Mankind as a race has always striven to make its life easier. And as we evolved over the years, we invented tools to help us do exactly that. From the wheel to the airplane, our tools have become bigger and more advanced with time. Now, during the digital era, they have simply become intangible. That is instead of physical tools to help us, we now have online software that simplifies the daily work that we do. When you work in the marketing team of a fast growing startup, you have no choice but to rely on these online tools to help you become a smart worker. Here is a list of online tools that the LeadSquared marketing team makes use of on a daily basis.

To write and edit amazing content:

1. WordPress:

This is one content publishing platform we absolutely love. Both the LeadSquared website and blog are built using WordPress. We love how easy it is to add and publish content. You can build your own templates, and choose from a wide array of plugins to help improve your website.

WordPress_logo.svg

2. GoToWebinar:

I don’t know if you have heard, but LeadSquared webinars are pretty popular, thanks to our webinar expert :) To make conducting webinars an easy process, she uses GoToWebinar. It is a relatively simple tool, which allows us to link our landing pages to a particular webinar for registration, coordinate with the presenter for the webinar, allows the attendees to ask questions, conduct polls and to record the entire webinar for later.

business tools - gotowebinar

3. YouTube:

One of the more popular video hosting tools, we use it primarily to upload recordings of our marketing webinars and product demos. YouTube is an easy-to-use platform where you can simply upload the video you want to your followers. It also provides you with embed facilities coupled with powerful analytics for each video.

youtube

4. Wistia:

This is a video publishing tool that is meant more for business. You can host videos on Wistia’s native platform and share the link with your audience. You can also embed the videos in your website or landing pages. Additionally, you get detailed insights on the performance of your videos. With nearly 13% offices banning YouTube, Wistia ensures that the video is played without any hassle.

business tools - wistia

5. Grammarly:

Though all of us in the marketing team hate grammatical errors, you’d be surprised at the little errors that we make sometimes. Which is why we rely on Grammarly to point out the obvious typos and punctuation mistakes. Once you get the chrome extension, the tool will automatically do a grammar check for every small piece of content that you write within the browser.

business tools - grammarly

6. Pre Post SEO:

Being a marketer, you may need to write content on the same topic again and again. Prepostseo provides a free paraphrasing tool that helps you to paraphrase your original content in a new way without altering its actual meaning. Right now, multiple marketing teams are relying on their incredible paraphrasing tool to generate readable and new versions of their text.

Pre Post SEO

To help us rank:

7. Google Keyword Planner:

To ensure that we get the best out of the content that we write, we need to first find out which keywords are in high demand for our target audience. Google’s Keyword Planner helps you find the search volume of a particular keyword, and get new keywords ideas as well.

business tools - google-keyword-planner

8. Moz:

This is one of the best SEO tools out there. We use the Mozbar to find the domain authority of websites that we establish content partnerships with. The MozPro version unlocks more options such as the Keyword Explorer, Rank Tracker, Open Site Explorer and more. Though we don’t use the upgraded version anymore, we still use the Mozbar from time to time.

business tools - moz

9. SEMrush:

We have started using this tool recently, just because it offers a little more value for money than Moz does. SEMrush helps you do extensive keyword and backlink analysis as well as spy on what keywords your competitors are using. It also offers site audit options and position tracking for about a 100 keywords.

business tools - semrush

10. Yoast:

This is a WordPress plugin that helps you to make sure that all your web pages are SEO optimized. This is one tool that we cannot do without. Yoast tells you how well your post is optimized for search engines as well as suggest things you can do it to make the content more SEO friendly. We also use Yoast for setting up an SEO title as well as meta descriptions for the post. If you are republishing content, then Yoast helps you assign canonical tags to the original post.

yoast

To get new ideas:

11. BuzzSumo:

This is an awesome tool to use while you are ideating for a new post. If you type in the category or topic you are looking to write on, BuzzSumo gives you a list of the posts that are being written on it as well as the amount of engagement that it is getting on social media. You can also catch up on trending topics on the tool.

