As we mentioned in our explanation of ERP, searching for the right enterprise software can be a daunting task. How is it even possible to keep up with all the jargon and acronyms of the software marketplace? Businesses frequently get the systems mixed up, especially ERP and CRM. This confusion makes it difficult to determine which software you need to streamline critical processes and achieve major business improvements.
To help straighten things out, we’ve created this brief guide to CRM, a valuable software solution designed to boost revenue and optimize customer experiences. We’ve provided a straightforward definition of CRM and a list of its benefits for manufacturers and distributors. Let’s get started.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software offers an array of sales, marketing and customer service tools designed to manage and analyze customer interactions and data. Front-office departments operating without CRM struggle to keep tabs on their customers. Buyers are interacting with service and sales reps through a variety of channels, making it difficult to track their needs. This can slow down processes and lead to discontent throughout the buyer’s journey.
CRM solves this critical shortcoming by centralizing customer information into one database. That means interactions are captured no matter where they occur. Service requests, leads and other information can be automatically funneled to the right people at the right time, enabling your front-end offices to act quickly to satisfy customers. Plus, with all that data housed in one place, users can easily leverage 360-degree insight into their customers to develop smarter strategies to capitalize on opportunities for greater lead generation and customer loyalty. User-friendly dashboards empower your employees to gain real-time updates and analytics effortlessly—without any technical or coding knowledge.
Quite frankly, spreadsheets and post-it notes just don’t cut it anymore. Today’s savvy consumers want fast, accurate experiences at every stage of the lifecycle. CRM is a must for managing customer data and interactions to accelerate pipelines, drive sales and improve business efficiency.
Now that you have a sense of what CRM software is, let’s dive into some of the exciting benefits it can bring to your enterprise:
Sales reps can’t fully commit to closing leads and personalizing customer experiences if their time is being taken up by mundane tasks, such as sending reports or filling out forms. CRM takes care of these rote tasks by automating workflows. No more manually entering client data or tracking each interaction—CRM automates data collection, tracking, lead routing and other tasks to give your sales team time to close more deals.
A lot of your sales department’s time is spent in the field, where they’re meeting potential customers. Sales reps can’t be stumped by any questions. CRM mobile applications enable users to access client information, documents, product data and more at their fingertips. Rather than wait until they’ve returned to the office to answer customer queries or forward documents, users can immediately meet customer needs and forward the sales cycle with CRM’s mobile functionality.
In the enterprise software market, CRM has been at the forefront of digital innovation. CRM providers were some of the first to embrace cloud computing and mobile apps, empowering users to work on the go. Vendors such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 have also led the way in incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and social collaboration into their solutions. Salesforce Einstein is a suite of AI tools that leverages patterns found in your enterprise data to make accurate predictions and interpret customer interactions, driving effective business strategies. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn to enable CRM users to utilize LinkedIn profiles to quickly discover more valuable leads.
When users have a single access point for a wealth of customer data, they can develop strategies based on consumer demands. Users can drill into data and gain an overview of customers from an intuitive dashboard. CRM analyzes data and generates reports to help employees find new ways to enhance customer journeys.
CRM and ERP Integration
Though designed to manage front offices, the benefits of CRM impact your entire enterprise, enabling employees to put customer needs at the center of every activity. This is especially the case for enterprises with a CRM and ERP integration. An integration allows back offices to access customer data for accurate demand planning, product optimization and more, so your business can evolve in line with client needs.
Manufacturers and distributors often maintain a greater focus on their production floors than on their front-end strategies. A CRM implementation will help your business re-center your processes on customers and increase efficiency throughout the enterprise. By populating customer data into one platform, users can easily access vital information to win more deals and further your brand’s reputation.
Now that you understand the power of CRM, what’s next? Datix is your go-to source for all your CRM consulting needs. As certified partners with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce, we know how to execute CRM projects in line with each client’s goals. We’ll help you choose the right system, set up your implementation and provide ongoing maintenance and upgrades. On top of that, we’ve also built Unity, an integration application designed to integrate ERP and CRM instances. With our quick, hassle-free solution, we’ve established ourselves as the premier integration experts.
Make sure you’re making the most of your customer data—contact Datix today to begin your CRM journey!