As competition continues to grow in a struggling economy, distributors are searching for ways to stand out in the eyes of their customers. Thus, distributors are seeking software strategies such as customer relationship management (CRM) that allow them to nurture client relationships to the fullest extent.

Today’s CRM software offers distributors a 180 degrees view of their customers. A way to record and track every single customer interaction, CRM provides distributors with information about each specific customer or prospect. Whether it be a minute conversation via the telephone asking about a particular product’s price two weeks ago, or a $1,000 purchase order that occurred three months ago, this collection of data is then used by distributors to sell to and service customers across multiple channels, mark their buying habits, and devise marketing plans. As a result, distributors who have implemented the software say they are gaining true customer insight, along with the ability to act on that insight.

Because of its diversity, distributors say CRM creates uniformity in all communications with customers, whether it be by telephone, fax, e-mail or the Internet. Most importantly, the data collection devices within the system allow for standardized information and let distributors’ salespeople or representatives communicate both knowledgeably and efficiently with customers.