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Is CRM a Wise Choice for Wholesale Distributors?

There was a time when finding information about a simple topic would certainly mean a trip to the local library—burying our brains in books and encyclopaedias for hours and hours on end to get the answer to a simple question. Fast forward to the 21st century, we now have this fantastic invention called the Internet to do that for us.

The same goes for a time before the invention of the mobile phone, much less the smartphone, when making phone calls required planning. Nowadays, contacting someone is as easy as slicing butter with a hot knife.

New technologies have been making the older ones obsolete at an astounding rate since the 21st century. There is not a single field left that this radical change has not impacted. Most industries now rely upon automation to make their work easier and more accurate.

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In the business field, everyone is familiar with the adage that it is easier to retain an existing customer than to find new ones. In addition to this, statistics show that 20% of a business’s current customer base likely accounts for 80% of its business. Therefore, how can implementing a new technology help a business manage its customer relationships better?

The answer to this question is three words. Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The business industry is being rapidly automated with the use of this software-as-a-service (SaaS) application. Statistics indicate that the adoption of this tool is on the rise and will only increase exponentially in the coming years. Experts project that a 12% increase in CRM adoption is likely on a steady basis between now and 2028. This relates to a number known as the compound annual growth rate, which denotes that each year the percentage increase refers to the prior year rather than the starting point when the increases first started. So, what does it mean in terms of money talk? Well, to put it simply, the total value of the CRM industry will reach a staggering $129 billion by the end of this 12% growth in 2028. This, however, is a conservative figure because it does not take into account customer satisfaction which also leads to higher sales, profits, and return on investment.

Problems Faced by Businesses

Let us now look at some of the problems faced by a business while also getting a solution for these problems.

Customer Details

Customers are the cornerstone of every business. Without them, we couldn’t run our business. A complete 360-degree view of the services and interactions we have with customers would prove to be of immense value to any business.


A business develops connections within every business it works with. Who is the purchasing manager? Who should a business be in contact with to collect payment? All these questions are a must when it comes to developing contacts. A business should consider whether it is keeping track of these contacts in a Rolodex or even a separate contacts database. If so, how does this relate to its ERP application’s customer record? How can a business link people’s contact details to the actual transactions that were invoiced? All these questions require a solution.

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Communication is essential to any relationship’s success. In business, communication might take the form of a phone call or an email to our client. Does the business have a centralised view of all communications? If the primary person is unavailable, can other internal parties access the email correspondence with the customer? A team’s productivity will only increase if they have full access to all the transactional, marketing, and sales emails. And if that team is provided with all this information contained in a single customer record, then one can only expect the efficiency to increase manifold.


A business must be aware of who their customer is and what products they have previously purchased. This will prove to be of immense value when a business decides to launch a new product and is looking to target a particular audience.

Can you send your customers an email campaign? By adding up the sales as a result of this campaign, can you determine the effectiveness of these marketing initiatives? Think of completing all of this in a single application.


Providing excellent customer support is another crucial success factor for wholesale distribution (WD) businesses. Support might involve tracking down issues with the product or responding to inquiries regarding a shipment. How is the business monitoring these exchanges? What inquiries are made most frequently? Which clients need more help than others?

It would be nothing short of miraculous if all the inquiries made by a customer could also be recorded in the customer’s order history.

Customer Self Service

We are all familiar with what it’s like to have a busy day’s end and need to make an after-hours inquiry. Imagine if your customers could access a self-service portal to check their account balances, see open orders, and even contact support. This can help the small to midsize distributor stand out from its competition while enhancing its value to its clients.

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The solution

We have looked at the problems faced by businesses that hinder their growth. It is time we now go through the solution as well. The answer is quite simple.

A CRM solution will help a business manage its customer and all its touches with that customer. It will help the business manage its contacts and its communication. It will help the company market new product offerings to its customer base and be intelligent and focused. It will help in managing customer support, and it will also give the customers the option to service themselves. However, this does not mean that all CRM software is made equal. A business will only get a centralised, 360° view of its customer if the CRM system is also integrated into the business’ ERP application. The most effective way of doing this is by ensuring that the CRM software and the business’ ERP application are cut from the same cloth. Meaning that they are based on the same architecture.

This is how a business can get centrally organised sales and service information that is connected to back office transaction records. Businesses can also gather information about their customers and customer base from this central information, which will help them navigate the cutthroat WD market.

Now that we know that CRM is the best way to go about, which service should we opt for when looking to get CRM? Well, if you are hoping to maximise your returns from marketing and automating this side of your business, then NetSuite is the way to go. Connecting your CRM to NetSuite will sync all your inquiries, leads, and sales between all your systems. This will allow you to have real-time access to all your information. Less time spent managing this data will then translate into more time concentrating on sealing the deal.

Benefits of CRM

Companies that use CRM gain a variety of advantages, including increased customer acquisition, deal closing, and increased customer loyalty. A few benefits are as well:

Average ROI of $8.71 For Every Dollar Spent on CRM Software

A popular study on the advantages of sales CRM solutions from 2014 found that a business could expect an average return on investment (ROI) of $8 for every dollar invested in a CRM system. Eight to one is a good investment statistic, but those figures must be weighed against the past. The ROI ratio was only $5.60 to $1 when the study was last conducted in 2011. So, in just a few years, there has been a 38% increase. Recent studies have suggested that in the future, that enchanted ROI ratio may reach as high as 30 to 1. This is unquestionably due to the value that CRM adds to a business in terms of providing sales teams with better tools for boosting customer retention.

Improved Customer Experience

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, but for the customer, it essentially means that businesses that use CRMs do so to provide a wonderful customer experience. This is supported by the Statista study, which states that 85% of CRM users in the USA in 2018 believed that a better customer experience was one of the best benefits of a CRM. The next item on the list, at 58%, is CRM’s sped-up decision-making ability. Then, 54% said that operations should be streamlined. 53% believed that sales, marketing, customer service, and operations should work better together. Lower on the list are the advantages of introducing new business models or products, increasing innovation, and, finally, how CRMs make companies more competitive online.

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Improvement in sales

According to research by Salesforce, CRM software can boost sales by up to 29%, improve forecasting accuracy by up to 32%, and boost sales productivity by 39%. Better business outcomes are the best result for everyone.

Increased Productivity

CRM technology’s enhanced data accessibility can, on average, reduce the sales cycle’s complexity by 8–14%. CRM decision-makers also say that using social and mobile CRM increases their productivity by 14.6%.

Better Access to Customer Data

The secret to providing meaningful and personalised experiences is having better insights about the customers. Approximately 72% of businesses claim access to better customer data comes from using a CRM. Users also endorsed CRM technology for better relationship management and interaction tracking.


Ultimately, the only logical conclusion is that CRM will continue to gain significance, market share, adoption rates, and usage. It is increasingly becoming a crucial tool in the business toolkit for salespeople, marketers, and support staff. In fact, Grandview Research estimates that more than 91% of businesses with ten or more employees use a CRM to manage customer conversations. In addition to this, CRM analytics is also one of the fastest-growing subfields in CX technology.

The people that businesses seek to serve are hidden behind all of these figures, dollar amounts, and percentages, and when it comes to customer satisfaction, all the data points in one direction, and that is CRM.

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