Dreamforce, the world’s favorite (and largest) technology conference hosted by Salesforce (the world’s number 1 CRM provider) is just round the corner. It’s the biggest meet up for technology leaders.
With over 150,000 attendees expected to attend the conference next week, it seemed the appropriate time for us to discuss the emerging trends in CRM technology use. Another reason is a recent statistic from HubSpot we came across:
The most popular sales tools include CRM, social prospecting, data and list services, email engagement, phone, and sales cadence. (Hubspot, 2018)
When it comes to the usage and adoption patterns of CRM tools specifically, what caught our eye recently was a survey of 250 US B2B sales and marketing professionals conducted by Dun & Bradstreet.
In this 6th annual B2B marketing data report, about 4 in 10 respondents said they were novices or beginners when it comes to integrating data into their customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
And only 13% of respondents said they had an advanced ability to integrate data into CRM systems. Source
In a data-driven and technology heavy environment, and given that CRM is one of the most popular technologies in B2B sales and marketing, this is pretty surprising. Don’t you think?
We’ve often debated on how new innovations in technology don’t necessarily lead to optimized processes. As Anastasia Pavlova (Former) Vice President of Webgility once said to us over a recent podcast- There is a need for people to know how to use and maneuver new technologies to gain the best advantages from it.
Challenges with Current CRM tools
There has to be a process in place to feed the right data, standardize it and share it in an organized way so that multiple teams are able to extract the best use of any tool.
Some of the common challenges that affect the use (and comfort) with CRM technologies are most often attributed to:
- (too much) use of excel sheets to contain information,
- multiple teams use different tools to store data,
- poor integration with other systems
- lack of centralized data storage that then creates duplicates or redundant contact information
- inability to find the right talent to track and maintain customer data
- low data analysis capabilities
This is why more and more US-based B2B Sales and Marketing professionals are looking to centralize their data management giving rise to the need to have a reliable customer data management and storage process as well as better audience segmentation capabilities.
Besides the above, what’s even more of an eye-opener are some of the following statistics we came across on a HubSpot blog.
- 18% of salespeople don't know what a CRM is and 23% of salespeople feel that manual data entry as the biggest challenge when using their CRM tool. Besides this, 27% of salespeople spend an hour or more on data entry each day according to a 2018 statistic.
- 40% of salespeople still use informal means such as Microsoft Excel or Outlook to store lead and customer data according to a 2016 statistic.
What does all of this mean?
Integrated systems and centralized data management are now the need of the hour for businesses to be able to scale more effectively. Marketing technology offers the ability to every sized business to do that as long as the base level challenges are dealt with.
Start by picking the right CRM tool
It all starts by picking the best-fit CRM based on your company’s core objectives. By knowing the most common challenges faced by teams when using CRM tools, it is easier to list out what you want to achieve with your CRM and then optimize ways to achieve them.
Need a quick guide to the best-fit CRM tools for your business?
We used our technographic data set that uses Artificial Intelligence to mine data from multiple online sources to give you an idea of the most popular CRM technologies based on user counts.
Here’s what we found:
If you're looking for high impact CRM Best Practices for your B2B Marketing and Sales efforts, this podcast episode with Jon Ferrara, Founder and CEO at Nimble is just what you need to listen to!