If Your Staff Is Remote You Need A CRM With Marketing Automation

Your remote staff needs CRM and Marketing Automation.

I’d like to introduce to you an old friend of ours – SharpSpring. The updates that have recently been released are the perfect pairing for a new remote workforce. They will strengthen your sales team, make you better managers and owners, and delight your customers with the level of personalization and responsiveness that it adds to your business.

sharpspring is a perfect marketing automation and crm for your remote office - here's the dashboard showing campaign insights

In short, this tool will change the way you do business for the better.

Why is a marketing automation + CRM tool so important right now?

If your customers can’t see you physically, you need to be present digitally!

That is all. There is no substitute.

You May Be Losing Clients

If you’re an insurance brokerage, the sad reality is that many of your commercial accounts aren’t returning.

Property and Casualty business is going to fluctuate. If you have a lot of construction clients, know that their risk has significantly been reduced because there are fewer people working. That means your written premium is decreasing and so will your book of business.

property and casualty insurance brokerage talking to their construction client about reducing liability since they have been closed during the pandemic

There Are Fewer Opportunities Right Now

We have had a significant change in acquisition marketing. Let’s take a look at the clicks and impressions of one of our most successful campaigns to date.

Below is a screenshot showing the clicks and impressions of a Google Ads campaign around selling “co-op insurance” in Manhattan. The time periods shown are April compared to January. In April we couldn’t even meet the full spend on this account. The search volume just wasn’t there.

Google Ads bar-graph showing the difference between clicks and impressions between January 2020 and April 2020. This illustrates that April had about -50% of the engagement that there was in January.

Since there are fewer opportunities, it’s significantly more important to take advantage of all these opportunities you do get. The ad spend you get is twice as important because you’re getting half of it.

There Are Scarce Leads

Depending on your niche within the real estate market you may be feeling the pinch here, too. According to Curbed Boston, Boston condo sales are down about 20% in March compared to last year.

Here’s How To Take Your Agency Digital

Those working on single-family homes in the suburbs surrounding Boston haven’t felt as dramatic a downturn. In fact, the single-family market just outside the city seems to be up slightly in March compared to last year.

Will this signify a growing trend in the coming months?

Higher Cost to Acquire Leads

With fewer leads and people waiting to see the economic outcome of the current landscape, it’s not a stretch to say that the leads will cost more to acquire. This means you need to be making a lasting impact with the people that are interacting with you.

Maximize every opportunity!

How Are You Cutting Costs Right Now?

One of the great reasons we partnered with SharpSpring is the all-in-one cost of the platform. There’s no paywalls or tiered product offering. When you pay for the suite, you get the whole suite.

The SharpSpring suite of tools includes marketing automation, email marketing, social management, landing page designer, campaign tracking, and much more.

This can be huge for businesses with a tech stack that hasn’t been consolidated.

If you’re paying for MailChimp – SharpSpring is an email tool.
If you’re paying for HootSuite – SharpSpring has a social media tool.
If you’re paying for Unbounce – SharpSpring has a landing page builder.
If you’re paying for Propertybase – SharpSpring is a much more sophisticated CRM.
If you’re paying for Zoom – SharpSpring just released a video chat feature.
If you’re paying for Drift – SharpSpring just released chatbots.

SharpSpring can save you over $2,000 a month if you're paying for platforms like Zoom, MailChimp, HootSuite, Unbounce, Drift, and Property Base.

I could list out ways SharpSpring can consolidate your technology stack for another 20 minutes.

But, what needs to be clear is that you can’t cut your marketing budget in a time like this to save money. You need to just be smarter with your marketing budget and work with a partner that understands your needs.

How Are You Making The Most Out of Existing Client Relationships?

How are you checking in on your people?

For one of our P & C insurance brokerages, we put together email campaigns to reach out to business lines and personal lines. With personalized emails, it was easy to reach out to people in bulk to schedule qualitative calls.

Here’s How To Take Your Agency Digital

How are you adjusting your current client relationships during this time?

Are you reaching out to all of your construction clients to adjust their liability during the downtime? It’s so easy to reach out to segments of your audience at scale to meet their needs efficiently.

By sending a meeting link to all customers with the push of a button, how much time would that save you in scheduling calls? It saves me about five emails for every one call scheduled.

A Marketing Automation + CRM Tool Will Change The Way Your Team Works Remote.

Sales Notifications and Lead Scoring

This feature is awesome for keeping your sales team aligned with business deals that have the highest likelihood of closing. Sales Notifications let your team know when an engaged prospect interacts with pages that are key to your purchase process. When those interactions happen the prospect’s lead score is increased signifying that they are more engaged than typical users.

Here we illustrate Lead Scoring, which increases the score of a lead based on their online interactions you highlight within SharpSpring. Pay attention to the most engaged leads and get notifications as leads get higher on the scale.

This feature turns your website into a 2-way communication tool. You have unparalleled insight into what prospects are doing when they aren’t directly emailing or talking to you on the phone.

Lead Nurturing and Automation

With these two features, you can engage leads through different parts of the customer journey.

You’ll have the ability to follow up with prospects with personalized automated messaging. Your sales team will save an enormous amount of time by automating known drop-off points within the buying cycle and sales pipeline. These messages aren’t intrusive and help busy prospects remember right where they left off with your sales team.

