A CRM is essential for managing relationships and sales processes for B2B companies. However, not all CRMs are created equal. Based on my recent exclusive interview with CRM expert Jeroen Corthout, CEO and Co-Founder of Salesflare, these are the 11 most important B2B CRM features sales teams should look for in a CRM in 2023.
The Top B2B CRM Features
An effective customer relationship management (CRM) system is a must-have tool for B2B companies seeking to enhance sales processes and build lasting customer relationships.
This article explores the most critical features a CRM designed for B2B sales teams should have in 2023 for success. By implementing a modern, purpose-built CRM, businesses gain transparency into the entire customer journey and can sell smarter.
As Jeroen emphasized, seamlessly tracking interactions across channels, monitoring deal progress, and analyzing performance metrics empower sales teams today. Key capabilities like workflow automation, data enrichment, and AI-driven insights are essential. Tight integrations and mobile access are also vital for productivity.
With the ideal solution in place, scattered customer data and manual sales processes become things of the past. Read on as we dive into the indispensable features your business needs from a B2B CRM to achieve success.
1. Email and Calendar Integration
Seamless integration with email and calendar apps like Gmail, Outlook, and Office 365 is necessary. As Jeroen explains, Salesflare builds integrations “next to your inbox,” so CRM data is readily available as you communicate. The system can automatically track emails and meetings in real time.
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2. Built-in Sales Tools
Your CRM should offer essential sales tools – email templates, tracking, sequences, lead scoring, etc. – without needing other systems. Per Jeroen, modern CRMs consolidate tools, so teams don't have to “take CSV files and juggle them around.”
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3. Contact and Company Enrichment
A good CRM auto-enriches data on contacts and accounts from signatures, LinkedIn, and other sources. This saves reps from manual research. According to Jeroen, Salesflare “gathers information about people from publicly available info.”
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4. Sales Workflow Automation
The CRM should automate repetitive sales tasks like reminders, follow-ups, and notifications to boost productivity. Jeroen notes that Salesflare offers “automated data tracking” and “suggested tasks” to streamline workflow.
5. AI and Predictive Analytics
Look for AI capabilities like predictive lead scoring, sentiment analysis, and sales forecasting. As Jeroen says, “sales will be largely automatable,” with AI summarizing conversations and defining the next steps.
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6. Mobile Access
According to Jeroen, reps need CRM access on the go: “Salesflare is always there with you on mobile.” Offline access and mobile apps are essential for remote selling.
7. Seamless Integrations
APIs should allow connecting the CRM to marketing automation, billing, ERP, and other systems for smooth data flows. Jeroen emphasizes the importance of tight integrations between key platforms.
8. Lead Enrichment and Scoring
The CRM should automatically enrich leads and contacts with relevant information like social profiles, company data, etc. As Jeroen mentioned, Salesflare gathers publicly available info on leads and “immediately enriches all of the available information.”
Lead scoring based on criteria like recency, frequency, and monetary value of interactions can help prioritize follow-ups. The CRM should make it easy to define scoring rules and segment leads.
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9. Sales Forecasting and Reporting
Robust reporting and analytics provide visibility into the sales pipeline. Managers should be able to forecast revenue, analyze win/loss rates, identify trends, and more.
As Jeroen explained, proper tracking and CRM adoption enables “better insights, you know, actually what you're going to sell. It's manageable.”
Easy creation of reports, dashboards, and views of key sales metrics is essential.
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10. Email and Calendar Integration
Jeroen emphasized that seamless integration with email and calendar platforms is a must. This enables automatic capture of emails, meetings, calls, and other interactions to build timelines and activity histories.
Smooth data flows between email, calendar, and CRM eliminate manual exporting and importing of interactions across systems.
11. Sales Gamification and Coaching
Gamification, contests, and coaching B2B CRM features motivate sales teams. Like most calls logged, or emails sent, leaderboards, badges, and rewards for achievements encourage CRM adoption.
Managers can track rep activities, identify coaching opportunities, and provide feedback within the CRM. This drives best practices.
The right CRM unifies tools, leverages AI, and seamlessly integrates with other systems to boost sales productivity. Ensure your CRM has these 11 essential B2B CRM features to support your team's success.
Implementing a Smart CRM: Best Practices
Successfully rolling out a new CRM takes planning and buy-in. Here are some best practices to drive adoption:
- Get executive sponsorship and communicate the vision
- Set up processes, pipeline stages, and fields to track KPIs
- Clean and import existing data to get started
- Train team members on using features and workflows
- Encourage daily usage through prompts and notifications
- Review adoption metrics and fine-tune approach as needed
As Jeroen advises, takes a month to fully transition historical data, customize views, and build sales processes. Ongoing training and leadership ensure continued usage.
Key Integrations for a Unified Sales Workspace
Smooth integrations between the CRM and other systems are essential for productivity. As Jeroen explains, Salesflare builds integrations “next to your inbox,” so CRM data is readily available.
Key platforms to integrate include:
- Email for tracking emails and logging interactions
- Calendar for capturing meetings and calls
- Phone system for logging calls and call notes
- Website analytics to track prospect activity
- Marketing automation for lead hand-offs
If you want to dive deeper into B2B CRM features, read up on 10 Powerful CRM Software Features and match the software to your goals.
This creates a unified workspace where the CRM has full visibility into prospect interactions across channels. Data flows seamlessly without constant exporting and importing.
Our Conclusion on B2B CRM Features
As discussed throughout this article, a CRM is essential for managing sales processes, tracking customer interactions, and gaining insights. However, not all CRMs are created equal.
The right CRM combines these capabilities into a unified workspace to boost sales productivity. Outdated tools like spreadsheets cannot provide the organization, efficiency, and insights a modern CRM delivers.
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As Jeroen emphasized, sales teams should go “back to basics” and evaluate how core sales processes like lead follow-up and data tracking can be improved through smart technology like AI and automation. The future success of sales teams relies on embracing tools that eliminate repetitive tasks and provide actionable insights.
Want to experience the Salesflare difference? Start a free 30-day trial to see how a cutting-edge CRM can transform your sales operations. Don't let spreadsheet chaos hold your team back. The intelligent CRM systems of today and tomorrow empower teams to sell smarter.
Listen to our Software Spotlight podcast episode featuring Salesflare: Jeroen Corthout, co-founder of Salesflare CRM, explains how the platform integrates email, calendar, and other tools to automatically capture sales interactions and enrich data. This creates detailed timelines to help users effortlessly track leads without manual data entry, enabling sales teams to focus on selling rather than administrative tasks.