5 Ways Microsoft Dynamics CRM Works for Distributors

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Whether you distribute goods to dealers, retailers, or directly to end consumers, maintaining customer loyalty and delivering on promises is critical for most manufacturing and distribution businesses. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are essential for all organizations, regardless of industry, but distribution companies have unique challenges.

As a followup to our previous article outlining the Top 5 KPIs for the Distribution Industry, below are some examples of how a good CRM system can help achieve your strategic goals.

1. Customer Service – When you track customer inquiries in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it can result in faster response time and more accurate answers, which translate into increased customer loyalty and higher revenues for your business. Employees in your warehouse and service locations, as well as your field service representatives who work outside the office, have the ability to view customer inquiries in the system. How many people in your company today can find the information they need in one place to effectively answer customers’ questions?

2. Customer Insight – If your customers include wholesalers, retailers, dealers and end users, you are aware that each of these consumer groups has different expectations. How will you effectively track and manage their buying preferences? If you engage in multi-channel distribution, different marketing tactics are needed for different channels – how do you prevent channel conflict between your retail customers and those who buy directly over the web? A CRM solution helps manage their preferences efficiently and accurately; the same rules will not apply to all your customers. All the information you need is in one place, including order history, delivery preferences, locations and more.

3. Reduce Manual Processes – Many distribution companies still rely on manual and paper-based processes for tasks that can be streamlined and automated by a CRM system. Using spreadsheets to track orders can get messy when orders are coming in from multiple locations. One example is this case study of an international manufacturing company who increased productivity and reduced development costs by replacing manual processes with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

4. Integration – The case study example above also highlights another important benefit of CRM for distributors.  Many distribution companies use separate systems to handle different processes, which often results in duplicate work, backorders, missed orders and poor customer service. By integrating Microsoft CRM with a Dynamics ERP solution, everything you need is connected - from order to fulfillment and beyond. With increased efficiency and real-time visibility into available inventory, you can shorten order processing time and increase fill rates.

5. Sales – When a sales person uses CRM to manage their pipeline, you get a more accurate view of forecasted business, including potential revenue and closing date.  It can also highlight areas for improvement; for example, when your sales person creates a quote, how do you know if it results in an order? If a lead didn’t convert to a sale, do you know why? Increased insight into your sales pipeline allows you to make more accurate predictions for other areas of your business, including revenue forecasting, inventory needs and fulfillment.

At OmniVue, we know maintaining customer loyalty and always delivering on promises is a top concern for distribution companies.  The list above is only the tip of the iceberg, and with the right solutions in place, you can effectively differentiate your business from the competition and keep customers coming back. If you’d like to learn more about how Microsoft CRM can streamline your operations, contact OmniVue today.

Get started today with pricing information through a quick online quote for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Or, download the CRM Software Blog's latest white paper, "24 Wildly Creative Ways Companies Use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Drive Revenue and Serve Customers" to learn more about improving your business with CRM.

By OmniVue, Georgia Microsoft Dynamics Partner

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