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Why your Office Supplies business needs CRM

CRM – Understanding your customer base to drive sales and maintain healthy long term partnerships


A business must have the ability and process to store customer data. This refers relevant company and contact data.
Basic information about the size, type of business i.e. the industry they operate in, the purchasing team etc should be mandatory for profiling your customer.
Maintaining an up to date and clean company database must be a priority sales housekeeping process to maximise the effectiveness of any marketing activity. I suggest at least every 6 months a sales team would review the customer/prospect data.
Any conversation history with your customers should be recorded for follow up and review. The Journals module in Prima facilitates this very easily.
A business should then have access the sales data in which a deeper level of profiling can be achieved. This information is key to understanding where your opportunities lie within your customer base.
I would strongly recommend that all of the above data is stored centrally to maintain its integrity and reduce duplication. It also means that the sales and customer service teams must understand the process of capturing and maintaining the data, and they all follow a defined process.



The analysis element in the cycle here is crucial to help formulate your sales & marketing strategy and also measure the success of any marketing programs that you execute.
For example, a high level company gap analysis by product group report might reveal that the business is strong in bespoke print, but a similar gap report including customers may reveal that 4 of your top 10 spending accounts actually get their bespoke print from another supplier. It’s worth noting here that an effective CRM process is key to customer retention too, it’s not all about sales.
Your report KPI’s must compliment your sales and marketing strategy, so don’t spend hours putting together a complicated suite of analysis tools if they are of little relevance.
An example here may be that the MD of a business wants to see the ROI from the newly launched B2B eCommerce platform. How the customer base places their orders now must be included as KPI for the monthly sales meeting. Remember, if you can’t measure something, you will unlikely improve it.
There’s a powerful suite of reports in Prima ready to provide sales and customer service teams with key metrics. Once customised, you can use the scheduling to distribute the reports to the team as and when needed.



Regular measurement and review will allow your sales team to specifically target customers with specific promotions and perhaps at an even more basic level provide awareness to your customers about the range of products and services you offer.
From a PrimaGO eCommerce perspective, you can use your analysis to generate a list of Promotional products for the week month, create customer specific Orderpads to make it more convenient for your customers to trade with you. The analysis may also highlight the opportunities to cross/upsell products.
I believe the integrated email marketing tools available in the industry will help dealers ‘close the CRM loop’ as such in 2018. Using the analysis tools available through the back office, then having the functionality to populate these email marketing tools automatically with targeted contact lists based on spend habits and trends, is a very powerful proposition. This functionality actually goes further with the email marketing tools reporting click&open information back to the sales rep in your Prima system in the form of a callback Journal. The capability of this integration will become even stronger over the coming months, with more powerful report queries and better feedback from your email campaigns.

In summary, here are my top tips for an effective CRM system:
1. Store all data centrally and make it readily accessible anywhere(to the right people!)
2. Regularly review the customer and contact database
3. Use a focused set of report tools relevant to your sales & marketing strategy
4. Utilise your software package to deliver an integrated and automated CRM process
I’m very excited about the opportunities presented to our customer partners with advances in software that we’re seeing. We regularly experience customers that have invested in dedicated CRM software packages(many of which are great!), only to find that Prima handles their requirements anyway. So you need any advice on your existing CRM process or analysis capabilities, then just get in touch.

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