruitment. The ad stands out because of the quality of ad copy and introduction text, which are both unique and catchy. The creative is not overcrowded with infographics and text. There is also a URL in the intro text to make sure that the audience clicks on it without getting lost.

Salesforce career ads LinkedIn

Carousel ads allow an advertiser to share information with the audience in the form of cards. It is done by storytelling and interactive visual journeys that the audience would engage in. These ads are also mobile-friendly, so you can use them for every device to meet your ad objectives.

Some handy tips:

  1. Use stories/journeys to depict your message.
  2. Start with 3-5 cards and add more on the go.
  3. Break up an image into distinct cards.
  4. Show benefits or features of your product.
  5. Use customer testimonials to provide value.
  6. Track the performance of each card to derive learnings.
  7. Use problem-solution statements to engage the audience.

Here’s an example of how Unilever used Carousel to promote an eBook. I love it because each slide is unique and distinct, and yet they combine well. The bright blue and pink colors make it almost impossible to remain unnoticed. The best thing about this ad is that it shows a step-by-step visual journey to engage the audience.

LinkedIn Carousel Image format

3. Video Ads

Video consumption on LinkedIn is growing more than ever, with video grabbing almost 20X more views than any other form of content.

Creating a video ad and measuring its performance on LinkedIn is straightforward. A video ad can help you increase brand awareness, engage audience, and even get conversions.

Some handy tips:

  1. Use storytelling to humanize your brand.
  2. Add subtitles to your video (80% of video views take place with the sound off)
  3. Use thumbnail and a compelling video headline.
  4. Try to change camera angles.
  5. Use icons/GIFS within the video to depict a clear message.
  6. Nothing’s better than a real person in your video.
  7. Video duration should be 10 seconds – 5 minutes.

Let’s look at a video by LinkedIn that highlights the story of a woman who used LinkedIn to find a job. Video works well here because it sends out a message that resonates with the viewers, much better than text. The video is engaging and short, which ensures that you watch it till the end. LinkedIn has left no space for a mistake here by adding thumbnails and captions too.

 4. Message Ads

Message ads are a great way to reach the inbox of your target audience. LinkedIn message ads (formally known as sponsored InMail), you are charged per message. These ads are more personalized as you can use dynamic content – first name, last name, company name, job title, and other details of the receiver.

Some handy tips:

  1. A/B test your subject line
  2. Keep your message short and direct.
  3. Personalize your message with dynamic content.
  4. Add hyperlinks to increase CTR by 21%.
  5. Enable conversion tracking to attribute website visits with your message ad.
  6. Personalize the sender or use brand name (if the brand is well established)

Here’s a message ad I received from Google. The message is short, simple, and easy to understand. It has a very strong closing statement as well.

LinkedIn message ad example

5. Text Ads

It is the oldest and least expensive ad format on LinkedIn. If you don’t want to spend extra bucks – go for this ad format. The cost per click is as low as $1. But the engagement rate is also low. 

With the introduction of many other advanced ad formats, advertisers have almost retired text ads. Because of restrictions in space and placements in the text ads, advertisers prefer to work with other ad formats more than text ads. The main objective of text ads is mostly to increase website visits, which can also happen from single image ad format, carousel ad, and spotlight ads. But again, text ads are the cheapest!

Some handy tips:

  1. Note, they don’t appear on mobile.
  2. Use a strong ad headline.
  3. Add a clear call to action.
  4. Start with a low bid to manage your spending.
  5. Drive solution or highlight a unique selling proposition in the ad copy.

Here’s a text ad by LinkedIn, which includes an attractive offer and a clear call to action. The best part about this ad is the use of keywords like “drive more leads” because lead generation is a problem faced by 35% of marketers across the globe.

LinkedIn text ad example

6. Conversation Ads

Conversation ads are an extension to the LinkedIn message ads (formally known as sponsored InMail). They allow advertisers to create paths and full-funnel campaigns with the help of multiple CTAs.

These ads make sure that the audience acts by using real-time two-way communication, unlike the message ads. The best thing about conversation ads is the detailed analytics and click reports that help you gain a deeper insight into the audience behavior. 

Pro tip: Conversation ads are sponsored! There’s always a stigma around this word. The key to a good conversation ad is personalization so that the receiver doesn’t feel like he’s talking to a bot.

Some handy tips:

  1. Have a strong opening statement and subject line.
  2. Make sure to add an image (another ad can take its spot on the desktop if you don’t add an image)
  3. Personalize the sender’s name for a 16% higher CTR.
  4. Get creative with your offer and content.
  5. Make sure to have a clear goal and call to action.
  6. Monitor the flowchart reports very closely for better optimization.

