6 Key Qualities To Look for In the Perfect CRM

6 Key Qualities To Look for In the Perfect CRM

Whether you’re unhappy with your current CRM, or you’re looking to align your sales and marketing teams with a new one, a quality CRM can be hard to find. We’re here to help.

Traditionally, a CRM, or customer relationship management software has been used to help sales teams track and manage leads through the buyers funnel. Any good CRM that you choose today will do that, along with a whole host of additional services. It’s those extra services that make the difference here. CRMs have been around for so long that tracking, for the most part, is the least of your worries. A new, quality CRM will streamline your sales and marketing handoff, shorten the closing process, and ultimately boost your ROI. If that’s the success you want, here are 6 key qualities to  look for when you’re CRM shopping, to ensure you choose an option that’s perfect for you:

Here are 6 key qualities to look for while you’re CRM shopping, to ensure you choose an option that’s perfect for you:

#1 Easy to Use, Easy to Access

Above all else, a quality CRM should be user-friendly, and accessible from just about anywhere. Today’s sales and marketing teams are on the move — many of them are remote and those that do have an office often work from home or out on the road. They still need to know where their leads are at in the buyers cycle, even when they’re not in the office. A quality CRM will give them that access wherever they log in. Many of today’s top CRMs are cloud-based, and that’s a quality option you simply can’t pass up.

Beyond accessibility, any CRM that’s worth purchasing should be easy to use. If your sales team finds it a hassle to log a lead, they’re less likely to enter them in, which means a greater chance that they’ll forget about them. Choose a CRM that’s interface makes sense and is simple. It might sound ancillary, but even little things like drag and drop features and push notifications can make a big difference to the efficiency of your employees’ use of your CRM. The easier it is, the more likely they are to use it, and the more they use the platform, the easier it is to track your results for effective sales.

#2 Integrates Sales and Marketing

We don’t want to hate on any particular CRM, but Salesforce is a platform of the past. Your sales team simply cannot exist in a bubble if you want to boost ROI and turn a real profit. You need a CRM that works across departments, easily transferring marketing leads over to your sales team, and kicking leads who aren’t quite ready to purchase back to the marketing team. A quality CRM will also help keep both teams informed, ensuring you have that closed-loop reporting that will guarantee a successful collaboration between both teams.

There are CRMs that offer sales features, and easily partner or link up to marketing CRMs, but if you’re just starting out, you’ll want to get a CRM that offers both simultaneously. With features for both teams already implemented in the software, you can easily get your sales & marketing teams up and running, reporting their potential leads and transferring them to the appropriate contacts at the right time, without getting lost in translation.

#3 Real-Time, Big Picture Reporting

The best CRM will let you know how your team is doing with accurate, global reporting. After all, you can’t improve if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Choose a CRM that gives you an in-depth look at the results of your sales and marketing team’s efforts. For example, if your marketing team puts out a landing page for your website, your CRM should be able to tell you exactly how that page is performing, but it should also show you how it’s performing in the big picture. Is it up or down compared to other landing pages, and how is it converting? Big picture reporting ensures you know the answers to all of these questions, so you can improve in real-time.

#4 Automation

Your team’s time is money. They’re busy reaching out to new leads and closing deals, and they don’t have time to do all of the little things that can make a big impact. For those little things, like follow-up emails and sending out new, relevant content offers, you want a CRM with automation capabilities. Automated workflows help your sales team qualify more leads in less time, and they help you serve potential clients the content they want, without taking extra time out of your team’s day. Choose a CRM with automation, so your team can work smarter, not harder.

#5 Lead Filtering Options

When you’re utilizing a full suite of inbound marketing tools, your team won’t have time to mess around with unqualified leads. Many quality CRMs offer filtering options so you don’t even see the visitors to your site who won’t ever purchase what you’re selling. From competitors checking out your site to bots to free email accounts, there will be plenty of people browsing your site with no intention to buy. Have your CRM weed them out for you. There are CRM options out there that will immediately disqualify those site visitors for you, so your sales and marketing teams don’t have to give them another thought.

Beyond eliminating unqualified leads, a smart, effective CRM can help you select the best-qualified leads, and ensure they move swiftly through the buyer’s funnel by alerting your sales team of their potential. You can select the options that make a quality lead a quality lead, and your CRM can take it from there.

#6 Notifications

If you’re investing in a CRM, you should be working hard to align your sales and marketing teams for the best possible lead conversion rate. When your marketing team hands off a lead to the sales team, you want the appropriate people to know. It may sound small, but notifications ensure your sales team doesn’t miss out on those hot leads who the marketing team has already nurtured through the majority of the buyers funnel.

When it comes to choosing the perfect CRM, it never hurts to be thorough. While those 6 qualities we pointed out are a great place to start, you’ll probably have more questions and concerns specific to your company. If you’re just not sure what to look for, let’s talk. As a Hubspot Certified Partner, we know what a good CRM looks like, and we can help you work to align your sales and marketing teams with the best on the market.

