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3 Things I’ve Learned About CRM by Listening to Distributors

Listening to Distributors

3 Things I’ve Learned About CRM by Listening to Distributors

Brian Gardner No Comment

As a sales manager for a major industrial distribution company for 15 years before founding SalesProcess360, I gained firsthand experience in establishing successful sales processes driven by customer relationship management. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to expand that knowledge as a CRM consultant and speaker for distribution companies.

I’ve learned a lot from the successes and failures of distributors, large and small, just by asking questions and listening to what they have to say. One of the most profound things I’ve learned is that only about 1 in 10 distributors that use CRM feel they are getting ROI. I developed a book – ROI from CRM – and have devoted my consulting practice to helping distributors solve this problem. To do that well, I’ve learned more about what prevents distributors from getting ROI from CRM from the distributors themselves.

Here are three of the most vital things I’ve learned by listening to my peers and clients over the past 10 years:

  1. Distributors tend to focus too much on quote generation. Company leaders I’ve spoken with often consider themselves “quoting machines,” but there are several reasons this is problematic.
  2. What many distributors think is their competitive edge, isn’t. When I ask distributors about their competitive edge, I usually hear the same answers: inventory, experience, people, technical capabilities, etc. But if everyone has the same edge, how can it be a differentiator? Learn how a gap-free sales process can serve as a competitive edge.
  3. Distributors underestimate the investment required to see a return from CRM. To maximize ROI from CRM, distributors must fully understand the time it takes to refine the sales processes upon which a new CRM system will be based. They must also fully understand the cost to implement a CRM correctly and the time required to keep their data clean to realize a return.

I’ve gleaned these insights and others not just by consulting with clients but by engaging with audiences during speaking events. See my speaker profile here.

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SalesProcess360 Founder Brian Gardner taps his decades of industrial sales experience to provide simple yet effective strategies to get the most from CRM. Order now.

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