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5 Must-Have CRM Features for Customer-Driven Distribution

Meta Description: Looking for reliable CRM for distribution company? Ask for these 5 features.

Whether it comes to manufacturing, wholesale, or distribution, companies can hardly stay at the top of their game without a thorough analysis of customer needs. Even if your business provides goods to retailers, end-customer satisfaction is still the primary goal. In order to satisfy the customers, a company needs to establish long-term relationships with them, and to get familiar with their expectations.
A reliable CRM solution can help you improve all of this, particularly when it’s process-driven and custom-tailored for distributors. These are the 5 essential features to ask for.

Distribution Management


There are two elements that make distribution companies operate like well-oiled machines – comprehensive customer needs analysis is the first, and distribution through multiple sales channels is the second. Together, these functionalities allow effective distribution across the board, while still offering high-level personalization and targeting.

When to that you add sales forecasting and opportunity management, you’ve got yourself the most powerful distribution management toolset. With this list of features, it’s available only in the best CRM software systems, among which bpm’online is recommended by most. For these and other convenient functionalities, check their offer at: https://www.bpmonline.com/distribution.

Product Management
For distribution companies, effective product management is just as crucial as customer relationship management. Traditional CRMs that provide little but repository of customer data don’t suffice here. In addition to this, these businesses need centralized product portfolios too.

The ability to generate complex product bundles is another feature to consider, since it affects everything from strategizing and roadmapping to defining features and marketing products. The best CRM distributors offer this capability as well, so make sure to ask for it.

Service Management
Products or services, it’s all the same for successful distributors. The quality still has to be on the highest possible level, which in turn requires effective management methods and tools. Cutting-edge CRM solutions luckily guarantee both, but only when they are equipped with powerful features.

Service management is certainly one of those, now offered exclusively by leading vendors. Apart from case assigning and status tracking, it should include an intuitive contact center automation too. This feature allows you to stay on top of each customer and every channel, at any given time.

Quote Management


It goes without saying that all of these functionalities should be adjusted for a mobile version of software as well, thus assuring efficient field work for distribution companies. The same applies to our next feature, since quote management should be fast and accurate wherever you are.

If your company is empowered with the best CRM solution, your distributors and salespeople are enabled to generate quotes and convert them into invoices in a matter of seconds. In addition, the aforementioned bpm’online CRM makes establishing special quotes swift and seamless.

Marketing Automation
With state-of-the-art CRM solutions, marketing automation is no longer a separate feature. Instead of asking you to integrate with other tools, they equip you with built-in functionalities for managing far-reaching campaigns. This is finally made possible thanks to CRM advertising.

If you need marketing automation to be another valuable part of your CRM system, ask for capabilities like multichannel campaign management and marketing resource management. They are deemed as core CRM advertising features, and your system should absolutely include them both.

Companies that have already employed CRM for distribution are seeing an improvement not only in product quality and service efficiency, but also in internal communication, customer service and data-based decision-making. Join them soon, and reap the same amazing benefits.

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Expanding your Office Space with CI Interiors

If your business has begun to outgrow its current workspace and you are worried about the implications of moving premises a solution you may want to consider is expanding where you are now and keep the disruption to your business to a minimum. At CI Interiors they are experts in helping businesses make the most of the space that they have available and creating workspaces that are completely tailors to their specific needs so you may want to get in touch with them an see if they are able to offer you a solution to your workspace problems.

As experts in providing office refurbishment services, by looking at installing space creating options such at mezzanine flooring CI interiors will be able to assess your current building and see how much extra workspace it would be possible to create for you, and with a fully qualified team to guide you through each step you can be certain that any extra space that you create will meet all building regulations and current health and safety requirements and that all health and safety equipment that needs to be installed such as smoke alarms and fire escapes will be fitted for you as standard. At every stage the team at CI Interiors will keep you fully informed and be happy to listen to and address any feedback that you may have.

No matter what type of industry you work within at CI Interiors they will be more than happy to take a look at what they can do to help you get the space you need, and if your business has specific requirements such as specialist equipment that needs to be installed or essential wiring for phone lines and technical equipment they will be able to include all of this within the initial designs and make sure that you new working area is caters to all your business working practices, helping you to increase employees satisfaction and efficiency.

Creating extra mezzanine flooring as workspace will not only help you save the time and money associated with moving premises it will also give you the opportunity to create a purpose built workspace that is attractive and pleasant to spend time in which will help present a positive and attractive impression to new and potential clients, and be being able to make sure that the things that you really need are included in the plans you can also add extra space such as staff toilets or kitchen areas which will help improve the functionality of your building.

By using CI Interior’s office refurbishment services you can have compete peace of mind that they will take care of every detail for you during the build and will also be able to offer you all the help and advice you may need to keep your business running while the project is completed. They will also be able to offer you all the support you may need if you have any queries at all and will offer a flexible service to help you find ways around any unexpected problems that may occur so you can be certain that the job will be completed to a really high standard and be suited to all you requirements.

So if your business has begun to outgrow the space it currently has why not have a chat with CI Interiors and see if they can help you create more space? As experts in mezzanine flooring and other space creating solutions they have all the experience required to help you make your current premises into the perfect workplace for you.

Commercial & Industrial Interiors are a North East company, who are specialists in the field of internal office building and construction, demountable office partitioning, materials handling and storage systems. If you would like more information then please visit the CI Interiors website today.

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How to optimise your e-commerce store images

t’s likely that your website is optimised for search engines – but are the images?

