Customer/Client Relationship Management (CRM) Tools

Customer and client relationship management (CRM) software represents one of the most popular and effective digital productivity tools commonly deployed by B2B businesses today. CRM systems compile data generated from customer interactions and provide analytic tools that help businesses better understand the needs of their customers how they might change processes to more effectively meet those demands. CRM tools automate aspects of sales, marketing and customer support, collect information from leads to aid new business development, analyze eCommerce and other sales data for trends with individual customers and various demographics of the overall customer base, help respond to and resolve customer support issues, and provide additional support to help companies understand where the opportunities for improvement are in satisfying their customers' needs. As such, CRM systems leverage a broad mix of quantifiable and qualitative information, some of which is not highly structured. This combination of complex data types offers the perfect opportunity for CRM artificial intelligence to help B2B businesses decipher their big data and translate it into actionable business intelligence that leads to long-term growth.

CRM AI in Sales

Selling in a B2B context can often be more challenging than in a B2C context. B2B businesses generally have significantly fewer customers and clients, but those relationships they do sustain are far more important, as sales volumes are generally much higher and ideally relationships last much longer. Given this, B2B businesses need to focus their sales efforts on the best prospects to keep their new business development processes efficient and productive. CRM systems with artificial intelligence can help B2B businesses analyze data across a wide range of sources—from emails, form submissions, transcribed phone calls, and even more—to gain deeper insight into the relative value of each lead and likeliness of securing a sale.

Using natural language processing, CRM AI can transcribe phone calls and rank the value and risk level of pursuing a particular lead based upon both the use of particular words as well as what the overall semantics reveals about the intent of the speaker. This can help B2B businesses distinguish between competitors phishing for information, leads that are very far from committing to a contract, and high-value leads that have definite plan to move forward with an initiative as soon as possible. The analysis of input from leads from phone calls can be combined with analysis of emails, form submissions, and even relevant social media posts where available to give a clearer picture of what products and services the company is looking for and what level of spending they are most likely to support.

CRM AI can also assist B2B businesses in how to escalate the sales process for particular leads. For very strong leads, the CRM AI sales tool may suggest moving forward with a proposal right away. For other leads that are still somewhat undetermined in their needs and budget, a meeting may be suggested. For others, a simple preliminary estimate may work best. And when it is clear that the lead is a bad match, the CRM AI sales tool can suggest an exit. By categorizing leads across a variety of factors including likeliness to purchase, buying power, long-term value proposition, and more, and suggesting the appropriate responses to each individual lead based upon these factors, CRM AI sales tools can help B2B businesses make better decisions that focus their sales efforts on the prospects that represent the highest value.

CRM AI in Marketing

CRM AI marketing tools can automate a variety of marketing processes to help attract new customers and clients, reinforce existing relationships, and direct the company towards new opportunities as they arise. Through AI natural language generation, B2B businesses can categorize new and existing products and services using simple terminology and use this combined with the company's overall business profile to generate new content that tells a compelling story about the products and services and thus helps attract prospects from the search engines and translate page visits into sales opportunities. As customers and clients are added to the B2B business's ecosystem, automated email and social media marketing campaigns can leverage the acquired information of those customers' and clients' past business with the company and suggest new products and services based upon their own individual profiles. CRM AI marketing tools may also include eCommerce components that offer special discounts to customers based upon their individual business profiles and how that corresponds to demonstrated behavior of similar businesses. By automating more marketing processes and tailoring to the particular needs of each customer and client, CRM AI marketing tools will help businesses maximize the potential of all their customer and client relationships.

CRM AI for Customer Service and Support

CRM AI tools can help automate and aid the customer service and support processes at a wide variety of businesses. Oftentimes customer support boils down to asking a wide variety of frequently asked questions. AI digital assistants can be used to respond to either online text messages or emails to provide the information the customer seeks using natural language processing to determine question intent and match that with the response that is most likely to clarify the issue. This could potentially save B2B businesses hours a month from fielding phone calls from customers and clients on issues that are resolved with basic knowledge of the products and/or services in question.

When an automated response alone cannot resolve the issue, CRM AI can be used to track support tickets and gain insight into how issues are resolved based upon client, product/service, timeline of need, and support staff involved in the response. The CRM AI uses natural language processing to determine the specific issue based upon client verbal input and later staff categorization. The support tickets can be categorized according to client, timeline, product/service, and relevant staff, and can then automatically be presented to the relevant staff with the key information, including how to prioritize that support against the worker's existing responsibilities. CRM AI can suggest the specific areas of focus for each staff member involved to speed up the troubleshooting process, and can even suggest potential resolutions based upon inputted information about products and services and/or prior ticket resolutions of a similar nature. Such tools would be particularly beneficial to any B2B businesses with a strong IT component, but can easily apply to a wide variety of other industries, from human resources, manufacturing, accounting, office supply firms, marketing companies, and many more.

Regardless of what and how CRM AI tools are used, they will help B2B businesses secure stronger, longer-lasting, and more profitable relationships with clients and customers that will drive long-term growth.


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