B2B businesses use CRMs to manage relationships with tools that facilitate and track deals and activities with client companies over long sales cycles. B2C organizations use CRMs to manage consumer-based relationships with tools maximizing interactions over shorter time periods. The difference is that B2B CRMs support complex organizational relationships while B2C CRMs foster individual relationships.
When to Use a B2B CRM
Business to business (B2B) customer relationship (CRM) software is best for lead nurturing and activity tracking when buy-in is required from different people throughout an organization in order to close deals. Some B2B CRMs have features like org charts to help you visualize contacts relationships with each other, so you can better anticipate and tailor your message to the specific role, while others provide insights like an account’s total customer value.
Freshworks CRM, for example, is a B2B CRM that helps you build relationships with multiple people within a company while managing a lengthy sales cycle. Its features allow you to enter multiple contacts per account, while giving you the ability to track engagements from emails and phone calls with all contacts. Sign-up for a free trial to see if its right for you.
When to Use a B2C CRM
Business to consumer (B2C) CRM software is best for tracking activities and transactions when businesses sell directly to individuals. This software typically includes more robust email marketing tools, built-in payment tools, or integrations designed for ecommerce, as well as reporting functions that allow you to see individual insights such as the time your contact spent on a website or clicked on a landing page.
For example, Zoho CRM includes customizable fields, modules like invoicing, website tools, a suite of office productivity integrations like document and project tracking and even HR, giving you the ability to manage your entire business, as well as your customer relationships from a single tool. To find out if Zoho CRM is right for you, visit their website.
B2B vs. B2C CRMs at a Glance
|Organizational Contact Management|
|Consumer Payment Systems|
|B2B Customer Portal|
|Lead & Prospect Management|
|Reporting & Analytics|
|Marketing Management & Automation|
|High Volume Lead & Contact Capacity|
|Consumer Contact Management|
|B2C Payment Systems|
|B2C Customer Portal|
While B2B and B2C CRMs share many of the same features, how you use those features and how they’re set up in the CRM dictate their appropriateness for B2B or B2C sales. For example, B2B CRMs include pipeline management and follow-up tools designed to handle long and more complex sales cycles, while B2C CRMs are designed for simpler sales processes and typically includes tools for processing payments.
How B2B CRMs Work & Examples
There are dozens of B2B CRMs with features that include managing company or organization details, multiple contacts and buyers, longer sales cycles, and scalable outreach efforts across multiple organizations. The more robust B2B CRMs allow you to manage projects post sale, make and record phone calls, and offer mobile apps with tools like geolocation and business card scanners that allow you to be productive on the go.
Below are a few B2B CRM providers as examples:
Freshworks CRM is our recommended best CRM for small business and is great for B2B organizations depending on phone outreach. It has a built-in phone with call recording, logging, and transfers to support phone outreach. It can also support email campaigns. Sales professionals can also stay focused on the most promising leads with lead scoring tools. The paid version is priced starting at $12 per month per user. There is also a free version available.
Since we last updated:
Freshworks CRM, formerly Freshsales, recently rebranded with a new name, new service plans, and access to Freshmarketer automation software. Forever-free plans are still available and include mobile apps, 24×5 support, live chat, and more.
Pipedrive is a visual pipeline focused CRM that keeps B2B salespeople focused on critical tasks throughout the sales cycle needed to close deals. Salespeople can create visual and easy-to-use pipeline boards laid out in a Kanban style and define what activities need to be complete in each stage to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. It also offers contact enrichment features that reduce manual research. Prices start at $15 per month per user.
Insightly helps B2B businesses manage relationships long after the sale is over. It includes project management as well as automation and efficiency tools like the Business Card Scanner, email templates, and web-to-lead forms, and lead assignment. Insightly offers a free version. Pricing for the paid version start at $29 per month per user.
Pipeliner is a great B2B CRM because of its robust contact management system that allows you to build a dynamic org chart to visualize relationships within accounts. It also has a buyer center that allows you to visualize who influences the buying process. Pricing starts at $25 per month per user.
