Two Customer-Focused Business Systems You Need

As marketing becomes more data-intensive and automated, you’ll want to invest in Business Systems that will enable you to better prospect, convert and service your customers. You’ll want to start with these two systems.

The first one is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in which you manage the interactions with your customers and prospects.

These interactions will span your entire company including pre-sales activities, sales and marketing campaign efforts, service and technical support. So, members of the sales, marketing, support and development groups typically work in the CRM system.

The goals of a CRM system are to be able to forecast and maximize sales, be more effective in sales & service by accessing all of the touch points of the customer, reduce costs of sales/service and protect your precious customer data by having it be housed in a common database.

There are many brands of CRM systems- many of which are hosted “in the cloud” (managed off-site by the provider which reduces costs and simplifies implementation). Some common CRM systems for small to mid-sized companies are:

  •  Sugar CRM
  •  Microsoft

The CRM system is a “no brainer,” and I bet most of you already have your CRM covered.

The second business system you’ll want to consider is a Marketing Automation system.

Marketing Automation helps marketers better target and execute one-to-one messaging with prospects as part of their demand generation efforts. This ultimately helps a business add new customers and boost sales.

Marketing Automation typically includes scoring prospects based on their behavior with the company, triggering campaigns based on these scores or other criteria, and personalizing landing pages with relevant content for each prospect. For example, an automated series of emails with specific content would be triggered when a prospect downloads a whitepaper or watches a video.

The benefit of a strong Marketing Automation program is that the most qualified and hot leads are advanced in the sales process.

Major Marketing Automation systems include:

  •  Silverpop
  •  Marketo
  •  Hubspot
  •  Pardot

Do we need both systems?

Consider this: CRM consolidates a huge amount of information about customers; however, it provides little framework for moving ahead the early-stage prospects, and it definitely is not a messaging platform.  Marketing Automation leverages CRM and addresses these holes, and then presents new capabilities for B2B marketers to take their demand generation to the next level.

In sum, the benefit of having a fine tuned and integrated CRM and Marketing Automation systems is that the Sales and Marketing teams have full views of prospects successfully moving through the sales funnel and then converting to be customers. You should aim to have both.

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