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Live Meetings: A Catalyst for Customer Relationship Management

Marc Crawford
Posted by Marc Crawford
on 10/21/16 05:00 PM

Marc Crawford is the CEO and Co-Founder of Educational Measures and sets the strategic direction for the company. Prior to working at Educational Measures, Marc was a management consultant at Keane Consulting Group. He received his Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Loyola University in Maryland and his Masters in Business Administration degree from the University of Colorado. Marc was recognized in 2012 as a Top 5 Most Influential Young Professional by ColoradoBiz magazine and is Six Sigma certified. Marc is an avid runner and he also enjoys designing and making his kids' halloween costumes every year.

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By 2017, customer relationship management (CRM) software will be a $36 billion industry. While some businesses will harness this technology effectively and capitalize on their investment, others will not, squandering valuable marketing dollars year after year.

How businesses strategically implement this technology makes all the difference, because using CRM and using it effectively are not the same thing.

Businesses gain a competitive edge when they employ CRM to cultivate better, more profitable client relationships, but sourcing the right information is a constant challenge. Live meetings in particular have been a historically challenging arena of untapped data potential.

The Old Way

Capturing, storing, and disseminating participant information from these gatherings has always proved elusive. Businesses constantly struggle with the gap between the event experience and the subsequent sales process.

Meeting and event participants traditionally gave their opinions through evaluations, often submitted at the end of the event. Human error, personal bias, and inaccuracy skewed the results and inhibited ultimate usefulness. Hurried participants, eager to pack up and head home, often raced through surveys thoughtlessly with completion, not insight, as their primary goal.

CRM and Live Meetings

The New Way

In eveny settings, we have discovered that participants are more likely to share information when they engage via second screen technology. This increased engagement can be analyzed in the form of session participation, real-time surveys, recorded notes, questions asked, and information requests.

All of this data can then be amassed, analyzed and automatically linked to CRM. Sales teams can target prospects with greater accuracy, providing information that these individuals would find useful or addressing potential knowledge gaps from the meeting itself.

With the incorporation of the technology, surveys that were previously distributed at the end of the event can now be broken up by sessions throughout the day. Instead of one-dimensional questionnaires, participants have more options for engagement, from ranking questions, to clicking within a chart, to submitting their own questions for greater insight.

Answers can be gauged in real-time and electronic capture eliminates issues like handwriting confusion and human error. Instant and ongoing polling can help uncover information deficiencies along the way, and companies ultimately gain better data in a more effective manner. The process becomes more fluid and tailors seamlessly to the needs of more participants.

The driving force behind these new data and analytics tools is the ability to target better follow-up with participants and future clients. Linking this information with existing CRM is the perfect way to harness that potential.

CRM Partnership

While this new data is alluring, it is merely a novelty if it cannot integrate into a business’s existing CRM platform. At Educational Measures, our data and analytics team prepares the data for easy ingestion into CRM systems like salesforce.com.

From the financial services industry, to pharmaceutical companies, live meetings are becoming an increasingly valuable arena for catalyzing CRM. With these enhanced insights, bank representatives can strategically target their ideal clients with information about new product offerings. Businesses in the healthcare industry can make better use of their paid advisory boards and pharmaceutical representative training.

No longer does there need to be a mysterious gap between live meetings and sales efforts.

Instead of one-size-fits-all follow-up (that never really fits anyone), sales leaders can circle back with participants and clients based on actual engagement and interaction, offering information that is desirable and also useful. Just like Amazon offers shopping suggestions based on previous purchases, businesses can use live meeting data to create targeted follow-ups for key demographics. They can swap generic recommendations for intuitive options.

With this enhanced information, businesses across all industries can increase the longevity and profitability of their client relationships. A study by Salesforce showed the value of cultivating long-term customers, with return customers spending nearly double what new customers spend.

The future is still unfolding for live meeting data capture and the ways it can catalyze CRM capabilities, but the partnership is powerful and undeniable.

Live Meeting Engagement

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