Why Manufacturers Need a CRM

Many manufacturers don’t feel the need to have a CRM due to the fact that they are usually touted as being tools for sales and marketing teams. One of the great features of a CRM, such as Salesforce, is the ability to integrate all departments and vendors while creating a seamless connection between employees and customers. Salesforce goes beyond the sales department to streamline customer service, marketing, finance, partner management, logistics and everywhere in between. In order to keep up with the incredibly personal and attentive world that a flexible CRM creates, you must hop on the bandwagon! If you’re still unsure about how a CRM could benefit your team, keep reading to see the top reasons why every manufacturer needs one.

salesforce chicago

CRM Benefits for Manufacturers

  • Inventory Management, E-commerce, Finance

A CRM is not only great for basic communications between a company and its customers, but it’s also an invaluable tool for managing your inventory, finances, and e-commerce processes throughout your company. Integrating your ERP with CRM allows for full-spectrum visibility across all valuable KPIs for your business. With insight on your finished inventory as well as your shop floor, a CRM provides invaluable information for field sales, manufacturer reps, vendors, order processing, and manufacturers to asses ways to improve the inventory turns and the net availability of products in stock.

  • Customer Support

Since CRM provides data for all aspects of your business processes, it can be used as a tool to better support your customer’s needs while communicating with your sales staff. Your customer will be able to access knowledge based articles to self-diagnose resolutions as well as getting real-time status on open trouble tickets. Another way your CRM will transform your customer support is through the data regarding past purchases and interactions. From customer communication to product launches, your CRM will provide next-level engagement with your customer, enticing them to further support your business.

  • Increased Sales Pipeline Visibility

A CRM such as Salesforce provides real-time information for availability and ship dates, as well as updates and alerts for problems that need resolution. Having visibility into your entire sales pipelines will allow your manufacturing team to work seamlessly with sales in order to resolve issues and predict trends for the future. Integration with ERPs will also tie the complete supply chain with the forecast and show actual sales in real-time.

manufacturing crm

  • Company-wide Collaboration

Along with sales, your manufacturing team can benefit greatly from the collaboration across departments, whether that be with marketing or project management. Salesforce provides a tool named Chatter, which can provide a space for internal communication about new product releases for example, and other general conversations. Having a collaborative environment is beneficial for manufacturers as they now have insight into the way products are being sold, and are able to connect with teams across the company about data present within the CRM.

  • Vendor Management

A CRM allows you to stay connected to your vendor to ensure the highest quality products and on-time delivery through real-time communication. In today’s business world, ensuring that your vendor supports your business needs requires an integrated solution to ensure an efficient process is in place. Allow a tool like Salesforce to schedule and grade your vendors for you, in order to allow your staff to be as efficient as possible.

  • Customer Feedback

Ensuring your customer’s satisfaction is critical in today’s business world of social networking. As customers go through their evaluation, purchase, and receipt of products, you can capture and analyze areas for improvements, as well as using the feedback to socialize on your corporate channels.

salesforce consulting services

How Corrao Group Can Help

We have been optimizing business processes since 2002 and have continued to work with numerous clients in fields from manufacturing to finance. We have worked with large and small companies, new and seasoned companies, and everywhere in between. We know how it feels to have a business process in disarray, and we strive to create customized plans for each company that allows them to grow.

Working with Salesforce since 2008, we’ve have seen the invaluable benefits that a CRM can have for companies, especially those in the manufacturing industry. Salesforce allows for streamlining and company-wide visibility into all business processes. With tools such as custom reporting and forecasting enablement, data can be analyzed effortlessly. Salesforce consulting services have been just as important to us as business process optimization, and we strive to help businesses maximize their investments into their CRM.

To learn more about our the benefits of Salesforce and our Salesforce consulting services, visit our Salesforce Services page.

 

Top 8 Reasons Why Your Company Needs an Internal Newsletter

When it comes to creating newsletters, you probably only think about the ones that go out to your clients. From product sales to social marketing updates, newsletters are a great way to keep customers engaged and coming back to your company for more. But, did you know that internal newsletters are just as important? We have compiled a list of the top 8 reasons why your company needs an internal newsletter so you can keep your employees as engaged as your clients!

