Customer Relationship Management. Sounds simple, and when you’ve just got a few customers, it is. But when you’re running one or more hardware stores and you’ve got a steadily growing B2B business with hundreds of current clients and even more prospective clients, a CRM system can be one of your most important investments.
It helps you keep track of customers, that’s a given, but it also helps you manage your sales team, track trends, transition your retail customers into B2B clients, understand your clients’ buying patterns, strategize how to scale your B2B business and even anticipate your customers’ needs. All of which leads to growth of your top line and, if used correctly, efficiencies on your labor line.
First, Ask Yourself These 3 Questions
If you’re wondering if your business needs a CRM, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have a streamlined system for tracking all of your conversations and details about each of your B2B customers?
- Is that goldmine of a database you’ve built over the years connected to your email content management program?
- Can you currently pull customized analytic reports or view dashboard statistics showing whether your traditional and online marketing expenses are working and how your salesperson/people are doing?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, you’ve already got a CRM system in place, and you know how valuable it is to keep your current B2B customers happy and invite new ones into your business. If you answered no to one or more, your bottom line could benefit from investing in one.
A Place to Organize Those Connections!
If your B2B sales team isn’t consistently out networking and bringing in information on possible B2B clients or connectors, that’s a great place to start – and if they are, they need a system for organizing all that information in a way that is accessible and helps them succeed on the micro-level while you can oversee the macro level of strategy, scope and scale. Sticky notes are great, but how many times have you said to yourself, “I know I wrote that down somewhere? I just have to find it.” They aren’t good for building a reputation for someone that is consistent and reliable.
Are You Prepared for 20% Growth?
Ace Hardware is expecting 20% growth in B2B for 2022 from Marketing Muscle alone and is projecting exponential growth in overall B2B sales this year. Industry projections for capital goods see 2022 and 2023 as crucial for B2B businesses due to the post-pandemic changes in buyers’ approaches to purchasing. Are you prepared to capture those new clients WHILE they’re looking? You can either go tech or go home!
Published on MarketingCharts.com in October 2018 | Data Source: ValueSelling Associates
With an automated CRM process, it does the work for you, so you don’t have to remember who you last spoke to, when and where you had the conversation and what products you talked about. Most people recall less than 20% of the specific ideas generated during a conversation and are more likely to recall what they said versus what someone said to them.1 Understanding our customers’ motivations, problems and preferences is paramount in cultivating a successful, lifelong B2B relationship. Having a system that helps us remember these details paves the way to create more relationships and grow our B2B channel.
With Organization Comes Optimization
But a CRM system is only as good as the humans in front of it. You’ll need to dive into the information you’re gathering, run reports and strategize how to increase your marketing ROI based on the information your CRM database is giving you. You’ll need to record the details of your transactions and conversations. If you’re doing all these things and leveraging your CRM proactively, then it’s a surefire solution to help grow the reputation and scope of your B2B efforts.
If that all sounds a bit overwhelming, we understand, and that’s why we’re here with a B2B CRM integration program to go along with our already successful B2B marketing program. To learn more about your B2B program options, click below to set up a meeting with Rand.