If you upgrade to BuzzSumo Pro, you will able to analyze the amount of back-links that you as well as your competition is receiving, analyze the type of content that is getting more engagement as well as analyze what content is popular on Facebook.

business tools - buzzsumo

12. AnswerThePublic:

This is a free platform that we have been using for a while to zero down on one topic. AnswerThePublic gives you a list of topics that are being searched for when you type in a keyword. The search results cover the how, what, and why of the topic, and this can give you new ideas for the heading of the post as well.

business tools - atp

To help us manage our leads:

13. LeadSquared:

Our native tool, we use this extensively to manage the flow of leads that come in every day, courtesy our marketing efforts. LeadSquared helps us automate lead capture from our various sources as well as segment the leads into appropriate buckets. We can also add them to lists and use these lists for both marketing and sales activities. As the tool tracks every interaction the lead has with the company, Interacting with the lead becomes more personalized.

business tools - leadsquared

To communicate internally:

14. Outlook:

The official email provider that we use for our business communications is Outlook. Specifically designed for professional use, it comes with a lot of features to ensure that you don’t miss out on emails. You can set up tasks, schedule meetings, categorize similar emails, ensure that emails of a certain nature or from a particular person are automatically added to specific folders.

business tools - outlook

15. Skype:

Our internal IM tool, Skype is how we communicate with literally everyone in the office. Since it comes with a video calling option, we can also hold online conferences with our remote employees. Skype also allows you to share documents, images and videos with each other. We also use the tool to have some light-hearted banter from time to time.(sssshh, don’t tell!)

Business tools - Skype

16. Sharepoint:

The perfect place to upload all your internal as well as sales and marketing documents to share with the entire team. Sharepoint’s cloud storage tool helps the team to access documents themselves without having to raise individual requests each time.

SharePointLogo_Web

To send engaging emails:

17. LeadSquared:

When we want to send bulk emails for our marketing efforts, such as webinar invites, product updates and more, LeadSquared is what we turn to. It comes with a rich text, as well as a visual editor with an easy-to-use drag and drop feature. You can also choose from already created email templates from the template library or create you own awesome emails.

business tools - LeadSquared

To create our own URLs:

18. Bitly:

This tool is useful when we want to shorten long URLs for sharing on social platforms. Additionally, Bitly also helps you to figure out how many clicks the links that you create are getting. This way you can find out which platform is performing the best. If you go premium, you can create custom URLs as well.

business tools - bitly

19. LeadSquared:

We use this tool to create tracking URLs for content we share on different platforms. You can specify which platform you wish to share and also assign a name for the URL so that you can recover it later.

business tools - LeadSquared

To create and edit visual content:

20. Canva:

One of my personal favorites, Canva is one of the best online image editing tools out there. They have a variety of image specifications for your social media, documents, blogs, marketing materials and more. You can choose from their many templates and personalize it, or you can create your own by uploading images on to the tool. Most of their image templates are free, but you would have to pay to access their premium collection.

business tools - canva

21. Camtasia:

We use this tool for our video editing needs. Camtasia by TechSmith is a simple tool and we mostly edit our webinar videos using this tool. You can add filters in the video, do live screen recording, use it along with ppts to create videos. You can also add cool effects to your videos and add quizzes at the end as well.

business tools - camtasia

22. LeadSquared:

We create and design our landing pages using LeadSquared. It comes with an easy to build designer that you can use to create responsive pages on your website. You can customize your URLs and also choose from pre-defined templates. Plus, you get to capture leads from the landing pages and get detailed analytics on its performance as well.

business tools - leadsquared

23. Photoshop:

The designer’s imperative, Adobe’s Photoshop is what our design team relies on to create amazing creatives for us. We use this on a daily basis to help create images for our ads, blog posts, infographics, website images and more.

Buisness tools - photoshop

To take quick screenshots:

24. Jing:

Another tool by TechSmith, that you can use to take screenshots with just a click. Jing helps you to capture only the part of your screen you want to capture without having to edit the image later. You can also highlight sections of the image using arrows and boxes as well as adding text. We use this when we want to share screenshots among the team and also when we write content and need screenshots to back what we claim. Best part: the tool is free.

busienss tools - jing

25. Snagit:

Another gem by TechSmith, Snagit is a paid screen recording tool that helps you capture your screen while you navigate. This means that you can use it to make great tutorial or demo videos for your leads and prospects.

Techsmith-snagit-software

To get constant alerts:

26. Google alerts:

When you want to know who is talking about a topic that you are interested in, all you have to do is set up an alert on Google alerts. This way, you will get them right into your inbox. You can check up with them regularly, and if they fit the bill always reach out to them for back-links or content collaborations.

