A B2B Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a vital tool that every field salesperson working in B2B sales needs to possess.

By providing an easily accessible database of important customer information, a B2B CRM not only serves as an effective tool for storing this info, it can serve as the perfect catalyst for driving revenue growth for your sales team.

In this detailed and complete guide to B2B CRM, we’ll delve into what exactly a B2B CRM is, strategies you can use to ensure optimal performance, and a few of the top B2B CRM software available on the market today.

Plus we’ll have a sneak peek at what B2B CRM trends are on the horizon!

Let’s jump in!

b2b crm

What is a B2B CRM?

B2B CRM stands for Business-to-Business Customer Relationship Management. Sales teams who use this type of CRM software sell directly to businesses, in comparison to B2C (Business to Customer) sales teams who sell directly to customers in the general public. 

Important customer interactions that sales teams have take place in a multitude of different places, be it in person, through email, or over the phone. Therefore it’s vital to have them all stored in one place such as a CRM software to ensure you have a clear and detailed view of the entire customer journey

Having this laid out in front of you in an easy-to-digest manner in your B2B CRM will help you massively when dealing with both your current customers and future ones. With all of the information at your disposal in one place, you will be able to spot holes in your sales process that will help you improve the customer experience, enhance your sales processes, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

Are you looking for better sales results? Check out this blog that offers you 6 easy ways you can improve sales performance with Badger Maps!

B2B CRM Features

If you’re looking to invest in a B2B CRM for your business, there are a few key features that are a must.

Let’s check them out.

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Contact Management

Contact management is a critical component of any B2B CRM. So much so that 94% of people when surveyed mentioned it as their top-requested feature.

In B2B sales, where customer interactions are the essence of your business, having an efficient contact management system in place can be the difference between keeping your customers happy and losing them to more organized competitors. 

With a B2B CRM system in place, you will be able to create detailed profiles on all of your customers, with information such as company name, contact details, and interactions you have had with them stored in one place.  

B2B sales deals can often include a multitude of different individuals involved in the decision-making process, therefore managing all of your customer information in one place in your B2B CRM can simplify the sales process for everyone involved.

Check out this detailed guide with the 10 Best B2B CRM Software recommendations for your sales team!

Third-Party Integrations

One of the great things about a B2B CRM is that it has the ability to integrate with some of the other sales tools you may already be using as part of your tech stack. By integrating certain sales tools with a B2B CRM you can optimize workflows, increase your B2B CRM’s ability to gather reports and analytics, improve lead generation, and a slew of other capabilities that will no doubt be of great use to the ever-increasingly busy salesperson.

Choosing the right sales tool to integrate with your B2B CRM is important. Salespeople are literally drowning in tools

The best sales tools make life easier for a sales rep working in B2B sales. But really, what is the main objective of having one of these tools? It’s to help you optimize your work processes, ensuring your customers are willing to sign on the dotted line for you, and not your competitors. 

One sales tool that integrates seamlessly with the top B2B CRM software is Badger Maps

Badger Maps is a route optimization tool that helps field salespeople automatically plan, route, and maximize their time in the field by cutting down driving time by 20%. With their sales routes planned out in advance, reps will have more time to spend with their customers, increasing their chances of closing more sales deals.

Badger Maps also offers other important capabilities such as customer data visualization, check-ins, and lead generation on the go.

B2B Sales teams have reported that they sell 22% more and drive 20% less when using Badger Maps, in fact, the average team of 10 reps sells $936k more the year they start using the app.

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"After getting Badger Maps, weekly meetings per rep jumped from 12 to 20. This led to a 22% increase in annual revenue."

Brad Moxley

Business Development Manager, Cutter & Buck

With Badger Maps bi-directional integration, sales reps have direct access to their B2B CRM data in the field where they need it most. 

Customer records, engagement, and interactions that are created and updated in Badger Maps will be pushed to your B2B CRM and vice-versa, keeping all of your important customer information up to date as you work in the field.

Badger Maps route planner integrates with the best CRM software such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Zoho, HubSpot, Insightly, NetSuite, and many more.

Badger Maps is the best B2B CRM integration as it helps field sales teams optimize the time they spend on the road. 

