The wholesale distribution industry is huge, measuring $10 trillion in the US alone.
To put that number in context, the retail industry measures $5.63 trillion, the finance and insurance industry measures $4.97 trillion, and the construction industry measures 2.29 trillion.
Obviously, wholesalers are a critical part of the economy, which is why there are so many businesses in this sector. As such, competition is fierce. To survive, you need to give your business a competitive advantage. One of the best ways to do this is with a wholesale CRM.
Once you invest in a CRM for wholesalers, you’ll be able to manage business relationships, address internal challenges, and enhance customer support more effectively.
In this article, we’ll look at why you need wholesale CRM software, the benefits of this tool, how to choose the best CRM for wholesalers, and more. So without further ado, let’s get started!
Why Wholesalers Need CRM Software
As a wholesaler, you deal with potential complications on a regular basis.
For example, you must manage relationships with manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and even on occasion, end customers. And each of these entities have their own goals, which may run counter to your own. To succeed, you need to find an equilibrium that works for all involved.
Of course, these external challenges are only half the battle. You also deal with internal issues that threaten to reduce productivity for your business and eat into company profits.
Some of these internal issues include inventory management, property damage liability, unforeseen changes to supply and demand, and integrating new technologies.
Fortunately, a CRM for wholesale distributors can solve many of these problems for you and your team. It’s much easier, for instance, to manage complex relationships and support customers when you always have a record of past interactions at your disposal.
And many CRMs can also help you tackle internal tasks related to inventory management, property damage liability, etc. Or at the very least, will allow you to integrate with other tools that can do these things, enabling you to keep all pertinent information in one convenient location.
Put simply, a wholesale CRM will streamline sales and support processes for your company, which in turn will make your business more efficient and increase its earning potential.
Benefits of CRM for Wholesalers
We’ve already alluded to a few benefits of wholesale CRM software. But there are plenty more—many of which will have a direct impact on your company’s operations and its future growth. Let’s take a more in depth look at these potential benefits right now:
Streamline Sales Automation
Your wholesales company needs to make sales to drive revenue and turn a profit.
A wholesale CRM will make it much easier for your reps to do this. This is especially true if the CRM you choose has strong automation features, which will simplify a variety of processes.
For example, automation can be used to automatically update contact records. That way your reps have the proper context when engaging in sales conversations. Automation can also be used to follow up with prospects on a regular basis, or send price quotes automatically.
The best sales reps—in just about every industry—use automation to handle leads and customers effectively. The right CRM will help your reps do this in the wholesale industry, too.
Increase Customer Satisfaction
The more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them.
Wholesale CRM software will help you store, organize, and update customer information. Want to know which company a specific contact works for? Or the last order they made? Or the result of your last email exchange? A CRM will help you answer these questions.
Even better, you can use these answers to create better customer experiences that lead to more sales in the future. For example, if you know that one of your customers prefers Product ABC to Product XYZ, you can reach out to them whenever you have a discount on said offering.
Improve Decision-Making Processes
The best CRM for wholesale purposes will enable you to store a host of different data points. This is important because access to said data points can lead to more effective decisions.
You might discover, after analyzing your wholesales CRM, that your customers order more products between September and December. With this knowledge, you can ramp up production in July and August to meet the anticipated demand, then ramp back down in January.
The data will also help you determine which marketing campaigns produce the best results for your company. That way you can invest more resources into them. Speaking of which…
Enhance Marketing Effectiveness
Finally, wholesale CRM software will help you create and manage better marketing campaigns.
Think about it: the data inside your CRM will allow you to segment your customers in multiple ways. You’ll then be able to personalize the marketing materials you send to them.
Your CRM’s automation capabilities can supercharge your email marketing efforts, too. Once you invest in this kind of tool, you’ll send emails and text messages on autopilot, which means your company will move prospects through the sales funnel while its employees sleep.
Also worth mentioning, the analytics inside your wholesale CRM will help you measure the success of your marketing campaigns and allow you to adjust them in the correct manner.
What to Look for in a CRM for Wholesalers
There are plenty of wholesale CRMs out there. You need to find the right tool for your specific company. To make sure you do that, only invest in a tool that has these three features:
Customer Data Management
You can’t call a piece of software a CRM if it doesn’t let you manage customer data. So, before you do anything else, make sure the solution you’re interested in has this capability.
The wholesale CRM you choose should allow you to record important details like the name of your prospect, the company they work for, the industry they work in, their email address and phone number, the result of your last interaction with this person, and more.
(Note: Some CRMs will track a lot of this information for you. SPOTIO, for example, which we talk about in the next section, will automatically log interactions with potential customers.)
The best CRMs for wholesalers include robust automation features.
It makes sense. The less busywork you have to do, the more effective you’ll be. So look for a tool that will log prospect interactions for you, as mentioned above. Or help you build automated messaging sequences. Or generate custom sales reports with the click of a button.
Fortunately, most wholesale CRMs include some level of automation. You just need to make sure the capabilities each one offers will integrate with and improve your current workflow. Once you find a tool that does, add it to your short list. But don’t hit the “Buy” button quite yet…
Analytics and Reporting
Your wholesale CRM software should also allow you to analyze data and create reports.
