Generating high value prospects, namely qualified and with a high probability of buying, is the wish of any marketer. In this, “lead nurturing”, a practice that is still little used, appears to be a powerful technique. In order to better understand what is “lead nurturing”, anglicism which means “to educate”, I contacted a specialist in the field. Astier Verschuere, product manager of easiware, a French start-up founded in 2008, was kind enough to answer my questions. In the news, the company has just released the version 5 of its easicrm solution which now includes lead nurturing. In addition, a white paper on lead nurturing can be downloaded from the site…

Hello Astier, can you explain in a few words what is easiware?

easiware is a publisher of solutions specialized in customer relations for more than 5 years now. Developed in SaaS mode and based on both predictive and collaborative management on all customer actions and information, easicrm provides information not only internal to CRM and the company but also external and this proactively to each employee. easicrm is a solution declined in 3 complementary modules which can be deployed together or separately:

  • easicrm Lead nurturing : BtoB specialized automatic marketing solution, it improves lead generation.
  • easicrm Sale : commercial optimization solution, it helps to more easily transform leads into customers.
  • easicrm Customer Service : this solution makes it possible to pamper and retain customers so that they re-buy.

You are currently publishing a white paper on lead nurturing in 4 volumes, what led you to write about this new concept?

As you say, the lead nurturing is a new approach for a large part of companies. Anything new is often accompanied by a lot of questions and ambiguities. In addition, our publisher activity and our DNA make easyware an “early adopter” in the field of customer relationship management and marketing. We quickly understood the value of inbound marketing and lead nurturing for our own account. Indeed, we are a French SME and our marketing budgets as well as the size of our sales force are incommensurate with competitors such as Salesforce, Microsoft or Oracle. Thanks to the’inbound marketing and at lead nurturing we were able to be identified by the market as an actor credible and alternative facing American multinationals. Our sales force is dedicated exclusively to consulting and managing calls for tenders and is no longer wasting time on the prospecting part, which is now 100% provided by the marketing and communication department. This practice has given us impressive results after only one year and it still continues:

  • multiplication by 4 the number of leads;
  • multiplication by 2.5 of our sales;
  • 35% reduction of our cost per lead.

On the occasion of the release of our new solution ” easicrm lead nurturing », We wanted to share with our customers and prospects our vision and our experience of these new practices.

Version 5 of easicrm released in the first quarter of 2014 includes a lead nurturing version, can we tell us more?

easicrm lead nurturing is a CRM solution for BtoB marketing departments. Its objective is to facilitate the generation of quality leads. For this, we offer a complete and integrated solution that will allow attract, capture, assess, feed and transform leads into qualified prospects.

easicrm_2 We have developed functions IP tracking advances on the client’s website, demographic scoring, namely the possibility of evaluating the relevance of the lead according to the size of the company but also the sector of activity for example. We have also developed scoring Behavioral customizable according to the needs. Ex: a prospect downloads a model of specifications linked to the project of the site we will then have a ‘strong score’. Conversely, the prospect downloads a white paper, there the ‘score will be low. Finally, there is an automatic management of the status of lead and scenarios marketing management module for automatic sending of campaigns.

With easicrm lead nurturing, marketing teams will be able to

  • manage their emailings to promote their content;
  • create forms to automatically integrate leads;
  • historicize clicks and web browsing;
  • segment their base according to the scoring;
  • to alert the lead manager of the leads to be qualified;
  • transmit to the sales force the real opportunities.

It’s a real lead generator for the sales force.

How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors Marketo and Eloqua for example?

More than just a Marketing solution, easicrm lead nurturing is a solution of lead generation. So, for example, we offer a unique solution of automatic email retargeting “anonymous” visitors to your website. Thanks to French partners, we have very qualified databases to identify the IP addresses of visitors to your website and associate the email address of the functional decision-maker (s) related to your activity. We therefore launch ultra-targeted campaigns based on the pages visited. The results are twice as good as traditional campaigns.

easicrm

Similarly, from your solution, you can purchase prospecting files on the Altares & Managéo databases in order to directly enrich your CRM. easicrm also allows the lead manager to conduct lead qualification within the lead nurturing solution, which is not always the case in most solutions today. This avoids additional interfacing with other tools. This ease of implementation makeseasicrm lead nurturing the most suitable solution on the market for SMEs and mid-size companies.

What are the advantages for an SME to use easiware CRM solutions?

As an SME, we know very well the constraints and needs of these companies. Teams are small, IT resources are limited and there is a constant demand for flexibility and responsiveness. With easicrm we provide companies with a complete, modular and integrated solution with a limited number of interfaces and therefore rapid installation. In addition, SaaS mode avoids upstream investments and facilitates the implementation of the software. We also adapt our clients’ solutions to their field of activity, but we avoid re-inventing everything for each project. This philosophy allows us to offer a much more competitive price level than multinationals, which must keep a very generic product to adapt it to each country and each context. Finally, we communicate a lot with our customers, which makes it easier to integrate their requests into the product roadmap and to limit certain specific developments. Besides, we work with very beautiful brands (Michel and Augustin, Place des Tendances, Caudalie, Phythea, ….). They are all “sparkling” and characterized by ambition, conquest, innovation and high standards. It is with these business models that we love to work.

Last question, what are the easiware projects, your work in progress?

We are starting to think internationally but that is not the priority axis at the moment. Internationalization is expensive. We prefer to focus our human and financial resources on the development of the French BtoB CRM market to take a significant place. Our priority is to be close to our customers to provide them with the tools they need. We invest a lot in R&D but sometimes we have some difficulties in finding the technical profiles we need. On this point, the attractiveness of an SME is not the same as that of a large group.

Thank you very much for this Astier exchange, go to your site to download the white paper on lead nurturing.