CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, systems are beneficial for companies of all sizes. To put it simply, if your company works with customers, then CRM is for you. This applies to B2C companies as well as to B2B companies. A CRM solution – be you a small family-run business or an enterprise with thousands on the payroll – can save you time and money. But, just as significantly, it helps you make more deals and money.
What you will learn in this article
- What is a CRM system?
- The definition of B2B business
- How CRM can help you as a B2B
- The big benefits of CRM
- Getting started with CRM
What exactly is a CRM system?
The best definition of CRM is a system that helps a business monitor its customers through the entire purchasing journey and helps nurture ongoing customer relationships. CRM does this by collecting and analyzing customer information and then turning the numbers into actionable insights.
You can also use CRM to automate your workflows, streamline your communications, and considerably boost customer experience.
What is the definition of a B2B company?
Before diving into the benefits of CRM, perhaps it would be instructive to define a B2B (business-to-business) company. The hallmarks of a B2B company are:
- Sales cycles are usually significantly longer than companies selling to consumers
- Their target audience tends to be smaller
- They handle fewer leads
- The buying journey is significantly more complex
In addition, B2B customers make their buying decision based on deep analysis and reason. This is quite unlike B2C (business-to-consumer) ventures, where customer purchases are based on emotion.
A B2B purchase will also typically involve several highly competent decision-makers as the deal value is considerably higher than with a consumer. Given the complexity of the buying journey, CRM brings substantial benefits to B2B companies. Though it’s also worth noting the same benefits apply to B2C businesses as well.
How CRM can help your B2B company
A good CRM system has much to offer your organization’s marketing, sales, and customer service. The headline benefits are.
- Automation of workflows
- Streamlining of business processes
- The ability to make much better-informed business decisions
But how, you may ask, is all this possible?
The top CRM benefits you need to know about
- Data overview – The largest win with CRM is its access to customer data at a glance. By storing all your data centrally, you can be confident you can make timely data-driven decisions. And not just by your sales department but across your entire organization.
- Contact management – Contact details are vital to the sales process. A CRM enables you to better manage all your contact info in a neat database that includes all your interactions with leads across multiple channels. Since your contact information is accessible from the CRM dashboard, looking up contact details is a breeze.
- Lead qualification – CRM is very useful in helping you prioritize leads and assigning them scores. The technology delivers real-time information on where the lead is in their buying journey. It will even estimate how long it’s likely to take to make progress based on the lead’s online activity and their interactions with your website or e-commerce shop. Data like this enables sales teams to organize their resources to much better effect. They can do this because they know who precisely to target, how, and when.
- Lead progress tracking – CRM is your all-seeing eyes in the sales funnel. CRM monitors a lead’s progress and determines the best time for follow-up activity by your sales department. This functionality continues post-purchase and helps identify the sweet spot for contract renewal discussions or upselling. The result is an improvement in your customer retention rate.
- Targeting – CRM data can be used to laser-focus marketing efforts by only showing potential customers the right content at the right time.
- Personalization – Few now disagree that personalization increases sales. CRM lets you take your game to the next level by targeting prospects with spot-on messaging at the various stages of the purchasing journey to maximize conversions.
- Alignment of sales and marketing departments – CRM does an excellent job of strengthening the link between these departments. Exchanging information daily will prove invaluable. With a CRM solution, you can be sure your sales and marketing people are working closer than ever before. And to better effect.
Customer service benefits
- Customer support – The mission-critical intel that a CRM system can provide is vital to your customer support team. The customer agents can access the entire customer history, enabling them to provide a superior customer experience resulting in a strong customer relationship.
- Automation – Automatic data capture removes reliance on humans to input contact info. This is just one example. You can easily automate many business processes with CRM.
- Task delegation – Workflow within teams or different departments can be automatically smoothed out via CRM task delegation. The CRM uses a raft of data and your protocols to assign and prioritize tasks.
- Employee performance monitoring – As well as collecting customer data, you can use CRM systems to monitor employee performance. A dashboard will show each staff member’s progress, workload, and efficiency. This information will highlight where business processes are falling short and can be improved.
Getting started with CRM
One of the prevalent misconceptions about CRM is that it only applies to big businesses. Nothing could be further from reality. Even small businesses can reap the benefits with a CRM solution that’s small-business friendly and capable of scaling up to meet your growing needs.
Though perhaps a daunting challenge at first, remember that the more you know about customers, the more you can sell. There’s no such thing as excessive data, particularly since CRM interprets the numbers and flags up what you should be doing to increase sales.
Small B2B businesses are ideally placed to leverage today’s CRM technology. The sophistication and functionality ensure nothing gets overlooked, something that can easily occur in the course of a complex sales funnel. It may sound trite, but CRM does remove the guesswork and deployment of gut instinct.