Sales teams have even seen a 50% increase in CRM usage once they start using Badger Maps.

Sign up for a free trial today or schedule a demo to learn all about how you can start integrating Badger Maps with the B2B CRM of choice today!

Drive 20% Less. Sell 20% More.

Pipeline Management

Pipeline management is how a business organizes all of its sales opportunities through various stages of the sales cycle. With a robust B2B CRM at your disposal, you can effortlessly track the movement of your sales deals, providing you with the tools you need to visualize and analyze every stage of the customer journey.

Managing your sales pipeline in one place is crucial. On average, 60% of customers say no four times before agreeing to buy your product. These no’s can take place anywhere from a phone call to an in-person meeting. Keeping track of them in one place will help you get a clear picture of what exactly is going on with each individual customer.

Also, by tracking every deal in your B2B CRM, you will become savvy to market trends and consumer needs, allowing you to forecast what’s coming down the line and ensure you are fully prepared to deliver on consumer demands. Managing your pipeline in your B2B CRM will get you started when you’re establishing your sales goals and targets. 

Check out this helpful blog that shows you how to set more realistic goals in sales!

Lead management

Salespeople know all too well how important it is to ensure their leads are looked after correctly. Lead generation can be a long, drawn-out process, and even when you think your sales prospecting efforts have worked and you have a paying customer on your hands, there are never any guarantees until your prospect has signed on the dotted line. 

To ensure you are looking after your leads in an efficient and effective manner, it’s imperative that your B2B CRM system has a top-of-the-range lead management feature in place. Here you will be able to store all of your leads in one place, so whether you found new leads through a marketing campaign or a sales conference, you can rest easy knowing they can all be organized in one place.

Once your leads are captured in your B2B CRM, you can nurture them to easily move them along your sales funnel. You can also personalize your messaging to each customer, something customers are appreciating more and more these days with the increase in automated messaging tactics. 

Lead scoring, a common feature in any B2B CRM, can help salespeople evaluate their new-found leads based on various different criteria. You can factor in information such as demographics, location, industry, and outreach engagement when creating your own lead-scoring model. 

Listen to this Outside Sales Talk podcast episode with B2B Growth dvisor and best-selling author Ian Altman to discover how you can target leads that actually close!

Best B2B CRM Software

Choosing the best B2B CRM software for your sales teams can be challenging with hundreds of different options available to you.

Let’s check out the best options on the market today!

Zoho

Price: Standard - $15/Month, Professional - $39/Month, Premium - $79 /Month, Elite - $239/Month

Features: customizable CRM solutions tailored to smaller sales teams, allowing interface, field, and process customization to match specific needs.

Capterra Rating: 4.3/5

Get it: iOS | Android   

Zoho is a B2B CRM that works particularly well for sales reps working in a smaller sales team. 

Zoho offers features such as lead management, email campaigns, pipeline management, and reporting.

If teams wish to customize their CRM to meet their specific needs, Zoho CRM's customizable and easy-to-use features ensure that teams can operate to the best of their ability. Users can customize their CRM apps interface, fields, and work processes to match their team's workflows seamlessly.

For small teams the risk of customer churn is great and any way it can be avoided can oftentimes be make or break for a company. With Zoho CRM’s churn prediction feature, salespeople can organize their customers based on their likelihood to churn, enabling reps to plan ahead and take the necessary action to ensure they don’t lose their customers to a competitor.

HubSpot

Price: Starter – $50/mo, Professional – $500/mo, Enterprise – $1,200/mo

Features: Inbound marketing and sales tools, lead management, email marketing, and automation for effective marketing and sales alignment.

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

Get it: iOS | Android   

HubSpot is a leader in the B2B CRM space and one of the best options available for sales teams. HubSpot offers state-of-the-art lead management, email marketing, and sales automation features that can allow sales teams to engage with potential customers at every stage of the buyer's journey.

HubSpot has a sleek and modern user interface that is simple and effective to use. They do offer a basic free plan, but if you are looking for more advanced features, be wary that their pricing plans will start to increase quickly the more functionalities you need.

