Component Manufacturers have tried different approaches to managing reps in a more systematic way, ranging from Access and other home grown database programs to deploying different CRM systems which may have been customized to differing degrees.
These approaches do not succeed as expected for one key reason – reps are not your employees and their interests and yours diverge on what information must be shared, by whom, and how often. Most common commercial CRM systems are more of the “contact’ management variety and lack the sophistication to handle the above complexities effectively.
In addition, many reps first track and manage their own business in a system like RepCRM and then have to satisfy the different reporting requirements from all their principals. Naturally, this reduces their desire to spend a lot of time on any one particular system being used at a manufacturer. It is vital that the emphasis be on “process automation” and focusing on simply helping reps get what they faster and easier, as opposed to productivity improvement, more management and more work for the reps, but it is surprising how many manufacturers do it incorrectly.
The bottom line is that a lot of money gets spent building and customizing software solutions for what often turns out to be mediocre adoption, poor data input, and less than satisfactory business results. Fortunately, NEHANET has invested millions of dollars building NEHANET so you don’t have to do the same.