Forbes: How CRMs Help Businesses Gain A Competitive Advantage
It’s no secret that companies need to generate sales leads to grow their business, but it’s a much more convoluted task than it sounds. Lead generation and management encompass an array of marketing, content, and analytics tools working in sync to supplement the workflow of employees in a company.
The suite of tools and strategies required for effective lead management is the focus of massive customer relationship management (CRM) software systems offered by firms like Salesforce, SAP, and Creatio. They comprise the head of what is expected to be a CRM industry hauling in $80 billion in revenue by 2025, and which serves as a progressively critical pillar of modern business success.
In a digital era where content channels are diversifying, and consumer preferences are tenuous, acquiring new customers is the holy grail of sustainable growth.
Fusing Marketing, Sales, And Content Management
Modern businesses require agile and automated task management, especially mid-size and larger companies with data-intensive tasks. CRM systems are a vital tool for these businesses to reduce overhead costs and operate on margins that would otherwise be unsustainable without software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.
Lead generation and management is the culmination of multiple aspects of SaaS systems and constitutes the actual data that is passed to sales teams. And what funnels into that data is a complex array of information. MORE FOR YOUHow To Quickly Scale Sales On AmazonDo These Three Things If You Are Ready To Pursue Your Side Hustle Full TimeHow To Establish Trust With High Ticket Clients
In Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management report, CRM lead management is defined as the process of capturing leads, tracking their activities and behavior, qualifying them, giving them constant attention to make them sales-ready, and then passing them on to the sales team.
A snapshot of what Gartner defines as CRM lead management would include strategic market campaigns for capturing the “micro-moments” attention of potential customers, user-friendly interfaces for sales teams to engage with customers, and analytics that curate and furnish actionable data to business development teams.
And all of this is in the scope of lead management integrating itself further with the broader marketing and business operations of companies.
The Gartner reports also states that there is a significant shift toward lead management functionality being part of a larger CRM or marketing solution.
A central focus of incorporating lead management functionality into business operations, like marketing, relies on aggregating multiple content and gateway channels – like e-commerce, progressive web apps (PWA), and content mediums. However, the path towards a synergy of business intelligence, sales tracking, and data insights can be complicated. For CRM systems, the purpose is to abstract away the underlying complexity, creating a user-friendly interface in the process – where the back-end tasks are automated and not necessary for users to understand.
“Businesses want a CRM platform that is both easy to use and easy to customize to specific business needs,” details Katherine Kostereva, CEO of Creatio. “The goal is to leverage agile products with low-code capabilities, meaning that businesses can automate their ideas and operations in minutes with minimal friction.”
This way companies can minimize costs with multiple aspects of lead generation and management combined with user-friendly interfaces, but the real power behind CRM systems is derived from the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the industry.
Data Mining & Advanced Analytics
The data footprints produced by consumers and businesses across the Internet’s B2C and B2B landscape are highly actionable but require discerning the signal from mountains of noise. That’s where AI and ML have made an outsized impact on lead generation.
“Traditionally, AI and ML have been used to automate tasks that have already been discovered or are already integrated with the business,” says Kostereva. “However, these days companies of various sizes and industries leverage the power of AI for sales forecasting, augmented analytics, and curating big data into actionable information for sales teams.”
AI and ML tools can even be deployed for developing proprietary score models on the quality and accuracy of lead generations, and also estimate the likelihood of purchasing products or services from a company. Rather than shooting in the dark with cold leads, AI tools of CRM systems can filter out calls and leads that don’t have high chances of conversion – increasing employee productivity significantly.
Mirroring this sentiment, a different Gartner report projects how augmented analytics of AI and ML will eventually drive business intelligence software – especially lead management and generation. Ultimately, the software’s capability in the lead generation and workflow category is why SaaS is so popular among corporate and mid to large-sized businesses.
“Companies want to accelerate, and for this, the right strategy, and well-designed processes are not enough,” says Kostereva. “Companies need systems that help align data, processes, and teams enabling them to better connect with digital native customers and rapidly adapt.”
As the digital world develops, businesses will need to adapt to remain relevant. CRM’s have provided the support that corporate enterprises need to excel amongst increasing market competition, and the parallel evolution of advanced lead generation tools in CRM systems is poised to remain the holy grail of growth acceleration.