Consolidated Products Company (CPC) prides themselves as one of the leading specialty print houses in the United States. When it came to tracking their incoming orders as well as managing their pricing and product catalog, however, they knew they were falling behind.
Like many other manufacturing sales teams before them, they knew the value and benefits of investing in a new CRM software to streamline their processes. In 2017, CRM allowed businesses to increase revenue streams by 41%, improve customer relationships by 74%, and reduce lead costs by 23%.
The company always had a great business plan and vision but lacked the right technical support that would allow them to compete with their contemporaries. They were using Quickbooks for accounting but needed a platform that better leveraged their Quickbooks data to bring their sales and fulfillment together.
The Challenges Of Implementing New CRM Software
Choosing to adopt new CRM software for this team wasn't an issue for this team. Instead, the hardest part of implementing a new CRM is finding the right CRM software provider. To quote the client, "Our journey through CRM land was long and costly."
In this particular case, this manufacturer struggled to find CRM software that could bring their sales and fulfillment together simply and efficiently. The different type of software they attempted to implement in the past were either
- Too expensive (Salesforce)
- Integrated poorly with their existing software Microsoft Dynamics)
- The software was discontinued (QuickBooks Customer Manager)
- Failed to meet their expectations
What to Consider When Adopting New CRM Software
Even when you decide on the right CRM software, implementing it can have its own set of obstacles. Around 40% of CRM adoptions will miss the mark. We outline some of the most common issues that manufacturers experience as well as specific issues that CPC experienced:
- Does the Price fit? You have to put a value on how much the price of the CRM software is, and how much it's going to save you in the long run. Ideally, the CRM software you choose will pay for itself in due time. Consider that 10-15% of manufacturer quotes will close on average which means manufacturers have to process an track an enormous amount of leads and customers. This can be costly if done inefficiently
- Does it Integrate with your existing systems? When you've already invested time and money into other software that your workforce is already adapted to. When adopting new CRM software, it's important to find ones that will integrate seamlessly with your existing products like Quickbooks, Outlook, and Excel.
- Can it adapt to your unique business model? There is no such thing "one-size fits all" CRM model - not one that can truly back up what it promises anyway. For a CRM to achieve maximum efficiency, it needs to be customized in order meet all of the companies needs specifically. Manufacturers often struggle with "standard" CRM systems because they cannot adapt well enough to the product-specific issues that manufacturers possess. Manufacturers, especially ones like CPC, can have hundreds if not thousands of product variants. Ensuring that each customer receives the correct variant is extremely important. In the case of CPC's integration of a CRM, they were able to implement one that could carry over key product information throughout the sales process.
- Is your workforce going to accept change? Once you choose the right CRM system, you need to have a plan in place to roll it out across your company. When sales reps aren't properly trained, the benefits of the new software aren't properly communicated, or not enough support is given to those struggling with the new change, you are not going to get the full benefit of the software.
- How Does the Software Review? When conducting a thorough vendor analysis, it's crucial to focus on your unique pain points, and see how the features of each vendor's CRM software can work to the benefit of your team in all areas - not just some.
Not only that, but you need to see how each vendor has worked for contemporaries in your industry. What works for a retail store, will likely not work for your business. Look beyond the reviews and ask how the CRM has benefited other companies like yours.
The long road to finding the right software took several years. With the new CRM software custom-built for their manufacturing business, CPC transformed their business model in a matter of weeks. This top manufacturer now has a CRM in place that matches their reputation.