Manufacturing CRM: Capabilities and Top Software to Consider
ScienceSoft provides CRM consulting services since 2008.
Manufacturing CRM: Summary
Manufacturing CRM helps unlock more sales opportunities via lead and customer analytics, maintain long-term business relationships with customers, distributors and dealers, and plan production more accurately thanks to customer demand forecasting.
ScienceSoft describes a typical functional portfolio of a CRM system implemented for a manufacturing company.
360-degree customer view
- Customer profile data storage (e.g., company name, industry, location, hierarchy of contacts, etc.).
- Customer interaction history (e.g., emails, phone call records, website visits, etc.).
- Customer order history.
- Multi-channel lead capture via online channels (website, email) and offline channels (trade shows, conferences).
- Lead qualification (based on criteria pre-defined by the sales manager, e.g., leads’ needs and interest in your product).
- Lead distribution (based on predefined rules, such as leads’ geographic location and their industry, to assign them to the right sales rep).
- AI-driven recommendations on engagements with leads (on upselling and cross-selling opportunities, e.g., offering add-on services such as product installation).
- Opportunity prioritization (to help sales reps focus on the most promising opportunities first, based on the customer’s company size, order volume, etc.).
- Sales pipeline visibility (to track progress on each sales opportunity).
- Automated quote generation (based on the customer request for the product, quantity, availability, product configuration rules, packaging requirements, etc.).
- Collaboration of several departments (sales, engineering, production, procurement) on opportunities to prepare the best proposal.
- Quote status tracking (approved/pending, accepted/rejected, etc.).
- Creation and management of sales agreements (e.g., shipping/warranty/merchandising agreements).
- Creation and status tracking of sales orders.
- Automated email distribution (e.g., warranty expiration reminder, post-warranty service offering, equipment installation and usage guides, promotion announcements).
- Multichannel communication tools (covering phone calls, emails, chats, etc.).
- Customer portal.
- Discount management (based on duration of cooperation, order volume, season, geographical position, etc.).
- Customer segmentation (based on geographic location, industry, sales volume, etc.) to offer more targeted communication to the customers.
Sales workflow automation
- Configurable customer email templates (e.g., quotation, notification on delivery term change, product demo invitation).
- Creation, assignment, and tracking of tasks for sales reps (e.g., to prepare a sales agreement, to submit orders for processing, to attend trade shows and conferences).
- Automated reminders for sales reps (on upcoming deadlines, meetings, calls, etc.).
Customer service management
- Knowledge base for customers (e.g., product instructions).
- Automated customer surveys about product quality.
- Multichannel case creation (via phone, email, self-service portal, etc.).
- Customer case management (assignment to the right agent, prioritization, escalation, etc.).
- Remote equipment diagnosis and recommendations on fixing for the customers (via IoT connectivity).
- Analysis of customers’ complaints, returns, warranty requests (e.g., related to equipment installation, repairs or replacements, delivery delays).
- AI-driven suggestions on case resolution for agents.
Distributor and dealer relation management
- Partner levels and statuses.
- Support of complex pricing models.
- Authorization for specific markets and customers.
- Collaboration with dealers and distributors on opportunities.
- Partner portal.
Analytics and reporting
- Sales goals setup and monitoring (on general revenue targets, revenue targets for particular products, etc.).
- Customer demand forecasting (for more accurate production planning).
- Sales forecasting (e.g., to predict sales volume of a specific product).
- Performance analytics for sales, customer service and marketing teams.
- Customizable dashboards and reports (e.g., sales by customer segments, sales to new customers, customer churn, sales dynamics by product categories).
As CRM is involved in a number of manufacturing processes, ScienceSoft finds it important to set up the following integrations for automated data exchange.
- Manufacturing CRM + ERP: to transfer customer order data (product type, quantity, etc.) from CRM to ERP, giving the production department an accurate view of customer order details; to transfer product price and delivery terms for quote preparation, order status to communicate to a customer via sales reps or a portal from ERP to CRM.
- Manufacturing CRM + PLM (Product Lifecycle Management): to transfer product data (e.g., product catalog) from PLM to CRM for sales reps to use it in communication with customers; to auto-fill quotes in CRM with product information from PLM.
- Manufacturing CRM + accounting software: to transfer sales order details from CRM to accounting software for accurate financial reporting; to transfer invoice status (paid/due/overdue) from accounting software to CRM.
- Manufacturing CRM + inventory management software: to provide real-time information on stock availability from inventory management software to sales reps using CRM; for automated inventory reservation based on customer order data (type of product, quantity, etc.) from CRM.
- Manufacturing CRM + field service management software: to transfer customer case information from CRM to field service management software for a streamlined field service provision (e.g., product installation, repairing, etc.); to transfer work order status from field service management software to CRM to update case status.
