Still lacking CRM? Problems could follow

If you’re competing in the wholesale distribution sphere without a customer resource management solution, you may be falling behind rival organizations that have this technology in place. In some cases, processes that have solidified over the course of years can be simplified and made more efficient almost immediately through the creation of a better information repository, one which supports detailed and functional profiles for individual customers and accounts. The limitations brought around by a lack of CRM can be broken into a few general categories


Problem No. 1: Lack of centralized data storage
Having one standardized location to find customer details is a serious drawback when it comes time to address a client complaint or attempt to pitch a new service offering. Distribution companies that don’t use CRM technology may find that sales representatives have taken an ad hoc approach to storing their information. The data formats don’t necessarily work together at all, meaning it’s up to whoever needs to use the information to figure out what they need to know. An even worse situation can emerge in the aftermath of an employee’s departure: Getting that worker’s content into a location and format where others can work with it may prove confusing and time-consuming.


Problem No. 2: Weak collaboration efforts
Making a sales call is a completely different experience when representatives know everything that has gone on with that account. If internal sales teams and external reps have a repository of data that is constantly updated to reflect the state of the client’s business, each employee can perform his or her individual role with less hesitation and more planning. A lack of CRM may be creating silos around the different teams within a business, and though they are striving for the same goals, they may end up accidentally working against one another if visibility is low.


Problem No. 3: Poorly targeted marketing
Reaching new customers can be a precise and well-targeted process, at least if information is plentiful. Without a CRM implementation that can give a detailed picture of client behavior, marketing departments may end up blindly reaching out to any and all prospects with messages that are too general or not relevant to the interests of distribution clients in the region. A more nuanced plan, one informed by easily accessible client records from a CRM system, can reflect the real services that are proving popular and helpful with the existing customer base. It’s not enough to have raw data – it must also be accessible.