Improve Manufacturing Margins by Consolidating Tech & Adding Automation: CRM for Manufacturers

You have dozens of opportunities to use tech and automation with a CRM for manufacturers to improve margins in your company. The trick is knowing where to look – and what questions to ask. And that’s where Lake One can help.

Lately, we’ve been using tech and automation to help manufacturers increase inefficiencies across their sales, marketing, and support functions. This starts with helping manufacturers get extreme clarity on their key processes, like how a lead flows through their system.

Once we’re clear on the process, we bring in our not-so-secret weapon, the best CRM for manufacturers: HubSpot. Along with its broad ecosystem of tools, the HubSpot platform offers myriad opportunities to automate critical steps in your sales, marketing, and support processes – all of which can lead to improved margins.

This post walks you through several examples and details how Lake One approaches these assignments.

Graphic showing how HubSpot supports marketing, sales, and suppot.

How a CRM for manufacturers improves margins across sales, marketing, and support

Most digital marketing efforts revolve around CRM platforms because it’s easier to see how sales, manufacturing, and support drive the business when looking at an integrated and unified data set

Sales margins

Your most significant opportunity to drive incremental revenue is by putting your sales team to their highest and best use. This never includes digging through hundreds or thousands of leads to identify and elevate sales opportunities. Instead, it looks like:

  • Providing your sales team with a list of high-value targets
  • Identifying opportunities to cross-sell and upsell within accounts
  • Making it easy for your team to find incremental or net-new opportunities

For example, say you have a complex and manual process to configure, price, and quote your product that takes days each time. What if, instead, you used a prebuilt CPQ solution that plugs into HubSpot? How would reducing your CPG timeframe from five days to four hours improve your business? And what is the dollar value of increased accuracy, improved efficiency, and an enhanced customer experience?

Generally speaking, you’ll see the most significant impact when you automate sales activities. They’re typically some of the most manual tasks and have the clearest line to revenue.

Marketing margins

Marketing plays a critical role in assisting the sales process, and there are ways to automate portions of this work as well. For example, let’s say your current lead-routing process goes like this.

A lead completes a form on your website. That triggers an email to a generic mailbox that someone on your marketing team monitors. When an email comes in, they look up which territory it’s from, consult a chart posted on their wall to see who’s in that territory, and then send the lead along based on who’s up.

This process works, but what happens if someone is out of the office for an afternoon, a day, or a week? And how much potential revenue might that be costing you?  

By automating your lead-routing process, you can eliminate costly delays and shift your team’s attention from low-value tasks to higher-value ones. Just think what your marketing team could accomplish if they could instead focus on the following:

Support margins

Using a good CRM for manufacturers, like HubSpot, makes it easy for you to view and analyze the support customers need from your company and turn it into valuable insights. For example, why ask your support team to answer the same questions repeatedly when you could build an automated chat that provides customers with self-serve answers?  

This keeps your support team focused on higher-value tasks like:  

  • Removing friction from the purchase process
  • Finding opportunities to upsell or cross-sell
  • Identifying new market or product opportunities

How a digital growth partner can help implement a CRM for manufacturers

The most pressing question many manufacturers have at this point is: how much work will this take? And will it have any impact on my existing business relationships? We understand these concerns and know choosing a partner is a big decision. If it helps, here’s what Lake One customers appreciate about working with us:

  • Industry experience – we understand manufacturing companies’ unique cost pressures and provide targeted advice based on your operation.  
  • Outside perspective – we offer a solution-oriented outside perspective that makes it easier to set aside how things have always been done.
  • Important questions – we start by “fishing out the process.” That means we ask tough questions, challenge assumptions and think creatively. This helps you clarify what’s working, what’s not, and where to start.

If you’re trying to decide whether to tackle a big CRM project, here’s our best advice: place progress ahead of perfection. Because while this can be complex work, you don’t have to solve for every contingency. Instead, just get started and create some forward momentum.

We’ve seen several manufacturers hesitant to start this work and, once they started, didn’t want to stop. They just kept finding more opportunities to simplify their processes and improve their margins.

Expert guidance, zero pressure

If you want to learn more about consolidating your tech and automating key sales, marketing, and support tasks with a CRM for manufacturers, we’re here to help. Just reach out to get started.