Optimizing customer engagement and experience continues to be a key focus for sales and marketing leaders today, so our second Global Research Report hones in on the most significant challenges they face.
Customers require simple, clear, and relevant communication with your company. The pandemic changed their behavior, making them more selective and less patient, so “businesses had to embrace digital transformation overnight”, said Clare Dorrian, SugarCRM’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Now, as businesses are approaching their third year affected by the pandemic, a digital-first approach is not only required but preferred by today’s consumers.”
54% of sales leads generated by marketing are deemed to be either poorly qualified or underqualified.
Clare shares her thoughts on addressing lead and revenue generation: “By marrying artificial intelligence (AI) innovations with customer intent data, organizations can take sales and marketing efforts to the next level and at scale. This marriage of insights creates a powerful data relationship. Imagine getting alerted in real-time about a specific customer who is ready to buy and understanding their intent based on what topics they are reading about on your website and what device they are using to engage with your content. Then, with this insight, using AI and machine learning (ML) to match that buyer to your company’s ideal customer profile to create a personalized experience—with assets and messages to nurture the right buyer at the right time and in their channel of choice.”
One in four sales respondents believed they could miss a quota because of incomplete data across the customer lifecycle.
“Consumers and businesses alike receive countless communications daily via email, chat, phone, social media, so companies need to ensure that the messaging cuts through all other noise”, says Chris Pennington, Chief Customer Officer of SugarCRM. “The communication strategy needs to be based on building a relationship with the customer, not on completing a single transaction,” he states. In building that relationship, a company needs to learn each customer’s preferred communication channel: SMS messaging, email, Facebook Messenger, or something else.
“Having a centralized CRM system really does help. The amount of data that we are producing is growing exponentially. It’s important that when you communicate with customers, you can address them in a format that suits them. Having a back-end CRM system can track preferences for communication styles. It’s important to be able to track that because customer behavior is constantly changing.”
86% said their organization’s sales team uses artificial intelligence to augment one or more business processes, and 91% say they expect to use AI technology over the next 24 months.
Investments in AI have increased during the pandemic. Not surprisingly, sales and marketing use cases have seen some of the highest adoption rates, as they can directly impact revenue.
The emerging problem is that “many sales and marketing leaders will fail to find real solutions using a loose collection of lightweight AI automation tools instead of AI that is purpose-built to solve sales and marketing challenges.” as SugarCRM’s Chief Technology Officer Rich Green draws attention.
The solution stands in making AI pragmatic. As Rich points out, “Sugar has focused on bringing to market the first data-fueled AI for CRM that offers extraordinary levels of prediction accuracy without the time, cost, and technical expertise typically required to take advantage of AI.”
75% of the respondents say a consolidated view of customer information across the whole organization is critical to delivering optimal customer experiences.
“Customers are changing the rules of engagement, and many companies are at an inflection point. Technology can be the game-changer here, but the time to act is now. It starts with removing blind spots: understanding what your customers want and predicting what they need next. It continues with a focus on eliminating busy work—making it easier for customers to engage, and empowering employees to create the experiences customers expect. Finally, it removes roadblocks and friction points to enable brands to consistently deliver on their promises,” said Volker Hildebrand, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing for SugarCRM.
57% admit their organization struggles to quantify and track churn rate effectively
“Companies face a daunting scenario—struggling to fill the top of the funnel with qualified leads while losing customers at the bottom of the funnel,” said Craig Charlton, SugarCRM Chief Executive Officer. “A key contributor to losses on each side of this equation is a lack of data. Data fuels the actionable insights that sales, marketing, and service teams need to act decisively at every critical touchpoint to drive high-definition customer experiences and reverse the Great Customer Resignation.”
Technology doesn’t have to make your life difficult. Embrace the digital experience and use it to streamline your processes to create relevant customer experiences.
Get the full report to understand better what causes poor customer experiences that impact customer churn, satisfaction, and retention and how to find your own path to cultivating customers for life.