Here’s a brilliant conversation ad from metadata.io. In this ad, the sender first introduces himself and his company. Next, he builds credibility by listing well-known companies that work with them. He then makes an offer of sending a $100 gift card (an offer you cannot resist!). It has been further talked about in a webinar on conversation ads.  

conversation ad example
Source: Metadata.io

Let me also show you another example of a conversation ad by LinkedIn. (This one’s a gif, so it’s easy to understand too!)

LinkedIn Conversation Ad campaign example
Source: LinkedIn

7. Follower Ad

Gaining followers for a company’s LinkedIn page can be a daunting process, especially if you don’t have a social media strategy in place or are a newbie. There are several other methods too, but they consume a lot of time and energy. 

But not anymore! A follower ad is designed to increase followers of a company page on LinkedIn by using personalized content. You can see your profile picture, name, and the other company’s name. This ad appears on the right side of your LinkedIn desktop feed. 

Some handy tips:

  1. They don’t appear on mobile.
  2. Choose from pre-built LinkedIn templates.
  3. Use a clear and short headline.
  4. Use company page analytics to monitor follower demographics.

There’s not much that you can do with these ads because of the limited options to experiment and single objective – increase followers.

Let’s look at a follower ad that showed up recently on my LinkedIn feed. If I click on the “Follow” button, I will start following this company, and their organic updates will show up in my LinkedIn feed. It also makes this process effortless and friction-free. With a follower ad, you need not visit the company page and then hit the follow button.

LinkedIn follower ad example - 2
Follower ad
LinkedIn follower ad example - 1
Spotlight Ad

8. Spotlight ads

The spotlight ad is also very similar to the follower ad. The only difference is that the objective of this ad format is to increase website visits or traffic to a particular landing page. You can also add a custom background image to the spotlight ad for personalization. I’ve given an example of a spotlight ad above.

9. Event Ads

Event Ad is a recently launched ad format on LinkedIn. In recent times demand for virtual events has increased significantly, and so has the use of the “LinkedIn Event” feature. This feature creates an event page on LinkedIn, using which you can send invitations to your connections to attend the event.

The events ad fills the missing piece of the LinkedIn events page, i.e., insights & analytics. It is now possible to see how many members viewed or clicked your ad and then registered for your event. 

Pro Tip: Make sure to have the details of both speakers on the events page, along with an attractive cover image.

According to LinkedIn, 40% of Beta customers saw their cost per registration decrease using the event ad vs. similar sponsored content or single image event campaigns.

Advertisers can now promote their LinkedIn event to their target audience with events ads.

LinkedIn Event Ads
Source: Searchengineland.com

Are you ready to crack LinkedIn ads?

LinkedIn is a very powerful ad platform that can help you find traffic, leads, and customers. Especially if you are in the B2B space, you cannot ignore LinkedIn ads. I know that LinkedIn ads can be a little expensive, but you’ll be amazed to see the value they can drive for your business. In the end, it’s all about understanding the platform, turning ideas into execution, and getting creative to make it work for you. To sum it up – LinkedIn ads do work if done right. I hope that my learnings can add some value to your ad campaigns.

You can also integrate LinkedIn Ads with LeadSquared CRM to track your campaigns, conversions and manage leads effortlessly.


COVID-19 has been the dominating topic of the year, and it will be a crucial reason for either shaping or deforming the future of industries in India for FY21. While the financial sector overall took a heavy hit, the equity markets have emerged as an unlikely beneficiary of the pandemic. The domestic capital markets have experienced a surge in the current fiscal year despite the unprecedented lockdowns.

Key Discussion Points:

  • Impact of COVID – 19 on the Indian Capital markets and the way forward
  • Change in investor expectations, market trends, and business ecosystem with the emergence of the digital economy
  • Ways to improve customer engagement, experience, revenues, and profitability with digitization
  • Technology trends that will help brokerages stay competitive during and post COVID – 19

Speaker

Prabhakar Tiwari
Chief Growth Officer, Angel Broking

Prabhakar-Tiwari

Mr. Prabhakar Tiwari is the Chief Growth Officer at Angel Broking Ltd. In his role, he holds the baton for Sales, Marketing, and Digital Transformation at the digital brokerage firm. Under his leadership, Angel Broking has seen rapid improvements in its digital maturity metrics and market share gains. He has been pivotal in the brand’s emergence as the third-largest brokerage firm in India. He made it possible via several award-winning campaigns including ‘Aage Badhne ka Smart Sauda’, ‘#ShagunKeShares’, and ‘Ek Nayi Shuruaat’ to name a few.