This feature will help you understand your customers, assess performance, predict future sales and cash flow, and otherwise make smarter, more informed decisions regarding your business.
Tools like SPOTIO take things even further and enable you to create custom reports in a few seconds flat. Simply decide what metrics and KPIs you care about. Then let SPOTIO organize them in a visually appealing way that makes complex data easy to consume and understand.
Choosing the Right CRM System
So, which wholesale CRM is right for you and/or your team?
We can’t answer that for you. But we can give you criteria that your chosen tool should have. We can also share nine of the best CRMs for wholesale companies right now—just to make your search a little easier. Let’s start with a specific list of criteria…
Criteria and Considerations
The wholesale CRM you purchase should offer customer data management, automation, and analytical reporting features, like we talked about above. But before you pull the trigger on an app that has these capabilities, make sure it also fits your unique workflow. Here’s how:
- Integrations: Does your wholesale CRM integrate with your current tools? It should! This will keep you from manually transferring data between apps. As such, it will also ensure your records, email sequences, reports, etc. are always organized and accurate.
- Cloud Capabilities: Can you access your wholesale CRM on multiple devices? This is a handy feature—especially for field sellers who may need to view sales data on their computers and smartphones, whether they happen to be in the office or in the field. A CRM with cloud capabilities will give you near universal access to your customer data.
- Price and Scalability: Can you afford your wholesale CRM? Just as important, will the tool grow with your company? Decide what your budget is and stick to it. Then make sure the CRM you choose will scale with your company as it becomes more successful.
9 Best CRMs for Wholesalers
Now that you know exactly what to look for in a CRM for wholesalers, we can talk about a few of the options available to you. Here are nine wholesale CRMs to check out:
SPOTIO is the wholesale CRM of choice for field sales teams. With it, you can generate leads, automate administrative tasks, optimize travel routes, build automated email and text sequences, track individual rep performance, generate custom reports, and more. SPOTIO also integrates with many other top tools, either natively or via Zapier, to streamline your workflows.
Sign up for a free demo of SPOTIO to see it in action and decide if it’s the right CRM for you!
Infor is another good CRM for wholesalers—especially those with major, enterprise-level operations. The app has contact management and lead segmentation features, communication options, sales and marketing automation capabilities, and real-time analytics and reports. All of these things help users understand their customers and make better decisions to serve them.
Maximizer is the “CRM specifically built for the sales leader.” Does that sound like you? Then this might be the best wholesale CRM software for you, allowing you to manage leads, retain customers, and drive sales performance—all from one convenient location. The app also includes powerful AI features and a host of integrations to help simplify day-to-day operations.
The wholesale CRM you use should connect with the other tools in your tech stack. If one of those tools is Quickbooks or Xero, take a careful look at Method, which has strong integration capabilities with these two apps. In addition, Method allows users to quickly collect leads via web forms, create automated workflows via a drag-and-drop editor, and a lot more.
Nimble helps businesses build relationships with their target audiences. Because of this, it’s used by solo entrepreneurs, sales reps, and marketing professionals. If you decide this is the wholesale CRM for you, you’ll get access to prospecting, data management, communication, and reporting features. Also of note, Nimble includes order, inventory, warehouse, and shipping management tools, which are important capabilities for most wholesale distribution companies.
6. Oracle Netsuite CRM
Oracle is one of the biggest companies in the world. How did its founders achieve this goal? By creating top-level software solutions, one of which is called Netsuite CRM. One of the best things about this wholesale CRM is its scalability—use this software at any stage in your business. Beyond that, Netsuite CRM is armed with contact management, inventory and warehouse controls, a unified ecommerce system, automation, and reporting features.
Pipeline combines an intuitive interface with powerful features, making it a top CRM for wholesale distributors. If you invest in this app, you’ll get plenty of solutions you can use to improve your sales processes, including custom data management features, email marketing capabilities, and sales forecasting tools. Pipeline boasts many integration possibilities as well.
Looking for a tool to improve your sales workflows? Podio might be a good fit. This app is designed to streamline a variety of processes thanks to cutting-edge features, like a meeting scheduler, a cloud-based phone system, a social media-like employee engagement platform, and visual reports. Best of all, Podio can be customized to meet your exact specifications.
Last but not least, SAP, a popular tool that combines customer relationship management and customer experience solutions into one application. Use this wholesale CRM to connect with your target audience in personalized ways, automate sales and marketing processes, manage your supply chain, and drive more revenue via innovative ecommerce workflows.
If you’re in the wholesale industry, you need a wholesale CRM to aid your sales, marketing, and customer support processes. Once you have one in your tech stack, you’ll be able to streamline workflows via automation, increase customer satisfaction, and improve your decision-making.
The question is, what’s the best CRM for wholesale distributors? That depends…
Enterprise organizations might appreciate apps like Infor, Netsuite, and SAP. Small businesses, on the other hand, may prefer a tool like Nimble or Pipeline. For field sales teams, though, SPOTIO is the best choice. Why? Because our app was specifically made for you.
Sign up for a free demo of SPOTIO to see all of our tool’s lead generation, territory management, task automation, communication, sales tracking, and reporting features in action!