By Jessica Heald on Tue 03 September 2019 in CRM
Now that you know what Stock-Aware CRM is and why Wholesalers, Distributors & Manufacturers can’t live without it, let us run you through some of the common misconceptions that we see and hear all too often...
Whether you've already implemented a CRM for your Wholesale, Distribution or Manufacturing business, or are just weighing up your options before you take the plunge, here are 7 of our deadly sins to avoid when it comes to Stock-Aware CRM!
- Assuming your Sales Teams Will Use It
You can't make a sales person use a CRM that they don't like. It’s therefore critical that the CRM vendor has plenty of help articles, videos and other resources on offer like Webinars to ensure your whole team get using the system as soon as possible. Some vendors even offer onboarding packages which are a great way to ensure everyone is trained up on the system and ready to go!
- Thinking You'll Get Loads of Leads/Sales
You’d be wrong to think a CRM will just create more leads or more sales on its own. A CRM won’t run itself – it involves your input! You have to plan how you’re going to use it, and how it’s going to make a difference to your business right from the outset.
- Implementing CRM Just for the Sales Team
Don’t forget other key personnel in the company like your Customer Service staff and Marketing Manager etc. A CRM should have functionality for these areas of the business too, particularly as your business scales.
- Ignoring Your Product & ERP Data
Your Sales staff need stock aware data at their fingertips in order to be successful in their role. Things like having product information, stock levels and customer purchase history to hand will be vital in the B2B sales process. This will all be found in your accounting/ERP system, so your CRM vendor should be able to pull through all this info (and more) into a sales-friendly view.
- Process Perfection
Trying to create a perfect CRM process will probably mean you get nowhere fast – and I guarantee anyone who thinks they have the perfect process will soon find out its imperfect when used! So, if something isn’t quite right, don’t throw in the towel on your CRM. Instead, work collaboratively with your CRM vendor to work out what’s not ideal, why that’s the case, and find an alternative way to get the outcome you need.
- Ignoring the Stock-Aware Processes your Sales Team Need
Traditional CRM focusses a lot on leads and opportunities, but what about things like quotes, repeat orders, price enquiries, stock level enquiries, shipment problems? If you have CRM at the moment, just take a look at all the spreadsheets your team use, or the amount they need to log into your ERP/Inventory Management system.
- Worrying Too Much (or Too Little) About Data Quality
Your data needs to be good enough to be useful, but not completely full of rubbish and duplicates. But remember, some duplicates and some bad data is going to be inevitable with 1000’s of records. Your CRM vendor should be able to offer a de-duping service during the data import stage, so investigate this option if you’re particularly concerned.