CRM Software: Get the most out of your B2B CRM
Whether you’re looking to maintain relationships with existing customers or engage prospects throughout the sales cycle, it’s impossible for even the most talented sales rep to remember every customer interaction.
As businesses strive to provide a personal and genuine touch to every customer, tracking sales activity and follow up is critical. Yet, customers interact with businesses across channels and at fleeting moments. How can reps effectively capture and keep track of it all and ensure they follow up with the right message, at the right time?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology is a lifesaver for busy sales reps and marketers to track customer activity and deepen relationships, using one integrated system. According to Pardot, 79% of leads fail to convert without a CRM. Think of all the opportunities you’re leaving missing out on, if only 20% of your leads convert into sales (gasp)!
Today, we’ll share some helpful CRM basics and the cross-team benefits of implementing a CRM system.
A Quick Overview of CRMs
Think of your CRM as a database that houses all your customer and prospect information, including demographic data (like name, address, company size, etc.) and behavior data (including services or orders purchased, email interactions, calls, follow ups, customer order issues, etc.).
It offers businesses a single source to capture interactions across teams and channels, building a 360-degree view of leads and current customers. Your CRM serves a as a valuable rolodex or “little black book” for the digital age with all the need-to-know customer information and activity.
In addition, a CRM system assists with organization, communication, and follow up prioritization. Here are a few ways teams benefit from a collaborative CRM:
A CRM is the hub to collect all sales activity. Sales reps easily look up customer records in the system to view past interactions and purchases. Check what emails they’ve received and opened, when their last interaction was, what products have caught their interest, and more. Sales reps log notes in-the-moment during a phone call or sales meeting, so when they next reach out, they’re picking up the conversation right where it left off. Reps grade leads to reflect their buying power or stage of the sales lifecycle, and create alerts to be notified when a contact’s activity ramps up or reminders to send follow-up emails directly.
Marketers need insights into their audiences’ engagement throughout the purchasing process. Frequently, marketing produces leads (prospective customers) and passes them to the sales team to connect with. Without a CRM, the communication and feedback loops between sales and marketing is strained. Were the leads produced by a specific marketing effort? Are they converting? What happened with the ones who didn’t convert? A CRM enables sales reps to modify fields to reflect lead quality and sales cycle phase. With this insight, marketing gains a window into the post-marketing cycle to measure and evaluate the overall effectiveness of their efforts and pipeline.
Management, finance, and leadership teams use CRMs to report on the health of their sales, marketing, and customer service efforts. A CRM helps hold teams accountable and offers transparency across all levels of the organization. Trends can be visualized in real-time. Are sales going up for the quarter? How are the territory reps performing? What are issues arising with customer service?
CRMs come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re a large and dynamic organization, a sophisticated tool like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics has the robust features your sales and marketing teams need.
If you’re a B2B wholesaler or vendor, Whereoware’s Pharos CRM is built with unique product-focused features that many CRMs are missing. For example, you Pharos CRM helps you to place orders, manage customer issues and returns, analyze sales, ensure lead follow up, or schedule an appointment.
Ultimately, it’s vital to find a CRM that fits your business’s needs and budget, while empowering your teams to convert more leads, manage customer relationships, and increase sales.
Here are a few of our favorite CRM capabilities to keep in mind:
Reporting + Dashboards: Reports and dashboards help you monitor your sales pipeline and activity, without slaving over Excel. With easy to digest visuals, up-to-date dashboards help businesses understand their metrics at-a-glance and view their data in near real-time.
Order History: Knowing what, when, and how much a customer purchased helps marketing and sales understand their customers’ product interests and positions them for repeat business.
Cases: Does your business have a customer service team or a one-man help desk? Cases reveal pain points and recurring issues.
Media Library: House all marketing collateral, sales sheets, and PowerPoint presentations in your CRM, so your teams can easily access the assets they need and the most current, on-brand version.
Plays Well With Others: There’s strength in connectivity. Look for a CRM that easily integrates with other solutions, like your business intelligence tools or marketing automation platforms. These integrations enable you to leverage data and behavior across systems to trigger corresponding notifications, email campaigns, and audience segments.
Which CRM Is Right For You?
A CRM offers a collaborative window into daily sales activity and customer interactions. It helps your teams more effectively monitor, manage, and optimize your sales pipeline. EVen further, it gives access to the information your organization needs to sell better, maintain customer satisfaction, simplify reporting, and streamline follow up.
Choosing a CRM can be daunting. Get started by identifying your basic business needs and goals, along with your overall budget and scale. If you are a small business, you may not require the features of an enterprise system. If you sell products, you’d benefit from a streamlined, product-focused CRM, like Pharos CRM.
Still unsure where to start? One of our digital experts is happy to talk through your options and help you grow your business.