How B2C CRMs Work & Examples
B2C CRM software helps businesses effectively manage relationships with customers and prospects that are typically consumers buying products for personal use. Features should be able to accommodate and segment high prospect and lead volumes. They should also be able to facilitate B2C interactions through multiple channels, from social media to outbound calling to outbound email campaigns to live webchat.
Below are a few B2C CRM examples:
Zoho is a great B2C CRM option because of its social media integration, marketing, order management, and customer service tools. It can accommodate a high volume of leads and contacts. It also offers the ability to track leads and prospects social conversations about your brand. Zoho also offers Zoho Finance which helps facilitates payments including recurring billing or subscriptions. Prices start at $12 per month per user for paid plans.
Agile CRM, which offers a free version for up to 10 users, that accommodates one thousand contacts. It allows you to build landing pages, web to lead forms, and schedule appointments. It also includes social media engagement tools, mobile marketing, customer service, and one click calling. It also has an Enterprise plan that accommodates unlimited contacts and advanced marketing and sales features. Prices start at $8.99 per month per user.
Bitrix24 is a free CRM for up to 12 users and is great for B2C focused businesses offering unlimited leads, contacts, and deals. The free version offers robust features and fewer restrictions than many free CRMs. It includes multichannel marketing like email campaigns, landing pages, websites, and live chat, It also features Kanban style pipelines, a mobile CRM, and the ability to accept payments. Pricing begins at $35 per month per user for paid plans.
Both B2B and B2C salespeople can use Pipedrive to manage their leads and pipelines. It’s great for B2C sales because of the ability to set up products which are at the heart of many B2C businesses. This feature along with a visual Kanban style pipeline make it a great option for B2C sales. Prices start at $15 per month per user.
B2B CRM vs B2C CRM: Pricing & Features
The combination of features and general price point will depend on the types of CRM more than the business model it supports. However, in general, a B2B CRM will include more complicated pipeline deal tracking and reports designed to give you a complete view of an account rather than focusing on the individual account. A B2C CRM typically offers more robust mass marketing tools, payment processing functionality, and contact insights.
B2B CRM Pricing
Costs for B2B CRM software varies and is usually priced on a per user basis for cloud-based subscription services. B2B CRMs can range from free for unlimited users, like in the case of Freshworks CRM’s entry-level plan, or can cost hundreds of dollars per month if a more robust feature set or industry-specific integrations are required.
B2B CRM Specialized Features
B2B CRM software offers specialized features like organizational contact management, lead and contact enrichment, lead management, outreach tools, pipeline management and acceleration, workflow automation and reporting and analytics. These features can include tools like built-in phones, email campaign features, and advanced lead management features.
Below are examples of Specialized B2B CRM Features:
Organizational Contact Management
B2B purchasing decisions are often made and influenced by many people. Because of this, it is important for salespeople to track and manage multiple relationships within one account or organization in their CRM.
Because of the longer and more complex sales cycles, B2B salespeople need pipeline management tools to map out their sales stages and management corresponding tasks and activities. B2B CRMs often include deal tracking tools designed around multi-stage sales cycles that can be customized to an individual business’ specific needs.
Very often, it is difficult to find information on B2B prospects without spending hours of research. Contact and lead enrichment tools scour the internet for information that you may not have like phone number, title, and LinkedIn profile, which reduces or eliminates manual research and data entry.
Email & Phone Outreach Tools
Email outreach features are key when prospecting and following up. Being able to send and track emails help B2B focused salespeople target and scale their email communications. Also, phone outreach tools can be key for starting and building relationships. Having a built-in phone with call recording and data features help with feedback on call effectiveness
Reporting & Analytics
Reporting and analytics are key for forecasting and for adjusting current strategies. Reports can show you what is working and where you should invest time, money and energy. They can also show you areas of improvement or efforts that need to be eliminated.