Buisness tools - galerts

27. Warble alerts:

This is more specific to Twitter. You can set up Warble alerts for a keyword to come to your inbox. And if anyone is tweeting on the topic you will know immediately. You can then share the content, follow the person who tweeted or use the content to interact and network with people of common interests

Business tools - warblle

To analyze the results of our work:

28. Jetpack:

This is another WordPress plugin that we use extensively and cannot do without. Jetpack helps simplify how we manage our site, by securing the site against outside attacks, giving reports on site downtime, collecting traffic insights and stats, enabling social sharing of our content, displaying similar content and more. Using this tool, we know how well our posts are performing and how many people are sharing our posts.

business tools - jetpack

29. LeadSquared:

Our native tool comes with one of the best analytics dashboards out there. You get everyday reports right into your inbox on how many new leads have come into the system and how many are engaged. You can create custom marketing and sales reports that appear on your dashboard. You can also get reports on the performance of your landing pages, your drip campaigns. email campaigns and more. This is our go-to tool for knowing everything that is happening with our leads and customers.

business tools - leadsquared

30. Google Analytics:

Once you link your website or blog with Google Analytics, it starts capturing site traffic data, site behavior of your visitors, demographics, mobile usage, traffic sources and more. You can even keep a track of leads that come in through your AdWords. Conversion data based on the goals you set can also be gotten from this tool.

business tools - google analytics

31. Addthis:

Majorly a social sharing tool, Addthis also gives you data such as the total number of traffic that you get, how many people hav shared your content as well as the top performing content on your blog/website.

addthis-logo-vector

To generate invoices:

32. Zoho:

Our finance team makes use of Zoho’s invoicing software to create order receipts. We use this for our customers, as well as for internal uses. It is easy to use and helps us keep accurate track of our company expenses.

business tools - zoho

33. QuickBooks:

Another new discovery that we came across was Intuit’s QuickBooks invoicing software. They too offer instant payments and they also track income and expenses by connecting to your bank account. Not only that, but they also give you quarterly estimates on your taxes which are automatically calculated for you.

business tools - quickbooks

Now that you know what business tools we use to grow our business, I am waiting to know what tools you have found useful for your business. Do let me know in the comment section below!

Originally published on the Exotel blog.

I joined Exotel from a sales outsourcing company. Oh, yes, it is a real thing. I worked for companies that outsourced their leads to us. We had to talk to their customers and sell the product/service. However, in my new company, it was like a whole new world for me. I felt like I was learning to climb a mountain here. And I’m afraid of heights. So, you can imagine my plight.

Where I came from, the sales process was much more straightforward, like this:

Typical sales process

Change is inevitable and change is constant.

Benjamin Disraeli

This is very true in the context of sales. Selling has remained constant, but the way people sell evolves with the market and customer maturity.

1. Consultative selling works:

As I mentioned earlier, the kind of sales I was familiar with was centered around me – how well I knew my skills, my target, my sales pitch, my selling – me, me, me!

On my first day, I knew I was in trouble. My strength lay in the power of grunt work. I counted on calling people endlessly and pitching my product to them. But now, the customers I spoke to knew what they wanted. They knew about our product, sometimes even our competitor’s, and they understood our pricing. This left me very unsure of what I was supposed to do if they already understood most of what would talk to them on a sales call.

SaaS Sales meme

What am I supposed to sell if the customer already understands everything that my sales pitch covers?

The answer came to me when I observed what everyone around me was doing – I was supposed to be selling solutions. And there is a world of difference between the sale of a product and a solution.

Alcohol is a solution meme

In a SaaS company, product and services are available over the cloud. The pricing is usually transparent and the customer has access to all the data (s)he needs to make a buying decision. SaaS companies in the West aim to sell without ever talking to their customer. The process is usually designed to be that way. But, in India, it is unusual for a company to buy a critical system without talking to a real person.

And phone support is critical for businesses in India.

This is how a typical sales call goes:

A typical sales call

There are two directions in which I could take this conversation. I could just tell the customer what he wants to know and set up the Exotel account as he asked me to. I would’ve done my job.

This is what I would’ve done before. And that would’ve made me a sales person. However,

Lou Diamond, the CEO of FOBIA says:

“Similar to a lawyer who establishes trust and rapport with a client, a consultative seller seeks to do the same with a buyer. Rather than make a pitch to the buyer (“let me explain why you should buy our product”), a skilled consultative seller initiates a substantive dialogue with the buyer. It’s through this conversation where the buyer reveals how the salesperson can help them. In a way, a consultative seller influences the buyer to make the pitch, not the other way around.”

Selling as a consultative seller and not a sales person:

One of the things I do now is, before picking up the phone to talk to a customer, I try to find out as much as I can about the person I’m about to speak to and the company. Even a simple google search can tell you a fair bit about the business and the person you’re about to talk to. Spend some time on their website. Understand their business. In addition to this, I’d recommend the use of tools like Rapportive, LinkedIn, etc to understand a little more about the person you’re about to speak to as well.

