Customer Relationship Management involves marketing, sales and service and aims to guide each contact as efficiently as possible through the customer journey and increase customer lifetime value.
What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM), or customer care management, comprises the strategy, the action plan, as well as the technical basis for analyzing and handling contacts along the customer journey.
The goal of Customer Relationship Management is to gather more information about a contact with each interaction, to guide the contact efficiently through his customer journey and thus to increase sales and deepen customer relationships.
Every touchpoint with the company counts as an interaction. A conversation with a sales representative is therefore just as much a touchpoint as a visit to the company website.
Customer Relationship Management aims at centrally bundling activities on different channels and thus procuring a meaningful data basis about each contact.
Levels of Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Management affects different levels within a company. The focus is primarily on the strategic, operational and analytical levels.
On a strategic level, customer relationship management deals with a customer-centric corporate culture. This means that whether marketing, sales, or service, all processes and strategies must be designed to meet the needs and concerns of B2B customers.
The strategic orientation towards customer-centric actions in turn has a positive influence on the customer lifetime value (CLV).
At the operational level, the focus is on the use of CRM systems. This primarily involves the networking of marketing, sales and service activities in relation to potential and effective customers.
Each interaction enriches the data record of a contact and provides information about their activities and interests. With the help of marketing, sales and service automation, recurring processes can be automated and thus further optimized.
At the analytical level, the focus is on customer behavior. Here, it is listed which campaigns or marketing measures were particularly successful, where the customers with the highest turnover can be found and what the company of a typical customer of your company looks like on average in terms of size, turnover and number of employees.
The CRM system serves as a master for all contact data. With the help of workflows and clear processes, contacts can be better served and possible questions and problem areas can be anticipated at an early stage.
A Customer Data Platform (CDP), which records customer interactions on all channels and passes them on to the CRM in a structured manner, is a useful extension.
Source: Excerpt Customer Profile from Pedalix Software
What Is the Importance of Customer Relationship Management in B2B?
Customer Relationship Management and an associated CRM system is relevant for a company if:
many data points are to be summarized centrally
different departments work with the same data sets
long, complex sales cycles make it difficult to keep track of individual interactions and intermediate statuses
efficient marketing measures are to be implemented
individual offers are in the foreground
Customer relationship management is therefore particularly important for B2B companies.
Products that require explanation, long sales cycles and the need for a specialist, personalised approach call for well thought-out customer relationship management.
This guarantees that marketing and sales work towards a common goal, that customer profiles are continuously supplemented and that the personal approach can be refined with each interaction.
Advantages of a CRM System
A CRM system helps your marketing and sales to answer basic questions easily and quickly and promotes collaboration between departments.
How many customers were acquired in the last quarter? How many churned?
How many hot leads were converted to customers? How many are still in the pipeline? How many churned?
What kind of revenue was generated last month?
Which channel generated the most leads?
Which campaigns are working best?
Where can the highest ROI be achieved?
Which touchpoints are relevant at which stage of the customer journey?
Application Areas for Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Management has an impact on the enterprise areas Marketing, Sales and Service.
Source: Customer Journey according to Pedalix
The management of contact data is the central element of a CRM system for marketing. Data should be collected as extensively as possible.
This includes addresses, contact persons, telephone numbers, email addresses, information about the contact's company, etc. In addition, it must be possible to update this data again and again.
Data protection also plays a decisive role. Good CRM systems list which contacts have agreed to receive newsletters.
Every employee in the company who has access to this system can view contact data and thus also tailor marketing measures specifically to the respective contact.
With each contact to a marketing lead, new information is collected and the existing contact profile is enriched. The CRM system also provides valuable information in the context of the customer journey, from his product search to purchase and beyond.
Once you have fed your CRM system with all this data, after a while it will be able to provide information about which leads need to be contacted again soon and at which point in their customer journey the lead is most likely to seek contact with your sales team. This allows you to install an efficient campaign management.
When a lead is ready for initial contact with a sales representative, it is transferred from Marketing to Sales. CRM thus not only improves work processes in the individual departments, but also creates synergies.
At this point, a customer relationship management tool helps to identify which sales activities are particularly useful for a customer contact.
In this way, the sales employee knows when a certain lead or customer should best be contacted and possibly also in what form.
Numerous CRM tools focus on quotation management. This means that in this case, the CRM creates special pipelines, such as quotes for different products or for different budgets.
Sales staff can easily create an individualized quote to a customer with the click of a mouse. Workflows determine when which steps in the customer journey are initiated.
The customer addresses, the previous orders as well as the customer selection and the corresponding statistics offer the possibility to maintain an efficient contact management. This provides a comprehensive overview of business contacts and the associated contact persons and also records all activities.
With a CRM tool, you can not only save time and work efficiently, but also increase the turnover of your own company.
People work in every company. By interacting with the help of a CRM system, you can better understand your customers, respond to their needs and act accordingly.
And satisfied customers will recommend your company to others. Furthermore, you can turn potential customers into real customers and bind them to your company in the long term.
With Customer Relationship Management, the customer journey can be optimally mapped and specifically processed by the individual departments of your company. Recurring processes and communication measures can be increasingly automated and personalized.
This enables you to pick up on the exact needs of your target group and guide contacts through the sales funnel in record time.