SMP set out from day one to provide the best sales and marketing management solutions to distributors. That focus--plus ten years of proven success--has resulted in what we think is a unique point of view in the wholesale durable goods market. Our new website reflects the growth of that vision. We wanted to provide one place where distributors could learn best practices in CRM, sales management, marketing programs and more. We want to continue to foster a personal relationship between your team and ours, and we need your participation. That's why we're including this blog, video resources, best practice reports, case studies and more for you to read, watch and most importantly, comment.
What is a 360 Customer View?
Sales and marketing literature often highlights the importance of a 360 view of your customers. But what is a 360 customer view and how does that help your sales efforts?
What most marketing experts agree is a 360 degree customer view is one that integrates your various customer across your entire enterprise to bring a full picture of your customer behavior to light.
Distribution sales is unique because of the interaction of customers, products and services in order to win sales. This makes a real 360 view of your customer unattainable for distributors with most CRM systems. Fortunately, SMP includes the three most important elements for a 360 customer view in a distribution company:
- Integration to ERP data
- Simple activity creation, management and tracking
- Easy data visualizations for better insight
Integration to ERP data
Distribution sales reps need to understand their best customers, quotes and opportunities. Without a tight integration to your ERP system it is difficult to understand a full view of your customer behavior. You might track calls and activities inside of a simple CRM system, but if you don’t include your ERP data you’re missing some of the most important aspects of your customer relationship.
For example, by combining information from customer conversations, sales histories and product information, you can identify new ways to gain share of wallet when you talk to customers. Or sales reps can immediately understand finance and credit issues before trying to sell a new product to a customer with payment issues.
A lot of your most important data actually lives inside of your ERP system. According to Nick Castellina’s report for the Aberdeen Group, “Create a Foundation for Competitiveness with ERP and CRM,” companies who have integrated ERP and CRM systems are 75% more likely to have a real 360 view of their customer.
Data-driven activity creation, management and tracking
Obviously, you cannot have a 360 view of your customer if your reps fail to record their activities, meetings, calls and tasks inside of their CRM system. Unfortunately, most CRM systems require time-consuming manual processes to create activities and manage information, so reps avoid using the full power of customer data.
In a typical CRM system, you might hand your reps a list of accounts to call and they would have to work the list one at a time. Maybe they would take the time to record each call as an activity in your CRM system, but most likely they would push that manual work off or never do it at all. SMP has greatly simplified activity creation, management and tracking based on data-driven processes. Instead of handing your reps a list to call, you can create activities for your reps inside of SMP directly from your data visualizations. The reps learn to work directly inside of SMP and record their information. It makes it easier to manage their work and better data means a better view of your customers.
Easy data visualizations for better insight
Finally, even if you are collecting and integrating to the right data, long reports and lists don’t provide your teams any insight on their own. SMP’s data visualization provide the “view,” of your 360 information. SMP combines CRM and ERP data, analytics, data visualization and dashboards all in a single platform that gives you a powerful competitive advantage. Anyone can analyze their customer data and drill into multiple dimensions interactively to generate new ideas for sales.