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Your Guide to Choosing Distributor CRM: Everything You Need to Know to Convince Your Boss

By now, you may know the reasons for having industry-specific CRM solutions for distributors. Now, it’s time for the part that might be a little scary: asking your boss to invest real money into the solution.

After all, what you’re suggesting is a short-term disruption in the hope of a long-term return on investment. For a business that may not have experience with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, it’s daunting, to say the least. Worse, perhaps your business has dipped its toes in CRM before and run into a plethora of adoption issues. Either way, your road to getting a customer relationship management system for your distribution company can seem like an uphill battle.

If the advantages of choosing the right CRM are not self-evident to your boss yet, here’s what you need to do.

What Your Boss Cares About

Before we dive into specific arguments that you can use to make your case, you need to enter the conversation knowing exactly what’s most important to your boss: better numbers.

Regardless of where your argument starts or ends, you need to be constantly communicating how and where CRM will increase revenue while making everyone’s lives a little easier, from sales managers to marketing specialists. Now, that shouldn’t be that hard because distribution CRM software is designed to help you sell more without the busy work.

Questions to Ask

To understand the best approach to take in convincing your boss to invest in CRM, you should ask questions. The reason for this is it helps you better understand the best place to start your argument while also potentially opening your boss’s eyes to an underlying need.

How long does it take to respond to leads?

If they say it’s up to individual reps to respond to emails or phone calls, that’s bad. If the answer is unknown or days or even weeks, that’s worse.

Slow responses mean slow results and missed opportunities. Every second that you’re dragging on responding to a customer is a second you’re getting beat by your competition. With a CRM system workflow, you’ll significantly cut down on the amount of time needed to respond to your leads.

Are you keeping in contact with cold or dead leads?

If leads you used to nurture aren’t even crossing your mind anymore, you’re giving that customer to your competitors. It is indeed possible to bring those old leads back into your funnel.

Marketing automation within CRM lets you reconnect with leads at the right time. Use metrics within CRM to identify how and what your leads are spending on and use that information to win them back.

Are you tracking the activity of your sales teams?

No, you don’t need to micromanage, but you should have insight into the analytics of their performance, so you know how effective they are. If there’s confusion about your reps, that’s more time you’ll need to invest in steering your business back in the right direction.

Measuring lead generation and activities with contacts will save you loads of time when it comes to understanding the health of your relationships with your customers. CRM stores all of that information in one place, so you can rest assured everything is running smoothly on your sales team.

Your Boss’s Arguments Against CRM

We are doing fine without a CRM; why do we need it now?

Whether you’ve never had a CRM or tried it and had it fail, this is bound to come up. In short, you need it now because buying habits and customer expectations are always changing.

Your distribution business may have been fine doing things one way for a while, but customers are increasingly sensitive to the level of service they receive from businesses. With a high level of service, they also expect personalization. Generic anything doesn’t fly anymore.

You need to know who they are, their unique needs and wants, and every interaction you’ve had with them in the past. Anything short of that will drive your customers elsewhere.

A strong distribution CRM will bring all of that data into one place. Your entire history with your customers will be stored there, and you’ll be able to tap into all of their logged activities with your business. That means you’ll have a deeper understanding of your customers and be able to provide a tailored experience from marketing automation and campaigns to signed deals.

Spreadsheets work for us and are free; why would we waste money on CRM software?

Spreadsheets are always going to have a place in any business. But they should never carry the burden of major business processes.

Spreadsheets can quickly become overwhelming not just to look at but to update, navigate, and pull data analysis. Not to mention the opportunity to make errors at every single cell you touch. That makes spreadsheets an untrustworthy source of information, to say the least.

Worse, spreadsheets and the manual nature of keeping up with them can be a huge waste of time. Your time should be spent selling not punching numbers into spreadsheets.

Yes, spreadsheets may work for you, and they are free, but if you’re planning on growing as a business, the lack of scalability, reporting, and ease will cripple your sales pipeline and potential growth. With CRM, the work is done for you. Enter the relevant information, and the software does the rest for you. And it’s always up to date and consistent.

We don’t have time to implement customer relationship management software

It’s true that it takes time to implement a CRM successfully, but that’s a short-term disruption for long-term benefits.

Providing high-quality adoption training will lead to high-quality results. Those results will include time and resource savings!

A centralized system like CRM reduces busywork and increases confidence in your data. Less time worrying about reporting means more time selling and nurturing relationships. Key features like activity tracking and automation give you back the time you would have spent hunting down records of particular customer interactions with your business. Reliable data allows you to personalize your message to your leads.

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Your Arguments for CRM Software for Distributors

And if all of that isn’t enough, here’s a handy round-up of more benefits that you can expect from implementing a CRM solution for your distributorship.

  1. See reports of which customers are the most profitable. With powerful analytics, CRM reveals trends in your customer data. Know at once which customers deserve the most attention from you so you can nurture existing customer relationships and close more deals.
  2. Cross- and upselling. CRM shows you at a glance what your customers are most likely to buy from your catalog of products. Use that information to initiate cross- and upselling to get even more value out of each customer.
  3. Higher conversion because of personalized experience. Consult all of your customer interactions and data at any time. Tailor your approach to address your buyers’ unique needs, and customer loyalty will improve (meaning they will buy more).
  4. Track sales pipeline. Identify the performance of your sales teams. Use the data to adjust and refine your sales pipeline strategies as needed so that you can better serve your leads.
  5. Targeted email marketing. Use your CRM to take your personalized messaging even further. Send that personalized message to a segment of customers and pinpoint exactly what will resonate with them to improve customer satisfaction.
  6. Make the most of your data. With a CRM, you never need to worry about missing customer data. Transferring data or sharing information is no problem at all with key features like built-in business intelligence.

Arm Yourself with Customer Relationship Management CRM Software for Distributors

Your business is only as strong as the relationships it builds with customers. As distributors, you know that people buy from people. Relationships are paramount. Convincing your boss to invest in CRM means investing in your customer relationships.

As such, it’s important to arm your business with the right tool. White Cup CRM is purpose-built for distributors. It’s a comprehensive customer relationship management software that includes key features designed specifically for the unique challenges of distributors. With White Cup’s reliable customer support and distribution-specific CRM with BI, growing your revenue has never been easier.

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