B2B inbound marketing strategies can only go so far without an equally powerful sales strategy to close the deal at the right moment of the buyer's journey.
Sales has evolved from merely securing a transaction to forging relationships with prospects and clients, as well as fostering loyalty long after the end of the purchase. Knowing when to (as they say) strike while the iron is hot, can make all the difference when it comes to closing sales. Clients no longer want to be interrupted or pushed to a corner. Rather, they want to excercise their power to choose in their own time.
This is where B2B inbound marketing comes in. But while inbound marketing nurtures leads at every stage of the funnel, it's only half the magic recipe.
At the end of the day, no matter how many qualified leads you get and how hot and ready to purchase they may be, opportunity to close the deal can easily be lost without the right approach at the right time. As the adage goes after all, timing is everything.
This is where using a CRM can really be useful to supplement your B2B marketing efforts. WIth a CRM integrated with your inbound marketing strategies and campaigns, both marketing and sales will easily align and be all the more effective.
Here are the seven ways a CRM can support your B2B marketing efforts:
1. Customizing solutions to help meet targeted goals
There is no one-size-fits all CRM tool, and there shouldn't be. To create the most significant impact on your marketing efforts, you need a system customized to your sales goals. You can set up CRMs to host any range of client data and track a long list of employee actions.
More importantly, you can customize your software so that it analyzes your key performance indicators, guides users to the most effective actions, and integrates back-end processes, ranging from accounting to automatic marketing programs.
The customizable features of a quality CRM allow you to set your goals and leverage the equipment to meet those goals. If you have a marketing platform, be sure to integrate it with your CRM. We recommend using the HubSpot CRM espcially if you are already using HubSpot's inbound marketing platform.
2. Reducing mistakes and boosting the appearance of competence
A CRM reduces incidences of lost information and repeated phone calls or other actions, ultimately making your sales team look more competent. The perception your clients have of your sales team affects how they see every other aspect of your business including your products, services, and reliability. The more competent your team looks, the better it is at driving sales, both from a perception standpoint and in terms of actually closing the deal.
3. Segmenting data for targeted marketing
When trying to close the deal, the same approach doesn't necessarily work on every single client. Rather, sales teams who are the most successful take a targeted approach to each client. Some of that boils down to the intuition and people skills of the sales rep, but a lot of it boils down to getting the right products and services, the right offers, and the right ads in from of the right businesses at the right time.
A CRM allows you to do that by giving you tools to segment and sort your data for targeted marketing efforts. Rather than scrolling through endless lists of potential leads or established clients, you and your sales team can sort your files based on a range of criteria such as location, industry, or last sale, and you can even use your CRM to sort contacts based on certain actions they have taken on your website or based on the job title of the contact -- for example, you may want to use a different approach for a purchasing rep than for a sole proprietor who wears multiple hats.
This allows your marketing efforts to focus on granular details about your clients and respond to them with niche and relevant responses. As clients begin to feel more and more like you are devoting your efforts to them on a unique and personable basis, they become more likely to reach out to you instead of waiting for you to contact them, indirectly increasing your inbound marketing efforts as well.
4. Preventing accounts from stagnating
While CRM software can help you target certain business clients, it can also make sure that you don't allow any accounts to stagnate. In sales, it's always tempting to cherry pick strong prospects or just focus on the most profitable clients, but it's also important to leave no stone unturned in the quest for sales.
To that end, a CRM can set reminders to ensure you and your team don't forget to contact any of the businesses you want to land or keep as clients.
5. Corralling and sharing data in real time
CRMs are no longer the purview of clunky desktops -- they've taken to the cloud so you can easily access them through mobile devices and laptops. This new found portability means everyone is on the same page all the time. Imagine a rep talks with a business client out in the field.
As soon as they update the system using their phone, all of that data is immediately accessible to everyone in the office or anyone who's cleared for remote access. As a result, if the client calls the office with a follow-up question or even at a later date in response to some of your inbound marketing efforts, you office staff has access to every important note and happening on the file.
6. Planning a productive day
Whether your team is focused on a certain segment of your client list, working through a list of scheduled calls, or doing anything else, a CRM can help them optimize their daily schedules. It can prioritize tasks, send reminders, and save them time on administrative tasks. That all leads to improved client care, stronger B2B marketing efforts, and increased sales.
7. Managing the sales team
In addition to the numerous ways a CRM helps your team juggle their business clients, it also allows you to easily track what your team is doing. You can use the system to track the calls your team is making, look at each rep's sales goals, conversion rates, number of referrals or any other indicators of success. In many cases, you can even get a CRM that puts all of your KPIs on a dashboard so you can assess what's happening at any time with a quick glance at the numbers.
If you are ready for a full force solution, customized to meet your company's goals, it may be time to transfer your B2B clients into a CRM. It allows you to leverage data and information in ways critical to improving processes, sales, and, most importantly, profits.