The proliferation of SaaS, cloud computing, and communications technology has encouraged budding entrepreneurs everywhere set up their own businesses, and markets in every sector are inundated with ambitious new companies. At the same time, with B2B customers now using an average of 10 distinct channels during their decision journey, there is an ever-growing list of variables to manage. With so many interactions to handle across such a variety of channels, inefficiency is sure to creep in, and this can be fatal in many cases.

Still, despite the fact that as much as 90% of start-ups fail, some are managing to exceed all expectations in their efforts. These companies are achieving critical mass in record time, transforming into self-sustaining enterprises that can survive harsh market downturns and remain profitable in the long run. For these companies, the secret to success lies in the ability to drive revenue from within by extracting maximal value from existing CRM systems.

Changing Perspectives

So how do these start-ups go about driving revenue in this way?

In order to begin driving revenue from within, companies need to adopt a more experience-driven approach to sales and business growth. Rather than viewing sales as a funnel, successful start-ups are using a more cyclical model, often referred to as the “flywheel”.

With the traditional funnel model, the customer journey essentially comes to an end once a transaction has been made. The issue with this approach is that it doesn’t account for the good positive sentiment created during the sales process. As a result, businesses wind up neglecting the customer experience and squandering a valuable opportunity for growth.

Moreover, data shows that B2B buyers complete about 57% of the purchase process before engaging with reps. Customer motivation is key, and this is at the heart of what makes the flywheel model work so effectively.

By focusing their operations primarily on the customer, start-ups can provide an experience that resonates with the individual, converting them into advocates, and this in turn generates further revenue through repeat business and referrals. In recent times, this model has even been utilized by industry leaders like Amazon due to its efficacy.

The momentum that this model can generate is unquestionable, but for businesses to achieve it, they need to optimize their sales pipelines. This is where Customer Relationship Management systems come into play.

The Power of CRMs

In a McKinsey survey on B2B customer decisions, 40% of respondents said that slow response times were their biggest issue. This indicates that companies aren’t processing customers as quickly as they should, and this represents a clear opportunity for optimization-led growth. Herein lies the true potential of CRM platforms. With a huge diversity of integrations available, companies can leverage their existing CRMs to streamline their processes and increase the velocity of sales pipelines.

Perhaps the most potent of these integration options is Configure Price Quote software, which enables sales teams to create faster, more accurate quotes. This single application can greatly expedite the sales and billing process. In an often-hectic B2B environment, time is money for all parties involved, and short cycles yield great rewards. Streamlining these processes drives the flywheel, which in turn helps to increase pipeline velocity.

Of course, CPQ is just one type of CRM integration, but this example offers insight into what is possible with CRMs. By implementing others, such as SEO, marketing automation, and bank account integrations, start-ups can extract immense value from their CRMs in the long term.

The Digital Transformation Question

Research from Deloitte has shown that businesses routinely struggle with delays and AP processing issues with B2B transactions, often as a result of manual processing procedures. Moreover, labor comprises 62% of processing costs for such transactions.

The need for optimization is abundantly clear here. At a time when hybrid sales can generate up to 50% more revenue in B2B than traditional approaches, businesses that fail to embrace the latest optimization tools will struggle to survive.

Of course, there are challenges that come with trying to pull off such digital transformations, and onboarding is chief among them.

To facilitate digital transformations internally, a smart start-up will use a digital adoption platform, to help employees adapt to complex software tools. Conveniently, DAPs work in conjunction with CRMs, providing intuitive overlays and contextual assistance which allows users to achieve proficiency quickly.

When used as a part of a carefully-planned approach to adoption, DAPs can dramatically increase the success rate of digital transformations. With the onboarding issue under control, these companies can focus fully on implementing cutting-edge CRM tools, optimizing their processes, and driving revenue.


Nowadays, a good product or service is simply not enough to help a start-up achieve success, especially in the hyper-competitive B2B environment. Companies that invest in the customer experience and streamline their processes are the ones who will succeed.

By embracing digital adoption and leveraging CRMs through software integrations, start-ups are able to use their existing infrastructure to optimize sales pipelines and amplify revenue, and this is carrying them to new levels of success.