Top 8 Reasons Your Company Needs an Internal Newsletter

1. Transparency across all departments

Employees don’t usually keep up with their coworker’s roles unless they happen to be working in the same department or team, which can lead to a lack of company knowledge. Having an internal newsletter is a great way to highlight important projects each department is working on and may encourage employees to reach out to one another for questions and collaborations based on personal experience.

marketing services

2. Company & Industry News

It’s important that everyone in your company is up-to-date on the latest company endeavors, as well as the latest news about your industry. An internal newsletter is a perfect place to provide links to new company products/marketing services, as well as updates on competitors or changes within the industry so all employees can be informed.

3. Introducing New Employees

Whether you have a small company or are as big as Google, it’s important that new employees and clients are recognized company-wide. When there is a new addition to the company, many employees get caught up with work and don’t take the time to get to know the person or their role, so welcoming them through the newsletter is a great way to keep everyone in the loop and encourage a conversation!

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Automating (More than) your Marketing with Pardot

Pardot or “to sell,” in Latvian, is, appropriately, the name of a marketing platform that ultimately serves to lead you closer to the sale. However, nurturing your prospects from initial touch to that sale is a delicate and often lengthy process. Pardot provides a number of tools that allow you to automate the marketing process from start to finish, but the open-ended nature of the platform can also lead to the confusion surrounding best practices. Below, we’ve put together a basic structure for you to follow while automating your processes in Pardot.

Tracking

Before your prospects are prospects, they could just be visitors on your website. A variety of tools in Pardot allow you to track visitor activity on your website and begin associating data with these future prospects right from the start. You’ll then be able to view all of their Pardot tracked activities once they convert from visitors to prospects.

pardot support

Converting

Forms on your web pages and landing pages act as the primary instrument for conversion from visitor to prospect status. Using Pardot forms or form handlers allows you to automatically update prospect records for use in sorting and customization as you start to develop your marketing campaigns.

Grading

The prospect grading process should really begin before you dive into the many features of Pardot. Automating a grading process for your prospects allows your team to capture information surrounding the suitability of each of the prospects in your system. You can significantly improve your conversion rates by marketing to prospects who will see the relevance of your products and services. The platform provides you with a default grading model that may serve as the foundation for your prospect grading strategy, but it also presents the opportunity to customize grading profiles for an approach that will more directly apply to your unique offerings.

pardot support

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Top 7 Email Template Designs for 2019

Digital marketing has evolved and stretched its fingers across nearly every digital platform imaginable. From the paid ads you see on Instagram, to the web pages that have fostered their SEO strategy enough to land on the first page of Google, your opportunities for reaching prospects are broader than ever. Despite the surplus of opportunity in the digital landscape, email marketing remains the most effective method of marketing to your customers. Before launching your next email marketing campaign, take a look at the top email template designs for 2019. Pardot HTML email templates have a broad range of capabilities, and between these 7 examples, you’ll be able to pick and choose ideas to adopt in your own emails based on your marketing goals.

1. Call to Action: InVision

Starting off our list of email designs is a template curated by an agency well-known for its design prowess. While we must give credit to the clean overall design of the email, we would like to highlight the use of a single call-to-action after the email’s body of content. Using only one CTA has proven to improve conversion rates since it erases any doubt about which path is intended to be taken upon review of your email.

Pardot HTML email templates

2. Mobile-responsiveness: Yesler

You’ll notice that many of the templates we are recognizing here utilize a single-column layout, and this is no coincidence. Your customers continue to rely more and more on their mobile devices for both their personal lives and work, especially when it comes to having email access both in and out of the office. A single-column layout can easily be optimized for mobile viewing, and Yesler provides an excellent example of how a content-heavy email can still be designed with mobile in mind.

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Piecing Together a Conversion-Driven Case Study

convert and engage

Getting Started

Determine objective of the case study

The extent of your offerings cannot be summarized in a single case study, so you’ll need to select a targeted focus for each one. While one case study could serve to highlight how your services had a direct impact on rebuilding your client’s strategy from the ground up, another may emphasize an instance when your team introduced a client to an additional process that contributed to their further success on an already effective system. However, all of your case studies should be curated to convert and engage, helping you to fill up your lead funnels and retain accounts.

Obtain permission from your candidate

You don’t want your clients to browse your website only to find an unfamiliar case study with their name attached to it. Obtaining consent from you candidate is necessary in order to build a case study that is verified by both parties and will open up the opportunity for direct quotes to add further validation to your case study.

case study

Improving your Case Studies

Target the Right Industry

When your prospects can relate to your case study candidate, they are far more likely to see how your products or services could, in turn, benefit them as well. This familiarity can be easily fostered by conducting your case study on a client within a particular target industry.

