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Tech Insights 5 min read

Tips for selecting the best CRM for your manufacturing business

A CRM is an important investment for any business, so it’s worth informing yourself about this software tool before purchasing one. Just as there are many different aspects of running a successful business, there are numerous factors to consider when evaluating CRM software. To select the one that’s most suited to your needs, you’ll need to understand all the features of manufacturing CRM software. This article will give you some tips for selecting the best CRM for a manufacturing business.

So, what should you be looking for when selecting the best CRM for your manufacturing business?

User-friendly and practical…above all!

Given the integral role that CRM software plays within a business, it’s important to choose one with a user-friendly interface. No matter how many fancy features it comes with, if the software is difficult to use, you’ll likely face challenges with employee adoption of the software, and ultimately, decreased productivity. Likewise, look for a manufacturing CRM software that can be quickly implemented and easily maintained.

To get the best CRM software for your manufacturing business, look for one that’s compatible with your other business software. Remember, investing in manufacturing CRM software is all about upping your efficiency game. This will be impossible if you cannot integrate your CRM with your other software tools. For instance, you’ll want to connect your CRM with your ERP software. This integration will ensure a smooth connection between front-end customer interactions and back-end business processes, which are managed by your CRM and ERP, respectively.

Know what you’re paying for

CRM prices vary widely, depending on the specific features you’re looking for. Be prepared to invest anywhere from $25-$250 per user, per month on this software tool. That said, some products are offered at a considerably higher price point (in the $1,000-$2,000 range). Because this amount only covers the cost for a single user, don’t forget to multiply it by the number of employees that will be using the software. Additional costs may include training, integration and customization.

Since CRM software represents a sizeable investment, consider which features would be essential for your business, versus those that would be nice to have. Keep in mind how easy (or not!) it would be—and the cost—to acquire additional features in the future that you might not want to invest in right from the start. Similarly, CRM software packages will differ in their limits on data usage, maximum number of users and the extent of technical support offered throughout the lifetime of your software.

Secure access from anywhere

With CRM systems, you can have the option of either on-premises or cloud-based. With the former, the CRM software is deployed on your own servers, which is also where your data is stored. This means that your business is in charge of administering and maintaining the software and ensuring its security. Though this may be preferable for businesses with more complicated CRM requirements, cloud-based CRM offers a quicker solution at an overall lower price. With this option, your data resides on a secure external network that’s accessible from any location with an Internet connection. Sometimes a third-party provider will provide installation and maintenance services. A cloud-based CRM is a great choice for businesses with limited technological expertise or less resources.

CRM platforms also offer mobile formats—an increasingly popular interface. These allow members of your marketing and sales teams to have all the tools of a CRM at their fingertips while in the field. Having real-time access to customer data via a smartphone or tablet allows your representatives to get the most out of every interaction with leads and customers.

Leverage the power of your data

The best CRM for your manufacturing business will bring your data analytics to new heights. Investing in a manufacturing CRM software will allow you to reap the benefits of AI (artificial intelligence) and integration with Power BI. With a CRM, you can put your data to work to produce invaluable insights. For example, demand forecasting allows you to pivot much more quickly to respond to customer demand, reducing the time it takes to launch your product on the market. Predicting your customers’ needs through the power of CRM software means that you can adapt your business strategies to maximize customer retention.

Make customer data accessible across your marketing, sales and customer service departments to ensure that everyone’s on the same page, while simultaneously safeguarding data transparency. Strengthening communication between these teams will allow you to maximize your ROI (return on investment). A CRM will provide you with the tools required to fast-track your manufacturing process through automation, analyses and reports, leaving your competitors in the dust as you accelerate your product development process and expand your competitive edge.

Keep reaching higher with a CRM

CRM software doesn’t simply “leave room for improvement” – it encourages continuous improvement and evolution across various areas of your business, from product quality to operations management and customer support. Think of a CRM as the oil that keeps the gears of your business turning smoothly. Consistency and efficiency are essential qualities to keep your customers coming back.

Protect your brand image by collecting and analysing data through your manufacturing CRM software to solve process mishaps as they occur. In turn, you’ll minimize product defects and ensure customer satisfaction. On the operations front, streamlining orders and managing inventory and distribution will become so much simpler with a CRM. You’ll also benefit from a reduction in clarification calls, change orders and expedited ordering.

You can’t go wrong with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics is your one-stop shop for everything CRM. With this comprehensive CRM package, you’re putting your best foot forward to grow your business. Microsoft Dynamics offers an entire ecosystem of CRM applications, including marketing, sales, operations, service and commerce. Each of these applications comes with various modules, offering users a fully customizable experience.

Take customer service for instance: are you worried about negative customer service experiences affecting your brand image? Microsoft Dynamics’ Field Service application allows your service techs to anticipate, identify and sort out any issues—all before your customers can even detect the problem! Furthermore, it provides your service techs with the information and resources they need to perform service calls effectively. Resolving customers’ issues with a single service call means less wasted time for your business and, most importantly, greater customer satisfaction.

Microsoft Dynamics: the CRM that grows with you

What’s more, Microsoft Dynamics is fully scalable; it will have your back every step of the way as you scale up your manufacturing business and reach for new goals. Choosing Microsoft Dynamics eliminates the need to repeatedly overhaul your CRM system as you expand operations. Rather, you can choose individual applications offered within this suite of software products based on the actual needs of your business. No more wasting money on unnecessary CRM applications when you choose Microsoft Dynamics as your manufacturing CRM software solution!

The best CRM for your manufacturing business is one that’s fully extensible with all the essential applications you already use to run your business. Microsoft Dynamics handily fulfills this requirement, featuring integration with popular software such as Outlook, Teams and SharePoint. Flesh out your Microsoft Dynamics package with applications such as Business Central, an ERP software that enables you to streamline your processes.

Lastly, Microsoft Dynamics offers impressive levels of security and confidentiality. Thanks to Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection, you can block fraudulent activities, quickly pinpoint possible sources of fraud, protect customer accounts and more! Rest assured that your data is safe and sound when you choose Microsoft Dynamics as your manufacturing CRM software solution.

If you want to learn more about everything Microsoft Dynamics can do for your business, contact us today! It will be our pleasure to work with you to build the best manufacturing CRM software package to meet your specific needs.

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September 04, 2020 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization