If you work for a manufacturing company at which management has resisted implementing CRM technology because it either seems too complex to implement or you don’t think it offers a strong cost/benefit ratio, a popular CRM vendor has just addressed both of these barriers to CRM adoption.
Salesforce recently announced Manufacturing Cloud, a set of industry specific functionality for manufacturers—built on top of the Salesforce platform.
Manufacturing Cloud Highlights
Here is some of the functionality included in Manufacturing Cloud.
Sales Agreements, which are part of Manufacturing Cloud, allows sales and operations teams to efficiently manage the life cycle of sales agreements in a shared interface. Parameters such as negotiated discounts, volume commitments, start/end dates and the scheduled frequency for planned orders can all be managed within Salesforce.
Integration of ERP Data using MuleSoft means that account performance can be more easily tracked compared to an environment of disparate systems.
Account-Based Forecasting allows teams to develop more accurate forecasts using a “central source of truth.” Profits and revenue margins are more easily predictable.
Field Service Lightning has also been incorporated. This helps support teams resolve product issues faster. Also, as part of the IoT realm, field equipment can trigger alerts within Salesforce about actual or potential field equipment problems.
Pre-packaged functionality such as the above means that if your company adopts Salesforce, you or a Salesforce implementation partner will not need to spend as much time building out the CRM system to address business requirements that are specific to your industry and your business.
Finding A Salesforce Implementation Partner
Unless you already have an experienced Salesforce specialist on staff or you plan hire one, you’ll likely need some outside assistance implementing the solution. To help you with that, we’ve created a short list of some of the top Salesforce implementation partners for manufacturers.
In no particular order, they are:
Simplus is headquartered in Salt Lake City, with additional offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Australia, and Philippines. The company specializes in implementing quote-to-cash solutions and have dedicated services for manufacturers.
Mountain Point is based in Charlotte, NC. Their Salesforce implementation services are focused exclusively on manufacturing and industrial industries. Mountain Point was founded in 2013.
Coastal Cloud is headquartered in Palm Coast, FL. Additional offices in Louisville and Steamboat Springs, CO. In addition to manufacturing, Coastal Cloud specializes in implementing Salesforce for the education, healthcare, high tech, and real estate industries.
Strategic Growth Inc.
Strategic Growth Inc. is headquartered in Austin. Additional offices are in Dallas, Houston, and Chicago. The company was founded by members of the initial Salesforce Consulting Services team in 2007.
A Partner For Medical Device Manufacturers
Medical device manufacturers have specialized needs on top of the many requirements that are standard across manufacturers.
An example is facilitating communications between clinical teams and device end-users using Communities. If your company is a medical device manufacturer, it’s a good idea to look for a Salesforce implementation partner that specializes in healthcare and life sciences.
On this front, a Salesforce partner to consider is J2 Interactive. J2 Interactive has focused on healthcare and life sciences technology solutions for over eighteen years. This blog post on the J2 website describes some of the ways that implementing Salesforce benefits medical device manufacturers.
The key term in all this is partner. When you choose a Salesforce implementation partner, your relationship needs to be a two-way street. Rarely does CRM success result from sitting back and expecting your implementation partner to do all the work with little or no input from your organization.
To ensure success, make sure there is an open channel of communication right from the start of your project, all the way through to go-live. If everyone stays on the same page, you’re far more likely to hit the ground running when your implementation is complete.
Salesforce is not the only CRM vendor that offers this type of functionality. If you’re trying to decide among vendors, that’s where we can help.