By Jessica Heald on Fri 28 June 2019 in CRM
Wholesalers, Distributors and Manufacturers who sell physical products from stock B2B experience very unique operational challenges, meaning ordinary CRM's fall short of what they require. Here are just 10 reasons why Stock-Aware CRM is an absolute must-have for these types of businesses!
There are plenty of generic CRMs out there. But they’re not all for everyone. Here are 10 reasons why you need Stock-Aware CRM if you sell products from stock to other businesses…
- You need to be able to sell your products the way your customers want to buy them – Sounds obvious, right? Being flexible in the way you can actually sell your stock is vital in ensuring your customers find it convenient to buy with you and in turn keep coming back. But surprisingly not many CRMs can actually do this. More generic CRMs that aren’t designed for businesses who sell physical stock won’t have this functionality built-in. On the flip side, a Stock-Aware CRM should organise your product sales by multiple pack sizes to allow for this (e.g. single, small box, large box or pallet).
- You need to know which products are available today/tomorrow/next week – It’s no good not knowing exactly what stock is available for your Sales teams to go and sell and when. Intelligence from your Stock-Aware CRM on what’s available today, what’s coming in next week or even next month is critical, so they can sell the right thing at the right time to the right customers!
- You need to know which customers to prioritise – Whether that’s knowing which of your customers are buying more this year than last, who's buying less, or who’s stopped buying entirely; this is invaluable information which can be leveraged in the Sales & Marketing process by using real-time back-office data (by this, we mean info that gets brought in automatically from your accounting/inventory system to the CRM interface in a more sales-friendly way).
- You need to increase your recurring business levels – It’s great getting new customers, but what about retaining your existing base long-term? If you’re selling business to business, repeat business is normally pivotal to how you operate. A Stock-Aware CRM should use the power of your customer sales transaction history to make it easier for you to secure repeat business.
- You need to be able to sell from your entire product range (without the hassle) – A Stock-Aware CRM should allow for dynamic product creation in its quote engine, so that your sales teams can sell from a larger catalogue of products than just what’s in your stock file in an organised and controlled way.
- You need to create & issue accurate quotes to your customers – When we say ‘accurate’, we don’t just mean having the correct figure on the quote. Things like special pricing for your customers should be respected too (whether that’s by product, quantity, customer or date) so your sales team don’t have to go and manually check any prices. Plus, your CRM should automatically calculate the delivery charges based on the content of the customer’s order (turning delivery charges from loss making into profit making!).
- You need to have the full picture of your customers – Knowing exactly what’s happening in real-time with your customers by having a consolidated view is crucial to running a successful stock business where your staff are empowered to give solid gold customer service.
- You need to be able to increase average order values – Customer-facing staff should be automatically prompted with upsell, cross-sell and must-sell opportunities during the point of sale so they can effortlessly increase average order values.
- You need access to accounts & sales data to resolve issues – Let’s say you’ve given your customer a price, sent the quote and taken the order…but their order has arrived late. Or maybe the products are damaged on delivery. With a Stock-Aware CRM, your Customer Services team should be able to quickly and easily record any issues in detail as a CRM ticket and pass it in real-time to your warehousing or accounts team if required. Using invaluable accounts and sales data (again, pulled through from the back-office), issues can then be resolved at the source, meaning your team can turn every problem into an amazing customer experience.
- You need access to vital customer information at your fingertips – Yes, even in the Free Trial! All of this vital info comes directly from your accounting or inventory solution (that you’ll already have in place) via strong integration. So, rule of thumb is: don't take a Free Trial of a CRM solution unless they offer immediate integration to your accounts/ERP/inventory management solution for you to test.