Most CRM Platforms Are Built for Seasoned Marketers or Full-Scale Teams and Are Overly Complicated for the Average Small Business Owner, Says Infusionsoft CEO Clate Mask
The growing demand for better customer insights and personalization has forced most businesses to look for and invest in automation tools that orchestrate a harmonious collaboration between marketing and sales efforts. Infusionsoft has steadily grown as one of the leading martech companies to successfully help businesses, especially SBs, find their ‘sweet spot’ in marketing and sales automation with CRM and emails. The marketing and sales automation suite empowers B2B teams to communicate better with their customers along the purchasing cycle, at any point in time.
CEO Clate Mask sat down with us, spending formidable time dissecting the SB market for sales and marketing automation tools– like a surgeon.
How have CRM for SBs evolved in the last two years?
We just recently wrapped up two years of intensive customer and market research and we discovered that 70 percent of small businesses think customers are more demanding today than in the past, and 80 percent say customers expect small businesses to be available around the clock, online and by phone. However, there hasn’t been an easy-to-use way for small businesses to serve their customers and manage their sales and marketing efforts.
In today’s market, most sales and CRM software is complicated and focused on the needs of enterprise businesses. They haven’t evolved to meet the needs of small business owners that need a simplified way to provide the customized service that consumers expect.
By identifying what small businesses truly need to succeed, Infusionsoft was redesigned to serve the everyday business owner. We focused our efforts on building a new platform that helps small businesses reach more customers, provide personalized service, and grow their business.
What are the core tenets of your CRM platform?
Our mission is to simplify growth for millions of small businesses worldwide. At its core, Infusionsoft is a platform to help growth-minded small business owners get their business organized so they can deliver more personalized service and close more business.
Tell us more about the CRM platform for subscription-based companies?
Our online sales platform is focused on small businesses of any kinds–including subscription-based companies. Overall, Infusionsoft provides an easy way for small businesses to manage their customer information, marketing efforts, sales, and payment information with one tool.
The sales platform includes Infusionsoft Payments that can help small businesses manage invoices, accept payments in real-time, automate payments, connect payment activity to the customer CRM record and automatically updates expired cards for subscriptions. All of these tools make running a business easier for small business owners, and most importantly it elevates their customer’s experience.
How do you compete against the more established enterprise CRMs for sales and marketing teams?
We are not trying to compete with enterprise offerings. And it’s not about being more established, it’s about knowing who your customers are, helping them grow, and serving them as successfully as possible. Where Infusionsoft stands out is that it is made specifically for small business. Our platform is built for companies (typically with 1-25 employees) who have been overlooked by the enterprise CRM market.
Most CRM platforms are built for seasoned marketers or full-scale teams and are overly complicated for the average small business owner. These systems, while they serve enterprise teams well, are not solving the challenges that small businesses face. For small businesses it’s not about being rockstar marketers — it’s about providing better service and growing their businesses.
What is the state of Personalized Marketing in 2018?
To be successful in today’s market, it’s essential for businesses to provide a personalized experience, no matter their size. Small businesses are having to adapt to this new world where customers are harder to come by and keep happy, and they have more choices and higher expectations than ever before. They don’t have a lot of time or money to reach them, so every customer interaction counts.
In order to deliver personalized service, small businesses need to focus on saving time on repetitive tasks through automation so they have more time to spend with their customers. This is why in our newest version of Infusionsoft we focus on things like automating repetitive tasks like email follow up and offer vertical-specific email templates to make communication simple.
How can marketers better leverage Infusionsoft to grow client base and grow sales volume?
Many small businesses want to quit the hodgepodge of single-purpose tools they use to manage their marketing efforts. Others are using CRMs that are far too robust, wasting their time and money with features they don’t need.
Infusionsoft helps streamline complicated tech-stacks by providing an all-in-one tool for small business sales and marketing efforts. They can leverage Infusionsoft to convert more prospects with less effort by using tools like email sequences and workflows that are automatically triggered by their customer’s actions. A built-in CRM also helps capture data that can help small business owners provide the best, personalized experience possible.
How does a customizable tool to streamline the sales cycle, lift conversions and help to close more deals?
Small businesses can be overwhelmed with the challenges of having to juggle multiple prospects throughout the sales process, follow-up in real-time, ship proposals and provide a high-level of personalized service while running all other aspects of their business.
Customizable workflows can help automate the most common tasks, from following up on consultations, to requesting documents, to asking for referrals. When these things are taken care of automatically, small business owners have more time to engage with their customers and focus on closing more deals.
How do you leverage data science and AI/machine learning to build a better product roadmap for sales and marketing?
We are moving in this direction. We just announced 50+ industry-specific marketing templates available to our customers. We’ll start serving these up to our customers inside the platform based on the actions they are taking within the app.
Thank you, Clate for chatting with us about your plans and your insights on sales CRM.