The manufacturing industry is the backbone of any country, especially the US. In 2018, this massive industry produced $2.33 trillion and drove 11.6% of the economic output.
Yet when it comes to using the most essential software of modern business, the manufacturing industry is at the end of the row. Customer Relationship Management software – a tool that the IT industry has been using for ages, only 6% of the manufacturing world is utilizing this software.
In this article, I’m going to discuss a couple of points that show why a manufacturing business needs strong CRM. These reasons will make any small business owner at least think about adopting a CRM, hopefully implementing one eventually.
Let’s dig deeper!
Why Does A Manufacturing Industry Need A Strong CRM?
1. Contact management
Whether you’re manufacturing products for your own brand or handling production for other businesses, you need a solid contact management software. In the manufacturing industry, managing contacts are critical as any new lead can elevate revenue. CRM with the best contact management capabilities lets you gather all the information of your wholesalers, suppliers, or transporters effectively.
Contact manager also shows the current status and latest activities of individual contact. If you’re a manufacturing unit taking third-party projects, you can use this feature to check what action you should do next to convert potential leads into paying customers.
If you produce a unique product of your own, contact manager can manage the details of people involved from raw material to transportation.
2. Product Quality Improvement
It is crucial for a manufacturing business to know if the product quality is meeting the needs. CRM can give statistics to sales and marketing teams regarding sales trends. If the graph is going down, you can investigate and find the exact reason causing the downtrend – product quality can be one.
Sales and marketing teams can also gather customer feedback using various methods like shooting an email campaign asking customers for their review. By gathering the responses, you can make the necessary changes in your product quality or sales tactics. But more importantly, you can easily get quality feedback.
There are also capabilities of workflow automation with smart CRM. For example, you can send a quick email to brand new customers or send a message when you deliver the shipment asking for feedback.
3. Set up your own sales pipeline
You can set up your own sales pipeline and divide prospects based on what stage they are currently in. Let’s understand this with this simple flow:
This is just an example, you can set up your own flow and create a personalized sales pipeline. You can simply move deals through these stages and focus on where it needs the most. The sales pipeline view helps in answering the following questions:
- How many prospects are interested in your products?
- How many calls/meetings/emails were sent to possible clients?
- How many prospects can turn into paid clients?
- How many clients have you acquired in a month/quarter/year?
- What is the prospect-to-client conversion rate?
- What is the possible sales number for the upcoming quarter/year (sales forecasting)?
4. CRM features that are helpful to a small manufacturing business
Built-in Phone system: This feature can be used to cold call prospects without leaving the CRM. A built-in virtual phone system is also used when sales teams are in multiple locations to communicate internally.
Goal Tracking: Goal tracking feature helps you monitor and achieve your monthly or quarterly sales goals.
Activity Management: With this feature, you can create, share, update, and assign activities to your teammates.
Visual Reports: CRM gives you insights and reports on sales, activity reports, revenue reports, etc. to analyze the data.
Sales Forecasting: This feature helps you forecast your sales figures for the current month and allows you to make strategic changes accordingly to achieve the desired goals.
Team Inbox: Shared team inbox lets your sales team members stay on the same page. Every member can receive a notification when a new email is received from customers.
These are just a couple of reasons for the manufacturing industry to use CRM for small businesses. Manufacturers can utilize this tool for product management, proposal management, and most importantly building strong customer relationships.