HubSpot’s Marketplace boasts over 1500 apps that field sales teams can integrate with, improving the effectiveness of their HubSpot CRM for sales reps.

One such app is Badger Maps, a route-planning app that allows field sales teams to automatically plan, route, and maximize their time in the field, cutting down driving time by 20%.  

Salespeople have direct access to their HubSpot CRM data in the field through Badger Maps’ bi-directional integration. This means you can keep all of your customer information up to date while you optimize your sales routes.

Salesforce

Price: Starter - $ 25/user/month, Professional - $ 80/user/month, Enterprise - $165/user/month, Unlimited - $ 330/user/month

Features: lead and opportunity management, sales forecasting, advanced reporting, customizable CRM dashboards, and scalability for large teams.

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5

Get it: iOS | Android   

One of the best CRM software available to sales teams, Salesforce works particularly well for large teams with complex sales processes. Its expansive feature set includes sales forecasting, process building, lead and opportunity management, advanced reporting capabilities, and customizable CRM dashboards.  

The Salesforce AppExchange also lists over 7000 app integrations which can enhance their experience using Salesforce CRM.

For field sales teams, the best app they can integrate with their sales CRM is Badger Maps.

By integrating Badger Maps with your Salesforce CRM, you can keep all of your customer data in sync and up-to-date across all devices while on the go and access and update information in real time.  Field sales teams who use Badger Maps have been able to increase their Salesforce CRM usage by 50%.

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“CRM usage increased more than 50% once our sales team adopted Badger”

Ken Buck

Regional Sales Manager, Kerr

B2B CRM Best Practices

There are some B2B best practices that you should be aware of before you jump in and start using one. 

Let's guide you through the most important.

b2b crm solutions

Lay out your B2B CRM Goals

Before you get started with your very own B2B CRM, it’s important to lay out your goals and objectives so you know exactly what it is you want to achieve.  

Maybe you want your B2B CRM to perform specific functions in your sales team. That can be anything from automating work processes, lead management, enhancing customer satisfaction rates, or better data management. By knowing exactly what you want your B2B CRM to do, you can seamlessly integrate it into your sales tech stack.

Correct Implementation

A B2B CRM can be complicated to implement at first. The major CRMs come with a lot of different features and capabilities, therefore as stated above it´s important to know exactly why you need one. Once you've figured this out, you need to set up some training and information sessions for your sales team so they can get to grips with this new software. 

How successful your B2B CRM is usually correlates with the level of understanding your sales team has of the tool they are using, so it’s imperative you make the training as informative as possible. Your sales team also needs to be convinced why these tools can help their processes. 

Convince them with case studies of other teams who have successfully implemented a B2B CRM to win them over. Remember, 69% of B2B CRM implementation fails to meet its goals due to a lack of planning during the implementation process. Get it right, or be at risk of failing to meet your sales targets.

Listen to this Outside Sales Talk with HubSpot’s Senior Inbound Sales Professor Kyle Jepson to learn how to build your sales with the right CRM and sales tech!

Customization

To really get the most out of your B2B CRM, you need to customize it to suit the needs of your sales team.

Most B2B CRM systems have high levels of customization options, allowing you to configure your system exactly how you want it. 

For example, you can segment your customers based on different attributes such as industry, location, age, or buying behavior. Segmenting your customer base will allow you to create personalized sales pitches that have a higher probability of conversion. 

You could also customize the reporting and analytics features that come with a B2B CRM to suit your specific requirements. Maybe you need to see at what stage of the lead generation process are your prospects converting. Through B2B CRM customization, you could easily find this, and a slew of other interesting insights, out.

Leverage Reports and Analytics

B2B CRM reports and analytics can be a game changer for savvy sales teams who know the power hard sales data can make to their bottom line. A B2B CRM can turn clunky data points into aesthetically pleasing charts or graphs, allowing you to dissect key customer information in a manner that’s simple and enjoyable. 

Teams can track these sales metrics in real-time, enabling them to take proactive measures to the insights they garner. They can monitor the performance of sales campaigns, analyze conversion rates, evaluate engagement levels, and so much more with a B2B CRM.

