Rick is the CEO of a multinational garment manufacturer. Over the last few months, his company has been dealing with highly volatile demand for its products. This created a major problem for the manufacturer – it is unable to accurately determine the quantities of raw materials needed for production. Making things worse, frequent breakdowns in the company’s supply chains put considerable pressure on Rick.
Willy is the Chief Marketing Officer of a reputed consumer electronics company in the western United States. Recently, his company embarked on a massive expansion drive to add more than 450 dealers in six states. The expansion has resulted in a major problem -- Willy and his team are not able to communicate with the channel partners in a seamless, timely manner. This led to a 20% dip in sales through the company’s dealership network. Willy is in a fix.
Tom is the Chief Customer Relationship Manager of a world-renowned machine tools manufacturer, with operations in more than 35 countries. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in most of his company’s customers purchasing online. Tom received many complaints from the company’s customers, who were dissatisfied with the inability of the company to deliver hassle-free virtual buying experiences.
Do these stories sound familiar? How can manufacturing companies ensure smooth marketing and business operations? What does it take for these businesses to facilitate high levels of productivity? They need to use a robust CRM system. One of the most widely used CRM systems in the manufacturing world is Salesforce. Today, we will examine how Salesforce empowers manufacturers to enhance their efficiencies in a big way and meet their revenue goals.
Real-time Coordination with Channel Partners
One of the key challenges faced by most large manufacturing companies is ensuring effective channel partner management. Often, it becomes hard to communicate with dealers and distributors without delays, and this results in the inability to take the right decisions at the right time.
You can overcome this problem with a high degree of efficacy using Salesforce’s Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solution. The PRM solution enables you to:
Ensure seamless on-boarding of channel partners
Get the full picture of channel sales activities
Leverage the power of automation to reduce channel selling costs
Ensure Seamless On-Boarding of Channel Partners
Salesforce’s PRM solution helps you create a customized portal to meet the unique channel partner needs of your manufacturing business. The portal can be used by the channel partners to access relevant training materials and other information resources. The hassle-free sharing of information goes a long way in quickly onboarding new channel partners.
Get the Full Picture of Channel Sales Activities
Another key benefit of the channel partner portal is you can receive timely updates about the sales made by your dealers and distributors. The portal can be integrated with Points-of-Sale terminals, resulting in real-time access to sales data.
Harness Cutting-edge Process Automation Tools to Cut Costs
You can use Salesforce Automate, a business process automation powerhouse to fully automate your channel partner sales operations. Salesforce Automate comes with various applications that allow even non-technical users to create process flows with minimal effort.
Delivery of High-quality Field Service
Most manufacturing companies face problems in providing field service of high quality, and this results in poor customer satisfaction levels. Many a time, it becomes difficult for service managers to assign a task to the right rep with the necessary skills to resolve the customer’s problem, at the right time.
You can overcome this problem using the Salesforce application Field Service Lightning (FSL). Salesforce FSL helps your service managers:
Provide your service reps a 360° view of the customer’s problem
Assign the cases to the right rep in real-time automatically
Track customer issues dealt by service partners without hassles
Stay in touch with customers always using an intuitive app
Provide Your Service Reps a 360° View of the Customer’s Problem
Salesforce FSL enables you to empower the service technicians of your manufacturing firm by supplying the personnel with complete information about the customer’s challenge. Your service reps can access the details on any connected device, at any time. This enables them to thoroughly understand the issue faced by customers, thereby allowing them to provide the most effective solution.
Assign the Cases to the Right Rep in Real-Time Automatically
As seen earlier, many service managers of manufacturing companies find it hard to assign the case to the right rep, who has the ability to resolve it in an efficacious manner. Salesforce helps overcome this problem by enabling you to automate the assignment of tasks to the right service technician. You can specify criteria that will allow Salesforce FSL to automatically assign a customer ticket to the right rep and ensure he has access to the necessary spare parts required to fix the customer problem.
Track Customer Issues Dealt by Service Partners Without Hassles
Several manufacturing firms rely on their service partners to resolve customers’ complaints. Often, it becomes hard to monitor the progress made in the resolution of each complaint and track its quality. Manufacturers also face problems in tracking the quality of services provided to customers by their partner organizations. You can resolve these challenges using a user-friendly app developed by Salesforce for service managers. The Salesforce app allows your service managers to get the real-time status of each complaint and ensure it is fully resolved to the satisfaction of the customer.
Actionable Business Insights Backed by Data
It is well-said data is the oil that fuels the growth engine of the 21st-century business. Proper use of data can provide valuable insights that go a long way in making the right decisions. Unfortunately, most manufacturing companies (and companies in various other sectors, for that matter) have problems in using their data in an effective, timely fashion.
Salesforce can be used to help manufacturers make the best use of their data. Einstein Analytics (EA), a powerful AI-enabled business data analytics workhorse from the Salesforce stable, can be used by business managers to:
Make Accurate Predictions About Demand for Their Products
EA helps your manufacturing business make precise demand estimates – the Salesforce application empowers you to visualize vast amounts of marketing and buying data to identify the key trends that enable you to come up with accurate, timely demand projections. This allows you to plan your production, accordingly, ensuring optimal use of your resources.
Enhance Lead-scoring Efficiencies in a Big Way
Another area where Salesforce EA can be of use is lead scoring. The AI-based data analysis tool can help you leverage predictive lead scoring, the latest sales paradigm that uses marketing data to rank likely buyers. Predictive scoring of prospective customers eliminates intuition and guesswork in lead scoring, allowing you to precisely identify people who are most likely to buy.
Build Complex Data Models with Little Coding
Most data analytics tools in the market can be used to perform data analyses. But, users of these tools must be well-versed in coding to harness their full potential. Salesforce EA helps resolve this problem very effectively. You can use the application’s intuitive features to develop highly complex business and risk models, very quickly, with just a few clicks.
Excellent Customer Experiences Across All Channels
Today’s customers are highly demanding. They wish to have seamless interactions with businesses they deal with and don’t hesitate to switch companies if they are not satisfied with their experiences. Therefore, it is very important to deliver customer experiences of the highest quality.
Salesforce helps manufacturing companies deliver first-rate buying experiences to their customers by allowing the companies to:
Deliver Information Sought by Customers Seamlessly
Salesforce enables your manufacturing business to provide the information needed by customers through the channel of their choice, using any connected device. The enterprise CRM system helps you always remain connected with your customers and allows them to access all the information they need about your company and products. More about this in a moment.
Facilitate Hassle-Free Customer Self-Service of High Quality
The new-age customer prefers to find the information he needs by himself; a study by Forrester revealed over 84% of US consumers reported using automated self-service. Salesforce can be used to meet the self-service needs of your customers with a high degree of efficacy. It helps you create a portal and/or a mobile app that contains all the information required by customers and can be accessed easily.
Create Customer Communities to Facilitate Smooth Exchange of Information
Customer communities are a great way to share information and engage customers. The communities allow prospects to ask questions about your products and find answers from people who have already used them. These answers could be moderated and approved by teams assigned to manage the communities. You can use Salesforce Community Cloud to create communities to facilitate the smooth exchange of information about your products. The product also allows you to collate the content generated in them into an easily accessible knowledge base.
As you can see, Salesforce helps manufacturers address their key challenges effectively, thereby accelerate the pace of their growth. At Solunus, we help you leverage the immense potential of Salesforce and reap rich benefits. We’ve worked with various manufacturing companies and enabled them to make the best use of Salesforce products to meet their unique needs.
Hope you find this post interesting. How do you meet the needs of your manufacturing firm? We’d love to know.