Why An Integrated CRM Is A Must For Your B2B Business
The most important KPI for any marketer is how well they know the pulse of their customer. Understanding the psyche of the customer, knowing what they want and how they want it and packaging your product in a way that they will like is all part of a marketers' everyday job. Nothing will prepare you in achieving these objectives as much as your inhouse-CRM would.
CRM is primarily a tool that is built for sales executives. It helps the sales team keep track of their conversations with various prospects throughout the sales cycle. But what is not known is how well CRM tools could assist marketers with their content marketing efforts as well. By definition, the job of the marketer is to build prospects who are then pushed into the sales cycle that is handled by the sales team. At an organizational level, the marketing and sales teams are are considered separate entities and as a result, their goals are measured independently.
What gets missed in this layer of organizational hierarchy is the fact that it is the same bunch of prospects both these teams work with. If the sales and marketing teams work over the same platform, then the goals of the marketing and sales team get intertwined. Marketers are no longer happy with just delivering leads to sales. Sales teams no longer have to complain about the quality of leads because they will have a better say in the lead generation process. How can all this happen? Let me explain:
Every business owns a customer relationship management tool to help their sales folks. These are mostly SaaS based tools like Salesforce or NetSuite CRM that companies pay a monthly subscription for. Because the cost of these tools depend on the number of users accessing the service, a lot of companies provide these tools solely to the sales folks leaving marketing in the lurch. As a result, the performance of marketing and the sales teams are monitored through different metrics – while marketing is measured on the basis of leads generated, sales is evaluated for conversions. The quality of leads is almost an after-thought.
But what happens when the sales and marketing are enabled access to the same CRM system? Now, the managers would be in a better position to evaluate the lead sources that are generating maximum conversions. Are the leads you generate from content marketing as good as those from trade fairs? How well do you retain customers generated from free samples as compared to discount offers? An integrated CRM provides B2B marketers the flexibility and efficiency to measure their conversions. Similarly, it helps sales managers compare their conversion rate against various lead sources. This way, both the teams could work together towards investing in marketing strategies that would generate leads that bring the company the maximum revenue.
Today's CRM tools are extremely flexible and enable businesses to decide on the features they need to plug in. Given this, it is critical that businesses make the best use of their CRM tools to work towards building a more effective marketing/sales channel for their business.
Does your company have an integrated CRM for your marketing and sales teams? Share your experience in the comments below.