Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are often a major headache for large B2B companies. Many of these companies struggle with outdated information and everlasting integration projects, and high levels of manual work often mean the CRM simply doesn't contain the needed information.
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However, when used properly, customer relationship management can be revolutionary for a company. Leads, prospects, and customers get better, more relevant service, and the daily workflow of the sales and marketing team becomes 100 times smoother. In this article, we'll look at a few examples of smart marketing and sales solutions that are made possible by putting effort into CRM.
Something that Amazon does better than most other big eCommerce players are their recommendations.
Generally speaking, most online traders' recommendations are fairly poor. If you buy a new pair of shoes online, you'll probably start getting recommendations from the same retailer for more shoes - which maybe aren't at the top of your shopping list anymore.
Amazon, on the other hand, has been really successful in surfacing relevant, timely recommendations for things their customers actually need and want. It's a major part of what's made them a household name.
Behind these recommendations is a CRM system. Amazon uses Salesforce, and by using the data they have access to effectively, they can provide recommendations that are actually interesting, both on and off-site.
HubSpot has highlighted a great case of how the UK branch of electronics manufacturer Casio used CRM to join up the gaps between their sales and marketing departments.
Casio suffered from a problem that plenty of other B2B companies struggle with - taking care of online leads. We've heard marketers complain plenty of times that sales don't follow up on new online leads. It's just as common to hear sales complaining that the online leads marketing gives them aren't any good.
In Casio's case, switching to HubSpot's CRM helped fix this, and it could work for you too. By adopting a smart, easy-to-use CRM system like HubSpot's, transparency and communication go through the roof. Everyone can see the status of all leads, prospects and customers in the CRM, and all the relevant information like the contact's industry, role, budget, challenges and requests are stored in one single place.
Just like Amazon, Booking.com is great at using the data they have on their users to make recommendations. But they also combine this data with well-timed marketing emails that are actually useful. When you book a hotel through Booking.com, for example, you'll typically get a string of emails in the weeks prior to your visit suggesting you book restaurants, hire cars, or tourist sites. Relevant suggestions like these continue to roll in even during your trip, and they're all personalised based on your individual details and the details of your booking.
Many companies spend a lot of time on email marketing, but most recipients will be in tens or hundreds of mailing lists. If you want to avoid your emails getting deleted before they're opened, genuine personalisation like Booking.com uses is important - and it all rests on an integrated, information-rich CRM system.
OK, Zooma isn't quite Amazon. But we're still happy with our CRM! One defining idea of our current CRM has all the information we need on one contact card - that means having a single source of information for each person in our CRM that contains everything we would ever need to know.
Working in HubSpot's CRM makes this easier since it's built around individual contact cards, unlike some other CRM systems, where companies are the main unit.
All the relevant information is gathered in a single place for every contact in our CRM, whether they're a customer, lead, or prospect. That includes basic contact information like the company they work for, their email address, their LinkedIn profile, and more. But we can also see what ongoing deals they're a part of, what meetings they've had with Zooma, and even the emails they've sent to us. This provides a really high level of transparency - at any time, anyone in Zooma can find a contact's card and quickly get up to speed on our partnership.
For many B2B companies, data like this is spread everywhere across the CRM, in email inboxes or sales reps' notes. As a result, no one can get a fully accurate picture of a contact's history. Taking a 'one contact card' approach solves this.
If these CRM examples gave you some inspiration to start improving your CRM process, make sure you take a look at our detailed CRM guide first. It can tell you more about the practical side of working with CRM systems and explain why you should adopt one.
If you're already ready to get started, you can download our CRM system comparison guide below for some information on the different platforms on the market, their costs, and the features they provide.