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Does your Industrial CRM do this?

Every customer matters for Industrial OEMs and they need CRM workflows that help them predict their customer needs before the customer does.

Picture this – You are using a state-of-the-art, enterprise-ready, cloud-deployed CRM for your Industrial sales. You receive a call from one of your customers specifically asking about a part they need to procure from you. You try finding it in your state-of-the-art, enterprise-ready, cloud-deployed CRM but can’t seem to locate it. The data resides in another tool, maybe an FSM (Field Service Management tool) or an ERP. You eventually end up asking your customer for the part serial number they already own!!  

Now, picture this – You want to run an aftermarket campaign for your company’s customers with expiring maintenance contracts, but the data doesn’t reside in your CRM – at best, it’s outdated, never been updated since the last purchase. If you are lucky and have a team at your disposal you would pull in a team or work with your IT to get this data. Even then,it takes days for the service team to create a target customer list.

So, what is the problem here? 

Are your CRM solutions not good enough for Industrial OEMs? 

OR the OEMs in question are not using them in the right way?

OR a one size fits all approach doesn’t work with CRM solutions for industrial OEMs  

What is a CRM tool and the one challenge that faces them all

A CRM system allows businesses to learn more about their target audiences and how to best cater to their needs, thus retaining customers and driving sales growth. Aptly, most new-age CRM tools help record, maintain and analyze past, present, and prospective customer data. This includes customer details, their interactions, and purchase details at the minimum. Depending on the type of CRM strategy used by a business, a CRM system might provide sales force and marketing automation, analytics, or a single system shared by all departments needing customer insight. 

The textbook definition above borrowed generously from Wikipedia aptly highlights a major problem with CRMs. The ubiquitous CRM does nothing to solve for data-entry mistakes, gaps, and consequently data problems. The unfortunate truth is that CRMs today are nothing more than record-entry systems which only work if the data within them is good. And while so many of them claim integrations with other systems, the inherent complexity of connecting a CRM with an ERP, an FSM, and a host of other tools makes these projects unwieldy, time, and resource-consuming. So, each tool holds duplicate data, major loopholes in customer information, and barely talks to each other. So what can a CRM really do? what campaigns can it run when it can’t see the bigger picture? what visibility can it provide to you when it lacks data?

CRMs are (should be) the lifeblood for Industrial OEMs

Like any other industry, OEMs too drive sales, growth, and sustainability by being customer-focused. The difference is, here, driving revenue from Existing Customers is so much more important than most other industries. This is mainly due to the nature of the products involved and the services around them. An industrial product (read machinery) can deliver 20X revenue from aftermarket parts & services compared to its original sales.

Hence, Industrial OEMs place a tremendous amount of emphasis on the purchased equipment, part replacement, service contracts, expiring warranties, upgrades, maintenance…and more.

Welcome to the world of Installed Base!

With industrial OEMs, active customer lifetime might span decades; for customers to be able to seamlessly use the purchased equipment, regular maintenance, periodic parts replacement is a necessity. If not provided by the OEM itself, due to insufficient Installed Base Data, it might lead to losing revenue to third-party agents. Aftermarket sales and services not only help in building customer trust but provide a stable revenue stream and generate profit margins as high as 2.5 times the operating margin from new equipment sales, as per a study conducted by Delloite.

What’s more, a good installed base platform can drive new equipment sales by signaling the end of life of existing equipment, help with pricing and inventory workflows by feeding them good quality installed base data.

Map CRM to Industrial OEMs

Given the nature of products and the longer lifespan of Installed Base, customer relationship management for Industrials requires more than maintaining customer and engagement data, as is provided by standard CRM solutions. It must include management of Installed-Base-proven data models – customers, assets, hierarchies, BOMs, parts, services, warranty, sales territories. 

Opportunities can come in the form of renewal of service contract or warranty, parts maintenance, parts requiring replacement, availability of upgraded part/equipment, new sales for growing customer business, and so on. This is in addition to standard sales workflow-based opportunities predicted by general CRM solutions.

IBDP – A Comprehensive solution

An Installed Base Platform fills all the above gaps and much more.  

  • It can drive ERP, Pricing, Inventory workflows by providing good quality data. 
  • Being built to serve the manufacturing domain, an IBDP facilitates ingesting and processing unstructured data from legacy systems in a central place.
  • The platform can generate aftermarket focused analytics, AI-based opportunities for both sales of new equipment and sales pertaining to parts and services for installed equipment.

So, if you find your sales opportunities limited using the current CRM system or are in the process of evaluating the best tool for driving sales, a good Installed Base Platform is what you need! 

Click HERE to know more about Entytle’s Installed Base Platform.

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