by Larry Myler I write about B2B sales strategies
If your B2B startup has graduated from spreadsheets to a CRM (contact relationship management) system, congratulations. You’ve made great strides in managing relationships with prospects and customers. However, there’s another crucial piece of the puzzle your business might be missing. In our hyper-connected digital environment, you have a huge opportunity to take action on the valuable data stored in your CRM.
That’s where email marketing comes in. An all-in-one sales and marketing platform that integrates CRM with email marketing can transform your data into personalized, relevant messaging that will enhance your ability to generate more leads, strengthen customer relationships and increase sales. According to Jonathan Herrick, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Hatchbuck, there are five key benefits you should try to gain from this integration that will help you squeeze every opportunity out of your database.
1. Deliver personalized messaging. According to an Experian report, personalized emails deliver six times higher transactional rates than email blasts. DMA reports that segmented, targeted and personalized emails generate 58% of total business revenue. And Aberdeen research shows that personalized email messages get an average of 14% click-through and 10% conversion rates. A compelling message is more important than ever. Integrating your CRM with your email marketing tools means you can segment your contacts into unique groups based on their needs and interests. That makes it easy to hand pick a personalized message just for them.
2. Nurture quality leads. When email marketing is left alone in a silo, you have no context around your email list. Integrating with CRM gives you insight into who is a cold lead and who is a hot prospect. You can drip compelling content to these contacts over time to turn a stagnant database into a sales generator. More studies to ponder:
According to the Direct Marketing Association, 66% of online consumers purchase based on an email message (71% of consumers aged 45-54).
The Merkle agency reports, “E-mail is the preferred method of commercial communication of 74% of all online adults and is preferred over direct mail by a margin of nearly five to one.”
Marketing Sherpa says that 60% of marketers believe marketing email is producing a 119% ROI, and 32% believe it will in time.
3. Build an informed CRM. Contacts left alone in a CRM can stay stagnant. By integrating your tools, you can prompt your contacts to take action with an email message, and learn more about them as they respond to your messages and head back to your website. For instance, if you send out an article from your blog, you instantly learn who’s interested in that specific topic. Even better, with webpage tracking, you can follow their behavior on your website as they browse other articles, resources, and eventually your products and services. With fresh new data, you can follow-up in a meaningful way, driving sales.
4. Maintain a personal touch as you scale. An integrated CRM and email-marketing tool can do wonders for customer retention. For small B2B companies it can be tough to maintain a personal connection as you grow. Integrating your CRM with email marketing means you can send timely emails, check in and follow up with all of your accounts, making sure that none of your customer relationships are left unattended.
5. Keep sales and marketing on the same page. Today, most research is done online, and it’s only in the last phases of the sales process that B2B buyers are reaching out to a sales consultant.
This means that contacts have quite a bit of interaction with the marketing side before they reach your sales team. If your CRM and email marketing tools are separate, it can be difficult for sales to see what emails a contact has received or engaged with. At the same time, your marketing team will have a difficult time determining which contacts need to be nurtured, and which ones are already in the sales process.
Integrating your CRM and email marketing platform is essential for B2B sales. With all-in-one sales and marketing tools that package both functions into one app, you can keep sales and marketing in sync, follow-up intelligently with prospects and customers, and convert more contacts into sales.
Larry Myler: CEO By Monday, Inc., adjunct professor in the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at BYU, author of Indispensable By Monday.