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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