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Salesforce for Project Management

 Salesforce integration best practices

Corrao Group uses Salesforce for everything from client profiles, internal & external project management, and everything in between; we’ve deployed the Salesforce platform company wide. We implement Salesforce integration best practices in order to make sure we get the most out of our Salesforce organization. Our project management team utilizes Salesforce as a tool to track projects, assess our budgets, and bill employee time for maximum optimization of the platform.

Before Salesforce

Before using Salesforce, Corrao Group used to run on a lot of spreadsheets and constant overseeing. We had to set up our internal projects differently than external projects to bill time, and it was difficult to determine how much time was needed to complete each task in a project. When we adopted Salesforce in 2008, we became both a customer and a partner in the same day. Our mission with Salesforce was to maximize not only our investment with the platform, but our clients’ as well.

Once we switched to Salesforce for our project management, we had to evolve with our clients and learn how to utilize Salesforce integration best practices for our business consultations. Larger projects required more technical knowledge, and as power users of the platform, we took it into our own hands to figure out a way to make Salesforce work for us.

With Salesforce

Salesforce has provided visibility into our entire business process and has allowed our Project Management team to work more efficiently. We have tailored Salesforce to work with our own management tools from sales to kickoff, and now have both internal and external projects set up the same way. A popular feature we created was the automation of project communications to both the Salesforce Account Executive and the customer themselves. Without having to track down their Project Manager, automatic updates are sent out with timestamps regarding how the consulting project is tracking.

The customization of Salesforce is endless. We are able to add important details into each project such as files, quip documents, or even chatter threads. We have also implemented advanced dashboards such as Skuid in order to prioritize tasks and streamline management by utilizing Salesforce integration best practices. It is now easier to help project managers reassess how to work efficiently with the wide visibility into their projects, as well the ability to optimize Salesforce to see each individual’s skill-sets.

salesforce integration best practices
Project Notes & Additions in Salesforce

Moving over to Salesforce for project management did not come easily without the education about how Salesforce would work in our favor. Our whole company has to work together to learn how to manage our projects and prioritize the most important ones. From internal to external projects, we have been able to utilize Salesforce throughout all of our business processes, and with every new feature added is another way for us to maximize our investment with the platform.

Future of PM

The future of using Salesforce for our project management is ever-evolving. We have experienced the infinite customization of Salesforce, and the perks of better visibility so that we can spend less time overseeing, and more time helping our customers. We have ongoing conversations about ways we can continue to optimize our processes, as well as reassessing how we budget out our time.

With integration tools, we are not only able to streamline our own processes, but we can help our customers do the same. Our mission is to maximize our customers’ Salesforce investment, but in the process of doing so, we have continued to maximize ours. The advantages of Salesforce are endless, and we will continue to evolve our project management as Salesforce evolves with us.

How to Build a Structured Content Calendar

Is your content creation team struggling with staying on top of marketing content? If so, you need a comprehensive digital content calendar. Every company, from start-ups to Fortune 500s, can benefit from the structure of a content calendar, so if you’re not using one, you can start to fall behind. Making sure you have planned content posts in advance is one of the best ways to make sure you are providing the consumer with current and relevant information.

Here are our top 5 tips for creating your digital marketing content calendar!

digital marketing assistance

1. Decide what you want to post

When your content creation team begins to build the calendar, they need to decide what kind of content your company would like to post. If you want to post pictures, social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter would be your best options. If you would like to share information about your company’s services, blogs and emails may be best. Do your research on the times that are best to post for each outlet, as you don’t want your posts to get lost in the abyss of social algorithms.

Another question you need to think about is who your ideal audience is going to be. Your content creation team will want to target the content to your audience, so you need to make sure it’s relevant and interesting to get them coming back for more.

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Social Media trends for 2019 that can improve your business

2019 has arrived, and with a new year comes new trends. Social media has been on the rise as one of the main ways people spend their free time with, so it’s important to stay on top of current trends that can set your business up for success. Social media marketing is crucial for businesses in today’s society, and it’s not hard to figure out why.

Here are the top 4 social media trends you should be thinking about this year, with tips on how to implement each!

Video Content

video content social media

Video content has been a major part of social media these last few years, and 2019 will be no different. With Youtube and IGTV on the rise, it’s important to hop on the bandwagon to make sure you are creating content that people want to engage with. Short videos about your company’s products or services are a great way to tell prospects what you can offer them without taking up too much of their time. (Bonus: if you make a fun and compelling video, they will most likely share it with all of their friends).

