With the obvious benefits and steady growth of traditional CRM systems— such as SalesForce, Oracle, and Microsoft—it is surprising that wholesalers have not taken to these systems wholeheartedly. However, these systems lack several basic capabilities to support the common workflows of wholesale sales reps, especially in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, which is why there are mobile CRM solutions.
Given that CPG sales reps spend much of their time out in the field— at retail stores, on delivery runs, at showrooms, traveling to tradeshows and conventions, and the like—their access via mobile to real-time back-office systems is essential to their effectiveness and productivity in the field. Rudimentary tools such as pen-and-paper note-taking and other old school solutions can no longer suffice in our increasingly tech-savvy world, where immediate access to real-time information regarding product inventory, pricing, historic purchase patterns, customer preferences, and invoicing information, can make or break important deals.
Where traditional CRMs are focused on developing and monitoring the sales cycle, pipeline and forecast, CRMs for wholesalers need to also incorporate practical field sales tools like interactive catalog-presentation, quoting, sophisticated pricing, efficient order taking with cross-selling and up-selling recommendations.
Wholesalers unique CRM requirements
Most importantly wholesale sales reps need their wholesale CRM to be mobile. This why traditional CRMs just don’t cut it when it comes to wholesale sales reps working in the field.
Access to all CRM features in the field provides sales reps with a 360° view of their customers. They are able to more efficiently perform their tasks and provide an enhanced sales experience for their B2B order management customers.
A wholesale CRM, ideally should be multi-platform so reps can use it on their existing devices saving the company money and the reps get to use the devices they are familiar with. Offline functionality is also essential as internet access can be an issue on the road.
Traditional CRMs are generally office based and in the wholesale world lack the mobility required. With a wholesale CRM on mobile devices, reps are can effectively route plan - creating a schedule of customers to visit using the GPS functionality of their devices and a combination of business filters, for example, when they were lasted visited. Integration with popular mobile GPS navigation apps, such as Google Maps, Waze, and iMaps, means minimal travel time.
Benefits of a wholesale CRM for sales management
It’s not just sales reps in the field that benefit from a wholesale CRM. The mobile functionality also has benefits for sales management. Besides the same functionality that traditional CRMs offer, sales management have additional benefits due to the mobility of a CRM for wholesale
While both types of CRM off these capabilities - assigning sales reps to territories and to customers, setting sales goals, and monitoring sales performance metrics using dashboards and reports, a wholesale CRM can also provide additional features linked to field use like viewing geo-tagged and time-stamped sales activities on a map and using this to identify and act on gaps in sales execution.
Mobile-first wholesale CRM = better business practices
If you’re in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry then a mobile-first wholesale CRM platform holds the promise of enabling CPG sales teams to achieve sales excellence with prospects and customers, increase efficiency, and reduce order-to-cash cycles.