When CRMs first arrived on the scene, they really were little more than tech-driven Rolodexes.

A few people might have added their sales info to the database, but for the most part, data on prospects were still in people’s heads or never discovered at all.

Today’s customer relationship management system is all about the relationship. Gone are the silos between salespeople. Gone are the barriers between marketing and sales and customer support.

CRM solutions for B2B especially work to provide a complete customer journey from interest to contract to support. Automation tools drive the ability to do this consistently across departments. If you’re looking for a new B2B CRM, take a close look at how well it executes in this area as automation drives success today.

Marketing: Lead Generation and Nurturing

Step one of the sales process is to find some customers, right? This is where marketing comes into play, gathering leads and moving them from initial curiosity to warm interest.

The best B2B CRM software options today have brought the marketing piece of the journey into the system and connected it with sales. Aligning the two functions consistently delivers higher revenue, better customer retention, and higher win rates.

You want your CRM to track leads, but also gather information about those leads to ensure their quality. Once you attract a lead through email marketing or online ads, automation rules decide what contact to make next and their level of interest based on their behaviour.

The goal of marketing automation is to better track prospects and guide their customer journey in a personalized way. Any lead nurtured to a certain point in the process should be ripe for more in-depth contact.

Sales: Lead Scoring

Advanced analytics and AI-based predictions can determine how likely you are to close a deal. Lead scoring ranks prospects based on the intelligence gathered by marketing and lets you prioritize the ones that are farther along in the sales funnel.

This alleviates a common sticking point between marketing and sales. Research shows some sales departments ignore up to 80 percent of the leads marketing sends them. This is understandable when you consider in the past, 73 percent of leads they received were not ready to talk to sales yet.

Automated CRM solutions shorten the long B2B sales cycle by only passing on leads that have shown sales-ready behaviour. Being able to take the guesswork out of when to take the next step in the process underlines the importance of CRM in B2B markets.

Choosing CRM Solutions for B2B

Automation plays a key role in the customer journey today, making your CRM more of a prospect intelligence system than a database. As you consider new CRM solutions for B2B, you want to consider closely how well the system can execute automatically.

The first part of the process is to drive and nurture leads. If you need help with your marketing strategy or have questions about lead scoring, we’d be happy to walk you through the process. Contact us today to get a campaign going to fill your sales pipeline.