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Sales & Marketing

Using a CRM for eCommerce

August 1, 2019 | Oro Team

CRM for Customer Relationship Management has been a staple tool for sales and marketing for decades. It remains even more so critical for success in the fast-paced eCommerce business environment. By blending the traditional benefits of using a CRM for sales automation with the innovative approaches to online customer acquisition and retention eCommerce companies can leapfrog a few levels up in their sales and marketing productivity.  

New Generation of CRMs

Modern CRM’s are more than just a basic platform for customer management and data storage. There is a lot of untapped potential behind a well-designed CRM that tends to be overlooked. A robust platform can help boost employee productivity, improve engagement with your customers, and increase lead conversion.

A CRM can also be used in conjunction with an eCommerce platform to give your business a competitive edge by collecting your customer data to gain a better insight into your customers’ behavior. Collecting measurable customer data can help give you deeper insights into your customer demographics, pinpoint relevant marketing strategies, nurture your sales pipeline, and take your business on-the-go with a cloud solution.

What You Can Do with a CRM for eCommerce

A CRM system is a strategic tool that can help your company drive digital transformation initiatives across sales, marketing, and operations. Unlocking its full potential will give your business a distinct edge in building strong relationships with highly unpredictable eCommerce customers.

Boost Your Team’s Productivity

A better experience for your internal team results in a better experience for your end customers. A highly-efficient internal team that is aligned on prior customer conversations, interactions, and next steps, will be able to provide more accurate and quick service.

Unify Your Departments

There are multiple touchpoints within any business operating an eCommerce webstore. The key to successful customer management is making sure that everyone is aligned when it comes to interacting with their customers. Each department touches the customer in some aspects throughout the sales cycle. A finance associate will be managing their invoices and payment, a sales rep will be developing the customer relationship and driving their sales, and a customer service rep will be handing potential PO issues and other inquiries. More often than not, these departments are working independently of each other. So how do you make sure they are all working towards the same goal of providing a seamless customer experience?

Using a CRM for eCommerce can help bridge the gap among separate internal teams to foster collaboration and efficiency. As data is being collected into the CRM, your internal team can have full visibility to all the moving parts of the eCommerce ecosystem. Internal staff can have access to customer profiles and pick up right where others left off. Staff can log into the customer dashboard and gain a full 360-degree picture of any detail, past communication, or documents pertaining to that particular customer.

Automate Routine Sales Tasks

One huge difference that a CRM system makes for sales professionals is by automating their routine daily chores. For example, writing the right emails for the right leads takes up a great portion of each sales rep’s time. With a CRM system in place, you can effectively organize a collection of email templates that can be used to speed up email creation and reach more leads over a period of time. You can also implement a lead scoring system that helps you separate high-quality leads from B-list and low-priority targets. One study by Eloqua actually demonstrated that adopting a lead scoring system can help increase a business’s close rates by up to 30%.

Another low-hanging fruit for automation in sales is reporting. Using spreadsheets is an obsolete method of keeping an eye on your business as there is a huge risk of missing or out-of-sync data as well as the issue of time required to fill in the reports. On the contrary, a modern CRM system will assist you in monitoring your team’s performance in real time and also provide you with information about any action taken by your contacts during a given period. 

And of course, any eCommerce businesses should take advantage of a CRM to minimize manual entry of online customer data. Your new buyers will be automatically stored in a CRM after registration on your website, thus sparing your sales team purely mechanical tasks. 

Integrate Diverse Tools and Keep Customer Data in Sync

An open CRM system helps you tackle technology integration issues and maintain customer data in sync across all your other applications. Just like an ERP system is your central hub for pricing and product data, a CRM solution enables you to break down data silos and keep your customer data in one place. Then you can utilize any of the popular CRM connectors, such as PieSync connector for OroCRM, to sync customer data with other applications.  

Having an open, flexible CRM also enables you to take advantage of modern sales and marketing eCommerce automation tools for digital sales by simply plugging them into your CRM. Such tools include applications for email marketing automation, running loyalty programs, processing customer service tickets, tracking abandoned cart incidents, and many more.

Improve Customer Engagement for Better Conversions

Effective customer engagement isn’t something you conceive with your gut feeling and imagination alone. It requires tracking real-life customer behavior, both offline and online, and optimizing your services and products accordingly. A CRM system should be your primary pool of valuable customer data that you can trust and act upon.  

