Before we get to understand the growing importance of CRM in B2B, it would be better if we had a reasonably good understanding of B2B. Though most of us are aware, B2B is nothing but business activities that are being undertaken by two business entities and not between business houses and customers. There is no doubt that the value of transactions and the volume of transactions are much higher in B2B when compared to sales between business houses to individual customers.
Hence the complexities and challenges involved in B2B activities are totally different from those in B2C. While there is no doubt that customer relationship management is important in B2B activities it cannot be the same both in terms of scale and methods when compared to B2C CRMs. In this article we will try and find out why CRM for B2B should be given as much importance as we find in B2C.
The Importance Of CRM In B2B
Is CRM Really Needed For B2B Transactions?
Since the volumes of transactions are quite high and the value per transaction is much higher, there is a common question that often comes to mind. Is there really a need for CRM for B2B transactions? The answer is ‘yes’ for a number of reasons. Though the number of end use may not be as huge as retail customers, there is a need to monitor the buyers given the competitive business scenario that the sellers are into.
As a starting point, even if the number of buyers are a handful, it is important to have a database of the same. It is a must and if sellers do not have a database they should better get started immediately. This is the foundation on which the best of CRM modules are developed. Without database the company will be groping in the dark and will be firing blind shots in the air as far as CRM efforts are concerned.
Why CRM For B2B Can Be Very Helpful
As is the case with CRM for individual customers, there are certainly a number of benefits as far as CRM for B2B is concerned. First and foremost, as mentioned above, a CRM solution helps to store information in an easily retrievable database rather than having them stored haphazardly. Many B2B companies still lag behind in this, mostly because of complacence and the fact that there are only handful customers to handle. However, it is important to keep in mind that these few customers contribute to their entire turnover and in terms of volume and value it would certainly be very high. It is therefore very important to monitor their buying habits very closely and minutely. Missing out even on small details could prove very costly. Even if one buyer walks out temporarily and starts buying from some other supplier it could create a big dent in the overall sales and revenue for the seller.
Good CRM For B2B Helps Organizations Become More Efficient
When you decide to purchase a CRM module for your B2B venture, the first thing you have to do is obtain all the information related to your customers in single place and preferably in a single server. This will go a long way in better storage of information and easy retrieval. Furthermore, the information will be stored in scientific storage modes and devices instead of depending on excel spreadsheets and other such primitive storage modes.
Organizing data is very important if you are looking to monitor your buyers and any CRM module that searches for information about customers cannot be called a CRM module at all. When data is stored centrally, there won’t be any problem retrieving it at any point in time and all the stakeholders can view the information just at the click of a button. Organizing your data is perhaps the biggest reason why organizations should go in for CRM for B2B.
CRM Modules Help Keep Track On Progress or Regression
As a sales force in the market, real time information on product movement, buyers’ behaviors and patterns is of utmost importance. It should be available instantaneously so that the right preventive and corrective action can be taken without any loss of time. It will help the marketing team find out whether they are moving on course as far as their main objectives are concerned.
The objectives could be short term, medium term and long term and therefore only well thought out CRM modules can help the marketing and sales teams. The business environment also is ever changing and fluid. Hence, timely availability of information through a time-tested and robust CRM module will certainly help swim successfully against the tide when needed.
It Will Help In Identifying And Defining Roles
Any marketing and sales effort can be successful only if there is a well defined role for each of the marketing and sales personnel. Apart from defining of roles it should also be easy to identify the persons or groups that are responsible for their specific roles and responsibilities. This can be done only with the help of a well thought out and well structured CRM module for your B2B setup. There is no point in moving up and down various silos in search of information that will help fix roles and responsibilities. This should be totally automated and the roles and responsibilities must be available at a click of a button. This will save precious time that is so important in today’s competitive business scenario.
It Helps In Sharing Information And Increasing Knowledge Base
Another important reason why it makes sense to have a good CRM module for our BRB venture is because you will be able to drag out relevant information irrespective of the location or the hierarchy that you are in. It will not only help the marketing team but also will be useful for the human resources team, the accounting team and even the compliance and auditing team.
This will help the entire company to work as a team with one specific objective in mind instead of working at cross-purposes. For example, an accounting staff will be able to learn more about the latest happenings in the marketplace and hence the marketing strength of the organization as a whole will increase quite dramatically. Last but not the least, when you have the right CRM in B2B it will go a long way in increasing the knowledge base across departments and across hierarchies.
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.