Encourage the customer to talk without any interruptions. The more they explain the problems they’re facing, the easier it gets for you to understand how you can solve the problem for them. Here are a few questions that you could ask her to understand the problem they need to address.

  1. What is the nature of your e-commerce business?
  2. How are you managing customer calls currently?
  3. Why did you think of a solution like Exotel to help you right now?
  4. What are your call volumes?
  5. What is the image you’d like to project to the customers who call?
  6. What CRM do you use?
  7. Do you have a ticketing software you use?
  8. Do you offer cash on delivery to your customers?
  9. Do you inform customers of the status of their orders? If yes, how do you do it?
  10. Do you already have sales agents or are you planning to hire them?
  11. Would you be interested in automating repetitive tasks?
  12. What kind of advertising do you do for their e-commerce startup?
  13. How do you keep track of your ROI?

Except for the first 4 questions, most of the other questions are not directly related to their problems. But they’re essential to the problem they are trying to solve. Spending time talking to the customer also gives me an insight into the workings of their company. This will help me suggest a solution that will not just solve their problem but also integrate Exotel into the core of their business.
It’s a win-win situation. I win a long-term relationship with the customer (not to mention the revenue), and the client has a better solution to manage their customer calls.

There are six principles to the consultative sales process:

  1. Research
  2. Ask
  3. Listen
  4. Teach
  5. Qualify
  6. Close

These six principles should provide the basic outline of the consultative sales methodology that you create for your business.

Teach – this brings me to my next learning.

2. Always challenge your customers:

This is something that usually happens during our sales calls here.

sales call

While the client always assumes that they know best about what they need, do not be afraid to challenge the customer. After all, you have a better understanding of your product and the kind of solution that will fit in with their needs better.

Being a good salesperson is not always about saying yes. It’s also about saying no when you think the customer is making the wrong choice.

While this may be the antithesis of everything they teach about sales traditionally, this is the best way to win a customer’s loyalty.If you’re serious about selling better, I’d recommend you read the book “The Challenger Sale” by Matthew Dixon. Here are some quotes from the book that have influenced the way I talk to my customers:

“How you sell has become more important than what you sell.”

“(Challengers have) a thorough understanding of the client’s business and use that knowledge to push the customer’s thinking and teach them something new about how their company can compete more efficiently.”

“A Challenger is really defined by the ability to do three things: teach, tailor, and take control.”

“The world of solution selling is almost definitionally about a disruptive sale.”

“If you’re on the journey to more of a value-based or solutions-oriented sales approach, then your ability to challenge customers is absolutely vital to your success going forward.”

“Shift the discussion from price to value.”

“Challengers aren’t so much world-class investigators as they are world-class teachers. They win not by understanding their customers’ world as well as the customers know it themselves, but by actually knowing their customers’ world better than their customers know it themselves, teaching them what they don’t know but should.”

A final note

SaaS sales is not a “one size fits all” process. You need to treat each customer’s requirements uniquely and offer them something that works.

My biggest learning has been – Throw away the script you’ve been working with. It’s not going to work. Be genuinely interested in your customer’s success and have their best interest at heart.

Come with selling guidelines or checklists that help the entire team work as one entity and give the customer what’s best for them.

Do you have any additional inputs or stories about your own sales experience? Let us know in the comments below.

Zapier integration - coverWe have been having a good few weeks here at LeadSquared. Just last week, we celebrated the fact that Jyoti Bansal, a Silicon-valley based tech entrepreneur, had invested in us. Now this week, we have one more reason to rejoice. The LeadSquared and Zapier integration has finally been released.

So why is this a reason to rejoice, you ask? Because you can now integrate your LeadSquared with over 750+ other apps on the Zapier platform!!!

What is Zapier?

For the uninitiated, Zapier is the tunnel that links two destinations. Let me elaborate. What if you are trying out the new lead generation ads on LinkedIn? To capture these leads on your LeadSquared system, you would need to integrate the two. which means you need someone who can code and create magic. But now with Zapier, you can simply use a zap, and ta-da! Your lead forms on LinkedIn become leads on LeadSquared.

How do you use this?

To make the most of this integration, the things you would need to have are:

  • A Zapier account
  • A LeadSquared account with access to webhooks
  • Your imagination

We have written a step-by-step guide on how you can connect your Zapier account with your LeadSquared account. Once you have done this, simply choose from over 750 apps that Zapier has, and get zapping!