With important data points at hand, salespeople will be able to make informed decisions that can improve their sales processes across the board.  

crm trends

Social CRM

Social media provides sales reps with direct access to their customers. Social selling is becoming increasingly popular and with more and more opportunities emerging to sell to customers on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn, taking advantage of social media is a no-brainer for sales teams.

There is a treasure trove of information available to you on social media. By integrating your social media channels with your B2B CRM, you can unearth key customer insights you wouldn’t have gleaned from elsewhere

In 2023, the B2B CRM giant Hubspot partnered with TikTok to simplify the process of capturing leads acquired from the social media platform.  Hubspot knows a thing or two about future sales trends and this partnership clearly makes sense as 50% of Tiktok users have reported making a purchase after watching a live stream. There is an appetite for selling on social media, and by integrating your socials with your B2B CRM, the possibilities for sales growth are endless.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is here to stay and with many sales teams already dipping their toes in its waters and exploring its seemingly endless capabilities, now is the time to strategize and put plans in place so you can effectively harness its potential.  

A recent study by McKinsey found that a fifth of current sales-team functions could be automated by AI. Sales teams that invest in AI are seeing a revenue increase of up to 15% and a sales ROI increase of up to 20%.

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Only 20% of sales leaders surveyed feel that they are using AI tools ‘often’. When pressed on how they see this changing over the next two years, 90% responded that they would use them ‘often’. But why wait when you can implement those changes now?

Salespeople have leveraged technology to their advantage for a long time now and with more and more advancements coming, the tech is now able to process all of that stored data and easily help with tasks such as prospecting, personalized outreach, and analytics. 

The scope is there for automating tedious and time-consuming tasks, all that is needed is the correct implementation of these tools in order for sales teams to work hand in hand with AI.

But how can you go about it?

The McKinsey study suggests a six-step plan to successfully implement AI in your sales team. 

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More Integrations

A B2B CRM, as we have seen, is a critical component of your sales team. However, it can't do everything. There are thousands of different sales tools out there that serve different purposes. One of the best things about a B2B CRM is that it can integrate with other sales tools to provide you with one centralized, cohesive sales tool that will allow you to do your job as efficiently as possible. 

Customer service and experience expert Shep Hyken had this to say about B2B CRM integrations - 

“Look for a solution that integrates other important software solutions. They must act ‘in concert’ with each other, as if they are one. We must have a solution that gives us what has been referred to as a ‘single pane of glass,’ meaning our team members don’t have to keep bouncing around from one program to the next.”

B2B CRM integrations can be anything from a marketing automation tool to a route optimization tool. Integrations can make the life of a salesperson easier and more efficient, freeing them up to focus on what really matters - selling!

Choosing the Right B2B CRM for Your Sales Team

When you’re selecting a B2B CRM for your sales team, it’s important to carefully consider what you are looking for and also the different functionalities of the tools on offer. 

A B2B CRM should seamlessly integrate with your current sales tools, provide a centralized location for all of your customer interactions, streamline communication, and foster collaboration between the members of your sales team.

At the end of the day, you’re going to want a B2B CRM that aligns seamlessly with the needs and objectives of your sales team. 

Some options are feature-heavy and work great for large sales teams. Others don’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, which can be ideal for small teams who only need a B2B CRM to serve a couple of purposes. 

You want to be able to use it, not get confused by it! 

Do your research and test out a few of the best options to see what works best for you. 

FAQ

What is a B2B CRM?
A B2B CRM stands for Business-to-Business Customer Relationship Management. This is a piece of software that helps B2B companies better manage their customer relationships through the latest technology.
What is the best CRM for B2B?
The best CRM for B2B will depend on multiple factors such as the size of your sales team and your specific needs and requirements. The leading options are HubSpot, Zoho, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics. You can get a detailed breakdown of the best CRM for B2B in this detailed guide.
What is the difference between B2B and B2C CRM?
B2B (Business-to-Business) is different from a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) CRM in a multitude of different ways. B2B CRMs tend to be used for larger deals, whereas B2C CRMs are used for smaller ones. Their key differences lie in the types of customer relationships they have, their different sales processes, and varying strategies they each use.

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