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How CRM Marketing Automation is Making Distributors More Money

CRM Marketing automation helps distributors grow revenue by being more responsive to customer needs. It helps guide more personalized buyer journeys and reveals crucial customer and buyer intent signals for optimal resource allocation. As market needs and sales targets shift, CRM marketing automation can help distributors stay one step ahead, constantly learning what works and who represents the best chance of going from prospect to purchase. All of this happens within a single software tool your business is likely already using. This is how marketing automation provides distributors with a powerful competitive advantage: marketing agility that’s future-proof amid business uncertainty.

The sales function and landscape have changed dramatically due to the pandemic. Not only have we seen an increase in e-commerce, but we’re also seeing more of the buyer journey move online with the emergence of the digital-first customer era.

Seamless, Friction-Free Digital Experiences

According to Bridget Perry, CMO at Contentful, “Over the last decade, digital has become the front door to every business around the world. This transformation of technology and human behavior bolstered our ability to adapt to a global pandemic — because for many businesses in 2020, digital became the only door.”

Perry says today, customers expect seamless, friction-free digital experiences. This isn’t just for business-to-consumer brands. It’s also increasingly the expectation in business-to-business sectors such as the distribution industry. Buyers want personalized experiences that provide information to help them make decisions. This is especially true in instances where the buyer journey is complex – where the choice isn’t merely a Pepsi or Coca-Cola; it’s a wide variety of camshaft actuators.

Today, customers and prospects are no longer waiting for a distributor to contact them after filling out a form on their website; they want information that is highly relevant to their needs delivered just in time – the kind of information that helps boost their confidence in making the purchase.

Priority #1: Revenue Growth

The need to level up marketing efforts is a side effect of the digital transformation seen in the industry stemming from the pandemic. Authors at Distribution Strategy Group, in their 9th annual 2021 State of eCommerce in Distribution report, say, “We’ve made about five years’ worth of progress in less than 12 months. You need a digital platform that enables more efficient and effective shopping and buying for your customers. And if you already have one or have built one, you need to invest in broader capabilities, marketing tools, and organizational alignment to drive maturity for your organization.”

In DSG’s survey of over 700 participants, 29% said their highest priority was to grow revenue with existing customers. In contrast, 22% said their highest priority was increasing revenue with new customers in existing geographies and customer segments.

Many distributors have done very well in the past few years, benefitting from opportunistic trade winds – in some cases, being the secondary source for out-of-stock products. But as supply chain issues begin normalizing, continuing to be responsive to new and emerging needs will be critical.

In a survey of more than 2,700 business leaders from various global industries conducted by Verint, “understanding and acting on consumer behaviors” and “building enduring customer relationships” were the top two challenges cited over the next 12 months.

Making the Most of Your CRM

A major part of the distribution industry’s digital transformation was the adoption of CRM solutions. In the pursuit of adding the right CRM solution to your tech stack, you may have already adopted software with in-built marketing capabilities. To reap the benefits of the time, resources, and money you invested in getting the right CRM, you need to utilize that CRM to its full ability.

With a CRM like White Cup CRM, lacking a designated marketing person is no sweat. White Cup CRM has built-in marketing automation with templates that make it easy to build targeted lists and launch compelling email campaigns in minutes.

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Marketing Automation – Helping Move Prospects to Purchasers

CRM marketing automation helps distributors grow revenues by being more responsive to customer needs, helping guide personalized buyer journeys, and revealing crucial customer and buyer intent signals to allocate resources appropriately.

If a customer or prospect opens an email newsletter, the marketing automation system can automatically offer an ebook or a white paper. If the prospect opens the ebook/white paper, another follow-up offer is extended – perhaps to a webinar. And then, if the webinar is attended, a final step may be to offer a product trial or a demo.

CRM marketing automation aims to guide, track and measure a prospect’s activity, offering up different offers and resources along the way, nurturing and developing a prospect to become a purchaser. Marketing automation platforms streamline the development of marketing campaigns with conditional logic and offer tools to help organize and segment customer data to support the delivery of personalized and consistent marketing content.

Added Marketing Intelligence, More Agile Marketing Processes

Marketing workflows empower sales reps, managers, sales ops, and marketers to create outreach campaigns to reach more customers and prospects and be more effective. CRM marketing automation helps teams save time and energy, but more importantly, it allows them to focus on the right things, ensuring the right content is in the right place at the right time.

Organizations can further hone their focus by analyzing data from different marketing efforts and better understanding performance across their entire cadre of marketing assets and channels. Email marketing campaigns are one of the most powerful tools that distributors have at their disposal – 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email – and email campaign tracking provides visibility on email open rate and clicks, helping to identify priorities for follow up.

Today’s marketing offers may not be right for tomorrow. As market needs and sales targets shift, marketing automation helps distributors stay one step ahead via agile marketing processes. This ensures the organization is constantly learning what makes the most effective buyer journey and who are the prospects that are most engaged and best positioned for follow-up by the sales team. This is how CRM marketing automation provides distributors with a powerful competitive advantage: marketing agility that’s future-proof amid business uncertainty.

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