Today’s Manufacturers and their Rep networks have a much larger product selection and customer base than ever before. The one-to-one relationship model has given way to many-to-many relationships. The sales pipeline is no longer linear -- it’s multi-dimensional.
Complicating this shift, Manufacturers Reps fall into the small to micro-size business category. At this scale, there is typically no budget for IT, while a first-hand understanding of the highly complex market remains.
Implementation of Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) can be transformative for any business, big or small. It improves efficiency, customer relationships, and profit margins. It’s so effective that, per data from Nucleus Research, every dollar spent on CRM yields up to $8.71 in revenue for the adopting business.
That’s an impressive ROI -- and it begs the question:
If CRM implementation is so lucrative, why do so many attempts to implement it fail?
In my 18 years of experience working with and representing material manufacturers in the construction and architectural industries, I have repeatedly observed a flawed assumption that can railroad the successful adoption of CRM, and that assumption is that just any CRM will be helpful and functional right out of the box.
Unfortunately, the adoption failure rate tells us otherwise.
The reality is that the wrong CRM will actually make the job harder. And no one will use a CRM that makes the job harder.
I learned that the key point to that impressive CRM ROI is implementing the right CRM for Manufacturers and Reps.
‘One-size-fits-all’ CRMs will not fit every business--especially small and micro-businesses, especially in this industry. Standard configurations are often bloated with extraneous fields and need to be pruned and reorganized in order to optimize functionality. Conversely, they often lack fields that are critical and specific to the job. For example, Reps need the ability to track the relationship of quoting many products to many customers for a particular project and the ability to track the specification rate of products back to the designers. That kind of specificity cannot be found in a run-of-the-mill CRM.
Now, more than ever, Reps need to understand exactly who their customers are and what they are buying in much more detail.
This kind of individualization requires customization.
So then just get a customized CRM, right?
It’s not that easy. Customized CRMs are very expensive, not only in terms of capital investment but also with respect to manpower and time. Highly customized solutions are reserved for enterprise-level businesses with in-house IT departments and on-site software developers.
Here we have the tenets of the problem:
Manufacturers and their Representatives need CRM.
The CRM implementation will fail unless it's customized to fit their industry.
Small and micro-businesses cannot afford customized CRM.
I (probably like you) searched for an existing solution and when I couldn’t find one that worked, I created one.
Enter Bid Track Sell - a customized CRM configuration available on the Salesforce App Exchange, designed specifically to streamline the complex workflow of Manufacturers and Manufacturers Reps.
My team built Bid Track Sell on the world's largest and most trusted CRM platform, Salesforce, and finely-tuned our customization so that Manufacturers and their Rep networks can start using it right “out of the box”. It combines the utility, security, and flexibility of Salesforce with enterprise-grade, industry-specific customizations offering smaller businesses/agencies an effective CRM solution without the exorbitant cost.
In other words, it's a CRM configuration that makes the job easier and that your employees will use.
And you can afford it.
There is no equipment upgrade required, safe off-site data storage is included, and any mobile device can be used to meet with customers and access data anytime and anyplace there is an internet connection.
Win / Win / Win.
In today’s business landscape, Reps and Rep agencies simply cannot afford to miss out on the benefits that a functional CRM offers (‘functional’ being the operative word.) Bid Track Sell offers all the benefits of an enterprise-grade CRM without the customization costs, so that you can redirect your energy to promoting, specifying, and of course -- selling.
- Bob Foster, CEO of Bid Track Sell and Foster Engineered Products