Just as marketing is supposed to support sales, so should their respective tools. If you want to generate CRM software leads, then you need to make sure your software can easily demonstrate its support for the sales efforts of your prospect companies. Living up to expectations is a natural prerequisite to gaining and maintaining interest in any product (B2C or B2B).
Expectations may vary though since this is B2B so be careful about generalizing too much. However, it’s good to start with a basic understanding of what a lot of businesses want out of a CRM system. The traits that usually need highlighting are accessibility, security, manageability, and insight.
Accessibility – First up, you need to make sure your software database isn’t too hard to access. Nowadays, people are saying cloud-based CRM is leading the way in this feature. And without a doubt, being able to access information from anywhere is quite convenient. For example, it could benefit sales teams that are constantly on the go. A CRM system that tightly restrains access can be hard to manage.
Insight – There’s a lot that a properCRM database can teach you about proper marketing. The CRM system isn’t supposed to be just some big fancy buy to make your prospect’s enterprise management appear more tech-savvy. Their sales team (and perhaps even people higher up) should be able to draw insight from the information. These could range from basics such as a customer’s contact data to their complexities of their status in the sales process. If your software comes with Big Data features, make sure that your prospects are capable of analyzing and managing such massive amounts of customer information.
Manageability – As stated before, accessibility is tied to how easy it is to manage. Asides from smooth access, CRM software shouldn’t be too hard to use. Information shouldn’t be too hard to extract nor should it be too difficult to update. Flawed or outdated information can result in misleading conclusions about customers and botch up the work of sales (as well as marketing). Make sure it doesn’t take too long for them to work with it too. Many sales professionals don’t have a lot of time when they’re working so make sure that the system doesn’t add any more to their burdens.
Security – Last but far from the least, you have the security of the data stored. And despite the advantage of cloud-based CRM, online databases are constantly under the threat of attack from hackers and malicious software. In fact, even large web companies are not immune. Just recently, Amazon has changed its customer service policy after one of it’s users experienced a devastating hack. Accessibility is good but it must also be balanced with security. Make sure your software has strong security features and also consider educating prospects on what policies to make supporting it.
Now remember, B2B prospects can still be a little more unique than their counterparts in the B2C markets. Their requirements and expectations might vary among the four listed above. Use the basics as your springboard for asking questions (like if your using B2B telemarketing for instance). The more you can learn and meet their expectations, the more interest you’ll generate until they’re finally qualified for leads.
As you may have heard, many big-names in the tech world are slowly making their way into the cloud and foreshadowing heavy competition. Like some of them however, you may have already felt the change in the winds and have started to lift up a version of your previous, on-premise system into the cloud. Now all you need is to start generating cloud computing leads.
But wait, since this is a new market and the competition is just starting to come in, new challenges are bound to surface. Finding new leads might be hard because companies are still trying to familiarize with not only the benefits but also the risks that come with using cloud-based software for their business processes. As a new cloud-based provider yourself, you need to be careful about approaching those who are still using on-premise systems. While it does sound like the cloud can give you an edge over competitors who still market those systems, they might be hesitant if you just appear out of the blue.
On the other hand, you might just have a better chance if you start turning your own clients first intocloud computing leads. You’ve already developed a cloud-based version of your software. Now it’s time you took your current client’s software into the cloud too.
Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean they’re not ready either. You still have to be careful. Still, the advantage is they’re already clients. They won’t be as surprised when you approach them. All you need to do is to ask yourself the following questions before approaching them.
How satisfied are they with your software?– Obviously, if even your traditional, on-premise system isn’t serving them as well as both of you had hoped, then how will the cloud be any better? Careful now, that question can become a double-edged sword. Maybe your cloud is better or maybe they’d first have their on-premise system improved in the same way you improved things in the cloud before considering it. Either way, you need to make sure your enterprise software solution is at least satisfactory.
How have you handled complaints and inquiries so far? – In other words, how good is your customer service? This is an age-old question but so is the relationship between marketing and customer relations. If you’re not there to help your customers during times of need, then how will shifting to the cloud give you more reason to do better?
Do they like your software but also wish it cost less? – A popular selling point among cloud-computing marketers is low costs. It may not always be the main concern but in this case, this would be a good time to say that your cloud-based software has the cost advantage over your previous products.
Are they looking to shift more responsibility to the cloud? – Another advantage of the cloud is having to devote fewer resources to technical maintenance. That responsibility will be shifted to you, the provider. However, not all businesses are willing to turn over that responsibility (even your current clients). Major (and tricky) issues like compliance are just some of the reasons. Properly using ERP software can be a hassle for both the vendor and the client but there are times when the latter likes to learn instead of giving up responsibility.