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"Best-of-Breed" vs. Multi-Purpose CRM

By Jess Heald & Abigail Shevlin on Fri 22 November 2019 in Wholesale & Distribution


4 reasons why SME Wholesalers, Distributors & Manufacturers should choose a "Best-of-Breed" CRM over a multi-purpose one.

Different types of businesses face their own hurdles to overcome. So, when it comes to choosing a software solution as an SME Wholesaler, Distributor or Manufacturer, why pick a CRM that isn’t designed to specifically address these challenges?  

What is “Best-of-Breed”?

Think of it this way – you wouldn’t enter a Pug or a Labradoodle into a competitive dog race. Sure, they’re nice dogs, but you’d choose a Greyhound if you wanted to win your bet. A ‘one size fits all’ approach may work when you’re shopping for something like a cosy scarf for the winter, but when it comes to choosing a CRM, put your odds on a “best-of-breed” solution – especially if the environment you operate in is unique. 

Here’s just 4 reasons why “best-of-breed” CRMs are the front-runner for Wholesalers, Distributors and Manufacturers selling products from stock B2B:

  1. Deliver relevant, high quality features – fast 
    A CRM designed for Wholesalers/Distributors won’t just be focused on adding new features – they’ll be doing it at a much faster rate than multi-purpose software vendors can. Think about it…a multi-purpose solution is trying to please lots of people, so the likelihood that they’ll quickly deploy high quality, stock features that you need to compete successfully is going to be pretty slim. In short: a solution that aims to target a variety of purposes will typically fail to specialise in elements where you’ll require that extra stock-aware functionality. 

  2. Integration to your existing apps/systems 
    Crucially, you’ll find that “best-of-breed” CRMs should have integration capabilities to your existing apps and back-office systems. These integrations to accounting and inventory solutions will be vital, particularly if they can leverage the valuable customer data inside them – potentially years’ worth – into a user-friendly platform, making it readily available to your Sales & Marketing teams. Why lose all that powerful customer sales history stored in your accounting system, like Xero or Quickbooks, when implementing a CRM? Instead, integration to these systems should be prioritised, as they’ll be pivotal in the sales process (e.g. to help increase average order values, tell sales what stock is coming in next week to sell to that big opportunity etc.). Integrating to your existing systems will mean disruption is kept to a minimum, and you should start seeing real value from the software ecosystem as a whole from day 1. 

  3. Expert teams for onboarding & support 
    Typically, a “best-of-breed” CRM vendor will have experienced support and onboarding teams who are specialists in your industry/area of business – because that’s exactly who they cater for! The implementation and adoption of cloud-based, “best-of-breed” solutions will seem like a breeze in comparison to multi-purpose software. They’ll understand the unique challenges you face, because they’ll have seen it 100 times before. More generic solutions will probably a) not grasp your processes at all (because they’re trying to cater for a bunch of different industries), and b) charge you through the roof for expert consultancy (which may even be outsourced, causing further disconnect). With every software implementation, there’s going to be teething issues or a requirement for training/onboarding – so when choosing software, think about the people behind it, not just the features available. 

  4. Keep up with ever-changing market/customer expectations 
    As your market and your customer’s expectations change, whether it be a seasonal increase in demand, a new product launch, or a 10% promo you’re running, your CRM should be able to cater for it – or adapt quickly. A more generic, multi-purpose CRM that can’t be configured to suit your business processes will negatively affect the pace in which you can implement changes like these. But a “best-of-breed” CRM should not only keep up with changing market dynamics – it should be able to predict them based on historical data taken from your inventory/accounting system.  

There are plenty of reasons why best-of-breed is the favourite for SME Wholesalers/Distributors/Manufacturers – make sure you check out our blog here on why a “Stock-Aware” CRM is an absolute must for stock businesses. 

Prospect CRM is a “best-of-breed”, Stock-Aware CRM solution that’s perfect for SME Wholesalers, Distributors and Manufacturers selling products B2B, with unparalleled integration to cloud accounting systems like Xero, Quickbooks, and cloud inventory management systems like Unleashed, Cin7 and TradeGecko. Take an integrated free trial today here to grow your business.