Preface

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an approach by which a company manages its interactions with the existing & potential customers. Modern CRMs analyze customers’ data based on their research methodologies on the web, as well as based on their past buying behaviors. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML), the present CRM systems have only evolved for the better.

Specifically focusing on the demographic, firmographic, technographic, firmographic as well as psychographic digital footprints left by the prospects throughout their buying cycles the marketers can focus on improving personalization which in turn helps in customer retention a well in acquiring new customers.

Furthermore, sales growth is facilitated as the intent-data of the prospects is brought into equation for dividing the prospects into several clusters & ultimately targeting them in such a way that their pain points are precisely addressed at each stage of their respective buying cycles. 

An important aspect of the CRM approach is the all-inclusive compilation of data from diverse sources (pathways for omnichannel marketing). These include the website of a company, telephone numbers, email addresses, live chats, marketing materials & also diverse social media channels, being employed for marketing. 

Employing the CRM approach & the Software through which they are facilitated, the businesses learn more about their target audiences & about how to best address their pain points by showing the value propositions of their products or services, at disposal.

According to Harvard Business Review: “On average, sales and marketing costs average from 15%-35% of total corporate costs. So the effort to automate for more sales efficiency is absolutely essential. In cases reviewed, sales increases due to advanced CRM technology have ranged from 10% to more than 30%.” 

CRMs are beneficial as an integral part of B2B marketing & sales endeavors as they are handy when it comes to identifying & leveraging upon the hidden sales targets. 

Apart from the above-mentioned basic functionalities, CRMs offer a lot more for the B2B marketers:

  • They give the marketers a strategic edge & help them meet their goals aligned with the long-term revenue growth
  • They guardian customers’ data, safeguard the data & provide full visibility into the sales activities of the prospects as well as those of the marketing & sales staffs; thereby monitoring the buying cycles of the prospects as well as the core performance activities of the marketing & sales teams
  • They provide data-driven insights about the existing customers & prospects which gives the marketing & sales teams opportunities to act proactively & make intelligent decisions to accelerate their marketing & sales revenues
  • They streamline workflows with sales automation & give the sales team greater time to focus on actual sales
  • CRM systems assist lead generation, lead qualification, & lead nurturing campaigns 
  • They help in reminding the sales professionals about important tasks at hand, such as setting up appointments & making the follow-up calls
  • They help in integrating the endeavors of the marketing & sales teams & provide sales teams with ever accessible & well-synchronized data about different customers & prospects
  • They maintain a detailed account history for every customer in the database
  • They track every activity  engagement level of the sales prospects & thus help in expediting the sales funnels 
  • By providing the stakeholders with a centralized environment, they promote collaboration among all of them
  • Data Warehouse Technology – It is used to aggregate transaction information to merge the information with CRM products & to provide Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 
  • Opportunity Management – This helps a company to manage unpredictable growth, demand & implement a good forecasting model to integrate sales history with sales projections
  • CRM systems track multiple marketing channels over multiple networks & provide customers’ analysis by tracking the clicks & sales
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) CRM is delivered via the internet & accessed via a web browser instead of being installed on a local computer. Businesses using SaaS CRMs have to pay a recurrent subscription fee

The exponential increase in the growth of the market for CRM software can be attributed to increased mobility of the CRMs.

According to a report by Nucleus Research, 65% of the organizations that were using mobile-CRMs were able to meet or exceed their sales expectations.

According to a recent report by Gartner, the market for CRM software gathered revenue of USD 39.5 billion in the year 2018, while the DBMS market generated revenue of USD 36.8 billion.

CRM plays a critical role in driving revenue growth & in enhancing the core capabilities of businesses for lead management & sales, marketing campaigns, reporting, leveraging smoother operations & better customer relationship management for enhancing E-commerce competencies & improving the call-center-functionalities. 

Probing into Evolution of Intelligent CRMs 

With the arrival of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML), the CRM tools have witnessed the era of a pivotal shift from their traditional methods of structuring & storage of data. 

2019 has unfolded as a landmark year in terms of the union between artificial intelligence & sales, while 2018 witnessed revolution in terms of how the industry embraced AI into its core functionalities.

According to a report by Pactera Technologies & Nimdzi Insights, about 53% of the organizations across the globe leveraged some form of Artificial Intelligence.

