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3 Ways a Stock-Aware CRM can Help Grow your B2B Product Business

By Lucy Crossland on Tue 28 June 2022 in CRM

3-ways-stock-aware-crm-can-help-your-b2b-product-business-grow

For a B2B Wholesaler, Manufacturer or Distributor, the needs of a CRM could not be more different to a service-based business. Beyond needing the “traditional” CRM requirements that most CRMs offer, they have unique and distinct differences that require a more specialised CRM that goes beyond just storing customer information and tracking sales enquiries.

A CRM system should act as a centralised database for your whole team to log interactions, sales opportunities, and customer service queries. But for a B2B Wholesaler, Manufacturer or Distributor, the needs of a CRM could not be more different to a service-based business. Sure, they need all those “traditional” CRM requirements that most CRMs offer, but they have unique and distinct differences that require a more specialised CRM that goes beyond just storing customer information and tracking sales enquiries.

Before we get into how a Stock-Aware CRM can help drive growth in your business, let’s assess if you need it first. 

Do you know which of your customers should have placed an order by now, but haven’t? Do you know which customers you’re at risk of losing to a competitor? Can you see an instant Recency, Frequency and Monetary (RFM) value ranking across your entire customer base? If you’re a B2B product business, these should be ringing alarm bells!

Final note before we get stuck into the good stuff – we don’t like bombarding our readers with jargon they may not have come across before, so we’ll try and explain any acronyms as we go or link out to any helpful articles on the topic (check out a top 10 list of essential metrics explained here too!).

1. Generate High-Quality Leads

Traditionally, CRMs were actually built for service-based businesses. Its primary function was new customer acquisition i.e. getting more customers. A well-known and well-referenced representation of this is as a “funnel”, indicating that the more you put in the top, the more you’ll get more out of the bottom.

 

                                                    funnel-get-customers    

But for a product-based business, it’s about generating high quality leads…in other words, more of the right type of customer. 

But how can your business use a Stock-Aware CRM to generate better leads? By using a CRM with built-in RFM analysis, you can quickly and effortlessly identify who your “best” customers are (in the world of RFM, these are referred to as your “Champions”, “Loyal Customers” and “Potential Loyalists”). With this list of customers to hand, you can then start to understand what they have in common and build out an ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). Then, you can be much more strategic in your marketing efforts to attract more like them (e.g. via Mailchimp), and start leveraging the benefits of your existing Champions to really make the most of them!

                                                  funnel-3-steps

2. Convert One-off Buyers into Repeat Customers

Generating more quality leads is just the tip of the iceberg for product businesses. This next bit is where “traditional” CRMs really fall off a cliff, and a Stock-Aware CRM comes into its own.

Research indicates that, on average, B2B product businesses need to secure the first four orders from a new customer before they settle into a regular buying pattern. For a service-based business, one-off orders may be normal, but for B2B Wholesalers, Distributors and Manufacturers, it’s all about repeat business. A Stock-Aware CRM should tell you which customers are “new” and when they’re “onboarded”, so you can keep track of who to prioritise. Check out our dedicated article here on customer onboarding and why it’s crucial if you sell products B2B.

                                                           funnel-onboard

3. Maximise CLTV

Successfully onboarding your customers is important, but from there, it’s all about keeping them for as long as possible, getting them to spend more per order, and encourage a repeat ordering habit that sticks. All of these factors contribute to maximising your average CLTV (customer lifetime value). But how does a Stock-Aware CRM help with this and ensure you don’t fall victim to a leaky bucket?

 

                                                    flywheel

Retention

The first step in improving your customer retention is analysing how long (on average) you keep your customers for. Without some automated analysis, this can be really tricky to get accurate – customer behaviour changes all the time, minute by minute, so using a tool like Stock-Aware CRM can help work this out for you. 

But a quick win that a Stock-Aware CRM can help you achieve is alerting you to missing orders. Based on customer behaviour, the system should be able to work out who should have ordered now based on their average ordering pattern and value. Predicted churn alerts like this mean your Sales team can quickly and easily chase and secure orders with existing customers – before you lose their business for good.

 

Order Frequency & Value

Maximising the lifetime value of your customers isn’t just about retaining them for longer – it’s about making your relationship more profitable. A Stock-Aware CRM should be able to present upsell and cross-sell opportunities to increase average order values and the frequency of orders. In turn, by getting your customers to buy more of your products more often, they’re more likely to stick with you than move for a competitor offering. 

                                                          funnel-onboard


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