Manufacturing workforce is ageing, making it imperative for the traditional global Supply Chain (SC) to evolve. Investing in Digital transformation is a top priority to transform it into a responsive-global Supply Chain. Still, most companies are too disconnected to keep up and give customers what they demand.
Why the need to adapt?
Now more than ever, manufacturers demand technology answers to generate added value with their customers and to escalate their business to turn it competitive on the global arena, to both differentiate from others, and to create a stronger-collaborative relationship with customers. Operative insights and connected data are essential for successful business decision-making.
When adopting Customer Relationship Management (CRM), the objectives are: to automate sales processes, avoid inefficient selling activities, create a single source of customer data, push employee toward adoption of the CRM, and make it accessible to the company’ employees, no matter its number.
Which are the common challenges holding back a company’s growth?
• Lack of skilled talent: attracting and retaining a quality workforce is at the top of business challenges. The cause is the ageing workforce, and for millennials, SC has not been a top choice. There’re approx. over 500,000 vacant manufacturing jobs in the U.S. alone.
• Profit margins for both large and small manufacturers continue to be at a low level.
• Customer information is often silo due to a spreadsheet, legacy systems, unlike tools, and little or none in-house sharing of info, so sellers cannot handle orders correctly.
• Inaccurate sales demand to forecast, causing stress when managing orders, or not adding customers’ requirements in the planning processes in advance.
• Limited channel visibility into the best network routes to distributors, making it difficult to recognise the full potential of channel partners.
Accessing customer information from spreadsheets is a bottleneck for Sales teams. As a result, to give an estimate took hours, a salesperson’s week-work is mainly spent carrying out office tasks; processes are in silos, so making cross-work is either non-existent or very restricted.
Just a few benefits, from the significant amount Digital transformation drives:
• Direct cooperation with channel partners to campaign sales opportunities.
• Account info is up-dated, smoothly traced from desktops, laptops, or mobile devices.
• Access to the most accurate data for salespeople to link with existing customers about new opportunities, new needs, improve relationships through a deep understanding.
• Accurate demand forecasting ensures the correct supply is in place and meet any additional demand, from both existing and new customers.
• Collaborative tools allow each member to access the same customer information, improving channel visibility in connected systems, maximising revenue.
• A CLOUD/CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution allows Sales reps to craft more meaningful relationships with each customer.
• Real-time information and interactions carefully tracked so that you can make quick decisions.
• Reps can land new business, and sell additional opportunities to current customers.
• Deploying Cloud technology drives great support for sales teams across their organisations.
• Adoption of innovative solutions to replace Legacy systems and better equip Sales teams.
• Integration through an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to store, manage and interpret data, to operate complex distribution, supply chains, and meet product demand while building a rich customer profile.
• Analytics makes customer data accurate, easy to interpret it, to make better decisions, to assist reps in discovering new opportunities to sell to customers cleverly.
• Mobile devices count on last data directly from a smartphone or tablet, and access to in-house connectivity to sell better from anywhere, and you will have a view of the latest customer account, product catalogues, inventory, delivery schedules, and more.
• Artificial Intelligence (AI) recommend specific actions to take, such as opportunities to follow up, deals most likely to close, or even which customer might have service issues.
• Reps effectively take advantage of their time and enhance efforts.
• Employee blocked from working in complex systems is minimised, retain personnel longer at this time when talent is more than ever needed.
• The Cloud connects all your systems and devices. The data generated can be analysed, and reseller revenue and collaboration can be maximised.
• Independent third-party improves, gains in forecast accuracy, boost sales productivity.
Sales Manufacturers can be split into categories:
a) DIRECT SALES team - sell to a limited number of customers;
b) MANUFACTURER’S REP - he/she might represent one manufacturer or different companies; outsourcing would be the most cost-convenient Sale team decision.
c) DISTRIBUTOR: offers nearer customer’s support, serve as a buyer/reseller of products, works in partnership with the manufacturer on product stock, in addition to pricing.
d) THE RETAILER is operating as the main channel to link manufacturer and the customer. They must share data about customers, products, and services to sell, to better supply the end customers.
CONCLUSIONS: Companies that adopt a Digital transformation technology to coordinate and collaborate with their Sales teams, and across their organisations, count on successful salespeople.
They've now full-check over of previous customer interactions, or order information, vital to carry out this; now they are abler to review cross-selling accounts within divisions, successfully equip their Sales teams to serve customer needs better and can compete effectively in the current Supply Chain environment. Do not miss the opportunity!
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