advantages of a crm for distributors

4 Advantages of CRM for Distributors

If you’re at all curious about the advantages of CRM software built specifically for distribution companies, you will likely benefit from adding one to your tech stack.

A CRM system may be the right investment for your distribution business if:

  • You have an outside sales team that’s focused on building and maintaining strong relationships with customers
  • You’ve ever found it difficult to stay on top of your growing customer base or to juggle disparate business software 
  • Your marketing needs have grown beyond word of mouth (which they should!)
  • You’re not tracking your customer data (which you should be!)
  • You’re looking for better ways to understand which parts of your sales process are working, and which areas need improvement

What Is a CRM?

A customer relationship management, or CRM, software for distributors is a tool that allows you to manage your customer relationships – including contact information and interactions, sales pipeline, productivity, quoting, marketing, and customer service – all within one interface. As its name implies, a CRM platform is designed to give you greater control over the relationships relevant to your distribution business, from current, prospective, and former customers, to vendors, suppliers, and more.

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a crucial component of any distribution business, but most ERPs’ customer relationship-building capabilities are limited. Top distributors use CRMs in conjunction with their ERPs to gain richer insights from customer trends to buying behaviors, so they can have more meaningful conversations with their buyers. 

With a distribution-centric CRM, no details are lost in the sales process. Implementing a CRM that integrates with your ERP system out of the box unlocks new insights and actions to streamline operations across teams, foster stronger customer ties, and drive greater revenue.



Advantage 1: Get More New Customers

One of the most important advantages of CRM is the ability to facilitate the discovery of new customers. After all, more new customers mean faster business growth!

A CRM can house all your customer information in a single platform that offers insight into the type of customer you should target next. It’s an effective way to manage marketing contacts and leads and house existing customer information. Armed with insights from similar customers, you can view all interactions and identify commonalities in purchasing behavior and engagement levels to better tailor your offerings to your prospects.

Integrated campaign management tools can help sales and marketing teams deploy targeted emails to collected leads, help reps manage their nurturing activities for those leads, and bridge the gap between siloed departments so everyone is on the same page.

Customer insights provide a deep understanding of what current customers value most. By collecting and analyzing data on customer interactions and behaviors, distributors can use this information to tailor their offerings to attract similar prospects.

Performance tracking within your CRM enables you to monitor KPIs related to new customer acquisition, such as lead conversion rates, campaign performance, and ROI. This helps in continuously refining strategies and improving outcomes.

Tracking all this data on one platform means no matter who is speaking to the potential customer, they are working confidently from a singular, up-to-date database with insights that inspire action. Small advantages like these can pay major dividends when it comes to differentiating yourself from your competition and winning more business.

Advantage 2: Retain More Customers

Customer churn is an inescapable reality for distributors. However, you do not need to sit idly by and watch your customers move on to competitors. Another powerful advantage of customer relationship management software is its ability to facilitate increased customer satisfaction and retention.

A CRM centralizes your customer data in one place, makes it easier to stay on top of your existing customer relationships. You should be able to see who was spoken with, when that conversation happened, what was discussed, and your customer segment’s preferences. Your team will also have a clearer understanding of their buying cycles to anticipate their needs.

White Cup CRM takes this a step further by integrating with major eCommerce platforms to provide even greater visibility into key customer details, like recent purchasing data and online order history. This creates synergy between online and offline selling: reps leverage a customer’s online purchasing patterns to enhance personal sales interactions with more detail and accuracy.

Through this eCommerce integration, reps can combat customer churn by receiving notifications within their CRM when a customer has abandoned their cart. If a customer adds a product to their online shopping cart but still needs to complete the transaction, reps can take immediate action and proactively reach out to the customer (even if they are just price shopping). Intervening early on helps solidify the rep’s reputation as a trusted adviser, deepens customer trust and loyalty, and creates opportunities for upselling and cross-selling

Your sales team can also leverage insights on open and late orders to reach out to customers who may need more support to close the sale, ensuring no opportunities are left on the table. Buying Cycle Insights through White Cup’s AI integration analyzes each customer’s past ordering patterns to notify sales reps when an anticipated reorder data is approaching.

