There are a thousand things that you have to do to successfully drive sales programs with Distributors and Reps. Many of them revolve around doing the things they need to avoid getting into problems with delivery, quality, or technology. All of these get handled with good customer service people and good data about the state of the ongoing business. When you have an integrated CRM solution that is synchronized with your ERP system you can use it to get the answers you need to keep the business side of the customer relationship responsive and doing what is needed to support their customer’s needs. But there are also a lot of things you need to be able to do that do not come from your ERP system.
Here are a few examples and some suggestions about how an advanced CRM system can provide solutions to support them:
Technical Answers – A good activity/task tracking system can define what is needed, notify the people who can get the answers, and track the answers back to the customer.
New Business Tracking – Tracking opportunities in a CRM system and capturing all the latest information that sales, FAEs, managers, etc find out along the way in a comprehensive record will keep management informed without the burden of lots of calls, reviews, and interrogations that are unfortunately a part of a lot of companies culture.
Issue Resolution – Issue Escalation tracking allow you to create a ticketing system to identify critical issues that customers and salespeople identify and escalate them to management for resolution in a time-critical process.
Samples – Capturing customer sample requests, and making sure they are approved, entered in the system, and delivered quickly is an essential part of customer support and ensuring you have the best possible chance of winning new customer opportunities.
RMAs – When there is a quality problem nothing causes more customer dissatisfaction than slow, unresponsive return authorization systems. NEHANET has a comprehensive RMA management solution that will keep you ahead of the game and keep your customers and channel partners informed and able to effectively communicate with their customers.
Training – Making sure your channel partners and reps are properly trained on your business processes, products, technologies, and competitive positioning is essential if you expect them to aggressively represent you to customers. NEHANET has a comprehensive training module to help you organize your training material, drive training programs, do certifications if necessary, and get everyone up to speed as quickly as possible.
Marketing Collateral – Documents and Marketing collateral can be stored in the NEHANET system and rated, organized, and tagged so you can get the best marketing info to your customers quickly and know that it is the latest and greatest information with confidence.
Commissions – Reps like to get paid and that requires a good commission system that captures all the sales they deserve to be paid on no matter whether it is directly to their customers or to third-party contract manufacturers in Asia who got supplied by a distributor. The NEHANET system captures all the sales that can be allocated to specific opportunities and properly allocates them to the reps involved so the Commissions module can calculate the commissions they are due quickly and accurately.
Bonus programs – Product lines like to offer incentives for reps and distributors to pay special attention to new products, lines that need help or just to build awareness. The NEHANET system lets you set up bonus programs in the opportunity system and track progress toward achieving the results.
Call Reports – Everyone who needs to know what happens in customer discussions and meetings, but depending on email chains to get the workout or making random calls to inform people is prone to error and very inefficient. The NEHANET call report system lets you capture all the info in one place, distribute it to all the parties, and relate it to new business opportunities or accounts so it is easily accessible in the future.
At the end of the day, it is all about making it easier to build organizational knowledge about an account, a new business opportunity, or a customer issue and being able to take action quickly to make the situation better for your customers and therefore your channel partners. When this is done in a structured way the overall burden of communicating and building a plan to drive customer success is easier and can be executed much more effectively than if you just rely on emails, QBRs, and listening to who is yelling the loudest last.
Take action today to build a data-driven business process that will help your bottom line and help build confidence in your channel partners to drive your success in their customers.