Customer acquisition management
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Customer acquisition management is the set of methodologies and systems to manage customer prospects and inquiries generated by a variety of marketing techniques. Various marketing techniques that are believed to be effective at Customer Acquisition include customer referrals, customer loyalty programs, and participating in charitable events. Customer Acquisition Management can be considered the connectivity between advertising and customer relationship management. This critical connectivity facilitates the acquisition of targeted customers in an effective fashion.
Customer acquisition management has many similarities to lead management. Sometimes missing from lead management definitions, but always included in customer acquisition management, is a closed-loop reporting system. Such a reporting system typically allows the organization to quantify the effectiveness of results of various promotional activities. This allows organizations to realize continuous improvements in both promotional activities and customer acquisition systems.
Customer acquisition management also often includes the original response to a prospect immediately after their inquiry. This response could come in many forms – a personalized fulfillment letter and brochure, an e-mail response or a telephone call. In each case the initial response is targeted to further the interest of the prospect and simplify the initial sales call for the sales channel.
Like lead management, customer acquisition management creates an orderly architecture for managing large volumes of customer inquiries, or leads. The architecture must be able to organize numerous leads, at various stages of a sales process, across a distributed sales force. In order to understand this process, it is helpful to examine a simplified linear lead flow process, such as the following:
- Advertising and CRM
- Customer inquiry or response
- Inquiry captured
- Inquiry filtered
- Lead graded and prioritized
- Lead distribution
- Sales contact
- Lead nurturing or retention
- Sales result
- Analysis of promotion's effectiveness
The lead flow process can become enormously complex as customers and sales professionals begin to interact. These various interactions and subsequent actions can create a variety of scenarios, both productive and counterproductive. For example, if potential customers do not have their needs fully developed by a competent sales professional, or a sales professional is overly forceful, this can lead to lost sales and counterproductive results. Another common counterproductive scenario is when a potential customer is asked the same question by multiple company representatives. [clarification needed] This exponential number of scenarios can provide for numerous opportunities to mishandle leads in such a way as to reduce their value. Managing these scenarios is the function of lead management.
By creating methods and processes to track key acquisition metrics, organizations can get a more accurate picture of what traffic and new customers result from each channel.
- Saylor, Justin (Oct 11, 2004). "The Missing Link in CRM: Customer Acquisition Management".