With the right CRM system and integrations, customer satisfaction and, more importantly, dissatisfaction will come as a surprise, and you can proactively address your customers’ needs before they become churn-creating problems. Managing customer relationships becomes intuitive in your CRM so you can boost customer retention and keep existing customers happy and uphold retention.

Advantage 3: Personalize Your Messaging

Another advantage of CRM’s centralized customer database is personalized communication. These days, customers expect, not just appreciate, a personalized experience—that goes for distributors, too.

According to McKinsey, more than 75 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase from companies that personalize their outreach and product recommendations, and first-time customers also look for personalization when navigating a company’s products for the first time.

This isn’t just for business-to-consumer brands; personalized consumer experiences have also shifted customer expectations within a business-to-business context, especially when the buyer experience is more complex than a choice between Product A or Product B.

Given that context, are you really ready to send your next marketing message to customers without CRM insights to inform what you’re going to say?

The right CRM system’s marketing automation capabilities can streamline marketing campaign development with conditional logic and offer tools to help organize and segment customer data to deliver personalized, consistent marketing content. You can tailor emails, calls, meetings, and follow-ups to ensure relevant and timely information arrives in their inbox to boost their confidence in making the purchase.

Again, eCommerce integration becomes essential here, allowing marketing teams to tap into automation to craft dynamic emails that increase order value by recommending related products, upsells, and more. This level of personalization is key to improved customer engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.

Advantage 4: Empower Your Sales Team

We’ve already discussed the advantages CRM brings in getting more new customers and personalizing messaging, so it should be no surprise that a CRM (especially one built for distributors) can bring real advantages to sales management by measuring effectiveness and providing actionable insights to improve profitability.

A CRM with out-of-the-box ERP integration gives your sales team a clear picture of where each customer is on their buying journey with features like customer scorecards and provides them with key sales effectiveness metrics such as quota attainment, conversions, and retention rates. Reps can quote directly out of the CRM, rather than doing so through a less streamlined ERP or working with an entirely different team to generate quotes. This saves your sales managers and reps critical time by providing more visibility at their fingertips so that they know which customers to reach out to, when, and how.

Along with automated outreach reminders and email workflows, your team will have the tools to surpass their sales goals with ease.

Enhancing Customer Centricity With AI in Your CRM System

While the use of artificial intelligence in the distribution industry is still in its nascent stage, there are clear advantages for those willing to embrace innovation. Think about it this way: Distributors and their customers produce billions of points of data per day in transactions. When an AI tool is trained on your customer and company data, it can offer valuable insights to help your team reimagine sales strategies and marketing campaigns with deep customer personalization and automate their execution for timely results.

Your sales and marketing efforts won’t just be a means to an end anymore, they will be the driving force behind your customer service excellence and a key way of differentiating your business from competitors. 

White Cup CRM and BI customers also have access to truly transformative AI-powered features, giving you the ability to:

  • Recommend products to customers based on their purchase history
  • Personalize your sales pitches by recommending suggested products during customer calls
  • Automatically analyze past ordering patterns to anticipate when customers will reorder—and reach out when it’s time

It’s clear that the greatest advantage of a CRM for distributors is customer-centricity. Gone are the days of hiring more and more sales reps to follow the same old scripts, not knowing whether they’re really working for your business. Equipping your current team with a CRM—especially a CRM designed precisely for distributors that integrates with your existing ERP—empowers them to have more productive conversations with hot leads and loyal customers to win more revenue.

White Cup: The Preferred CRM by Distributors, for Distributors

White Cup is the preferred distributor CRM software because it combines business intelligence (BI) from all your customer interactions with automation to clearly see your best opportunities and seize upon them faster. Built exclusively for distributors, it can integrate with your ERP to centralize customer, product, and sales insights in one accessible interface. It is also the first distributor-focused CRM provider to offer eCommerce integration, turning online browsing into a vehicle for buying.

And with the power of White Cup BI, our CRM gives sales reps a comprehensive account view at a glance. Deepen your customer relationships with a customer relationship management solution built and tailored to your distribution business. Contact us today to learn more.

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