Finding software can be overwhelming. What is Distribution CRM? It's a software tool for managing both customers and products in a centralized location.

Showing 1-20 of 353 products

Zendesk Sell

Zendesk Sell (formerly Base) is the web and mobile-based customer relationship management application that allows B2B and B2C sales professionals to manage sales, track leads and engage proactively with customers from anywhere. The... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 142 recommendations

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NetSuite CRM

NetSuite CRM+ is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for small and midsize organizations. NetSuite caters to thousands of customers across a wide range of industries including wholesale distribution, manufacturing,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 103 recommendations

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FreeAgent CRM

FreeAgent CRM delivers a next-gen work experience on a customizable cloud-based platform help teams unlock productivity and grow sales effortlessly.  Stay in the zone, with AI-guided selling. See only what you need when you need... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 68 recommendations

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HubSpot Sales Hub

HubSpot Sales is a cloud-based sales automation software designed to build, automate and accelerate the sales process. The solution allows sales personnel to connect with promising leads and convert them into successful deals. HubSpot... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 66 recommendations

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Salesforce.com

The Salesforce cloud is an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) suite offering applications for small, midsize and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and support. The Salesforce app has capabilities that... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 52 recommendations

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Prophet CRM

Prophet CRM from Avidian is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) application that can be integrated with Microsoft Outlook for extending Outlook's functionalities. The solution enables multiple sales teams to unify... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 26 recommendations

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Claritysoft

Claritysoft is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 20 recommendations

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LeadMaster

LeadMaster is a SaaS-based all-in-one lead management solution that offers capabilities to capture, track and follow up with leads. The solution comprises of integrated modules for sales force automation, customer relationship management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

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Infor CRM

Infor CRM offers a flexible customer relationship management (CRM) system for managing relationships, information and CRM. It provides comprehensive capabilities for managing sales, marketing and customer service activities and information... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

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Pipeliner CRM

Pipeliner CRM delivers dynamic visualization of the pipeline, sales process and sales activities. Its visual contact management allows users to gain a comprehensive view of their customers and prospects and even map out how they are... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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FunnelMaker Sales

FunnelMaker is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for businesses of all sizes. The solution offers a user dashboard and helps in automatic sales tracking, email tracking and opportunity management. FunnelMaker... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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SugarCRM

SugarCRM is a cloud-based application for handling sales automation, marketing automation, account management and customer relationship management needs. SugarCRM offers features such as customizable home pages, a new-user "wizard"... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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Maximizer CRM

Maximizer CRM is an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for organizations of all sizes across various industries. This solution can be deployed on both on-premise and in the cloud. Maximizer CRM features... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

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Aysling

Asyling is a multifunctional CRM that allow users to manage B2B operations. Operating as a cloud-based service resource planner, Asyling consolidates the entire back-office operations in a single dashboard spanning from customer management... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

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Sales Creatio

Creatio (formerly bpm’online) is a unique synergy of unified CRM and intelligent BPM platform for marketing, sales and service automation. The solution allows midsize and large companies to manage the customer lifecycle from lead... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Nutshell

Nutshell is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software for small businesses. The Nutshell platform offers sales process and collaboration tools, email sync with Gmail and Outlook, reporting and more to outbound sales... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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Workbooks

Workbooks offers growing companies a SaaS platform to run their business and engage with their customers – at an affordable price. Workbooks designs, develops and implements its own software, which is targeted specifically at mid-market... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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OnContact CRM

OnContact CRM is a mid-market customer relationship management (CRM) solution that can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. OnContact includes complete sales automation, marketing automation, customer service and contact center... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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CallProof

CallProof is a cloud-based lead tracking solution that helps businesses automate sales reporting operations in real-time. Key features for field salespeople include customer tracking, multiple routes support, google calendar integration,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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Zendesk

Zendesk is a cloud-based help desk management solution offering customizable tools to build customer service portal, knowledge base and online communities. The solution offers a customizable front-end portal, live chat features and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 1, 2020

Those in the distribution industry, like any other business, stand to benefit by using customer relationship management (CRM) software—through increased customer satisfaction and sales, for instance. Also, as in other industries, our research finds that distributors want a CRM tool that offers features relevant to their field.

