B2B companies thrive on the idea of tapping into several niches so as to discover their potential customers, evaluating their potential as leads for their product or services & finally guiding them through their sales funnel to convert to sales.
During their journey to make a purchase, B2B customers pass through different stages namely awareness, engagement & conversion.
CRM stands for “Customer Relationship management” & came into origin in the 1970s when marketers first realized that they need to be ‘customer empathic’ rather than ‘product empathic’.
The sales funnel has been a mystical analogy since its inception in the late 1800s when E. St. Elmo Lewis first mapped the customers’ theoretical journey & proposed the AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire & Action) model. As the potential customers move through the sales funnel towards conversion into sales their number decreases considerably.
A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) has to be nurtured & kept engaged for it to be converted to a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). Knowing the customers nowadays is easier than ever; however, in order to convert them into sales prospects & ultimately sell them a product or service, one not only needs to collect the customer data but also needs to keep accurate & accessible records of customer transactions, inclinations, requests & concerns.
Modern CRM systems have been designed to manage companies’ interaction with current & potential customers. It helps in analyzing data to interpret the interest of the customers, nurture the leads & helps in customer retention by facilitating personalized content for them.
CRM is amazingly beneficial for B2B marketers as it helps them accomplish their ultimate task of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) by identifying their customers & prioritizing their needs.
Not only CRM helps to personalize the experiences for the potential customers across multiple touch points but also helps in an array of other tasks as leveraging data from different sources to bridge the gap between the marketing & sales teams.
According to a study by Salesforce.com, CRM can improve customer retention by up to 27%.
When it comes to B2B marketing, analyzing the customers’ journey can be really difficult. This is where CRM takes over. It is a piece of software, often stored in cloud & is used to map the customers’ journey & accordingly prioritizes the data to closely scrutinize the sales funnel. The potential buyers at different stages of their buying cycles can be served personalized content or services according to their interest to expedite the sales process. CRM also helps in interacting with existing customers alongside potential customers.
Following are some of the ways the CRM can prove to be beneficial for B2B marketers:
1. Mapping Opportunities
CRM can help B2B marketers identify leaks in their sales funnel & the touch points from where the potential companies are leaving the funnel. Identifying the opportunities helps marketers improve uoon their strategies to attract, nurture & convert more leads.
Every B2B set-up is different; however, ideally each of them possesses the following six stages:
- Opt-in by prospects & their affirmation for further contacts
- The completion of an ROI assessment by them
- Having initial consultation with sales team
- Prospects getting a proof of concept
- Sales figure out a probable solution to the problem
- Negotiation of costs & sales closure
CRM helps marketers improve the efficiency & quality of their sales funnel by identifying & analyzing the loopholes from which the potential customers might be leaving.
2. Nurturing Leads
a. Mapping the journey of the potential customers using CRM helps to nurture the leads & guide the prospects down through the sales funnel until they are ready to make a buying decision.
3. Aligning the efforts of Sales & Marketing teams
a. An organization where sales & marketing teams work in alignment witnesses higher sales conversions.
b.When the sales & marketing team can work in orchestration with the help of CRM, it expedites the sales conversion, once the potential customers make a buying decision.
4. Tracking the Effectiveness of Marketing Campaigns
a. A well-integrated CRM helps the marketers track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns so as to track the source of the leads & assessing them qualitatively as well as quantitatively.
5. Improving Personalization for Potential Customers
a. CRM can easily be integrated with third-party platforms as well as several automated tools. Mapping the journey of customers through CRM & integrating it with a third-party platform can help the B2B marketers in classifying their potential clients on the basis of their demographic, firmographic & “fit-data” as well as individualize their experiences by serving them with the accurate solutions to the problems they are looking for.
b. CRM also helps in refining the customer database to prioritize the sequence of actions to be taken for converting the potential clients by providing them timely solutions to the problems they are looking for.
6. CRM for Improved Communication
a. The potential customers want to be listened to.
b. CRM is a cloud-based platform that is accessible from the office as well as via mobile devices. It ensures that humans are contacted by humans & not by corporate houses.
c. If the potential clients are able to communicate frequently with the buyers, their interest is intact, they are better engaged and have better experiences which in-turn, results in faster sales conversion.
7. Automating Ordinary Tasks
a. An ideal CRM for B2B marketers is capable of taking over the simpler & mundane tasks such as filling-up of forms & sending automated reports. This allows the sales team to specifically focus only on the ultimate goal of closing the leads.
8. Makes Information Accessible to Multiple Teams
a. CRM can be used by multiple teams including sales, marketing & customer service teams, to view vital information pertaining to the potential & existing customers as well as provides them access to emails, calendars & phone calls, anytime & anywhere.
b. When the right information is available at the right time to the right set of people, it automatically helps to expedite the sales process.
9. CRM for Analytical & Sales Reporting
a. The best feature of CRM is that apart from its in-built features, it can also be integrated with different automation tools & plug-ins. It can, therefore, give the marketers personalized automatic reports about each of their potential & existing clients.
b. While investigating customer information can help tap into new niches to attract more customers, creating performance reports helps in analyzing & improving sales & marketing endeavors.
c. Automated reports can also show how often the sales goals are being met.
CRM is a boon for the customers as well as the marketers. According to a report by Salesforce, 75% of the customers spend more money on a company because of positive customer experience. CRM helps B2B marketers understand their customers & prioritize their requirements. It facilitates the organization of data, provides ease of communication & improves customer experience.
We, at Valasys Media, provide CRM services to our customers, designed to help them organize their data and enable them to make effective decisions & be more resourceful to reap the benefits of customer loyalty & a healthy sales pipeline.
For more information on our services, feel free to contact us.