Your B2B CRM guide
Do you want to know how you can better understand your B2B customers? Would you like to create customized content with a high Return on investment (ROI) even though your customers are other businesses and not individuals…?
Then, this article focusing on B2B CRM systems is meant just for you!
What is B2B CRM?
Before we jump into the deep water, let’s define what we understand under these two popular abbreviations. B2B stands for business-to-business, while CRM stands for customer relationship management. The two refer to the relationship between your existing and future business customers.
In practice, B2B CRM usually refers to the tool companies employ to build and maintain these relationships. However, B2B CRM should refer to the whole strategy and understanding of the organization’s business customers.
Why do you need B2B CRM?
In B2B business, it is essential to have a good connection with existing and potential customers. This relationship is crucial for the sale but becomes increasingly difficult as your customer base grows. Since B2B deals involve multiple decision-makers, sales cycles can range from weeks to months. And the fact that communication often takes place across different channels, doesn’t help. Therefore, it’s a good idea to utilize tools and systems to ensure you stay in control.
CRM systems can help you stay organized and structured with your ongoing and settled deals. But a proper B2B CRM tool can do much more than that! The different integration, data tracking, communication, and automation features allow you to provide the best experience for your customers and employees simultaneously.
And let’s be honest, that is what all organizations should aim for if they want to stay in business.
More specifically, in B2B and B2C, CRM tools can help you provide consistent series of content to potential customers, starting by creating brand awareness, creating leads, and finalizing a deal. If the sale is targeted with the right customer support, higher customer satisfaction can be expected, which usually results in customer loyalty.
So, it is no surprise that around 82% of organizations use a CRM tool.
What can B2B CRM do for your business?
First and foremost, the benefit of using a B2B CRM tool is to boost sales and improve customer satisfaction. This is achieved by assuring no leads are lost in the pipeline or prioritizing more active leads and reaching out to them at the right time. That alone, but be reason enough to use a B2B CRM tool – but it gets even better! Customer satisfaction teams can also have better visibility over the different requests and tickets created by users.
With all the integrations and automation that CRM software programs can cover nowadays, most sales-related tasks are optimized to maximum efficiency. You can save many working hours by eliminating manual tasks and introducing templates, sequences, and marketing flows.
Besides these obvious benefits, knowledge and power can also be gained through the data collected by most CRM software products. It can help you better understand market demands and needed product optimizations and pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses throughout the different stages.
Another benefit of B2B CRM tools is that they are usually cloud-based. Thanks to this, employees can stay up to date with any lead or customer interaction. Having access to all information from anywhere.
There are many providers with different charging schemes and coverage. It is demanding to decide which one fits your budget, and what your team needs the best. That is why we listed some of the most popular providers below.
What makes a good B2B CRM system?
There are a few general criteria you should be aware of, before choosing the right tool for you. First, you need to know your main objective of introducing a B2B CRM system in your business. In general, the goal should be to improve business relations, but you will need to be more specific than that. You should also know your ROI expectations and what you need to optimize. It is something only you can decide, as it depends on your business model, products, and services.
Before making your final decision, you should also be aware of the three B2B CRM system types: collaborative, operational, and analytical. We won’t go too much into the details of the different types, but these are the definitions in a nutshell:
- A collaborative CRM system provides access to all customer information to all teams
- Operation CRM systems are all about the automation of marketing, sales, and service tasks
- Analytical CRM systems provide you with a better understanding of gathered data.
You can learn more about the three types on Zendesk’s website.
Once you’ve figured out what type is right for your business, there are a few other things to consider before signing any long-lasting agreement with a B2B CRM system provider.
How easy is it to implement the tool?
At implementation, time is most crucial. The time spent connecting and transferring your current databases to the new one and training your team to use the new system should be as quick as possible without compromising quality.
Does it integrate with other programs?
Nowadays, everything is software base. That is why you should pick a CRM tool that can freely communicate with other systems (such as your B2B order portal). These integrations will save you and your colleagues valuable time later.
Besides communicating with other software products, your B2B CRM should allow different departments to transfer customer information between each other.
There are endless possibilities for payments. However, most cloud-based systems are run on a monthly or annual subscription model.
One of the benefits of using a CRM system is collecting and analyzing data. This data should be collected ethically and stored safely.
Beyond all the features, you should also look into the company that provides the solution. How much are they investing in maintenance, updates, and customer care themselves? Are there regular updates that you can benefit from in the future?
When we look at all these aspects, it is clear that providing an excellent B2B CRM tool is difficult. As it is also difficult to provide an outstanding customer experience.
Top B2B CRMs of 2022
Finally, let’s get to the list. It is crucial for you to know that there are many more tools available – and that if none of them fulfill your specific needs, you can actually develop your own system.
HubSpot is an inside-out tool that aims to cover any step of your sales cycle. To use the above-mentioned CRM systems types, we can say that HubSpot is a combination of all three. Great to link information across departments, automate lead and customer follow-ups, and provide real-time and historical data in multiple dimensions. With the mobile app, you can see updates from multiple devices and track calls/ messages made not only from the desktop. The best part is that you can start with it for free, although it is much more limited.
Salesforce is a combination of different clouds that you can use simultaneously. The Sales, Service, Marketing, and Commerce clouds all aim to optimize communication and your teams’ performance. Some features are the same, just aiming for separate steps of the journey. Their motto “more sales, better service, more insights” says everything.
Besides, they also focus a lot on scalability, matching the included features to the business stage you are at.
Pipedrive, as the company name indicates, focuses mainly on pipeline optimization. Customized stages, detailed sales actions, tracking each step, and automation based on your learnings. All in one product. Mobile application available so you have access from all devices. Their motto “you can’t control results, but you can control the actions that drive deals towards completion” refers to their values and mission. You can test this software for free.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Rumour says that Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the world’s best ERP system. We can’t deny nor approve of that statement, but we can only praise their CRM software. In contrast to the other tools, Microsoft claims they provide much more than a sales or service automation solution. Aiming to help business owners create a better customer experience and meet and exceed customer needs through smart engagements and a deep understanding of the buyer’s journey.
We hope this article can help you find the most suitable B2B CRM for your business. Don’t forget, that many external and internal factors can influence customer experience.
Are you looking for ways to optimize your B2B sales and customer engagements?
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