According to manufacturing journalist Thomas R. Cutler in a recent issue of Industrial Focus magazine, “Manufacturers all face a similar challenge: a complex sale that often requires a team selling approach. In every industrial organization one finds internal representatives, outside representatives, managers, technical specialist, distributors, and customer service professionals. Often this team manages several product lines with thousands of specific items and interacts with numerous influencers who affect the sale. During the lengthy sales process the team does their best to manage this complex environment, producing notes, sales call reports, quote logs, memos, faxes, e-mails, and customer service reports, however the information is almost always fragmented. There is rarely one central database of customer information that can be accessed and shared among the people who need it to efficiently do their jobs. As a result, acting less like a team, these people act independently when conducting business and are far less effective. “
According to Larry Caretsky, President of Commence (www.commence.com/mfg), an industrial customer relationship management (CRM) firm, “CEO’s of these companies often share how their new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system provides them all the information they need, but fail to recognize that ERP systems provide information after the sale, not before or during the sales process. ERP systems provide no value for improving the efficiency of how to sell and service customers. This is one reason that forecast reports are always inaccurate.”
Industrial senior executives avoid addressing a customer-centric approach including the misconception that an accounting system provides the information needed; they provide only post sale information. The pre-sales process and information drives the sale.
Manufacturers do not resist funding back-end ERP systems; however the front-end CRM solutions often make a substantial impact on reducing new customer acquisition cost and improving sales efficiency by first addressing data capture, data consolidation, and data sharing.
Commence offers industrial companies complete “Freedom of Choice” to select the solutions and platform that best meets the business requirements of manufacturers and distributors. The comprehensive CRM Industrial application suite is available for use on premise or on-demand as a hosted service. Industrial leaders often build departmental CRM solutions with the award winning Commence Industrial CRM Framework. These choices are why so many industrial companies choose Commence as the solution for managing customer relationships. All Commence Industrial solutions support mobile or wireless connectivity and integration to back-office accounting and ERP systems.