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Why Lead Response Time is a Critical Factor in Converting B2B Leads

Why Lead Response Time is a Critical Factor in Converting B2B Leads

The B2B world can be incredibly competitive, especially when traditional advertising methods used in the B2C world aren’t effective. But one thing you can do to get a leg up on your competition is to improve your lead response time. Here’s why lead response time is a critical factor in the realm of B2B lead conversion.

What is lead response time?

Lead response time is the amount it takes to respond to a lead after they reach out to your company. In the context of digital marketing, this refers to the time it takes to respond to a lead after they complete an online form. The average lead response time for B2B companies, per Hubspot, was 42 hours, and many companies never responded at all.

Why does lead response time matter?

Lead quality degrades over time. If you don’t respond to your leads, they grow cold and lose interest, either because they’ve moved on to other companies, or they simply move on to their other responsibilities. In fact, the sooner you can respond to your leads, the better.

Why is this? Well, the internet has changed buyer behavior. Customers are doing significant online research about the products and services they’re interested in, all without ever talking to another person. So when potential buyers do reach out, it’s usually when they’re very close to the purchase stage of their buyer’s journey. And that’s the best time to reach them—when they’re interested in and ready to talk to a salesperson.

In addition to when you respond to your leads, how matters too, and how often. Are your reaching out via email or phone? You should probably be doing both. And you shouldn’t give up after one attempt. Doing this helps you to establish a relationship with your lead, nurturing them into a prospect and then a customer.

How do you improve your company’s lead response time?

The first thing you should do is test that response time, and determine how far away your company is from a quick response. Once you’ve done that, you can set in place email automation to send email to leads immediately after they convert by completing a form on your website or landing page. Email automation can also help you follow up with leads at regular intervals to keep your company top of mind.

If you’re ready to improve your lead response time and convert more leads, it’s time to get in touch with Evenbound. We have expertise on the content strategies that will increase visitors, conversions, and leads from your digital content, as well as email marketing and lead segmentation strategies to reduce lead response time and give you the greatest ROI for your digital marketing efforts.

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5 Mistakes You’re Making with Your B2B Blog Content

5 Mistakes You’re Making with Your B2B Blog Content

Digital content writing can be tough. Not only do you have to write well and be engaging and compelling, you have to know what your intended audience (a.k.a. potential customers and leads) is searching for, what they want to know, and how to get them motivated to act on what they’ve learned and get in touch with your people. We see B2Bs missing the mark with their content all the time. Here are the five mistakes you’re probably making with your B2B blog content right now:

1. Too much jargon

You are probably an expert on the products or services that your company provides; you probably know all the industry terminology and abbreviations, too, and use them in your daily conversation. But your customers, especially the kind you’re trying to reach—new customers—probably don’t know the industry jargon. Using too much jargon without properly defining it will confuse your readers and potentially cause them to navigate away from your blog to more understandable and accessible content available elsewhere.

2. Missing content for stages of the buyer’s journey

Customers go through a buyer’s journey when making purchase decisions: the awareness stage, where they become aware of their need for a product or service; the consideration stage, where they consider various suppliers/service providers, price points, product/service offerings, etc.; and the decision stage, where they make a purchase. If you don’t have content geared toward leads in each stage of the buyer’s journey, you’ll miss opportunities to reach leads in certain stages, resulting in lost customers.

3. Missing content for some buyer personas

You might have content that is geared toward buyers of your product, but do you have content geared toward all the potential leads who may have interest in your product? Even if the majority of your business comes from one specific market segment, chances are that you have secondary and tertiary audiences for whom your product or service has value as well. If you’re not reaching out to those audiences as well, you’re missing out on conversion opportunities, as well as the opportunity to diversify your customer base to mitigate dependence on volatile industries.

4. No calls to action

You’re writing blog content because you want your reader to do something. In general, that something is to purchase from your company, but each blog post has its own specific and content-related goal. If you have a blog post on “How to find the right supplier of X component,” it should at some point direct readers to learn more about how your company is the right supplier of that component. For content geared toward prospects in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, calls to action should direct them to request a quote or to set up an appointment with a sales contact. This is how you turn your blog readers into actual paying customers.

5. Not making content locally-relevant

For a lot of businesses, even B2Bs, location matters. If your operations are housed in a certain location, and that location is beneficial to your customer base or desired customer base, you should incorporate that into your content. For example, if you’re a Tier I or Tier II automotive supplier and you’re located in Michigan, that’s something you should absolutely be using to your advantage, as the Big Three are headquartered in Michigan and many of their warehousing and manufacturing facilities are in Michigan and surrounding Midwestern, Rust Belt states.

If you’re ready to enhance your digital presence and step up your contact game, it’s time to get in touch. Evenbound has expertise on the content strategies that will increase visitors, conversions, and leads from your digital content and boost your digital marketing ROI. Don’t believe us? Check out the case study below:

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