How do you collect and store information on new leads, and existing customers and accounts?

If you’re still working in spreadsheets, Outlook address books or legacy “premise-based” customer relationship management systems such as Act! or GoldMine, you’re not alone.

As more customers interact with your sales and marketing team digitally by accessing content online or submitting forms on your website, it’s more important than ever to manage all of that customer interaction and activity in a modern cloud CRM system. An integration-friendly, mobile friendly and easily customized CRM can help you modernize your sales and marketing process and align your business to the way B2B customers now do business.

We’ve highlighted five key reasons a CRM System can help achieve sales and marketing success in today’s digital climate. 

1. Bring leads directly from the Web into an organized database

As more people find and research their problems and potential vendors online, it is essential to provide an easy way for new leads to notify you of their interest. Most businesses today have at least 1 or more forms on their website to easily capture lead information. You might include forms on contact-us pages, white paper downloads or request a quote pages. Many CRM systems can integrate with these forms so each submission generates a new lead or contact in the system.

When new leads submit their information on a form integrated with your CRM, assignment rules allow you to automatically associate them with a sales rep by region, vertical or other type of criteria. This functionality is critical because it enables reps to follow up within a short timeframe, preferably within 10 minutes for certain high-quality leads.

2. Develop a lead-nurturing process

New leads also can be nurtured through a marketing automation system such as Pardot. Cloud CRMs such as Salesforce integrate easily with all of the top marketing automation providers. Use marketing automation to deliver timed messaging according to your prospect’s tracked behaviors (email opens, clicks, etc.), sales process stage or lead score. Automated email campaigns can also be setup to send tailored content based on relevant criteria like industry or product of interest. As leads engage, opening your emails and clicking through to your website, defined rules can be set to automatically assign them to a user in the CRM once they become qualified.

3. Monitor projected and actual sales revenue

In a cloud CRM, you can easily track opportunities and share them with managers and the executive team. Since every opportunity is tied to an individual and an account, it’s easy to see the full history of your customers. It’s also easy to project revenue by opportunity stage and the likelihood of that deal closing (based on pre-defined percentages). Since sales reps can access the CRM from anywhere on any device, the data is real time and highly accurate.

You can also easily create shared reports showing cross-sell, up-sell and renewal opportunities at existing accounts that marketing can use to create campaigns.

4. Get closed-loop reporting on marketing initiatives

As sales managers enter opportunities in the CRM, they also help close the loop for their colleagues in marketing. Top cloud-based CRMs include a feature designed to track the success of marketing initiatives such as trade shows, email newsletters and online advertising. When leads come into the CRM, they can be tied to a campaign. Then, when the opportunity closes, the revenue can be tied to the campaign. Marketing automation that can integrate to your CRM can provide even more insights, especially if you have a lot of digital content.

Closed-loop reports provide your marketing team with critical insights needed to make decisions that impact the quantity and quality of new leads. For example, they can easily assess if an AdWords campaign drives more opportunities and/or revenue than a trade show booth. They can also determine how to allocate their budget based on campaign ROI metrics.

5. Provide a more personalized customer experience

More customers value a customer experience tailored to their needs and preferences. Providing this kind of experience tends to build stronger trust and longevity in customer relationships.

Cloud CRM systems store customer information in a digital, accessible format. Accessing this information, sales managers, account executives and customer service representatives can support each client with the unique needs and preferences of that individual fresh in their mind.

Many clients reach out to us at Nuvem Consulting because they want to get away from Excel spreadsheets and even paper files stored in old filing cabinets. By digitizing records in a cloud CRM, it’s much easier to organize records in an accessible, searchable and up-to-date database. This not only substantially improves productivity and the employee experience but also the customer experience. Projects can move along more quickly and transparently when you have a seamless passage of customer information from one team member to the next.

Top cloud CRM systems today are also becoming complete “all-in-one” software systems with the suite of apps they can offer that connect to the main CRM. In this setup, the CRM becomes the central hub of the complete customer experience. This equips sales, operations, customer service and marketing teams with a 360-degree-view of the prospect or customer in order to deliver more exceptional service. Think of all the amazing reports you can also get in order to drive more sales!

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