How Effective Is Your B2B Sales ProcessGraham Richardson
With all of the buzz and panic around the upcoming GDPR changes, many are scrambling to ensure they are prepared – and quite rightly so. But before you rush to consolidate all your data and purge your contact lists, ask yourself – how effectively do you capitalize on the data within your sales and marketing strategies?
Most of the people who visit your webpage aren’t in buying mode, so getting the right message across is essential, in encouraging potential buyers onto the next step their journey. Those “right messages” may include product information, demo offers or free content. And with predictive analytics maturing all the time and the constant stream of data coming through, your sales and marketing efforts can become significantly more productive and efficient with the right tools.
So where does your CRM fit in?
Crucial for Helping Smaller Businesses Grow
By eliminating much of the guesswork of managing leads and customers, smaller businesses can benefit massively from CRM. A well configured CRM will allow users to track the customer journey, identify any risks and patterns along the way, and learn which steps are most likely to encourage prospects down the sales funnel.
Allowing users to trigger and automate processes they used to have to handle directly, CRM users can help ensure leads are qualified and nurtured, tying in their sales and marketing automation tools – all leading to improved conversion rates and hopefully, better customer loyalty. i.e. if a potential customer downloads a premium piece of content, the appropriate sales development team member can be automatically notified to send a follow-up email or connecting with the lead through follow-up calls.
Manage Your Leads
The use of a CRM will help you provide the most relevant content to a particular lead, better gauge which prospects are likely to become high-value customers and help you know what the next step should be in bringing leads further into the B2B sales funnel.
Whilst lead generation is vital to any sales process, sales teams can often become too focused on lead generation, and neglect the lead management phase.
By tagging, grouping and filtering your contacts, CRM can help you focus on your lead management activities, as well as lead generation activities.
From qualifying leads to scoring them, cultivating them, and following up on them, the right software helps ensure none of them slip through the cracks, and that pipeline is kept full.
Inspect & Analyse
By inspecting and reviewing the sales process (and the results at the end of a particular campaign), we can see what happened at each stage of your sales funnel, and react accordingly – rather than at the final closing stage.
With regular review, one can learn to recognize patterns, areas of focus, training issues for sales teams, bottlenecks, or opportunities.
Knowing your ratios can prove vital in helping you achieve your targets, i.e. from 100 leads, how many convert to the prospect/trial stage, and how many of those convert to actual customers? Measuring results helps you recognize where your challenges lie, and likewise, where great opportunities may exist.
Ultimately, it comes down your sales process. CRM is about making your sales process better, and not about the CRM tools themselves. Knowing your goals and defining how and where a CRM can help with them, will allow you to select the right platform for your business needs.