The manufacturing industry has been subject to colossal transformation in recent years. The digital transformation has led to traditional manufacturing processes being enhanced with new advancing technologies and automation systems like never before.
And yet, as a manufacturer, you still have to focus on the extensive details of production, distribution, supply chain, and all the other moving parts of your business.
But manufacturing companies often overlook the value of marketing, sales, and other CRM activities. Gone are the days when a pen and paper or a spreadsheet can cut it. They don’t guarantee any level of accuracy, and they don’t allow customers’ historical information to be readily available to everyone. This leads to a less-than-seamless experience, frustrated employees, and frustrated customers.
A CRM solves these inconsistencies by centralising everything all in one place. It gives your team a dashboard of interactions, activities, and relevant information, where everyone gets access to the same, current data.
The list below outlines how manufacturers can gain a number of benefits by implementing a CRM software:
Customer relationship management in the manufacturing industry is a game-changer, and having a 360-degree view is the ability to gain complete and total insight into your customer data across people and platforms.
Once a customer’s profile is added into your CRM system, everyone from customer service personnel to sales reps can access their information, smoothing the handoff from marketing to sales. This ensures that customers receive personalised experiences every single time they interact with your company.
With complex B2B purchases, it’s likely that multiple people are involved in the process, so a CRM for manufacturing allows you to track several contacts within a single account to arrange them based on the status and decision-making power.
Customers have come to expect heightened levels of care, like 24-hour access and after-sales services. A manufacturing CRM system can help keep track of warranties, repairs, service issues, and in managing day-to-day questions, inquiries, and service calls. This results in fewer delays, more follow-on sales, and indeed, happier customers.
Deploying a CRM in the manufacturing sector can give manufacturers detailed and useful insights about operations, inventory management, order processing, warehousing, distribution chains, and more.
An intelligent supply chain allows you to maintain materials supply and move products quickly from the site of production to the market.
Knowing the amounts of each product ordered and when they were ordered lets you create a detailed production plan, so you can pinpoint which products you should make, and when.
This is important, because when you have a detailed production plan laid out for the year, you can properly budget based on the corresponding production costs. And with a proper budget in hand, you can better plan for future hires and equipment upgrades.
Instead of waiting for customers to tell them what they need, companies can now forecast what will be in demand in the coming months by using different business software solutions.
CRMS can track every order your customers place so that you have a full record of each customer’s history, when they placed the order, and what they paid. Using these records, your CRM can generate accurate sales forecasts by finding the buying pattern of each customer, designate your peak times and down times, find long-term trends, and generate accurate sales projections that you can use for future planning.
Accurate demand forecasting is especially useful for firms operating in fast-changing industries such as high-tech, electronics, and retail. A manufacturing CRM solution can aid manufacturers in cutting the time required to develop a product from the concept phase all the way to market delivery, which is important for beating out competitors.
Knowing what part of the pipeline a deal is currently in is crucial in ensuring that they eventually convert. Without a CRM, having that visibility is often reliant on one sales reps’ notes or memory.
A CRM designed for manufacturing streamlines and simplifies the process, as it has the ability to graph and visualise data so it’s easy to understand. They provide summaries of your entire pipeline for the big picture view as well as let you drill into specific accounts. You can see what stage every opportunity is in and how much each deal is worth.
With CRM software, you also get pipeline automation. You can define rules that when triggered automatically move leads through the various stages you have set up. The system can also send notifications when leads hit certain milestones or transition from one stage to the next.
This way, your pipeline stays up to date, always.
Retaining customers starts with ensuring consistent satisfaction, which CRMs are fantastic at. We know that customers will pay more to receive a positive experience with a brand, so you should be doing everything in your power to deliver this.
One of most valuable services that CRM software can provide is case management. It allows your company to create a ticketing system for tracking, updating, and resolving issues, giving customers a way to bring attention to problems and ensuring no case slips through the cracks or gets forgotten.
The fact is, customers today have come to expect the same level of service that they receive from big box companies like Amazon. Without a CRM, that type of experience is virtually impossible.
Unlike other manufacturing software solutions, a CRM is also a valuable marketing tool that helps you gain followers and customers. It enables your marketing and sales departments to make detailed reports, taking into consideration the customers’ behavior. Having this window into customers’ buying patterns enables you to leverage that data into increased sales.
Historical data reveals the peak order times and downtimes for each customer. With the CRM data mapped out by big data analytics tools, your team can make informed decisions not only when to sell, but also what to sell.
Your sales team or customer success managers can then use this information in upselling and cross-selling, using the crunched numbers to identify the best times and products for cross-selling and upselling.
In these progressive times, the role of Customer Relationship Management has never been more important. Companies that leverage CRM for the manufacturing industry specifically can streamline their processes and deliver unparalleled customer service.
The benefits we just covered are some of the main advantages of using a CRM. But we understand that deciding whether or not a CRM would help your company depends on a plethora of factors that require careful consideration of the unique needs of your business.
Here’s a further guide to using CRM in manufacturing, and here are a few questions to further help you determine if you need a Customer Relationship Management System.