CRM has taken most companies by storm, but as a manufacturer, perhaps you don’t see the utility for your business. You believe that most of your revenues are from repeat sales to existing customers. Besides, a CRM is nothing more than an electronic Rolodex, right?
CRM is much more than that and today’s systems have features and functionality that can boost productivity in an area you may not consider very often — your sales department.
Consider how much attention you have given to improving your manufacturing processes to be more effective and efficient. Have you given your salespeople the same attention and tools to help them perform better? You may find that sales and marketing have been hoping you would say the magic words, “How would you like a Customer Relationship Management System?”
What Is a CRM?
Although the letters stand for Customer Relationship Management, CRM solutions have grown to include every phase of sales and customer support.
- The database holds information about current customers, prospects, vendors, accounting and point of sale.
- The CRM tracks lead generation efforts and website metrics.
- It has an email function to streamline lead nurturing.
- It provides reporting to track performance and competitors as well as forecast sales.
- A CRM makes it easy to personalize the experience for each lead and customer.
The sales department can use the CRM to issue and track quotes, invoices, and orders, saving them time to pursue more leads and close more sales.
CRM Benefits Your Entire Business
In manufacturing, automation created the greatest efficiency, saving money on operational costs and allowing the business to grow unfettered by manual processes. CRM does the same for sales, marketing, and customer service.
How many hours do your sales and marketing people spend looking for customer information, entering into one or more systems, and attempting to track leads? With CRM, your staff would have the time and the data to create and coordinate targeted marketing campaigns across channels. They could nurture leads through the buyer’s journey with automated email responses keyed to specific segments of the marketing and sales funnel.