Scott is the CEO of Abstrakt Marketing Group in St. Louis. You can connect with him about lead gen, marketing and business on LinkedIn. Original article posted here.
In any B2B organization, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform plays a key role in helping to ensure that operations run smoothly. When used to its full potential, it’s hard to imagine how a company would function without a CRM. The value that they can offer to both sales and marketing teams within a B2B organization is invaluable.
What is a CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology that manages all of your company’s relationships and interactions with current and potential customers. There are many benefits to using a CRM, but the primary reason is to improve relationships and grow your business. Today, CRMs are used to manage relationships across the entire customer life cycle. From marketing to sales to customer service interactions, your CRM can help with it all.
Six ways your CRM can help with B2B lead generation
A CRM’s most basic functionality is to help you more effectively manage customer relationships. This is extremely important, but it also includes many other benefits that you may be unaware of. Aside from helping you manage relationships, here are six ways your CRM helps with B2B lead generation and business growth.
Gather and analyze critical data
When you’re managing every touch point of every customer interaction, you have access to insightful data that can help you improve your B2B lead generation program. Organizations can use this data to their advantage and grow their business even faster.
Here are just a few of the things that you can learn by analyzing data in your CRM:
Which channels bring in the best leads (web leads, cold calling, etc.)?
How does a slow response affect your close rate?
Are users who sign up for your newsletter more likely to become long-term customers?
What do your closed opportunities have in common? (Look at things like lead source, demographic data, etc.)
What is the length of time (on average) of your sales cycle?
Good data is crucial for any marketing department, and with a CRM, it’s easy to keep track of all the data you have. With this data, you can make meaningful improvements to your marketing programs that help you generate more leads.
Save time with automation
Having a CRM makes automation so much easier. By automating certain aspects of your sales process, you can save time and more effectively manage your sales pipeline. An example of something you could automate in your sales process using a CRM is follow-up emails. If a prospect tells you they’d like more information about your business, that could trigger an email with marketing assets and other resources to look at so they can learn more at their leisure.
Align marketing and sales
As a business owner, you’ll find that you see the most success when your B2B marketing and sales teams are aligned. Companies with aligned marketing and sales teams are 67% more efficient at closing deals and can may also achieve higher sales win rates.
What better way to align both teams than with a tool that centralizes all customer data and team actions in one location? Your marketing team can use the CRM to quickly and easily share marketing leads with your sales team. This quick transfer allows sales to qualify deals faster, and it increases the likelihood of closing a deal. Plus, the data that your sales team collects can help marketers improve campaigns and bring in even more leads. It’s a win-win.
Never forget to nurture
Any great B2B sales representative knows that the key to a healthy sales pipeline is keeping the conversation going. Nurturing should never stop. Using a CRM means never forgetting to nurture. The problem many B2B salespeople have is that they’re too focused on who their hottest leads are right now. They’re so focused, in fact, that they forget about conversations they had with prospects several weeks back.
A CRM allows you to set time-sensitive notifications for every account so that you never let leads go untouched for too long. By staying on your prospect’s radar, you’ll be top of mind when they are looking for a solution like yours. You might have a great sales pitch and the right target, but it’s just not the right time for them to buy. A CRM helps you nurture that prospect until it is the right time.
Easily share data with your team
A key benefit of having a CRM is that it keeps everyone in your company on the same page. If an employee goes on vacation or leaves the company, all of their accounts — with a history of every interaction that ever happened — will be stored in your CRM. This ensures that productivity won’t slow down, and you won’t lose two weeks of sales due to an employee who is out on PTO. With a CRM, you can simply transfer active accounts to different team members, and they’ll have access to all the details and notes on that customer or prospect.
More sales closed
Every benefit that a CRM can provide to businesses results in the greatest success of them all: more sales closed. Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and managing relationships effectively will make your B2B sales team much more effective.
Your CRM plays a huge role in B2B lead generation, and if you’re not maximizing the capabilities of your CRM, you’re missing out on huge growth opportunities. There are a lot of moving parts to a B2B lead generation program, but using a CRM will make your life a lot easier.
Scott Scully is the CEO of Abstrakt Marketing Group in St. Louis. You can connect with him about lead gen, marketing and business on LinkedIn.