Here are some zaps that we have created for your convenience. But remember, Zapier is not limited to just this and you can create your own use cases. All you need is creativity and the sky is the limit

For a complete list of all the apps available to you, you can visit Zapier’s App Directory.

Happy Marketing!

Creating a smart content marketing strategy is crucial to success in any sales or marketing profession. Sounds like a cliche, doesn’t it? But, it is the truth, and you cannot afford to ignore the plain truth.

The most successful marketers use proven strategies that increase an audience’s interest in their product or content. This is why the ads you see online contain catchy titles and eye-grabbing visual components. If you’re looking to increase the audience for your content, you’ve come to the right place.

Why is it important to have a content marketing strategy?

You might be wondering why it’s necessary to create a proper strategy, as opposed to simply posting your content. It seems like a lot of extra work, doesn’t it? As technology continues to develop, more and more content is uploaded to the internet every day. Without a strategic approach to marketing, your content is much more likely to be washed away by a flood of new material being uploaded every second.

content marketing strategy - Infographic

Since 2011, the number of internet users has increased from 2 billion to more than 3.4 billion people. This may sound encouraging, as more the audience size, more likely it is that your content will be viewed, right? Wrong.

This isn’t how things will work unless you are strategic with your approach. If you don’t have the right content marketing strategy in place, the 400 hours per minute of YouTube videos, 2.5 million Facebook posts per minute and 4 million Google searches per minute will likely make your content as hard to find as a needle in a haystack; that is, if you don’t create a proper strategy.

Here are some tips for creating the best content marketing strategy possible:

1) Establish your goals

Establishing your marketing goals will prevent you from wasting time on strategies that won’t lead to your success as a content producer. Just like any project, having a clear understanding of what you intend to accomplish will pay off in the long-run.

In order to establish your primary goals, ask yourself:

  • What do I want my content to market?
  • Why do I want to create this content?
  • What kind of content do I want to create?
  • Who is my target audience (Ex: age, gender, profession, interests)

By establishing answers to these questions, before you begin developing your content marketing strategy, you’ll have a much clearer idea about how you should market your content based on your personal goals and the interests of your audience.

If you are having trouble deciding on one type of content to create, remember that many popular content marketers produce a variety of different types of content to appeal to a wide range of viewers. You can write blog posts, post videos, conduct quizzes, or publish e-books. If you are a writer, posting an occasional video will help your audience put a face to what they’re reading, which is almost always going to benefit you as a content producer.

Take your time coming up with answers to these questions. This step is the foundation of your content marketing strategy, so develop it fully and properly before moving on.

2) Research your target audience

As a content producer, you need to know everything about your target audience. The best marketers not only know the existing interests of their target audience but are also able to think ahead and produce content that will become interesting to their audience. For example, health and fitness bloggers often create new food and exercise trends by researching, discovering, and creating content that they know hasn’t “caught on” yet, but will appeal to their audience based on past popular posts.

content marketing strategy - audience

The characteristics you need to research will relate to every aspect of your target audience’s interests. What issues are most important to this population (Ex: environmental, health, art, wealth)? What kind of education will your target audience have? These questions will give you a solid understanding of both the content that will appeal most to a certain group of people, as well as the writing style you’ll need to adopt. An academic writing style on a blog that targets an audience looking for an easy-to-read post will be detrimental to your success in the long-run.

3) Decide on your content management system

The next step is to choose a content management system. If you’re an experienced content producer, you likely already have a platform that you post content on. Sites such as WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr are good resources to get you started. Of course, the content management system that works best for you will depend on the type of content you produce. If you create videos, using resources such as YouTube will be much more beneficial than WordPress or other blog sites designed for written content. Tumblr and Pinterest are sites where visual content finds a huge audience. So, the channels you choose depends on the kind of content you produce.

4) Brainstorm ideas

After you’ve established your goals, audience, and the platforms, you’ll need to establish some clear, cutting-edge content ideas. To do this effectively, search popular blog posts that have been catered towards your target audience. Use these posts as a reference for how to design your own posts. Then, ask yourself how you can provide something more to blog posts that are already popular. Producing content that’s been done time and again won’t give you the edge you need in order to be successful. Resources like Feedly and Buzzsumo are a great way to explore popular topics and increase your chances of having your content viewed.

