Managing prospect and customer relationships can be a huge challenge for many B2B companies. I see it time and time again, the bigger the company and the more people touching the CRM system, the more challenging governance of that system becomes. It’s really quite simple though. If this is the tool that glues so many departments together, it’s worth the investment in people, processes and SLAs to govern it to ensure it’s a source of truth for your company.
So what is a CRM?
Well, it depends on who you ask. I’ll assume you aren’t reading this for a “generic” definition. So I’ll describe it from my viewpoint. For a B2B marketer, the main goal of a CRM platform is to deepen and enrich relationships with your leads and your existing customers. It is a very powerful software system that, especially when configured by a knowledgeable and skilled professional, can produce real-time, priceless information to allow your sales team to be more successful at selling and marketers to be more successful at marketing. Sales now have access to specific information about your customers’ interests, concerns and demographics. And marketers can more easily segment their data and audiences to market to the right person with the right message at the right time. (Note: Marketing automation platforms play a big role in this as well)
And B2B businesses sometimes fail to understand the additional ROI from the investment in a CRM and marketing automation platform. In addition to the obvious benefits of marketing to new leads, consider the following additional sales generating opportunities:
– Existing Customer Revenue Growth
Over time, it is easier and less expensive to earn more business from existing customers than from new ones. If you collect data and use it to deliver customers the product, services and experiences they want, you motivate them to return.
And for new and existing customers alike, the more confidence your customers have in your brand and solutions, the larger the prices they pay and the greater the volume of purchases they make. Use your customer data to deliver content that is helpful and appreciated, and your profit margin rises as a result.
-Stop Marketing Waste
B2B marketing needs to work hard for it’s money. And you don’t have the margins to mass market like a B2C company. By analyzing the characteristics, habits and transactions of your customers, you develop more focused messages and deliver them through the right channels.
What would it mean to your marketing ROI if instead of sending out your direct email to a mass audience and netting a sub-1 percent return, you could target specific prospects most likely to buy and increase the response to 20+ percent.
– More Referrals
Happy, loyal customers are more likely to tell their network about their experience. Setting up processes to stay top-of-mind with your customer base is the most efficient marketing tool a business has.
– Better Internal Collaboration
An advantage of a CRM platform that is often overlooked is its strength in enhancing internal collaboration. CRM is not just a software program used by salespeople. It is a systemic marketing program involving all departments in the business.
Your sales reps build contact and client profiles, service staff uses these profiles and buying activities for problem-solving, warehouse and tech employees use updates on your sales pipeline to manage shipping and follow-up support activities.
CRM or bust!
How can you have an effective marketing strategy if you do not know enough about your prospects and customers? Utilizing the expertise of a marketing consultant will leave you with more resources to focus on your sales teams and their revenues.
The quality of your sales, service, and support will increase dramatically with good usage of your data. Customer relationship management is no easy task, but it doesn’t have to be a drain on your time and money or your sales team.
It is no secret that sales teams are busy and do not always have the time or ability to step back to evaluate and improve your sales processes. Outsourcing to a marketing consultant company can offer your sales team much more usable information for you to work with when planning your B2B marketing strategy.