High level of automation
of sales team’s tasks (e.g., automated lead distribution and prioritization, automated quote generation) for increased sales productivity.
with other business software (e.g., ERP, PLM, accounting software, inventory management software) to have the sales process running without errors and delays (incorrect customer data input, missed delivery dates, etc.).
Advanced analytics capabilities
such as customer demand forecasting to improve production planning.
Comprehensive security features
(e.g., role-based access control) to prevent data leaks and protect a company’s know-how, customers’ confidentiality, etc.
Manufacturing CRM Systems Implemented by ScienceSoft
CRM for an Electronics Manufacturer
ScienceSoft set up a custom sales process in Microsoft Dynamics 365 to unify and automate activities of the sales team. We also integrated the CRM with an enterprise accounting system to facilitate performance analysis and monthly planning.
CRM for a Manufacturer of Flooring Installation Products
ScienceSoft implemented cloud-based CRM to automate sales processes and integrated the system with ERP to facilitate order management.
CRM for a Welding Equipment Provider
ScienceSoft complemented the Customer's CRM with custom capabilities to make it perfectly aligned with the specificity of sales processes.
ScienceSoft gives our top three platforms for building manufacturing-specific CRM solutions.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Best for: large manufacturing enterprises
Leader in 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center.
- Product and price list management (e.g., creating manufacturing product bundles).
- Sales assistant to remind sales reps about upcoming activities and required actions to make (e.g., defining which emails are pending replies).
- Sales analytics and forecasting to increase cross-sell and upsell revenue and view deal flows and trends (e.g., which manufacturing products are more/less popular among the customers).
- Connected Customer Service with IoT to identify and fix customers’ issues remotely (e.g., equipment fixing).
Free 30-day trial.
Pricing depends on chosen modules and license:
- Marketing: from $750 to $1,500 / tenant / month
- Sales: from $65 to $95 / user / month
- Customer Service: from $50 to $95 / user / month
Best for: midsized and upper-midsized manufacturing companies
Leader in Gartner CRM Customer Engagement Center Magic Quadrant for 12 consecutive years.
- 360-degree view of dealers’, distributors’, end customers’ data.
- Cross-channel communication with the customers (phone calls, email).
- Documents lifecycle management (sharing, approving, updating details of shipping, warranty, and other agreements).
- Einstein AI for sales forecasting and recommendations for sales reps (e.g., insights into sales agreement compliance, account health, pricing, product performance).
Free 30-day trial.
Pricing depends on chosen modules and license:
- Marketing cloud: from $400 to $3,750 / organization / month
- Sales cloud: from $75 to $300 / user / month
- Service cloud: from $75 to $300 / user / month
- Manufacturing cloud: from $250 to $400 / user / month
Best for: small manufacturing companies
Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management in 2020.
- Contact management to capture, record, and classify data related to customers (e.g., emails, website visits, social interaction, etc.).
- Dealers’, distributors’, end customers’ order history.
- Product management (catalogs with manufacturing product details, information on availability in stock, etc.).
- Document management (sharing and approving contracts, invoices, etc.).
- Quote management (e.g., price calculation, converting quotes to invoices, managing history of quotes, etc.).
Free 14-day trial.
Pricing depends on chosen modules, cloud or on-site subscription and license:
- Marketing: prices are available upon request to a vendor
- Sales: from $25 to $60 / user / month
- Service: from $35 to $60 / user / month
When Custom Manufacturing CRM Software Is the Best Choice
We recommend that you choose custom CRM development in the following cases:
You need a high level of automation and cover business processes beyond marketing, sales and customer service.
You have specific business needs which require tailored functionality (e.g., AI-driven analytics of customer demand on your products).
You have a large number of users in your manufacturing company, which increases the license cost of a platform-based solution.
You have high industry-specific compliance and security requirements that allow only on-premises deployment (e.g., in the defense manufacturing).
Manufacturing CRM consulting
- Defining an optimal manufacturing CRM feature set based on your business needs.
- Developing a business case (development cost, ROI or NPV).
- Designing a CRM architecture (for custom solutions).
- Selecting a manufacturing CRM platform (if not selected yet).
- Preparing customization roadmap.
- Preparing integration roadmap.
- Delivering UX and UI mock-ups (for custom solutions).
- Providing timing estimates for the implementation project.
Manufacturing CRM implementation
- Manufacturing CRM project planning.
- Custom CRM development or configuring and customizing platform-based CRM software.
- Quality assurance of manufacturing CRM.
- Integration with ERP, PLM, accounting software, etc.
- Data migration from legacy software.
- Conducting user training.
- Providing after-launch manufacturing CRM support.
- Continuous maintenance and evolution for manufacturing CRM.
ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. With 33-year experience in software development, ScienceSoft offers implementation of custom and platform-based CRM solutions for manufacturers to help them maintain long-term relationships with their customers and attract new high-value ones.