Nilesh Patel
Co-Founder & CEO, LeadSquared

Nilesh-Patel

Nilesh Patel is the CEO of LeadSquared, a sales execution platform. He is focused on helping businesses in high velocity, high volume sales to improve their sales execution and increase sales efficiencies. Nilesh is on a mission to build LeadSquared as the software partner of choice for sales execution for businesses. Previously, Nilesh was the founder of Proteans, a recognized leader in the software product development services space. Nilesh has a degree in engineering from Delhi University, and before founding Proteans spent four years in IBM with their microprocessor test tools division. 

Over the past few years, customer expectations in every business sector have increased exponentially. Almost all business sectors – from FMCG to automobiles, travel, and holidays, offer a plethora of choices to consumers. This trend has made customer service crucial to any business.

A CRM or Customer Relationship Management software helps you retain your old customers while also getting new ones. It enables you to keep the sales pipeline organized. The Importance of CRM software has increased over the last few years as research revealed that CRMs boost sales by up to 29%. It also allows businesses to forecast more accurately, improving sales by 42%.

Factors that contribute to customer satisfaction

When we want to purchase a service or a product from a brand, we engage with those that understand our needs better. You want to be offered solutions relevant to you, and you want the process to be easy and transparent. Now, this is where the importance of CRM in retailing and B2B increases. 

The following are the ways in which CRM helps increase customer satisfaction.

1. Quality of experience

An essential element in customer satisfaction is providing customers with high-quality experiences. The challenge lies in understanding that each customer has their own needs. Every customer will have an opinion about your products and services. Therefore, you must understand the customer personas and then cater to them accordingly.

By tracking all identity and behavioral data, CRM helps understand the customer better. You can then use this knowledge to improve your service and product. 

2. Omnichannel communication

A CRM platform can help you improve the communication experience of the customer. While more tech-savvy customers will contact the website via chat or email, many people will still feel comfortable talking over the phone. However, the prevailing pandemic has eliminated the option to visit the store or office. Therefore, people may also seek video calls. Younger customers may prefer to contact brands for queries and support over social media.

Sometimes customers may switch channels during the conversation. They can send an email initially and then continue over a phone call or instant messaging. According to HubSpot, 33% of customers get frustrated when they have to repeat why they are contacting support staff. So, having cross-channel communication and having a context of communication is crucial. It also shows the importance of CRM in binding multiple communication channels together for a seamless communication experience.

omnichannel communication strategy

3. Personalization

No customer likes to see ads for products and services they do not require. Therefore, brands must focus on targeted marketing. Conversion rates can improve by 8% when brands adopt a personalized approach. 

This experience means providing relevant discounts to customers and sending only relevant newsletters and emails to customers.

There is no better way to personalize communication than using a CRM for understanding and segmenting customer records based on their preferences. 

4. Customer service

Customers often make further purchases based on their after-sales experience. Say you buy a bicycle. Months later, you contact the store to replace a worn-out cassette, only to find that they do not have it in stock. 

Customers are more likely to purchase from brands that provide them with comprehensive after-sales support. Ideally, the store or the brand should keep in touch with the bike owner. They should ask if the customer is having any problems. Based on their response, the store should proactively ask the customer to get the bike serviced and stock up on spares.

Customer service is crucial in the B2C industry. Consumers do not change products very often and go with the brands they trust. With better customer service, you can also cross-sell and improve the CLV (customer lifetime value). That is why no business can deny the role of customer relationship management in today’s competitive world. 

5. Better management of purchases

Imagine a customer saving up for a product only to find that your store or the brand no longer has it in stock. Not only is this frustrating, but it also creates a negative impression of the brands. Brands must learn to anticipate the needs of the customers better. For instance, they should investigate present market trends, social media posts, and more to know which products are in high demand.

Getting a product in stock can be challenging as the manufacturing process can be complicated and time-consuming. A notable example of this is the global chip shortage that started in 2020 and continues through 2021. The production issues because of the pandemic, a cryptocurrency boom, and the increased demand for computer parts to WFH have created a massive shortage. Manufacturers did not anticipate such a shortage. Now the price of pre-built computers and computer components has skyrocketed. Automobile production has stalled in various factories because of this shortage. 

