It’s not just cannabis dispensaries that are benefitting from the nationwide trend towards marijuana legalization. Pot growers, real estate developers, equipment makers and many service firms are sharing a piece of the multi-billion-dollar industry. And let’s not forget technology. There are now many point of sale, inventory, processing, warehousing and order entry systems that are tailored specifically for companies in the cannabis business. CRM systems too.
What’s so special about the CRM software made for the cannabis industry?
There’s regulation. Some states, like California, Colorado, Washington and Oregon require growers, warehousers, dispensaries and labs to submit detailed reports of customers, production and sales. “There’s no software out there that any of the big companies have made that really works for our industry,” Chris Dell’Olio, CEO and co-founder of Los Angeles-based WebJoint told TechTarget. “I realized that there needed to be technology in place for these guys because, sooner or later, it’s going to be a requirement.” CRM applications like WebJoint have customized data tracking and reporting features that comply with the widely-varying state and local rules.
Cannabis users are also a very diverse group. Some customers may need to submit prescriptions and have specific medical needs. Recreational customers vary from those looking for specific strains that they love to the occasional user who’s looking to try new products. Some customers may prefer oils. Others may like edibles. There are one-time shoppers and regular buyers. This is all information that a typical dispensary should know to best serve its community.
The good news for cannabis firms: a host of CRM applications are aiming (and succeeding) to address those needs.
Besides WebJoint, other CRMs designed specifically for the industry, like Baker Technologies, Soro and PipelineDeals offer standard functionality like communication, lead, pipeline and campaign management tools as well as the ability to track customer activity, preferences, promotions and offers. While Soro and PipelineDeals focuses on the issues unique to growers and processors, both WebJoint and Baker also integrate with their own brick and mortar point of sale and ecommerce systems.
But to me, the question is: do marijuana businesses really need a CRM system customized for their industry? Is it really that special? The answer is…maybe.