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If the images on your website aren’t optimised, your ranking on Google won’t be as high as it could be, and this means that you could be missing out on a huge audience of people who would be interested in your products.

If you want to improve your Google ranking, here’s how to optimise your e-commerce store images.

Use text

Search engine bots are very smart, but sadly, they aren’t smart enough yet to read images, so you will need to add text to all of your images so that search engines can ‘see’ them. If you upload an image of a bike that you are selling, for example, you should also add relevant text to the image so that it can be correctly indexed.

This is especially important if you run an e-commerce website, as most of your website comprises of images.

Be careful with your keywords

Images and videos are the future of content marketing, but if you’re not using the right keywords, they won’t be seen by the right people. Remember that people use different keywords when they are searching for images instead of pictures, and tailor your keywords accordingly.

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If you want to find a London SEO agency who can help you create useful and relevant image keywords, check out https://www.elevateuk.com/.

Strengthen your technical SEO foundations

You should also make sure that the technical SEO foundations on your website are solid, as if they are weak, you may encounter issues with your images. Start by looking at all of your image filenames, as they need to be relevant to the actual image. This is especially important for product images, so customers will be able to find them through Google search.

Create an image sitemap

An image sitemap can be used by Google search engine bots to map all of the images on your website, and this will help to boost your store images’ online ranking. Make sure you also include relevant metadata, and if you are using a CMS, make sure it will automatically update the image sitemap.

These updates may take a while to make, but they can massively boost your SEO ranking, helping to improve your outreach and engagement, so it is well worth making the changes.

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What Direct Funding can do for Your Company’s Bottom Line?

Most businesses have a problem with capital adequacy in their operations. Recent studies done on companies both large and small indicate that many lack the money necessary to meet growth needs. Financing options such as operating leases, capital leases, and bank loans exist, but not every business either qualifies for them or is best suited to exploit them.

The best alternative to maximize available capital for businesses is through direct funding of equipment instead of outright purchases. The beauty of direct funding is that it frees up capital so you can invest it to help generate more cash for your business.

With direct financing, you can purchase equipment from leasing agents which you can then lease to other third-party users. Through this arrangement, you don’t burden your business with an inventory of equipment that holds your cash; instead, you only enter into the financing agreement once you identify a client to whom you are going to lease.

How Direct Funding Affects Your Bottom Line
Many benefits accrue to your business from direct funding. Amongst them include:

Tax Deduction
Since you are using the equipment to earn income that is accessible, the rental payments to the leasing agent will be treated as business expenses and therefore tax deductible. Thus, you should ensure that the payments are recorded well by your accountant.

Cashflow Management
With direct funding, you have immediate access to the services of equipment without making an initial capital outlay. This means the cash you could use for this purpose is saved and becomes part of your free cash flow. Since you will tailor your rental payments with your seasonal cash inflows, you will not burden your cash reserves. Often, you can use the leased equipment as the collateral. Hence, your other assets will be free and not tied to the funding.

Flexibility in Rental Options
Direct funding companies like BSB Leasing allow you to negotiate a workable lease rental payments periodicity that works for you. For instance, you may agree on a monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, semiannually, annually, or on a seasonal basis. You can often make payments through a nominated bank account agreed upon by the contracting parties.

With flexibility in payment, it means you will never have cash-strapped operations and your books will always look healthy because you are matching expenses to revenues they help generate.

Creating a Direct Funding Arrangement
To safeguard and guarantee the equipment they are giving to you; leasing agents may require some form of collateral from you. It is in no way a statement of mistrust, but rather security that their future payments will come according to schedule. However, the beauty of direct funding is that the leasing agent will take the equipment as the collateral which means failure to honor payments can make them repossess the equipment. Therefore, before committing to any direct funding agreement, ensure that your client can meet the periodic payments and that they are sufficient to cover the lease payments you are to make to the leasing agent and leave some profit for you.

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How to manage charity volunteers in a safe way

In the UK, 90% of registered charities are completely run by volunteers and have no paid staff. Therefore, whatever the organisation, volunteers play an important role in enabling the charity to do its job. From specialised skills to fundraising, every volunteer has their role to play, so what is the process for managing these people?

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Recruit

There are websites where you can advertise for volunteers, and these can be any age from school children to parents and family members or retired people. Volunteer vacancies are also advertised in local jobcentres. It is important that the volunteers are aware of their role and the support they can get from the organisation. A written role description can make it clear what is expected of them and what their expectations will be. Volunteers need to feel confident that the organisation has correct procedures in place and that the time they donate is well spent and valued.

 Expenses

Volunteers are not paid for their services, but are entitled to any travel expenses incurred. They are also entitled to protective clothing or any other essential equipment they need to achieve their role, plus any telephone or postal charges incurred if working from home.

Verify

Any volunteers working with children need to be checked out through a basic DBS (http://www.carecheck.co.uk/basic-dbs-checks/), where any criminal records and unsuitability are confirmed.

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Insurance

Every volunteer should be covered by the charity’s insurance, in case of any injury or incident which may take place.

Volunteers

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities and without them, many charities would not be able to function. Estimates suggest that 15.2 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a month for various charities and around 23 million volunteer once a year. That is a great number of people doing great work for the sake of their communities, through fundraising, sponsored walks, cake stalls, bring and buy and hundreds of other events. Volunteering your time and expertise can be very rewarding. It gets you out and about meeting new people and trying out new experiences.

Abroad
There are also volunteer programs and projects where you can help in more than 30 countries, with projects ranging from teaching, conservation, community and health care, giving you the chance to travel and see the world whilst helping communities less fortunate than yours.

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