5) Post your content

content marketing strategy - blog

Now the next step is to write, film, or create your content. Before posting, there are a few steps you should take to ensure you’re putting your best content forward:

  • Proofread
  • Create organized content
  • Use SEO keywords

When readers come across grammar or spelling issues, or poorly edited videos, they’ll take the content and the content producer much less seriously, and your credibility drops. If you’re hoping to find success by producing content, take editing very seriously.

Additional tips:

Creating a structure that’s easy for your audience to understand is another way to optimize your content. My most popular content uses clear sections for easy readability. For example, blog posts with no subtitles and long blocks of texts won’t appeal to readers as much as short paragraphs with clear headings. Have you ever searched for a recipe online? The last thing you want when you’re cooking or baking is a wordy essay. This is why the most popular recipes online have bullet points with easy-to-read instructions.

content marketing strategy - structure

Finally, make sure your content is search engine optimized (SEO). Viewers will be more likely to find your content if you include strategic keywords and catchy titles. To get started, take a look at the keyword planner on Google AdWords. Subtly insert keywords into your writing to make your posts more search-friendly. In doing so, you’ll direct significantly more traffic to your page than by not using keywords.

Effective content marketing involves a lot of pre-planning and revision. But, don’t let it get tedious, stay patient and sip on some nice cool lemonade as the results keep pouring in.

Have something more to add? Tell us in the comments below!

You may be a business that runs the best marketing campaigns that are out there. You have amazing advertisements that your audience relates to, your social media following is increasing every day, and you run wildly popular webinars with huge attendance rates. But, if you haven’t perfected sales management, you might find yourself in trouble. Because you have to admit:

“Sales is the ultimate goal of any business”

And as any salesman can tell you, convincing people to buy from you is not really easy. With people trying to sell things to you left, right and center, most people have developed an aversion towards ‘salesmen’. It has now become the job of the salesman to not only sell his business but also to dispel this dread and build a relationship with his customer.

Why should you read this guide?

When you are in the field of sales for a long time, you learn a thing or two. And if you are notorious in your company for closing big deals, then you have started executing what you have learned. The authors of this guide have a collective experience of 8 years in the field of sales and are some of the best in our team. They

This guide has come together with the intention of sharing their knowledge with you and helping you hone and tone your own sales process.

List of chapters:

Sales Management

Sales forecasting methods

How to design a sales strategy

Sales funnel management

Why do you need sales tracking

Why a field sales app is important

About the author:

Having worked a year in field sales and now working as a marketer in a sales focused environment, I have learnt a few things about how sales should work. With the help of my more experienced colleagues, I am taking an attempt at decoding the complicated process of sales.

sales management - delshya

Delshya Selvaraj, Content Marketer at LeadSquared

Go to Chapter one

CRMs are designed to help businesses manage their sales activities and relationships with customers.

However, not all CRMs make sense for all businesses.

For instance, a B2C CRM is very different from a B2B one.

The functionalities, features, and use cases differ for both market segments.

If you are planning on buying a CRM, you need to know the difference between the two.

The reason B2B and B2C CRMs are designed differently is simply that the customer acquisition process in both these industries is completely different.

Let’s first see how they differ.

Quick links:

Why do B2B and B2C businesses need different CRMs?
What is a B2C CRM?
How is B2C CRM different from B2B CRM?
How to select the best CRM for your business—a checklist
The best B2C CRM software for 2022
3 Case studies
B2C CRM comparisons

Why do B2B and B2C Businesses need different CRMs?

Business to business (B2B) companies sell their products and services to other businesses instead of individuals.

Examples of B2B businesses are IT services, website services, corporate insurance companies, etc. These businesses are more contact-based and cater to a smaller audience.

For example, a business that sells payroll management software has a smaller audience to target and fewer contacts to store. A CRM designed for such a business would have the ability to store fewer leads. Also, their nurturing capabilities would be designed keeping their requirements in mind.

Recently, we analyzed the buying patterns of over 1000 B2B customers. We found that hardly 10-12% of them are ready to buy from day 1. Others need constant nurturing and follow-ups from sales reps.

sales cycle - average time to win customers statistics

Now let’s look at the B2C requirements.

Business to consumer (B2C) is the model where businesses sell directly to the end-user of their products or services.

Examples of this business model would be restaurants, hospitality businesses, telecom industries, etc. Of late, this model most commonly refers to e-tailers, i.e., businesses that sell their products to consumers online. They are more lead-based and cater to a much wider audience.

Imagine a business that sells furniture online and actively promotes the products on various channels such as email, social media, and PPC ads. They would be getting an inpour of leads, and a B2B CRM with a limited storage capability cannot possibly handle such a large inflow. They would need a CRM designed to handle a large database of leads.

