How CRM Helps Manufacturing Businesses Accelerate Their Marketing and Sales

As a manufacturer, it can be tempting to ignore your need for customer relationship management software (CRM). After all, your focus is mostly on your supply chain, production, and distribution. However, leaving your customers as figures on a spreadsheet can close many marketing and sales opportunities to you.

So how can CRM systems help manufacturers boost their sales and marketing? A strong CRM system primarily assists manufacturers by fostering a better understanding of who their customers are. With CRM functions, a manufacturing company can efficiently track sales pipelines, implement marketing campaigns, and perform more activities that improve their customer engagement. 

Why You Need CRM For Sales and Marketing

Customer relationship management software are tools that enable you to manage and improve your relationships with prospects and customers alike. CRM technology is built to give businesses a database about their customers and how these customers interact with the enterprise at every touchpoint. The two departments in every company that benefit the most from using CRM are sales and marketing.

CRM for Sales

As sales reps do their research and field work, they come back with plenty of data about customers and prospects. With CRM, they can spend more time building relationships and nurturing leads instead of manually typing or organizing information.

Aside from helping sales reps perform better, a centralized CRM also allows sales managers to track sales team performance and identify any bottlenecks that are clogging up company growth. Since everyone shares their information on one platform, performance hurdles become much clearer to upper management.

CRM for Marketing

Even better, the customer database on a centralized CRM won’t be limited for sales team use. They can share relevant, updated information with marketing so this team would know the customers to best prepare campaigns for. Maybe a prospect had a question and the sales rep typed this in the CRM. Instead of forgetting or misplacing a note, marketing would be able to see the query and maybe create content around that concern.

Marketing would have a better handle on what can capture potential customers and create more focused, targeted messages with CRM. Your marketing team would also see which campaigns were successful and can easily replicate what worked.

To sum it up, CRM can support your business in its marketing and sales efforts by cutting down the time you spend on manual data-entry and providing you valuable, fresh insights about your customers.

CRM vs ERP: What’s the Difference?

Businesses rely on two software solutions to automate their core business processes. CRM is one and enterprise resource planning (ERP) is another. Both are crucial data repositories that provide support for multiple departments. The best way to describe what makes them different is that CRM is for front-office management while ERP focuses on back-office tasks.

CRM mostly takes care of customers and tracks how they interact with the business. Initially, this software was conceptualized as sales force automation (SFA), with customer service and marketing thrown into the mix later on.

On the other hand, ERP combines financial and operational data onto a central database so businesses can make data-driven decisions quickly. Originally, ERP began as material requirements planning (MRP) which served as a system for manufacturers to monitor and manage all the resources they needed to operate the enterprise successfully.

At its core, ERP technology is all about managing finances, orders, inventory, and the supply chain. Some ERP software also touch a bit on production, procurement, distribution, and even HR or eCommerce.

In the manufacturing industry, ERP is an essential tool to have so it’s highly likely that you’re already using one. However, nearly all growing companies will eventually need to use both platforms to promote sustainable, scalable growth. After all, you can’t take on more customers without the right resources. You won’t be able to tap into all the rich data by relying on spreadsheets and sticky notes alone.

Whether or not you’re a small-midsize business or a thriving enterprise, it’s best to integrate CRM with your ERP rather than maintaining them separately. – Read more

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What is cloud manufacturing software?

Affordable, modular software is available to small manufacturing businesses looking to overhaul their processes, reduce costs and minimise risks. 

Cloud manufacturing software is an excellent solution for decreasing confusion and manual effort at your firm, while enhancing customer satisfaction. 

But how can you decide on the most suitable cloud manufacturing software for your business?

We’re no longer in the era of ‘one-size-fits-all’ platforms 

Different firms have different business processes. This means they need the most appropriate types of software for their needs. A standardised platform that requires major customisation and significant reorganisation in order to lock its complete functionality is simply no longer good enough. 

The range of types of manufacturing company out there – with their varying processes and demands – further complicates the task of coming up with the right software to cater to these needs. 

At a high level, a cloud manufacturing platform should: 

  • Provide information about current orders 
  • Enable the planning and execution of manufacturing tasks 
  • Allow the tracking of time, materials and activities for each order 
  • Forecast material needs and issue purchase orders 
  • Schedule production 
  • Monitor wastage and problems in relation to delays and defects 
  • Connect to other business processes like sales, stock and finance 
  • Provide all-round visibility of your firm’s manufacturing operations 

Choosing a cloud solution grants you further advantages such as ease of access, an intuitive interface, and integration with other platforms like finance or CRM. Flowlens software, for instance, combines CRM and manufacturing platforms within one solution.

Pick the software that caters to your firm’s manufacturing style 

Various forms of cloud manufacturing software exist to suit different styles. Lower-volume manufacturing businesses naturally differ from high-volume businesses in their requirements. There are also differences between the requirements of equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and component manufacturers, unless the former produces everything in-house. 

The Flowlens cloud manufacturing platform is largely geared towards the needs of small and medium-sized equipment manufacturers and dealers. This focus enables us to provide the most capable and relevant possible product for these businesses. 

While there is other cloud manufacturing software on the market that is said to support multiple manufacturing modes, you will often discover that even these platforms originate from one specific process. – Read more

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5 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Cloud CRM for Your Business

If your business or org is considering customer relationship management, here are a few key cloud CRM benefits that might help cement your decision.

Customer relationship management is one of the most important aspects of a business. That’s precisely why enterprises invest a lot of money in selecting the right CRM tool.

In the last few years, cloud technology has revolutionized the way organizations have adopted CRM. According to an IBM report, in 2008, only 13% of organizations used a cloud-based CRM, but the share increased to 87% by 2017.

In addition to being agile, a cloud-based CRM also enables organizations to access data from anywhere from any device, which in turn helps a geo-distributed team accelerate the decision-making process.

According to a Grand View Research report, the global CRM market is estimated to grow up to USD 114.4 billion by 2027.

Owing to the enterprise digitalization and remote workforce requirements, a great deal of this growth will comprise implementation of cloud-based CRM tools.

Here are a few key cloud CRM benefits for businesses

1. Cost Efficient

Moving to a cloud-based CRM is a financially sound decision. It saves a huge, upfront investment on the infrastructure and allows the organization to outsource the maintenance work to a consultant at a fixed cost.

Unlike the traditional, on-premises model, organizations can operate on a pay-as-you-go subscription model.

2. Anywhere, Anytime Access

With organizations now spread across geographies, anytime-anywhere access is a primary requirement for efficient collaboration and faster decision-making.

Unlike on-premises CRM, the cloud-based CRM allows access to data from anywhere round-the-clock. This feature enables global teams to have less dependency on each other for data sharing and reporting and helps them save a lot of time that would have otherwise been wasted on coordination.

3. Always Up-to-date

Automatic updates in the cloud ensure that the CRM is always up-to-date with the latest features, including the latest security patches. In a traditional, on-premises CRM, updates must be proactively planned and executed.

Due to intensive planning involved in updating an on-premises CRM, major enhancement updates keep getting delayed.

4. Flexible

Very few on-premises CRM tools are flexible and channel-agnostic, whereas a cloud CRM offers a lot of flexibility. With cloud-based CRM tools, organizations can buy tailor-made solutions specific to their needs.

Related: The Market for Global SaaS Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is Growing

For example, small and medium enterprises can get started with the minimal features that can help them with their current work and expand their capacity eventually as needs grow.

With a Cloud CRM, if required, organizations even have the flexibility to downsize. – Read more