After working closely with machinery and heavy equipment dealerships, we’ve seen the impact that adopting a CRM can have for B2B companies with multiple locations and business divisions. Here’s what our experience working with thousands of dealers—with and without CRMs—has shown us.
Looking at the research, the case for CRMs is wildly compelling. Companies using CRMs report massive jumps in profitability, conversion rates, sales quota achievement, and productivity. A study conducted by Forrester found that ROI can exceed 245% when a CRM is properly integrated. Another study from Pardot found that without a CRM, 79% of leads fail to convert. It makes sense. CRMs help businesses connect marketing, sales, and customer service to improve the customer experience. In return, customers buy more and stay happy longer.
Despite these widely published benefits, we’ve seen numerous equipment dealers struggle to get budget approval for CRMs or enable the organizational adoption that makes CRMs work. While we’re not going to tell you CRMs are for every business or that implementing one will be easy, we have seen the impact that adopting a CRM can have for B2B companies with multiple locations and business divisions. As a digital vendor who works closely with heavy equipment dealerships and doesn’t sell CRMs, we thought it would be helpful to provide an independent case for CRMs.
Here’s what our experience working with thousands of dealers -- with and without CRMs -- has shown us:
Measure Marketing Success
Capturing lead data in a CRM can help you measure the success of your website, marketing campaigns, and vendors. You already know the value of digital advertising campaigns and website improvements for your business. Layering in a CRM helps by connecting marketing efforts all the way to leads. Website analytics services like Google Analytics can provide comprehensive website tracking and reporting on digital marketing campaigns, but if you’re able to pair digital metrics with lead data in the CRM, you can be confident that marketing efforts demonstrate a high return and are bringing in quality leads. With attribution and customer data in a CRM, you’ll be better equipped to gauge the success of both traditional and digital marketing campaigns and zero in on who your heavy equipment marketing efforts should be targeting.
Provide a Better Customer Experience
As client interactions become more complex, with more touchpoints and cross-over between sales, service, and marketing, the data available in a CRM provides visibility into customer interactions and leads to a better customer experience. Access to a CRM allows every dealership employee to provide a high-level of personalized service. As the central hub for customer data, a CRM can remove duplicate efforts between marketing and sales and improve communication and collaboration as departments work toward shared goals. In the heavy equipment industry where customers interact with multiple points of contact across your business, a CRM can prevent issues or smooth out any inconsistencies, allowing for a better overall experience. Happy customers have a positive impact on your bottom line – 3 out of 4 consumers say they spent more money with a company because of a positive experience.
Equip Your Team to Sell
As customer experience improves, an additional benefit of working with a CRM is increased visibility into customer engagement. If you have not yet adopted a CRM, your account managers likely do not have a complete understanding of how accounts are engaging across the business. Once employees in equipment sales, service, and rental departments are logging customer activity and sharing account information, managers will be able to see everything from sales quotes to service calls all in one place, easily searchable and accessible. This allows account managers to see what engagement across divisions truly looks like and can inform upsell or cross-sell opportunities. Plus, this data can provide the lifetime value of a customer – a number that should increase over time, as CRMs are known to improve customer retention by as much as 27%.
Do the Heavy Lifting
In our experience, for multifaceted B2B companies who have not yet implemented a CRM, it’s worth it. And like everything worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Take your time, do your research, and invest in a long-term structure. CRM implementation needs to be done correctly and carefully to ensure adoption. The good news is that as your CRM becomes an integral part of your sales, parts, and service process, increased visibility and improved customer experience will fuel more sales. And, adopting a CRM opens the door to sales intelligence tools that can layer in additional efficiency and productivity gains across teams.
If you find the need to chat with someone who understands the digital world as well as the complex needs of heavy equipment, ag and farm, construction, material handling dealers, give us a call. We’re happy to share what we know.