Most of us practice some sort of annual-cleaning ritual. We reorganize by cleaning out closets, drawers and garages to bring some order back to our homes and our lives. Purging what has become old and outdated helps make room for the new items we need to add. Much like spring cleaning your home, businesses should take time to make sure their CRM is updated and ready for all sales efforts, as well as confirm staff are properly using the analytics tools they have in place for informed reporting. These checks and balances on essential marketing and sales tools help ensure you are following best practices for outstanding results.

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In part one of this two-part series, we analyze the importance of your B2B CRM and maintaining it to showcase the most current and appropriate contacts for your marketing and sales efforts.

Importance of CRM Maintenance

One could argue that the building blocks for your B2B sales lie within your CRM. A properly implemented CRM solution can yield an ROI of $2.50 to $5.60 for every dollar invested. It is also found that 48% of sales teams heavily utilize their CRM systems to improve overall operations. CRMs are no longer just a list of contacts but instead have become an essential business tool to improve process, strategy, analytics and lead strength. Most CRMs today can easily integrate with other programs to help with accounting, marketing, operations and more.

Of course, the CRM is still ultimately your modern rolodex. Without your leads, prospects and customers, you are left with only a product and a plan. An unkept CRM is the equivalent of broken blocks. Keep in mind that 50% of the average marketing database is useless. This can stem from inactive or incorrect contacts, mislabeled information, duplicates or other problems that can generate inaccurate and ineffective lists.

One issue that can arise from an unkept B2B CRM is when potential leads are generated through channels that are not necessarily associated with the sales team. These leads could be coming by means of a generic form on your website, a message from a company phone line or @info email. Only 56% of B2B organizations verify leads before they’re passed to sales. Confusion can happen if the info is simply added to a CRM without a salesperson following-up with the contact. Putting a system in place where a sales representative must vet all leads can help keep unwanted contacts from crowding your CRM.

It’s not just you and your company that are positively impacted by a well-used CRM. 47% of polled CRM users said that their CRM had a significant impact on customer retention, and an equal percentage said their CRM had a significant impact on customer satisfaction.

Your B2B CRM should have a standardized process like any other part of your business. While keeping a clean CRM may seem like a daunting task, a streamlined process will help keep overwhelming clean-ups at bay.

CRM on the Go

Is your team making the most out of your current B2B CRM? If you are on a cloud-based CRM you are off to a good start. Many of our business software is now cloud-based and has a corresponding mobile presence. In 2008, only 12% of businesses used cloud-based CRMs, but just over a decade later, it is at 87% and rising. For salespeople, especially those that are field based, being able to carry out the core functions of CRM on their phones is essential.

This on-the-go trend of using a CRM is not just convenient but can increase sales as well. A Nucleus Research report found that for companies using a mobile CRM, 65% are achieving their sales quotas, while only 22% of reps using non-mobile CRM have reached the same targets. The way we do business is ever-changing and utilizing mobile CRM is just one more way to make things easier for your team while still increasing your prospect list. Customers like it too, considering that organizations using mobile business apps can achieve an increase in customer satisfaction due to faster response to requests and inquiries.

Keeping Up with the Right Contacts

When importing or manually adding a contact, take advantage of the form fields available. In other words, think beyond name, company, email and phone number. While you might think you will remember why you added that person, many people within your organization with touch your company’s CRM at some point, meaning that contact may change hands at some point or you may simply forget why they were added. This doesn’t mean your team should be bogged down with going down a rabbit hole for information they don’t have. Use what you do have to your best advantage.

Want ideas on how to maximize your CRM to create meaningful customer relationships and referrals? Check out our How to Transform Your B2B Customers into Advocates article.

Events are one of the best ways to generate leads. Over the course of an event, a lot of badge scanning goes on, and you could easily end-up with looky-loos and competing vendors that are not actually interested in your product. When scanning a badge or entering information at an event, train your team to use the other field forms to take comprehensive notes on the most promising leads. Take note of what you spoke about, what they seemed most interested in and when this lead should have a follow-up. Make sure the staff importing the event lists are checking for notes and actively engaging with team members that will follow up with the leads, if it is not themselves.

If you have been maintaining your CRM for a while without proper maintenance, you can use your entire database to run an informed interest campaign. This is a simple way to see bounced emails for contacts that you can now archive and remind other contacts of your brand, product and value.

Keep in Touch

In the long run, B2B CRM maintenance and implemented processes won’t mean much if you don’t use your CRM on a regular basis to create thoughtful, targeted campaigns. Your CRM holds the keys to create awareness, establish engagement, share relevant content, pique interest and, most importantly, drive sales.

While reevaluating your B2B CRM, stay tuned for part 2 of this topic where we examine your campaign analytics habits.