Vertical videos are huge on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and if you want to target to those consumers, you’ve got to change the way you present your content. Creating vertical videos is actually a lot easier too, as you can just start creating videos on your smartphone!

  • 82% of consumers have been encouraged to take action after watching a business marketing video.
  • 90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile.
  • 74% of consumers said that they have been convinced to buy a product or service after watching a brand’s video. 

(Wyzowl)

E-commerce

e commerce social media

A lot of brands are now looking to social media to sell their products. With sites like Instagram that allow brands to tag their items right on the post, the buying process has become a lot easier and more straight-forward for the consumer.

Buyers are always on their phones, so it makes sense to market to them there. Creating video content and visual ads through your social media can kickstart your e-commerce business.

  • Mobile e-commerce sales were projected to make up 63.5% of total e-commerce sales of 2018.
  • Product videos can increase conversion rates by as much as 144%.

(Social Media Today)

CRM Utilization

social media

CRM software can improve your sales through tools such as templates, campaign management, and marketing automation.

One way you can utilize a CRM, such as Salesforce, is through social media marketing automation. This tool is great for customer service because it can provide consistency for your posts and responses can be quicker. Consistent content is crucial for keeping customers engaged, so utilizing AI and automated messaging is a great way to stay connected even when you’re sleeping. You can also add personalization through these automated messages, which help your customers feel valued.

  • 74% of businesses using a CRM have acknowledged that they have improved customer relations.
  • CRM software can improve sales by as much as 29%

(Hosting Facts)

User-Generated Content

user generated content social media

Sharing content created by your social media followers is not only a great way to stay engaged, but it’s also an avenue that helps your company stay relevant without having to take the time to research and create content on their own.

Not only will you save time and money, but you will also foster brand loyalty. Sharing user content is also a great way to seem genuine in your marketing approach as you connect with your audience and acknowledge their content. Social channels and blogs are a great place to share user content, and the more you share, the more likely your customers will share!

  • 68% of millennials are receptive to information shared through social media
  • 86% say that user-generated content is representative of brand quality.

(TINT)

social media trends

Social media is always changing, but acknowledging these trends will help your business have a successful year. Videos are a great way to have interesting and digestible content and allow creative freedom. With videos and user-generated content, you will be able to keep customers engaged and willing to purchase your product. A lot of companies don’t have the time to leverage digital marketing experts, such as us at Corrao Group, but we have a full-service digital agency to get you started.

Utilizing a CRM can make this all easier through automation and organization of customer data, and with 10+ years of experience in this realm, we can help!

EZ-AR™ – Solving the Outstanding Invoices of Today

accounts receivable

The invoicing process of today is heavily based around manual work that requires chasing down payments. This problem has been set as the standard rather than the exception. A lot of companies are living in this vicious cycle; having to follow-up and intervene with the majority of their outstanding invoices.

There are multiple solutions to remove the majority of these manual tasks.

We’re going to dive into how accounts receivable is supposed function in today’s cloud-based environment.

Introducing EZ-AR™; the first automated invoice generation and collections accounts receivable solution built on the Salesforce Force.com platform.

This software solution utilizes automated-tracked email templates within custom-flexible journeys that react to the recipient’s behavior. In doing so, it significantly improves cash in-flow and reduces average Days Sales Outstanding (DSO).

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15 of the Best Email Subject Lines Waiting to be Opened

email marketing

When it comes to email marketing, one of the hardest parts is actually getting prospects to open your email. Even if you have the most valuable, revolutionary information in that email, no one will see it if they don’t open it.

We have curated a list of the 15 best email subject lines just waiting to be opened!

1. The Intriguer

Look what you did…. – Hustle

This type of email subject peaks the curiosity of the reader because they want to remember exactly what they did. The way Hustle used this email subject was to get the reader to open an email from the new list they subscribed to, so it’s fresh in their mind, and they obviously want to hear from their company!

2. The Urgent Statement

$10 OFF—Last Day! – Groupon

Having a sense of urgency, such as “last day!” in this email, always entices a reader to open. If they are a fan of the product or service already and have subscribed to receive alerts, chances are they have been waiting for this email. Also, instead of a percentage off, there’s a straight forward dollar amount, which would get any shopper excited because they won’t have to calculate anything to figure out how much they would be saving!

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