Moreover, according to a report by CSO Insights less than 40% of the businesses have reported a CRM adoption rate over 90%.

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML) with CRM systems is all set to transcend the effectiveness of antiquated CRM systems in the following ways:

1. It saves time on data feeding & retrieval:

The basic functionality of CRM revolves around data feeding & retrieval. 

According to a study report by HubSpot, sales professionals spend 17% of their time entering data. Manual entering of data is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to the adoption of CRM. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) empowers sales professionals to eliminate manual data entry & equips them to centralize desolate databases to capture the complete lifecycle of the customers. A prospect can enquire through an email, by making a phone call or via chatbots which can be analyzed using the AI-tools for hyper-targeting the prospects. 

CallMiner Eureka is an example of the tool that uses artificial intelligence & machine learning language to capture & derive inferences from the interactions of the customers. 

An all-encompassing characterization schema is used to tag the transcriptions on the key points being researched by the prospects or those resonating with the pain points of the customers. The data when fed into the CRMs can be analyzed for meaningful insights such as objections related to a niche-specific prospect, competitors’ data, and ideal use cases, etc.

The salespeople can even research transcript data for keywords, phrases or even audibility such as increased voice intonation that may implicitly be pointed to elevation or deterioration in the levels of interest of the prospects. With the market segmentation based on topic clusters & frequency maps, the salespeople are well-equipped to detect vital customer trends.

2. It is beneficial for Psychoanalyzing the Customers Using Emotional Analytics Functionality

When it comes to expediting sales having a high level of rapport with customers is critical. 

According to research by Salesforce, 79% of the businesses stated that it is extremely important or very critical for them to interact with a trusted salesperson before making a buying decision

HubSpot explains the granular criticality of trust eloping in businesses stating that only 3% of the buyers trust their sales representatives. 

Tools leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) can psychoanalyze the customers to understand their sentiments throughout their buying cycles. Cogito is a tool that provides in-call voice analyses to help salespeople understand the emotional states of the customers & to allow them to introspect how to best respond to the situations at hand. Color codes are used to monitor the effectiveness of a customer’s interactions. Good interaction is coded as green & unpleasing ones are established by a change in color from green to yellow or even red in extreme cases.  

The diverse parameters of emotional states of prospects being analyzed by Cogita include the analysis of the prospects’ energies, their interruption, empathy, participation, tone & pace.  

The market is flooded with diverse tools for sentiment analysis which include Quick Search, Repustate, HubSpot’s ServiceHub, Repustate, Lexalytics, Critical Mention, Brandwatch, Social Mention & Sentiment Analyzer

The sophisticated analysis not only allows the salespeople to morph their interactions in real-time for better customer experiences (CX) but also allows them to optimize the experience of the customers by using the insights from the reports for improving the customer interactions. 

3. It helps in revitalizing the CRM data by data cleansing & helps maintain the data Integrity: 

According to research by Dun & Bradstreet, 91% of the data in CRMs is incomplete, 18% is duplicated & about 18% becomes unusable every year. With the increasing base of big data, 8 out of 10 companies believe that dirty data hampers their sales pipelines & 25% experience reputational deterioration due to bad data. 

Artificial Intelligence lies at the heart of data cleansing as well as preparation for helping the sales teams with decluttered data, which can help them accelerate their sales conversions. 

According to a report by CIO.com by the year 2025, companies will create 180 zettabytes of data each year & hence it will become important for them to have a clean database of clients, bereft of stale data. 

Moreover, CRM tools equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) can also be integrated with several third-party databases, which can help in getting rid of duplicate records, can be used to interpolate missing points in data & make all the necessary real-time changes required for data cleansing & preparation.

AI proves to be Acetaminophen for the cleansing of data & maintaining its vitality. 

4. It helps in optimizing the Lead Generation process by Predictive Lead Scoring

According to research published by HubSpot 74% of the companies stated that converting leads into customers is their top priority. According to a report by Forbes, 96% of the visitors who arrive on the website of a company aren’t ready for sales.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help curb the time on lead nurturing & by hyper-personalizing users’ experiences, which can help in expediting the buyers’ journeys. AI facilitates the voyage of marketers from conventional lead scoring to predictive lead scoring.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can used to segment the market as well as prospects on the basis of millions of data points, as well as the real-time attributes of the prospects such as demographic, firmographic, geographic, psychographic, researching behavior as well as the buying readiness implications of the prospects, scattered across diverse referral channels. 

