In business — well anywhere, really — repetition can be a problem. So can repetition, and so can being redundant. Not to mention being repetitive — or even redundant. (You see what we did there.)
For many industries, but especially manufacturing, the friction and redundancies that can occur between Marketing, Sales, and Service departments (and the software each uses, if they aren’t integrated) can derail your entire growth strategy. So, how can these key revenue-driving teams all work together seamlessly? Taking a revenue operations, or RevOps, approach can optimize growth, profit, and margins.
A business ultimately exists to make revenue, but the old ways of just taking a look at an order status or how many units were sold are out. RevOps is in. Summarily speaking, RevOps involves the alignment of all customer-facing teamsand their software to optimize revenue growth through integration, data transparency, process efficiencies, and culture.
Crucial for successful RevOps implementation in manufacturing are Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and marketing automation software. All three can and should work in concert to avoid redundancies and encourage transparency, collaboration, efficiency and, ultimately, increase your bottom line through improved customer and employee experiences.
Let’s dive into the benefits of ERP and CRM and see why integration between these and your marketing automation software can offer a better customer experience and keep your marketing and sales reps happy.
CRM — Customer Relationship Management Software
CRM systems, as the name suggests, are focused on improving customer relationships at every touchpoint. Traditionally, CRMs have been leveraged by Sales departments as a central location where customer data, interactions, history, and order information is kept and organized.
The ability to run detailed reports and segment contacts into groups provides invaluable customer insights. For example, a custom report can provide the names of customers from a certain geographic region who ordered a product within a specific volume range during a defined time period.
Things can get even more granular from there. These highly targeted reports can help sales identify potential upsell and cross-sell opportunities and prioritize the hottest leads.
Modern CRM systems also have some marketing functionalities and can capture customer insights such as email or social engagement, but most are yet to be equipped with the robust features associated with most marketing automation software.
Unlike the outward focus of a CRM, ERP systems focus mostly on internal operational processes with an emphasis on creating efficiencies across the plant floor and among various departments.
A shared database gives a big-picture view of day-to-day operations including the production floor, inventory, finance, project management, and more. Custom dashboards can be configured for each department to give more detailed views and provide specific information that each area needs.
The real power of ERP is that it brings order and consistency across manufacturing operations. Rather than having sales, service, and production departments working in silos and their own systems, an ERP provides a centralized repository where purchase and product data is stored using common processes across the board.
This helps eliminate outdated, missing, or incomplete information and promotes transparency and collaboration, especially between production and customer service teams. In addition to integrating a CRM, other systems used by HR, shipping, marketing, procurement, and more can be linked to make supply chain and personnel decisions based on production schedules.
Marketing Automation Software
While an ERP helps with internal processes and a CRM helps you manage customer relationships outside an organization, a marketing automation platformhelps develop new and expanded customer relationships through content marketing, web formatting and management, lead nurturing, emails, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and much more.
It’s essential for executing and analyzing marketing campaigns that are relevant to your leads' needs and nurturing those leads into closed customers.
HubSpot Ops Hub Enables A Single Source of Truth Through Integration
HubSpot, the CRM platform for mid-market businesses and the primary platform we work with, is considered the pioneer of inbound marketing, sales, and service. Their most recent product launch within the CRM suite is Operations Hub (Ops Hub for short) is the glue that can bring your CRM, ERP, and marketing automation software together. Ops Hub includes a set of tools from data sync to programmable automation that allows all of your customer-facing teams to work from a single source of truth for every customer interaction.
With Ops Hub, data management is easier and more accessible. A vital key to efficiency and growth in today’s fast-paced and heavily automated world, it’s truly a manifestation of the old saying, “Work smarter, not harder.”
Each platform offers its own set of features that can help an organization on many levels, but maintaining multiple databases on their own has major disadvantages. Ideally, all systems should “talk” to one another to avoid delays and duplicate work, and to keep the entire crew in the know.
Consider, for example, why Sales might want to have activity from marketing automation software or inventory and capacity levels from the ERP available to them in the CRM?
Well, knowing if a client or prospect has downloaded an eBook about how to overcome a specific challenge can give an account executive valuable insights that can kick start a conversation. Plus, seeing real-time inventory and capacity can help determine production timelines so Sales doesn't over-promise a production turnaround time that operations can't currently deliver.
In short, integration and communication between CRM, ERP, and marketing automation software helps to avoid redundancies and encourage transparency, collaboration, efficiency and, ultimately, increase your bottom line through improved customer and employee experiences. After all, who doesn't want to come to work every day when customers are extremely satisfied?
In addition, this software alignment provides your Revenue Operations teams with reliable pipeline data and customer information.
It’s worth noting that middleware software may be required to provide communication between various platforms, so work with your providers to ensure compatibility — ideally during the implementation phase so there aren’t any surprises.
Dig Deeper into RevOps
How can you use the RevOps framework and tools to optimize your business growth? We’ve crafted a free guide that goes deep into how complex B2B industrials and manufacturers can align your teams to support the modern day non-linear buyer’s journey, simplify your tech stacks, and more. Click to access your free copy of our eBook, RevOps for Complex B2B Industrials & Manufacturers, today.
Posted by Kelly Wilhelme Kelly Wilhelme currently manages all of Weidert Group's marketing efforts. Through her past experience as an inbound marketing consultant on our client service team and, prior to that in financial services communication, she has a deep understanding of complex businesses and a desire to help them grow. Kelly has a passion for communication strategy, layout and design, as well as writing and content creation.