I. WHAT IS B2B CRM?
First, let’s get to the basics.
The main idea of the sales cycle is to guide customers through content that increases their brand awareness and turns visitors into leads.
And end the cycle with a discount.
It sounds easy, but it’s not a simple task in the B2B realm. Remember that you are dealing with companies as your customers. Companies have several views and several requirements at each stage.
It’s not uncommon to find what they need right away.
That’s why companies use CRM (customer relationship management) tools and strategies.
Who are they?
In a B2B business, a CRM can be any of the following:
- B2B strategy
- B2B process
- B2B software
But at its core, CRM is a way to understand and respond to customer needs at each stage of the sales cycle.
B2B CRM software is a big asset here. These tools collect data from customer communication channels – websites, chats, calls, emails – and analyze it.
Information B2B CRM collects includes:
- Customer information
- Customer requirements
- Sales report
- Notice of problems customers have encountered
All these details are kept in a database (usually a cloud database) and can be accessed by company employees at any time. The CRM system allows the Sales and Marketing department to track potential customers and see all the necessary details about them. In this way, companies figure out how and when to push customers to move to the next stage of sales.
II. HOW THE BENEFITS OF CRM MAKES A B2B COMPANY
Without a doubt, it is the sales team that makes the most of the CRM software. But the marketing and other departments also benefit from it.
Let’s take a look at all the advantages that CRM brings to the B2B environment.
1. Improved contact management
Excel or Google Spreadsheets works great when you’re just starting out. But as it evolved, so did the requirements.
And no company can continue to grow without managing its customer base.
Using CRM software, employees can easily upload customer data to the database, set priorities, and remind customers for calls or meetings.
The software stores every piece of information and the company can draw and use it at any time.
2. Better customer experience
Honestly: it’s not just products that sell.
No matter how great your product or service is, customer relationships play an important role in selling and it needs to be nurtured from the very beginning.
Since the team has access to any customer insights in the CRM system, they can adopt a personalized approach at all points.
B2B sales take months or years (or years, if you’re lucky) and a personalized approach makes a difference.
3. Easy real-time quotes.
Having all the details at hand, the sales team will send the exact quotation to the customer and execute it promptly.
While CRM updates information about transactions, advertising, and prices as soon as they are changed. That reduces the chance of sending an incorrect quote to the customer, which is disappointing.
4. The marketing campaigns are more targeted
It’s hard to launch an ad campaign, let alone a few campaigns. And what if you had a dozen products to promote?
Using CRM software, companies carry out highly personalized and automated marketing campaigns. Employees quickly identify potential customers and focus on communicating with them.
It’s no surprise that these ads reach their audience.
5. In-depth analysis and detailed reporting
So you have launched a promotional campaign. Now, how do you check its results? Even more, if there are dozens of ad campaigns, how do you find out which campaigns bring ROI and which ones not?
The CRM system lends a hand here – with analytics and reporting, the company will figure out which action brings ROI and prepare sales forecast.
Typically, a CRM system comes with a dashboard showing all the necessary metrics and employees can generate reports with ad campaign results instantly.
Let’s sum everything up. CRM software helps B2B companies better understand their audience, prioritize business requirements and the organization that stores data.
Not surprisingly, well-known B2B companies are interested in developing CRM software.
II. CRM B2B STRATEGY
Cut down on chasing: sometimes, customer relationship management becomes difficult.
That’s why I list five these time-tested tips on customer relationship management – and how the CRM software supports that.
1) Tracking customer needs.
Every company, whether B2B or B2C, should know everything about customer pain, problems and needs.
How do you find out? Dive into the data of your CRM store!
Here is an example. Sales teams use software to store customer details and their interactions with the company. So a sales rep may ask customers what they are looking for and why they choose this company. And add information to CRM.
By keeping all this information in one place, it won’t be hard to figure out what your customers need.
2) Focus entirely on companies
Again: working in B2B means working with companies, not individuals. So you may be quite interested in getting more business customers to join.
Just one idea: run an in-office training program that explains the product features and shows how to use them for maximum results.
The more the company reveals how great and essential the products are, the more permanent customers it will have.
Customers should know the value of your product, otherwise, no one will buy. The best way to make your product even more valuable is to ask for customer feedback and improve it according to their preferences.
You can start by asking a simple open-ended question: ‘What services can be improved? How?’ or ‘What additional services would you like to see?’.
Spend all the time you need to check their answers, find the most common problems or suggestions.
By providing customers with a way to share their opinions, companies gather valuable insights that help improve overall business processes.
4) Create relevant content
B2B customers often rely on content when making informed purchasing decisions. Consumers want suppliers to contact them by sales emails, prepared detailed case studies and informative articles.
That is why you should consider creating a content library, at least answering the FAQ.
5) Track your success level
One last thing – don’t forget to track your success.
Check how many customers complete the referral process and find out their level of engagement on an ongoing basis.
Finally, look at how often they use your product – the more times it has value to them. Most B2B CRM suites allow tracking of these metrics to be tracked for individual users, so there should be no problems with it.
III. CRM B2B SOFTWARE: BEST USE CASES
Finally, let’s check out some real-life B2B CRM use cases – from Unilever, British Airways, and Cisco.
Cisco is a US network hardware & software company with annual revenue of US $ 51.9 billion and 75,900 employees.
All they want is to increase employee productivity, enable real-time collaboration and in-company feedback.
WebEx software turned out to be the most suitable solution for that.
Once applied, the sales team found 20% more time spent on strategic tasks. The number of external interactions increased by 50% and average uptime – a 10% decrease.
Importantly, the customer is completely satisfied with the service provided, rated 4.88 out of 5.
Unilever owns more than 400 and certainly knows the importance of keeping customer details at hand. That is why they decided to adopt CRM software to launch data collection campaigns.
Unilever set their goals on the Traction Digital platform. This software helps to launch and execute multi-channel campaigns, gather feedback and analyze it.
This partnership helps sustain Unilever’s life plan – spurring more growth, less waste, and less risk.
3. British Airlines
Service matters if you have more than 45 million customers per year. Plus, offering top-notch services is a major differentiator in the face of stiff competition.
That’s why British Airways has adopted Teradata CRM to automate ongoing campaigns, figure out what customers need, and how to make it work.
With CRM software, BA staff manage email, calls, web channels – all in one system.
As you can see, B2B CRM software brings a lot of benefits to businesses, making them learn their audience better and serve it best.
Employees work more efficiently; Sales and marketing campaigns have clearly defined stages that are no longer based on a ‘best guess’ system.
All of this leads to building better relationships with customers and gaining their trust. And that is the key to success for B2B companies.