Wholesale companies don’t rely on a lot of classic functions of customer relationship management (CRM) software.
They also face a unique set of business challenges - such as a long and complex sales cycle, as well as a diverse, and constantly changing, customer base.
However, that doesn’t mean that CRM software can’t work for your wholesale company.
Here’s everything you need to know about choosing a wholesale CRM: the most important benefits, 4 must-have features, as well as a few key factors to take into account before making a purchasing decision.
5 Benefits of CRM Software for Wholesale Companies
1. Increased productivity
Many wholesale companies still rely on manual processes when assisting their customers.
CRM software eliminates the need to consult complicated Excel spreadsheets and spend time digging through piles of paperwork.
With a CRM on your side, everything is digital - from your customer data to your product catalog, to your marketing campaigns.
This saves your company time and increases productivity.
Instead of spending time on mundane operations, your team can work on tasks that add value and increase your bottom line.
If you sell complex, configurable products which cannot be selected from a list of options, you may want to consider adopting a CRM software that comes with a built-in custom, price, quote (CPQ) software.
This will allow you to maximize productivity gains from your CRM software even further.
2. Unparalleled customer support
Wholesale companies place a large emphasis on developing and retaining their existing customer base.
In order to do so, they need to provide exceptional customer support to their existing customers.
CRM software gives you a 360-degree view of all of your customer interactions.
This allows you to anticipate the needs and wants of your existing customers - as well as have more productive sales conversations with potential customers.
For example, with a CRM, you can find out what the most popular customer support requests are and keep an eye on the customers who require the most support.
There’s usually a self-service component to CRM software as well.
Customers can track their orders, check their account balances, and contact support using a self-service portal.
3. Customer profiling
Wholesale companies sell to different types of customers - each with their own expectations and requirements.
If you want to maximize revenue, you shouldn’t treat all of your customers the same way.
CRM software gives you an accurate, holistic picture of all of your customer data, enabling you to create distinct customer profiles.
Having them in place makes it easier to accommodate different buying preferences and meet everyone’s expectations - for example, by sending out promotional emails and creating marketing campaigns tailored to each customer profile.
4. Customer satisfaction
In order to retain their customers, wholesale companies need to keep them happy by satisfying orders, adhering to agreements, and providing exceptional customer support when necessary.
The bigger your company gets, the harder it is to keep the customer satisfaction high because of internal communication problems.
As a result, messages may get lost or misinterpreted, and your sales reps may end up on an awkward call with a customer who shouldn’t have been contacted for another month.
CRM helps eliminate communication problems by displaying each interaction with a customer, what stage of the sales process they are engaged in, and what actions might need to be taken.
Plus, the self-service aspect of CRM software’s customer support boosts customer satisfaction as well.
5. Mobile integration
CRM software can help you serve your customers anytime, anywhere - on smartphones, tablets, and other internet-enabled devices.
Mobile integrations allow your sales team to check on orders, provide each other with updates, and perform other business operations on the go.
4 Must-Have Features of a Wholesale CRM
1. Order history
When a sales rep can quickly access the customer’s order history, they can use this information to identify the best products to emphasize during sales conversations.
If you don’t have a CPQ or other software that offers built-in guided selling, this CRM feature can significantly increase your upselling and cross-selling capabilities.
Your CRM should allow your sales reps to record and share information collected during sales calls and meetings.
You can use this information to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the sales process and suggest an improvement, as well as get a new team member up to speed quickly.
3. Sales reporting
Robust sales reporting features allow wholesale companies to identify volume gaps and seasonality issues.
They also reveal which prospects and calls should be prioritized to maximize profit.
It’s important that your CRM can scale with the demands of your company.
It needs to be able to accommodate the rising resource demands gracefully, without a noticeable loss in quality of service.
4 Key Factors to Consider When Deciding on a Wholesale CRM
The price of a wholesale CRM solution will depend on the number of features it offers, type of deployment, and the number of end users who need to access the software.
In general, the more specialized the software, the more affordable it will be.
However, it may not be the most flexible and scalable solution for your company’s needs.
All CRM software needs an operating system to function on.
Some solutions offer limited system compatibilities while others are built to function on every ecosystem currently available.
The best software will work with Windows, Linux, and OS X, whether by offering distinct versions that can be installed on your company’s premises or having a cloud-based deployment system.
The rise of cloud computing has enabled cloud-based CRM solutions that can be deployed and accessed almost anywhere.
Locally installed software has the advantage of being available even if network access is eliminated.
However, cloud-powered CRM software is much more scalable, flexible, and convenient.
In addition, many cloud-based solutions offer a subscription model, reducing the upfront costs of acquiring CRM software.
For bigger businesses or those that plan on growing and scaling quickly, scalability and flexibility of your CRM might be the most important factor to consider.
A scalable CRM will enable you to support hundreds (or even thousands) of end-users, track distribution across multiple channels, and run both national and international deployment.
If scalability is important to you, a cloud-based solution is definitely the way to go.
Why Choose Verenia CPQ for NetSuite
If your business deals with complex, configurable products, a good configure, price, quote (CPQ) solution is a must.
CPQ software can help you streamline your quoting process and speed up your sales cycle while reducing quoting errors and employee training costs.
The result? A much higher profit margin - and much happier customers.
Verenia CPQ is the #1 rated CPQ on the market - and for good reason.
Our dynamic, visual product configurator and top-of-the-line guided selling features have helped our clients speed up their sales cycles by 27% while increasing the average deal size by 105%.
Plus, Verenia CPQ is 100% NetSuite-native.
All of your data is safely stored inside NetSuite - and you never have to worry about an incompatible NetSuite update crushing your whole system.
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