An example of an automation follow up after a form submission. This highlights how a new contact record is created in SharpSpring and includes their Lead Score.

Imagine how your conversion rate would be impacted if you could push leads through your usual sales funnel with behavior-based automation!


Are you spending money on acquiring leads?

Whether you’re spending money on Google Ads, Facebook ads, blogging, or newsletters, you’ll get more bang for your buck with retargeting running alongside these campaigns.

There are very few instances in professional services that people buy from you on the first interaction. But, besides the off chance of someone remembering your brand name, how do you expect someone to find you again? Retargeting allows a website to tag a user via a retargeting cookie to advertise to them later on in a multitude of ways.

I’m sure you’ve seen this a lot with e-commerce. Those ads that seem to follow you after looking at a product. They’re incredibly useful for keeping you top of mind.

SharpSpring recently inked a deal with Perfect Audience, greatly expanding upon the suite. We love Perfect Audience because it allows for retargeting much broader than just Google products and websites. The fact that this system integrates directly with SharpSpring is incredibly advantageous for end-to-end reporting of customer acquisition and the future optimization of the accounts.

Sales Optimizer

SharpSpring’s Sales Optimizer has been a game-changer for managing a sales staff. This suite of tools is designed to ensure every salesperson follows best conversion practices so a qualified lead will not be forgotten again.

Similar to how marketing automation streamlines your marketing strategy, Sales Optimizer is designed to streamline your entire sales process. Through thoughtfully placed automation, a sales manager or agency owner can: control the company’s outward sales messaging, maintain the follow-up cadence, and create comprehensive reporting of completed sales tasks and engagement.


If you’re still scheduling meetings by typing in a bunch of times you can be available this week, you’re in the stone age. I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Calendly. Well, SharpSpring has a tool integrated into the platform that does the same…but better!

Here is the meeting function within SharpSpring showing a calendar of available times for booking a phone call.

SharpSpring’s Meeting link integrates with the CRM and does additional things like; increase lead score, trigger follow-up tasks for sales, and other automation that let your sales team be more effective.

There are both Zoom integrations, and SharpSpring recently released its own video chat service, which we’ll get into in a little bit.

Here’s How To Take Your Agency Digital

Sales Dialer

Empower your sales to optimize the quality and quantity of their sales conversations. The SharpSpring Sales Dialer allows for
– 1-click outbound calling
– automated call recording
– searchable transcripts
– robust call analytics

Sure, you could use something like Vonage Business for your team, but this is so easy and integrates with the customer data you’re building.

So many ways for an organization to further train staff from this type of tool. And for those working remotely, there is no better tool to call from anywhere.

Custom Reports + Cloud Dashboards

Measure everything that matters most with dozens of data visualizations. This drag and drop platform allows sales managers and their sales teams to build reports with custom widgets based on unique categories of information.

This is real-time data! You can monitor overall company results and individual team member results from your home office to keep everyone focused on what is producing for your business.

Get the ability to save, schedule, and automatically send these reports.

SharpSpring Recently Released Two New Products to Make Working Remote Easier
We love being a partner agency of SharpSpring because they’ve been so dynamic over the past 18 months with us.

In March, the team over at SharpSpring released 2 different tools that will make the work from home aspect so much easier for companies and further reduce the outside marketing tech stack that companies need.

1-Click Video Calling

Listen, we had Zoom for a while. But between their security risks and clogged servers that had a real stress test lately, we knew we had to have another option. SharpSpring came out with a video calling feature that is perfect for small businesses.

In one version, you can create a video chat with a contact in your SharpSpring CRM that sends an email with a unique chat window. An incredibly easy-to-use system that doesn’t circumvent security.

Their other version is perfect for internal use – Team Calling. We’ve been running our weekly team meetings from this for over a month and it has been incredibly smooth. It’s perfect for a Zoom Happy Hour… if you’re still into that. We’re over that whole fad and ready to get back outside!

Chat Bots

Here’s How To Take Your Agency Digital

Websites with chat have a 3x higher conversion rate! That’s just a fact.

The chatbots created by SharpSpring are both content-aware and deeply integrated. What’s that mean? Well, imagine being able to provide totally unique chat experiences, automatically, for a customer looking to interact about Personal Insurance vs Business Insurance.

Not only that, but you can be aware of who it is that you’re talking to on the chat instantly if they’re already in your CRM.

These chatbots automatically create and update your customer records in the CRM, eliminating the need to further log your chat notes.

There’s also a seamless handoff to a member of your sales team if you’re using a messaging software like Slack (which I HIGHLY recommend if you’re not already using it).

I could spend half an afternoon talking about all of the features of the chatbot and how they can be further integrated with your sales strategy.

This one tool – SharpSpring – offers enough tools to confidently manage your entire company remotely. Most of the companies we work with would never go fully remote, but having the capabilities to do so is such a game-changer.

Moving forward, businesses can’t pull their marketing budget. They need to create a marketing budget that works for them. When we partner with companies, we first look to decrease their overall marketing tech stack costs. Most of the time that involves a recommendation like the SharpSpring suite. You cannot beat the pricing considering all it has to offer.

Call to action button leading to marketing automation page

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