A customer relationship management (CRM) system can benefit your B2B company in ways you might not even realize. It can improve customer satisfaction as well as strengthen your data and analytics — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Despite the effectiveness and prevalence of CRMs, some B2B marketers rely solely on loyalty programs and/or email platforms to track their customers and prospects. Learn why your B2B company should invest in a CRM system, too. And, if you already have a CRM tool at your disposal, ensure you’re tapping into all of its many benefits.
What Is — and Isn’t — a CRM System?
As we said, CRM stands for customer relationship management. A CRM system or tool, then, is software that manages your B2B brand’s relationships with both prospective and current customers.
With a CRM system, you can track customer and prospect information and interactions all in one organized, automated database. Popular CRM platforms include HubSpot, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics. They’re all great choices.
A CRM tool is not the same as email management software, like Constant Contact or MailChimp. We have nothing against these email systems; they’re also great tools. But they’re great tools for email. That’s about it. You can’t do much (if any) retargeting or automation unless you have a CRM system.
We recommend investing in a CRM tool and integrating any email management software you may have with your CRM.
3 Benefits of CRM Software for Your B2B Brand
Whether your B2B company already has a CRM system or you’re considering investing in one, make sure you take full advantage of the tool when it is up and running. Take a look at these three benefits of using CRMs to see what they can really do.
1. Get to Know Your Target Audience Beyond Your Assumptions
For the first decade or so of the digital era, marketers were just happy to have access to email addresses to reach current and prospective customers. But today’s consumers expect much more personalization than a blast email to one giant contact list can accommodate.
How do you get to know your customers enough to personalize your content effectively? Leverage a CRM system.
CRM systems track every contact’s information automatically, so you don’t have to do it manually. You can see when a contact:
- Visits a page on your website
- Downloads one of your assets
- Fills out a form
- Opens and/or clicks an email
- Reacts to your social media post
You can also take your own notes within each contact’s individualized record. You’ll never lose track of pertinent details about valued diners.
With all of your tracked contact details, you’ll get a clear picture of the wants, needs, and behaviors of your customer base. While personas are the basis of CRMs and customer understanding in general, all of this data brings your personas to life. The data also proves the accuracy of your personas beyond the assumptions you had about them.
2. Cater Content to Your B2B Customers Perfectly
All of the information you have about your customers thanks to your CRM system can inform that all-important personalized content we discussed before.
You can craft content that truly resonates with every persona in your audience. As you work harder to personalize your messaging, your customers will relate more closely to your B2B brand.
Take an example. Your B2B brand experiences seasonal sales spikes. The spring and summer are booming, but you’re trying to get more customers to convert in the winter. Considering job sites may not be as busy in the heart of the winter, you decide to offer an incentive for customers so they can take advantage of repairing their fleet with parts needed for the upcoming busy season. What if their equipment is older? Your parts strategy messaging would transform to selling a new machine.
You turn to your CRM tool. In aggregating data from your customers in the database, you see that there is an opportunity to engage them with the appropriate message based on the equipment they have. You engage them with messaging that entails the importance of upkeep for machinery before they are once again booming. The result? You see more traffic at your local dealerships and more conversions for parts on your website.
Automation doesn’t have to be that complicated. You can also pull customers’ information and push out an email with a message that resonates them during that seasonal time.
The point is that the data a CRM system collects can feed automated programs and content that accurately targets your customers based on real information. And accurate targeting means marketing dollars are well spent.
3. Optimize Your Entire B2B Marketing Strategy
With a CRM system, everything from customer interactions with your website to customer email open rates is recorded. Not only does all of this data help you understand your customers and craft specific content, it also helps you optimize your marketing efforts.
Think about it. Every data point from your CRM platform is an opportunity to gain more insight into what does and doesn’t work to reach that perfect customer. From there, you can optimize your strategy so it’s as effective as possible.
Take Full Advantage of CRMs for Your B2B Brand
It’s clear CRMs are powerful marketing tools. But only when used correctly.
If you already have a CRM system for your B2B company, be sure you’re capitalizing on each of the benefits detailed here. And if you’re in the market for CRM software, you’re now well-equipped to use that tool to its full potential. In either case, you’re on your way to better, more customized content and holistic marketing data for your B2B brand.