4 Ways to help Metal and Plastics Manufacturers increase Sales

 In Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog

Manufacturers in the Steel, Metals and Plastics business have various business models in how they market, sell and service their customers effectively and look to grow their businesses.

We have had the opportunity to implement CRM with a number of these organizations including General Cable and Tempel and have seen some common sales objectives that they are trying to achieve that include:

  1. Increasing Revenues from Existing Customers
  2. Improve Sales Decision Making
  3. Maximize Time Spent Selling
  4. Improve Forecasting Accuracy & Quota Visibility

Each one of these objectives is supported with a good process and CRM to enable it. Here is a breakdown of how each one of these objectives can be met:

1. Increase Revenues from Existing Customers

Many organizations get 90+% of their revenue from existing customers. Having the ability to easily segment customers allows the organization to better align both sales resources and sales/account strategies to maximize revenues and margins. For example price sensitive customers may best be served with an inside sales team that is efficiently handling their pricing requests. For High Value customers, the organization may want to focus on outside sales/account managers having a consistent follow up to build the relationship. Tier 1 customers may get more frequently scheduled visits than Tier 2.

CRM Business Capabilities needed to support this objective:

Track Customer Profile and Key Preferences
Segment Customers (ie Value vs Price)
Tier Customers based on Value (Tier 1, 2 and 3)
Enable efficient Sales Process with the Price Sensitive Customers
Enable Account Relationship and Share of Wallet Strategies with Value Customers


2. Improve Sales Decision Making

Sales Decision Making happens both at the Sales Executive and Sales Management Level. For Sales Executives, keeping on top of their opportunities by helping stay more organized with their deals and help prioritize their day is critical. For Sales Managers, having insight into what their team is working on in order to make recommendations that will help them move deals along as well as spot trends more quickly to make adjustments to their sales process and pricing practices is what keeps them ahead of the competition.

CRM Business Capabilities needed to support this objective:

Track sales opportunities including next steps and key milestones
Enable Sales Managers visibility into the pipeline to improve sales coaching
Enable Sales Managers to review trends to adjust Sales Strategy


“Since I can see the status of every opportunity, CRM enables me to make recommendations to the team that they may not have thought of trying on a particular deal to move it along more quickly,” said Craig Snyder, VP of Sales, OEM, General Cable


3. Maximize Time Spent Selling

The more time the Sales Team spends filling out administrative and sales reports the less time they are spending with customers and partners. Providing faster ways to track and report on the business as well as access to both external information like news sources, LinkedIn, Twitter and other online information along with mobile access will improve the time that the sales team spends productively selling.

CRM Business Capabilities needed to support this objective:

Enable faster Sales Administration and Reporting
Provide access to customer data (internal & external) to minimize sales prep time
Provide access to CRM while the Team is on the Road


4. Improve Forecasting Accuracy and Quota Visibility

Keeping accurate forecasts is an ongoing effort with the sales team. Having a good sales process and multiple ways to segment the pipeline will allow the Sales Management team to continue to get a better forecast of the pipeline. Also, providing access the sales team with up to date quota and attainment along with how they are performing against their peers will help keep the Sales Team focused.

CRM Business Capabilities needed to support this objective:

Enable multiple ways to segment the Pipeline including Sales Stages and Rating
Provide the Team visibility into quota, attainment and performance against peers

“CRM has made it easier for my team to prioritize where to spend their time and has given them increased visibility into how they are meeting their sales goals. It has also given me a way to reinforce our sales process,” said Steve Stanford, VP of Sales, Specialty Market, General Cable.


How can CRM help your Organization? Connect with us.

David Kohar
David has an extensive track record within the CRM marketplace and has been involved in the CRM industry since it began. His knowledge has established him as a leading expert in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. David leads Sales Support, Corporate Adoption Programs and Solutions for prospective and current customers.
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