Manufacturers tend to love technologies that make production faster, cheaper, or more reliable while casting a doubtful eye on new ideas that can help other parts of the company. Part of that probably has to do with the fact that manufacturers work in environments where there are very often slim margins and lots of competitors. That means there is very little room for mistakes… but it also means that there are bigger incentives to get smarter and more efficient.
In no part of the manufacturing business is that more true than when it comes to customer relationship management (or CRM, for short). CRM packages allow you to keep track of buyers and prospects, automate communications, and record important details in a way that would be impossible to duplicate in a spreadsheet or simple database.
To see why this is such a difference-maker for manufacturers, here are five benefits you get from installing a powerful CRM platform:
1. You spend less time on marketing, customer service, and account management. Because CRM platforms automate a number of important tasks (like account details and contact information update), you and your team can devote a lot less time to routine tasks.
2. Your company has detailed information about buyers ready to use. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to give them what they want – both individually and collectively. On the one hand, detailed buyer records and account histories tell you everything you need to know about a particular contact; and on the other, it's easy to find the information you're looking for about all customers, those in a particular geographic area, or the ones who have received a specific offer at a glance.
3. Fewer sales opportunities slip through the cracks. Spreadsheets and other manual systems are subject to far more human error than CRM platforms are, especially when it comes to following up on new sales opportunities. In this day and age, no one can afford to let customers "get away," and the CRM can help you manage contacts and new opportunities.
4. It's easier to spot trends in the market, and in your company. Because the right CRM system can give you detailed data across customer groups, date ranges, etc., it makes it easier for you to spot developing trends or concerns. By adding flagging customer keywords to different keywords and search terms, you can even see what buyers are talking to your staff about on a regular basis.
5. CRM platforms lower costs across the board. One of the best advantages of moving to a CRM system is that it can help you save money. Fewer wasted contacts, less time spent chasing the wrong opportunities, and more focus on the right parts of your business all mean better efficiency and bottom-line improvement.