B2B marketers should own CRM

Results from a recent survey suggest that marketers in the B2B midmarket should take more responsibility for managing the entire customer lifecycle, including CRM.

Gleanster Research (in collaboration with Act-On Software), surveyed marketers from 750 midsize companies, all based in the United States. The business surveyed, from a range of verticals, had 1000 or fewer employees, with over 40 percent falling in the 101-500 employees segment. The surveys took place in Q4 2014 and Q1 2015.

The survey found that 90 percent of marketers spend two thirds of their time and budget on customer acquisition, and that responsibility for managing the lifetimes customer relationship was fragmented between departments and functions.

The general perception among respondents was that marketing owned awareness and acquisition, sales owned conversion, while ownership of retention and expansion was split between service and sales.

Top performers in the midmarket tended to devote more resources than under-performers to customer retention and satisfaction. CRM and email marketing were the most widely used technologies among top performers to boost customer retention, and top performers were also 20 percent more likely to use marketing automation to “centralize social, web analytics, landing page hosting, and email capabilities.”

The report concludes that making lead volume a key marketing objective creates a “massive misalignment” of effort, and that customer satisfaction should be adopted as a metric for success. This implies the need for leadership across the entire customer lifecycle. Marketers are well-positioned to assume that leadership, which includes reponsibility for CRM, and have the technology available to do so; but compensation and objectives need to align with that goal.

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