Key Features to Consider When Choosing a CRM for Your Supplier and Distributor Business

Key Features to Consider When Choosing a CRM for Your Supplier and Distributor Business

August 9, 2023

Effective customer relationship management is essential, but there are a multitude of CRM solutions to choose from in the complex chemical industry. Agilis has compiled this comprehensive list of top features you should prioritize when selecting a CRM solution for your chemical business.

Derek Morgen

Digital Marketing Expert

Know the importance of choosing the right CRM

It’s important to understand why selecting the best CRM solution for your business is so crucial.

A CRM platform helps you manage customer relationships more effectively by providing an integrated view of all interactions and touchpoints with customers. It can help you better understand your current clients and develop deeper relationships with them while also helping you identify new leads that match your target customer profile.

In the chemical industry, in particular, a good CRM can be an essential asset to you and your team. With regulatory requirements, complex supply chains, and multiple stakeholders involved in the process, it’s important to have visibility into all customer activities. A powerful CRM can help you organize data about your customers so that you can make better decisions and increase revenue while staying compliant with regulations.

Choosing the right CRM Infographic

Feature #1: It can be customized and scale with your business.

One of the essential features to consider when choosing a CRM for your chemical business is customization. The chemical industry has unique needs that require tailored solutions, and a CRM should be able to accommodate them. Look for a platform that offers customization options so you can tailor the solution to fit your business’s needs.

Scalability is another critical factor to consider. As your business expands, your CRM should be able to accommodate increased data volume and user growth. Ensure that the CRM you choose can handle your future needs without sacrificing performance or data integrity. A scalable CRM will grow alongside your business, providing a seamless experience as you continue to expand your operations.

Feature #2: It can integrate with your existing systems.

Integration capabilities are vital when selecting a CRM for your chemical business. Most businesses have existing systems in place, such as accounting software, email marketing tools, digital customer portals, or inventory management systems.

A CRM that integrates with these systems will enable you to centralize your data, eliminate data silos, and improve overall visibility into your operations.

Look for a CRM that offers pre-built integrations with popular software solutions or provides an API for custom integrations. Seamless integration will allow you to streamline processes, reduce duplication of efforts, and ensure data consistency across systems. By connecting your CRM with other critical systems, you can create a unified platform that empowers your team to work more efficiently and make data-driven decisions.

Feature #3: It has in-depth data security and privacy measures.

Data security and privacy are paramount in the chemical industry. A data breach or unauthorized access to sensitive customer information can have severe consequences, including legal and financial repercussions. When selecting a CRM, prioritize data security features such as encryption, user access controls, and regular data backups.

To ensure compliance with privacy regulations, look for a CRM that offers features like data anonymization, data retention policies, and audit logs. These features will help you demonstrate compliance with regulations such as GDPR or CCPA and maintain the trust of your customers. Additionally, consider where your data will be stored - a reputable CRM provider should have robust data centers with high levels of security and redundancy.

Feature #4: It can automate workflows and processes. 

Efficient workflow automation and process management are crucial for maximizing productivity and reducing manual tasks in your chemical business. Look for a CRM that offers workflow automation features such as task automation, email templates, and approval processes. These features can help streamline your sales, marketing, and customer service processes, ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently and consistently.

Process management capabilities are equally important. A CRM that allows you to define and optimize your processes will enable you to standardize your operations, improve collaboration, and ensure consistent service delivery. Look for features like customizable pipelines, stage tracking, and process visualization tools to gain better control over your business processes.

Feature #5: It has reporting and analytics capabilities.

Data-driven decision-making is essential for staying ahead in the competitive chemical industry. A CRM with robust reporting and analytics capabilities can provide valuable insights into your customer behavior, sales performance, and marketing effectiveness. Look for a CRM with customizable reports, dashboards, and visualizations to help you analyze and interpret your data effectively.

Advanced analytics features such as predictive analytics or machine learning can take your CRM capabilities to the next level. These features can help you identify trends, forecast sales, and accurately predict customer behavior. By leveraging data-driven insights, you can optimize your marketing campaigns, identify cross-selling or upselling opportunities, and improve overall customer satisfaction.

Feature #6: It is mobile accessible and has remote work capabilities.

In today's digital age, having mobile accessibility and remote work capabilities is essential for businesses in any industry, including the chemical sector. Look for a CRM that offers a mobile app or a responsive web interface that allows your team to access critical customer information, update records, and communicate on the go.

Remote work capabilities have become increasingly important in recent times, and a CRM that supports remote collaboration and communication can greatly enhance your team's productivity. Look for features such as shared calendars, task assignments, and real-time collaboration tools to ensure seamless teamwork regardless of location.

Feature #7: It has a user-friendly interface and is easy to use. 

A user-friendly interface and ease of use are essential when selecting a CRM. Your team will be using the CRM daily, so it's crucial to choose an intuitive and easy-to-navigate system. Look for a CRM that offers a clean, organized interface, logical workflow, and intuitive design.

Consider the learning curve associated with the CRM you are considering. Will it require extensive training and onboarding for your team, or can they quickly adapt to the system? A CRM with a user-friendly interface and comprehensive training materials can significantly reduce the time and effort required to get your team up to speed.

Feature #8: It offers customer support and training.

Consider the vendor's level of customer support and training options. A reliable CRM provider should offer comprehensive support, including documentation, tutorials, and a responsive help desk. Look for a vendor that provides ongoing training and resources to ensure that you can maximize the benefits of your CRM system.

Additionally, consider the availability of user communities or forums to connect with other CRM users. Peer support can be invaluable when troubleshooting issues or sharing best practices. A CRM vendor that fosters a strong user community demonstrates their commitment to customer success.

Feature #9: It fits your budget.

Pricing and affordability are important factors when selecting a CRM for your chemical business. Evaluate your budget and determine how much you are willing to invest in a CRM system. Keep in mind that the cost of a CRM goes beyond the initial subscription fees - consider any additional costs for implementation, customization, training, and ongoing support.

Compare pricing plans from different CRM vendors, ensuring that you understand the features and limitations of each plan. Look for a CRM that offers a flexible pricing structure, allowing you to scale up or down as your business needs change. Consider the return on investment (ROI) a CRM can provide - the right CRM system can generate significant cost savings and drive revenue growth in the long run.

Feature #10: It has case studies and success stories to back up its claims.

Before making a final decision, consider reviewing case studies or success stories from other chemical businesses that have implemented the CRM you are considering. These resources can provide valuable insights into how the CRM has helped similar businesses overcome challenges, increase efficiency, and achieve their business goals.

Pay attention to case studies from businesses in your specific niche or size, as their experiences may be more relevant to your own situation. Look for proof of tangible results, such as increased sales, improved customer satisfaction, or reduced operational costs. Case studies and success stories can provide reassurance that the CRM you are considering is a reliable and effective solution for your chemical business.

Choose the CRM that opens the door to grow your digital business.

The right CRM will help your business continue to scale and open the door to streamlining your operations, improving customer relationships, and driving your business growth in the competitive chemical industry. Agilis works with your CRM to expand your brand’s digital presence.

Book a time to talk about growing your digital business through your CRM’s capabilities. 

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