Enable Personalized Customer Experience

Personalized customer experience is the fulcrum of B2B eCommerce but even in B2C it never comes amiss. In order to nurture long-term relationships with your clients, you have to appreciate their unique needs and help to resolve them with or without your offerings! Using a CRM to collect thorough information about your customers is the first step to establishing your company as a customer-oriented business. Using that information to offer unique value propositions for your clients is how you make the most of it.

Enabling personalized customer experience is also the case for integration between CRM, eCommerce, email marketing, and other business tools. Personalization should be applied at different touchpoints, such as a website, a phone call, an email letter, a loyalty coupon, etc. to give the customer the feel of exceptional care. Managing this amount of personalized interactions without a CRM would be increasingly onerous. 

Excel at Key Account Management

For many companies, especially in B2B, a few of their top clients bring more than everyone else combined. Not only do you need a personalized approach to offer the best value propositions for such clients, but you also need to collect and take into account their historical data to be aware of any other possible opportunities. This is especially the issue when sales reps leave the company and basically take all the accumulated insights into their accounts’ business away. A CRM system enables you to keep that data safe, up to date, and well organized.

A CRM also helps you understand the impact of your marketing efforts on your key accounts and take notes of that. The proper alignment between sales and marketing is extremely important given that eCommerce marketing strategies become a separate force in the new customer acquisition. Customer data, especially key accounts’ data, derived from a CRM allows sales and marketing managers to clearly see what works and what doesn’t. It makes combining their efforts so much easier and more efficient. 

Split Test Your Sales Tactics

Instead of guessing which type of a cold email is better, why don’t you actually test what works on practice? Split testing is a great way to optimize your sales letters for conversion as well as improve other sales and marketing activities. It is also quite simple when using an integrated CRM and an email marketing solution.

There’s also a great opportunity to drive eCommerce sales via a CRM and email marketing automation. You can continuously engage your customers via email with follow ups, personal recommendations, product retargeting, and abandoned cart notifications.     

Collect Measurable Data from Your eCommerce Business

Any company needs to measure its performance in order to optimize. And when it comes to a dynamic multichannel sales business – which is an eCommerce company should be – a CRM system is where your diverse customer data turns into meaningful insights.

Clearly Target Pain Points

The more information you have on a customer, the easier it is to identify key pain points within their organization. You become a more efficient support rep by being able to accurately discuss these pain points with your customer and in turn, your customers become more receptive to the business solutions that you have to offer.

Create Highly Targeted Marketing Campaigns

In our age of digital transformation, more companies are using email marketing as the main source of their outreach. It’s becoming more crucial than ever to create highly relevant and personalized content in order to stand out from the crowd. Research shows that even just creating a personalized subject line improves your open rate by 50%. Personalization is key!

B2B companies can use a CRM for eCommerce to gain a deeper insight into their customers and send highly targeted marketing campaigns to thousands of customers. This allows them to reach a large audience while still maintaining a personalized touch. 

Ensure Operational Transparency for Better Management

Scaling an eCommerce business while maintaining efficient operations can be tough. A CRM solution will bring necessary order and clarity into your operational management. It dramatically simplifies tracking recent performance data and pinpointing trends that may be vital for your further eCommerce website growth. A CRM for eCommerce will also help you streamline strategic planning sessions and performace meetings with the company’s top management. No approximate reports can beat verified data from your CRM. 

How to Choose a CRM for eCommerce

If you want to kickstart a new eCommerce business or bring your current webstore to a new level, go for a CRM system that can work in seamless integration with your eCommerce platform. There are many options on the market that can do the job but you still need to check for a perfect fit for your business in terms of features, TCO, and ease of integration.

OroCommerce and OroCRM are a best-of-suite product package for eCommerce companies, especially those with a strong focus on B2B eCommerce. They are typically implemented as a single end-to-end solution and support virtually any business case related to eCommerce business development. OroCRM is also available as a standalone product and supports integration with other popular eCommerce platforms. Finally, you can also take advantage of numerous extensions for OroCRM available on our marketplace.

For a live demo of OroCRM and/or OroCommerce, feel free to contact us and leave a demo request. That could be 15 minutes that will change the way you do the eCommerce business.

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