Advanced Lead Management
B2B sales focuses on leads and rely on advanced lead management features like lead scoring and prioritization, and lead segmentation to stay focused on the most promising leads that are likely to turn into opportunities.
B2C CRM Pricing
Costs for B2C CRM software varies and is usually priced on a per user basis. B2C CRMs can range from free to affordably priced under $20 per month user. However, they can also cost hundreds of dollars per month depending on the number of contacts that need to be supported, or required integrations.
B2C CRM Specialized Features
B2C CRM software offers specialized features that help salespeople better engage directly with consumers. These features can include tools like built-in phones, landing pages, email campaign features, and advanced lead management features.
Below are examples of Specialized B2C CRM Features:
High Volume Lead & Contact Management
B2C CRM software accommodates high volumes of leads and contacts as the customer and prospect pools for B2C sales is higher than for B2B sales. Ideal B2C CRM software should scale to accommodate thousands of leads or an unlimited number of leads.
Landing pages can be effective in focusing your prospect on your offer or value proposition and getting them to sign-up for more information, something of value related to your offer or to purchase your product. With landing pages, you can build your sales funnel or increase specific product sales.
This feature allows you to engage directly with your prospect or customer while they are visiting your website. It also allows you to capture their contact details, record what they were most interested in, and get them into your sales funnel for immediate follow-up.
Phone & Email Outreach Tools
Phone outreach tools can be key to engaging with consumers. A built-in phone helps by making it easier to call prospects and customers. Call recording and data features can also help you analyze and improve your call effectiveness. Email outreach features are also key to prospecting and follow-up. Being able to send and track emails help B2C focused salespeople target, customize, and scale their email communications.
Consumer Payment Management
B2C CRMs sometimes includes payment methods or integrate with them. They accommodate direct payments via credit card or bank account. Also, many consumer payment methods include recurring billing to accommodate repeat business or subscriptions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is B2B CRM Software?
B2B CRM software helps businesses effectively manage B2B sales customer and prospect relationships. Because buying decisions are usually made and influenced by multiple people within an organization, B2B CRMs have contact management tools that help manage multiple contacts with a variety of job titles. B2B CRMs also have pipeline management tools to manage stages of B2B sales cycles that are typically longer and more complex than B2C sales.
What Features Should A B2B CRM Have?
When considering a B2B CRM, make sure the CRM has contact management tools that includes the ability to manage multiple multiple contacts and relationships within one organization. This is key for salespeople needing to build relationships with influencers and decision makers at a variety of levels and in different capacities. Also, your B2B CRM should include the pipeline management tools to manage long and complex sales cycles.
What is B2C CRM Software?
B2C CRM software helps businesses effectively manage relationships with customers and prospects buying products for personal use. Most B2C transactions have shorter sales cycles and decisions are made by one person. There are, however, situations where decisions are made as a family or are influenced by family and friends.
What Features Should A B2C CRM Have?
When evaluating B2C CRM software, look for software that can accommodate high volumes of leads and contacts. Because B2C sales includes targeting and nurturing relationships with more people, CRMs must accommodate larger volumes. Also, look for CRMs with marketing, outreach and communication tools that make it easier to build individual relationships and sell your product. Also, look for integrations with payment vehicles.
The Bottom Line
Businesses that sell to other businesses or that specialize in B2B sales should seek out B2B CRMs to help them manage longer, complex sales cycles with more complex relationship navigation. B2C businesses, or businesses that sell direct to consumers should choose B2C CRMs that make it easier to manage large volumes of leads and contacts while making it easier to market and sell products.
If you sell to both consumers directly as well as other businesses, a CRM that can support both business models may be best for you. Pipedrive has features to help manage the long and complex sales cycles like visual customizable pipelines with activity reminders as well as the ability to manage products which is often needed in B2C CRMs. Prices start at $15 per month per user. Sign-up for a free trial so you can try it first to see if it’s right for you.