Therefore, while buying a CRM, you need to identify the type of CRM it is and carefully evaluate its features.

Before we go into details, let’s understand the meaning of B2C CRM.

What is a B2C CRM?

A B2C CRM is a customer relationship management software built exclusively to handle the business requirements of customer-facing businesses. B2C CRMs can handle a high volume of leads coming through various sources. They also support sales and marketing activities like calling, campaign management, sales management, and lead management.

Since B2C CRM handles large volumes of data, its internal search engine is very efficient and allows customer/audience segmentation based on demographic, geographic, psychographic, and socio-economic details.

Most people think that all CRMs perform similar functions. But that is not the case.

How is B2C CRM different from B2B CRM

FunctionsB2C CRMB2B CRM
Number of leadsMore.
Hence needs better lead management criteria.
Lesser number of leads.
Hence, is easy to manage.
Lead managementLead level management.
Each person is treated as an individual identity.
Contact level management.
There may be multiple contacts within just one company. B2B CRM needs account hierarchical structure.
Lead generationMultiple lead generation sources.Less number of lead generation sources.
Lead journeyComplex.
The same lead may come from multiple sources—traverse many paths before they actually become leads.
Comparatively simpler.
Leads are either bought or generated from a few sources.
Sales cycleShorter.
Needs the ability to trigger repeat purchases for the lead.
Longer.
Therefore, long-term management of leads is required.
Marketing campaignsComplex trigger-based drips and workflows are extremely important.1-1 email campaigns are the general communication channels.
Purpose servedGenerally, B2C companies want to manage marketing and sales operations in one place, with a complete picture of everything. That is, they need CRM + marketing automation + lead management in one platform.Generally, B2B businesses use CRM for sales management, sales performance tracking
Call volumeHigh.
Needs proper telephony integrations to manage phone calls.
Comparatively lower.
Hence easy to manage.
Customer support requirementsHigh volume of customer service requests—integration with customer ticketing system, chat, etc. required.  Less. (especially if the business is not SaaS)
Proposal management, invoicingNot so importantIt is an important feature of B2B CRM
Call center software integrationSometimes there are large call center teams. Therefore, needs integrations with call center software.Not mandatory
Tracking customer activitiesTracking various customer data—contact information, purchases, clicks on website, comments on Facebook page, etc. are required.As the activities are limited, tracking all customer activities may not be a priority.
Repeat buyersRepeat buyers might be many and is impossible to track on a personal level.Repeat buyers can be handled on a personal level because of low volume.
Building relationshipsAs there are multiple factors and external agents involved here, building a relationship with the customer isn’t easy.Generally, CRMs are used to manage customer relationships, which is simple.
Role of emotionsB2C purchases are generally very emotional, hence proper tracking is required.B2B purchases are generally not emotional, so tracking is not necessary.
Loyalty programsLoyalty focused. Loyalty/referral programs play an important role here. Hence, a CRM equipped to run that is needed.Sales-focused. Loyalty programs are not so commonplace here.
Social engagementSocial engagement is very important. So, social profiles, behavior tracking becomes very important.Social engagement is less important in the buyer understanding / buying cycle
Viral quotientB2C campaigns have high viral quotient—so the CRM needs to be robust enough to handle high volume of data.Viral quotient is limited, so there is less probability for high volume of data.
UsersB2C businesses also work with agencies. So, there needs to be transparency as well as the capability to handle different types of users.Agencies don’t usually come into the picture, and if they do are easily manageable.
CustomizationB2C CRM product is standard.B2B CRM products are more customized.

How to select the best CRM for your business—a checklist

While looking for a CRM, you should evaluate:

  1. Do they cover most of your requirements?
  2. Do they provide customization or integration with third-party apps for the parts of requirements unfulfilled by the CRM?
  3. Is the software scalable and flexible to your needs?
  4. How good is their customer support?
  5. Do they have good reviews on sites like G2, Capterra, etc.?
  6. How long is their implementation time?
  7. Compliance—is the software GDPR and/or HIPAA complaint?

Here’s a checklist of essential features and support you should look out for in a CRM vendor.

B2C CRM software checklist

You can also download this editable CRM checklist pdf to share with your team or refer to later.

The best B2C CRM software for 2022

LeadSquared is the best B2C CRM platform for high-velocity sales teams. It offers sales execution, digital onboarding, and marketing + process + field force automation solutions. Currently, it has a strong 2,00,000+ user base worldwide.

