Maximizing CRM Impact: Real-World Examples for Firm Growth

On March 13th, AAM hosted an AAM High! webinar on Maximizing CRM Impact: Real-World Examples for Firm Growth. Three veteran accounting marketing leaders shared how they’re using their CRM systems to help achieve their firms’ goals.

Redpath and Company recently launched a new outsourced CFO/Controller service. This puts the firm in competition with non-CPA firms for the first time, so the firm is using its deep bench and accounting acumen as its differentiators. Sean Sullivan, Redpath’s Marketing Director, is responsible for the growth of this service. He’s driving leads to the firm’s website through organic social media posts. Those interested in the educational content in the publicly available blog posts can then choose to download a checklist or guide by completing a form.  This puts the person into the firm’s HubSpot CRM as a marketing contact and the person begins to receive a drip email series of five emails over the course of a few weeks. The call to action is to schedule a meeting using HubSpot’s embedded calendar tool to discuss their challenges and how an outsourced finance advisor may help them.  But the marketing doesn’t rely on the prospect taking this particular step. Sean has deployed a lead scoring matrix, assigning points for positive traits and subtracting points for a company’s negative traits.  When a marketing contact reaches a point threshold, a HubSpot automation sends Sean an email so he can evaluate the lead and take appropriate next steps such as looping in the firm’s business development people or finding a common connection on LinkedIn.  Sean’s advice is to start with a few lead scoring criteria to test out the feature; and to be willing to make changes if you find the results aren’t quite right. By combining many tools within the CRM, Sean is able to identify and surface marketing qualified leads who are aware of the firm and who feel good about the educational materials they’ve received about the value of the service!

Over time, CRM databases naturally grow stale and contact information becomes outdated. ClearlyRated saw its unengaged list growing and set the goal to entice people who were once more actively reading the company’s emails to do so again. Rachel Pompeani, Growth Marketing Manager at ClearlyRated, is leading the charge.  They launched a previous re-engagement campaign a couple of years ago focused on “don’t break up with us,” a message that was self-focused and sent to the whole unengaged segment of the database.  After reviewing the results of their initial campaign, they launched a second campaign focused on educational messages and is segmenting the lists by industry and eliminating those who have been unengaged for 365 days or more. The company halts all regularly sent emails in favor of a drip series with some of its best assets. While it’s still being rolled out so the final results aren’t in yet, Rachel is seeing that the industry-specific messages are getting more results. And it only takes one opened email to get someone back in the engaged list, so that’s great! She’ll be applying this lesson to the future industry list re-engagement drip series. Rachel is running the re-engagement program as a Campaign so she’ll be able to see if any revenue comes from the people she has motivated to continue receiving ClearlyRated’s regular emails.

When your marketing is firing on all cylinders like it is at Landmark CPAs, where Rachael McGrew is the Business Development Director, you’re going to have a lot of active leads and proposals to track. That’s why Rachael uses HubSpot’s Sales Hub pipeline tool to organize and stay on top of the firm’s inbound leads and proposals across offices.  From the time someone fills out a form on the website or calls the office, they’re in the first stage of the tracker.  Rachael vets the person by emailing them additional questions to be sure they’d be a good fit before involving anyone on the professional staff.  She has created a well-considered process with columns for an at-a-glance view of proposals being drafted, sent, responded to, won or lost. The value for each proposal is input so that she can report to firm leaders on the dollars in the pipeline. Since all marketers know that website forms beget spam, Rachael has a column for that too. There’s an automation that filters out spam messages so she never has to deal with them (though she can glance at them from time to time for a human-confirmation that the filter was correct.)  Last year Rachael launched a new website for Landmark CPAs. While she’s very proud of it (and rightfully so) she’s always looking for ways to improve its productivity for the firm. Rachael is noting trends among the prospects that aren’t a good match for the firm and will be overseeing rewrites on certain service pages to more clearly convey the firm’s value to attract those who are a good fit and politely repel those who aren’t; a move that will improve her sales pipeline for 2025 and beyond!

Facilitated by Alison Simons from Simons Marketing, a member of the virtual education committee, this AAM High! webinar was structured to showcase the knowledge of your fellow AAM members and was kept to a 30 minute timeline with Q&A to follow.  Did you enjoy this format and these speakers? Please share your feedback with AAM’s headquarters.  If you have ideas for a future program, AAM wants to know!  Thank you for being a member!

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About Alison Simons

For seven great years, I was the head of marketing for a regional CPA firm where I would joke "if it's not a tax return or an audit, it crosses my desk." I was responsible for branding and online marketing, recruiting and firm culture, M&A vetting and communications, business development and proposals, and more. Even though I had a job, I was getting requests from firms to help with their marketing; which is, supposedly, how you know you're onto something good. In 2013 I became an entrepreneur. In order to serve more clients, I attracted a team of really amazing people who focus on specialty areas within marketing because (get ready for one of her catch phrases) "Marketing is one word that means a lot of things" and it's all too much for any one person to be good at. So, now I'm focused on working directly with clients on strategies to help them reach their goals while overseeing more of the activities. I've presented multiple times a the MassCPAs annual conference, and have been featured on the Marketing Mistakes (and how to avoid them), and Stop the Noise podcasts. I've also served as a judge for LMA.

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