Okay, the pandemic was an exceptional case. However, with CRM, businesses can have better visibility into demands and can forecast sales accordingly. Maintaining a balance between demand and supply also directly impacts customer satisfaction and keeps the customer’s trust intact. 

6. Resolving issues and avoiding new ones

Customer satisfaction does not only depends on resolving their existing issues, but it also comes from preventing them from happening again. 

Customers seek an immediate response from the support team, even if they cannot resolve the issue right then and there. The customer also expects brands to take feedback from support calls and make sure that the same problem does not happen again in the future.

Customer experience: an essential guide for managers ebook

The role of CRM in improving customer satisfaction

A CRM platform is a centerpiece for the success of any modern business. In 2019, CRM software usage increased from 56% to 74%. Now, for customer satisfaction, CRM is indispensable. Marketing and sales teams heavily rely on CRMs to improve customer service and experience. Having contextual data on customers allow businesses to cater to their needs much better. It also improves the client’s experience with your business.

With the customer data, the marketing teams can target their campaigns and promotions to the right audience. They can automatically send emails to specific consumer segments or individuals when needed. It reduces cart abandonment and improves sales. CRM can also help with improving customer support. 74% of businesses using CRM have improved relationships with their customers.

Here are a few ways in which brands can use CRM software to improve their customer experience:

1. Keep in touch with prospects and customers

Most brands mostly focus on generating leads and getting new clients. However, research has shown that it is more profitable to keep old clients instead of getting new ones. Your old customers will bring new customers as social proof is a powerful tool.

CRMs improve customer satisfaction by allowing businesses to reach out to old customers. You cannot build a long-lasting relationship if you do not communicate. Clients will reach out to you if there is something wrong, but you too should reach out to them to know if everything is alright. You can offer them personalized discounts, inform them about product launches, or just wish them on their birthdays.

It will show that you, as a brand, care. Your CRM platform will already have all the data and tools needed to implement personalized communications.

2. Improve internal communication

Your business must function like a well-oiled machine to be effective and efficient. A collaborative CRM improves communication between departments. So, when the customer support forwards the call to the engineering department, they will also be aware of the conversation the customer had before. Other than this, CRM also allows sales, marketing, customer service, and technical teams to work together.

3. Visualize pipelines

The importance of CRM lies in providing a holistic view of the business operations. It gives managers and the sales team clarity on the pipeline. Sales team members can prioritize leads or easily pick them off from their last conversation. It will show customers that the brand truly values them.

Visualizing pipelines can also help you set up conversion rate benchmarks. You can quickly deal with any bottlenecks that arise.

sales dashboard pipeline report leadsquared

4. Create personalized communications

62% of customers are likely to open a marketing email when there is a personalized subject line. Your CRM software can gather data from multiple sources about a client. Sending out personalized communications will entice customers to respond and build a consistent and positive relationship with your company.

5. Deliver a consistent customer experience

CRMs can also help with keeping the communication with your customers consistent. Nobody likes to be bombarded with marketing emails and then have no communication from the brand for months. A CRM can send out personalized emails promptly as per your set schedule.

Watch this webinar to understand how CRM can transform the customer experience (in the healthcare sector, for example).

6. Store information in one place

CRM platforms help consolidate all your business data in one place. It may include customer contact, activities, communication data, and data regarding sales, leads, and conversion rates. Some CRM tools can integrate with ERP systems and even manage product inventory data.

Having all customer data under one roof makes it easy for sales and marketing teams to understand customer requirements and forecast sales. 

7. Learn more about customers

Your CRM platform will actively analyze and store customer data. It will collect data about what customers are purchasing, what products they are browsing, or what they are talking about on social media. This information will help you optimize your business operations to cater to your customers better.

8. Handle requests on social media

When it comes to service requests, Over 65% of consumers use social media. They will contact the brand via their Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp accounts. Your CRM system will collect and log all the service requests – no matter what platform they chose to communicate. If you keep up with your customer’s queries on social media, it will create a positive brand image.

Also read: 7 benefits of CRM to help your business grow.

Round-up: The importance of CRM in improving customer satisfaction

Marketing and sales teams can benefit immensely from CRM solutions. Not only do they improve customer satisfaction, but they also make work easier for the business. 

For instance, the marketing team will understand the target audience better, and the sales team will have more clarity on customer requirements. The support staff can effortlessly resolve issues – knowing the communication history. Managers will also get an overview of how the business is running and deal with bottlenecks quickly. Therefore, for both efficient business operations and customer satisfaction, CRM platforms are indispensable.

If you’re looking for CRM software to run high-velocity sales, LeadSquared is the way to go.