Comparing the won versus lost deals using the CRM models helps the marketers in analyzing the loopholes in their sales conversion methods & can be used for optimizing for the sales’ closures.

Separate predictive models need to be split-tested from time to time, as per the emerging trends within the market to optimize the process of lead scoring.  By default, the most impactful lead scoring methods are applied, once they are stored. 

5. Employed for precognitive marketing & for generating predictive recommendations to optimize sales revenues:

As the CRM happens to a repository for a wide array of data from diverse sources & additionally, can also be incorporated with the third-party data tools the insights derived from the analytical studies of diverse data-points can help optimize both the marketing & sales endeavors for optimized sales revenues. 

The salespeople can be given meaningful recommendations, time & again based on the data housed in CRM such as personalized sales & marketing warranties to be delivered at specific times & stop following some specific leads that would just never convert (as evidenced from their past behavioral analysis by AI). 

6. Data from omnichannel will improve Personalization leading to greater Customer Success:

Tach-savvy organizations demand CRMs with a wide array of features & there’s ever a one-size-fits-it-all rule. Some of the most requested CRM features include Interaction Tracking, Contact Management, Scheduling/Reminders, Pipeline Monitoring, Email Marketing, Analytics & reporting, Interaction with other third-party platforms, Lead Generation & Management Functionalities, Sales Automation & Central Database. CRM is a must-have tool for B2B marketers & combines customer success & sales performance for the acceleration of revenue generated from the digitized economy

Oftentimes, salespeople need to choose the personalization-level which resonates with their industry-type.  Data collected from diverse platforms across the web that stud the Internet of Things (IoT) can be assessed using connected CRMs, anytime, anywhere, on diverse devise platforms. This helps in optimizing customer service for improved customers’ success. 

Most of the modern CRMs are easily compatible with mobile devices which further improves the users’ experiences as the salespeople are highly engaged in real-time. The essential component for social networking & for generating website conversions through several social referral channels is also facilitated by modern CRMs.

Wrapping it up

Modern CRMs facilitate better API interactions. 

Joshua Feat, CEO & Cofounder of CEO at Cogito Corporation, quoted the importance of meaningful conversations as premonitions of optimized sales in the following words: 

“Conversations are like a dance…You can be in sync or out of sync.”

This allows marketers to establish synchronicity across multichannel marketing channels, sales, customer services & other departments within an organization. All this leads to relevant & high-quality interactions between salespeople & prospects which are essential pre-requisites for optimizing users’ experiences & ultimately the sales revenues.

Bob Thompson, CEO of Customer Think Corporation quoted the imperativeness of a well-orchestrated CRM system as follows: 

“Successful CRM is about competing in the relationship dimension. Not as an alternative to having a competitive product or reasonable price- but as a differentiator. If your competitors are doing the same thing you are (as they generally are), product and price won’t give you a long-term, sustainable competitive advantage. But if you can get an edge based on how customers feel about your company, it’s a much stickier–sustainable–relationship over the long haul.”

With the evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) & advancement in technologies such as Neural-Linguistic Programming (NLP) & Robotic Process Automation (RPA), etc. the conventional CRMs are on the verge of a renaissance.

Evolution in the CRM software is completely renovating the way B2B businesses have been operating & improving them for better. In short, the success stories of B2B Sales industry also entail integration within departments using CRMs & integration between CRMs & third-party tools, for expediting the sales process & using the intelligent insights from the diverse data-points to help organizations making precise decisions to bolster their sales revenues. 

We, at Valasys Media, provide CRM Services to help organizations meet their core bottom-line goals such as enhanced lead generation, improved users’ experiences & optimized sales revenues. Our other services also include Event Promotion, Account-Based Marketing, Content Syndication & Lead Generation Services, all of which have been tailor-made to help our clients ultimately optimize their sales revenues & to enable them to achieve their diverse long & short-term goals, along the way.
The deciphering the recipes to the perennially healthy sales pipelines, get in touch with our team of experts.

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