For distributors, customer relationships are tied very closely to the products they distribute; they fall in between the customer and the manufacturer whose products they're distributing. That's why the CRM tool they use should not just let them manage customers but also the products flowing to them.

There are plenty of software vendors that are aware if this need, and thus build or modify CRM tools to suit distributors' unique requirements.

In this buyer's guide, we'll look at the core features of distribution CRM software and what you should know before making a purchase.

Here's what we'll cover:

What is a distribution CRM?
Common features of distribution CRM
What type of buyer are you?
Key considerations

What is a distribution CRM?

A distribution CRM is a software tool for managing customers as well as products in a centralized location. This type of software comes with monitoring and reporting functionalities that help distributors manage customer information, track product orders, generate invoices/quotes, and automate marketing efforts.

bp'm online CRM dashboard

 

Tracking prospects, invoices, and payments in bpm'online

Common features of distribution CRM

Distribution CRMs offer certain common functionalities that cater to a wide range of distribution businesses: food distribution, consumer packaged goods, fuel delivery, and so on.

Let's look at these functionalities more closely.

Contact management Create a centralized database of customer data such as shipping address and phone number.
Interaction tracking Track communications with contacts via multiple channels, such as emails, chat conversations, and phone calls.
Lead management Capture and store details of potential clients, in a central location, and track their conversions.
Quote management Allow sales representatives to automatically generate price quotes of products for customers.
Order and invoice management Process orders and create invoices using shipping and billing details.
Inventory management Keep inventory records based on item size, color, and other attributes. Monitor stock levels.
Warehouse management Track how items are arranged and stored in the warehouse and optimize their storage for quick order processing.
Workflow automation Create and monitor tasks that sales agents need to complete as customers move along the sales pipeline.
Document management Store and track documents, such as bills of material, product quotes, and invoices in a centralized location.
Reporting and analytics Monitor and analyze the performance of your sales team with detailed reports and analytical dashboards.

What type of buyer are you?

The right distribution CRM depends on the size and specific requirements of your business.

Here are three common types of distribution CRM buyers and their chief concerns:

  • Small and midsize businesses (fewer than 1,000 employees): These buyers typically have limited budgets for software. As a result, they're primarily concerned with a solution's pricing. This makes cloud-based CRM tools preferable over on-premise tools, as cloud-based deployment requires significantly lower upfront investment.
  • Large enterprises (more than 1,000 employees): These buyers need a tool with advanced functionalities. Enterprise resource planning software that offers CRM as a built-in module is a viable option for these buyers. ERP tools typically also offer accounting and project management functionalities; this can serve cross-functional needs by allowing teams to use a single solution to manage different business processes.
  • Best-of-breed buyers: These buyers could belong to either of the above categories. They are typically looking to solve a specific business need with software. For instance, a wholesale distributor that wants software primarily to process customer orders more quickly might need distribution inventory management software, instead of a CRM tool. Likewise, if you're looking to improve after-sales customer service, you might go for help desk software, which is a part of the larger family of CRM solutions.

Key considerations

To choose the right manufacturing CRM for your business, you must take into account factors such as total cost and integration requirements.

Let's look at these more closely:

  • Total cost of software: Understanding the total cost of software means looking beyond its procurement cost (usually a one-time license fee for on-premise and a recurring subscription for cloud-based solutions). Businesses also need to account for costs incurred during installation, customization, maintenance and support, data migration, training, and so on.
  • Integration requirements: As you evaluate options, you need to consider a CRM's ability to integrate with the tools you already use, or intend to use. This will ensure seamless data flow between otherwise disparate tools, reducing effort and errors due to manually copying and pasting data, and should also speed up processes. Email marketing, project management, and help desk software solutions are some popular integration options.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.