How to perpetuate your CRM ROI in Manufacturing

CRMs are excellent tools for manufacturing companies and helps with accurate forecasting, meeting client commitments and allows for greater process efficiency.

But there’s a crucial element to keep in mind ?

Don’t assume that the work is done once you implement your CRM. Building relationships with your customers is an evolutionary process. Be aware that customers tend to evolve and change, and your business may need to grow and adapt to their ever-changing needs.

Here are the top things to keep in mind to accelerate and perpetuate your CRM ROI:

1. Understand the WHY behind CRM technology

CRM and ERP are not the same!

A CRM is designed to manage the customer relationship, including automating, personalizing and keeping a trace of every interaction.

From there, the information can be used and shared in real-time with various departments to ensure your company is delivering the best customer experience across departments.

Salesforce CRM allows manufacturers to:

  • Automate their sales processes for higher conversion rates, more consistency and less errors with guided selling, quoting and contract templates, automated approvals, and logs of every communication with the customer.
  • Deliver omnichannel customer service experiences that delight customers and facilitates upselling and cross selling.
  • Get better real-time forecasting data shareable with operations to improve the management of supplies, production and inventory.
  • Enhance partner and distribution channels with dedicated portals and e-commerce that personalize the experience of each account based on the specific pricing and product privileges.

The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, on the other hand, focuses on your supply chain, production, and inventory.

A CRM focuses on customer touchpoints, while an ERP for manufacturers focuses on production and purchasing planning, execution and inventory.

The mistake most manufacturers make is thinking that their ERP can play the role of CRM. That simply isn’t the case. Just like you wouldn’t ask a CRM to do the job of an ERP. Once the difference has been understood, your teams will be better able to identify which part of your company’s strategy will leverage which platform.

2. Prioritize adoption

Less than 40% of companies have achieved adoption rates of over 90%.

(G2 Learn Hub)

But, why is it so difficult to encourage adoption?

It’s because achieving change in an organization requires a relentless commitment to include people and their thoughts in the process. Plus, when you’re thinking of implementing major changes (even if it’s not about Salesforce), the most important part is the ‘’Selling’’ of it.

Think of when you’re launching a new product or service, do you force it down your customer’s throats or do you sell the benefits first?

So why should it be any different for Salesfore adoption? End users need to understand how that change benefits them!

The best way out is to introduce CRM gradually in the implementation process. Sessions should be held highlighting the benefits that both the business and employees will get from the CRM.

Adoption rates for CRM will increase once the employees have a clear idea of the benefits.

Businesses can even implement a reward system for those who provide better customer engagement and service using the CRM.

But, most of all…

“Be a lighthouse, not a tugboat.’’

What’s the difference between a lighthouse and a tugboat?

The lighthouse stands tall, shows the way, leads by example. The tugboat fatigues itself by going around pushing or pulling other vessels.

This translates to: instead of micromanaging and forcing employees to use Salesforce, lead by example and start using it. Therefore, the leadership team also needs to go through the same training as end-user and become champions of the solution.

3. Training new users

There’s an old marketing saying: ‘’Whatever you do, don’t make it boring’’.

It’s obvious that Salesforce training is a must if you want to increase adoption. That doesn’t mean that it needs to be traditional, boring training.

This is especially important now because of the significant workforce shortages. Make Salesforce training fun to be a part of!

Maybe incentivize it or make it into a competition?

Here’s a popular best practice to perpetuate your CRM adoption and training ?

Amongst the employees that got trained by the implementation team, did one of them:

  • Stand out
  • Like the solution more than others
  • Immediately adopted the new solution
  • Clearly noticed the benefits of Salesforce on their day-to-day job

If so, find that person and make them a ‘’CRM champion’’. They should be tasked to become the first level of contact for end-user training.

Your change champion should spread the word amongst their peers. By spread the word, we mean: the benefits of Salesforce and the disadvantages of not using it.

While you do not want to punish your team for resisting the move to Salesforce, highlighting the disadvantages of not using it can be an incredibly effective motivation technique.

And just like when your marketing team shares testimonials or success stories, your change champion could do the same thing to promote adoption. People are less likely to resist change if their peers constantly share positive feedback about it.

4. Constant evolution

As mentioned before, building relationships with your customers is an evolutionary process.

Be aware that customers tend to evolve and change, and your business may need to grow and adapt to their ever-changing needs. Achieving your business goals with Salesforce goes beyond the implementation of your CRM system.

An effective CRM implementation should allow your business to improve over time.

So, approach your CRM like a product to which you gradually add features to. The features are all built into the capabilities of the platform, but you may have to activate and customize them to fit your business needs.

Therefore, planning its evolution and periodically auditing the performance of your Salesforce deployment will help you maximize the returns on your investment.

PS. We can help! Speak to one of our consultants to maximize your Salesforce ROI over time.

Furthermore, as high employee turnover is becoming a new reality, you might need our help in providing you with new Salesforce operating staff or to fill a temporary gap in your team.

For help with Salesforce staff augmentation or through our administration services, contact us today.

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