Some of its most-loved features are:

  • Reports and dashboards
  • SmartViews. A proprietary feature that enables sales reps to access their accounts, leads, opportunities, activities & tasks in one place.
  • Lead management
  • Advanced search
  • Telephony
  • Drag and drop workflow automation builder

It is a complete sales execution platform for B2C businesses. You can book a demo to experience its capabilities or read the case studies below.



B2C CRM Case studies

Do you want to know how LeadSquared can help transform your sales? Hear from our customers!

BYJU’S

BYJU’S is one of the top e-learning platforms globally, with over 9000 employees and 115 million registered students. The EdTech platform is valued at US$18 billion and is progressing in the international markets, including the U.S.

BYJU’S uses LeadSquared for:

“When you have 1000s of people in your team, you cannot just measure the output. You need to perfect the input as well. If you have a six-step sales process, then you need to understand what is happening at every step. LeadSquared has helped us do all of this and more.”

Mrinal Mohit, COO, BYJU’S Classes

PSYCHē

Nashville-based PSYCHē connects people seeking mental health therapy with the right therapist for virtual or in-person sessions. 

PSYCHē uses LeadSquared for client management, process automation, and reporting. They have realized many benefits, some of which are:

  • Improved speed-to-lead
  • Ability to track all of their clinicians across the country
  • Ability to track contacts, leads, lists, and campaigns
  • Segmented list to personalize every interaction

“We’ve roughly doubled the amount of leads we’re able to manage. A lot of that is due to the time-saving factor of working with LeadSquared. We’re able to cut down our turnaround time responding to inquiries and reach out to and communicate with many more leads.”

Tamara Young, Director of Marketing, PSYCHē

DSR Leasing

DSR Leasing, the No. 1 rated new car lease expert in orange county, California, with access to vehicles nationwide, helps customers narrow the vehicle search process based on their driving needs.

They use LeadSquared for:

  • Multi-location lead distribution based on various criteria, such as location, vehicle interested in, lead sources, and more.
  • Capturing inbound calls as leads
  • Phone call tracking to ensure leads are followed-up in time
  • Monitoring sales funnel, people, and revenue

“If your CRM is too complex or too basic, sales guys end up playing with the system more than doing the actual selling job. This is where a connected system like LeadSquared helps. It’s easy-to-use and connects all our third-party apps like Hello Sign, RingCentral and google sheets into automation and shortens the customer acquisition process.”

Anthony Lopez, Managing Partner at DSR Leasing

B2C CRM comparisons

While hunting for B2C CRMs, you’ll probably come across popular names like Salesforce, HubSpot, etc.

Let me give you the reasons to choose LeadSquared, as mentioned by our customers who have used other platforms before.

Salesforce vs. LeadSquared

“I worked with Salesforce in the past and I learned very quickly that it was going to be cost prohibitive for us once you add on the layer of HIPAA compliance and paying additional fees for that…customizing Salesforce would have been very time consuming and costly.”

Tamara Young, Director of Marketing, PSYCHē

Compare Salesforce and LeadSquared

HubSpot vs. LeadSquared

“As someone who has used HubSpot, Marketo, Act-On and more, LeadSquared has all of the necessary functionalities at a fraction of the cost. We have a 10% reduction in bounce rate for emails now and our drip campaigns have resulted in 50% quicker movement of sales prospects through the funnel!”

Robert Evans, Marketing Manager, VIKTRE Career LLC

How LeadSquared fares better than HubSpot

Infusionsoft (now Keap) vs. LeadSquared

“Real Automation, Website Tracking and CRM packed in one SaaS. Wow. I have tried Infusionsoft, but strongly recommend you opt for LeadSquared. I 100% guarantee that you will love it!”

Viral Jadhav, Digital Marketer, Experts Training

Compare Keap and LeadSquared

Zoho vs. LeadSquared

“We tried integrating Zoho CRM but couldn’t integrate it well and get our agents to use it. By implementing LeadSquared, we’ve drastically improved our leakage in 6 major channels with present leakage of less than 0.1%.”

Akhil Sikri, Co-founder, Zolo Stays

“We evaluated multiple platforms, Zoho being one of them. It did not make sense for us to undergo a massively expensive integration when we weren’t sure if our approach would work. So, in terms of cost and from our requirements perspective, LeadSquared stood out for us.”

Nitin Gupta, CEO, Finnable

So, what are you waiting for?

Book a demo and experience how LeadSquared can change the game for you!