Email ranks as one of the leading tools now being utilized in B2B CRM systems, according to The 2024 State of CRM report, a new study by Sugar.com.
Of the marketers polled, 46% have added email marketing and marketing automation over the past five years. Another 35% implemented analytics or measurement dashboard platforms, and 12% account-based marketing tools.
B2B activities and strategies have also evolved. The respondents are pursuing these marketing and sales functions that they weren’t five years ago:
- Using CRM as a centralized communications hub — 60%
- Forecasting and pipeline insights — 43%
- Capturing “intent data” and/or lead scoring -- 41%
And these brands are now focusing on these parts of the buying journey:
- Customer service/upsell or cross-sell — 33%
- Mid-funnel lead generation/nurturing — 32%
- Early-stage awareness — 21%
- Low-funnel active sales efforts — 14%
This all proves that CRM has become a more varied tool.
What benefits have companies achieved? They cite these areas that have helped them optimize the customer journey:
- Pipeline visibility — 37%
- Qualify of leads — 35%
- Quantity of leads — 31%
“No longer is CRM simply a note-taking database; now it must analyze data and guide reps on where to focus their attention throughout the day,” says Clint Oram, co-founder and chief strategy officer of SugarCRM.
But, as with everything, challenges persist. The main ones faced by marketers are:
What’s next? The top priorities over the next five years include:
“The key to increased CRM effectiveness is the breaking down of barriers across departments,” Oram concludes. “Marketing needs to know how sellers are following up on the leads they create. Sellers need high-quality leads to come from marketing. Service teams need sellers to set customers up for success with appropriate expectations.”
SugarCRM surveyed 800+ global B2B sales, marketing service and IT professionals from May 15 to July 1, 2023.