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Electronics industry: Generating revenue thru effective CRM

Posted: 13 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CRM? revenue? semiconductor? ODM? OEM?

The fix is expensive, not guaranteed

I have met with 15 companies that have made substantial CRM investments in the past two to four years. One company has more than a half a million lines of custom code built on their solution to address a small portion of the items I just discussed. In addition to this "sunk cost" they incur an ongoing annual expense of more than $1 million to maintain the customisations, not including the recurring licence fee of the CRM solution. Custom development is quite typical, even though costs range from a half-million dollars to as much as $2.5 million.

What makes custom development even more disconcerting is that these companies were not able to avoid the usual pitfalls of CRM adoption. Sales representatives, for example, view CRM as a data entry system that guarantees their compensation, but they are not convinced that CRM helps them sell. Adjacent processes that are integral to the sales process such as samples and quotes often are run on other systems. Sales representatives, therefore, must use multiple systems to get their jobs done. So the question remains, why bother with customisation?

Changing the CRM paradigm

A successful CRM system for the industry needs to: track multiple purchasing entities (ODM, EMS, distribution) against the same end-customer opportunity; manage transfer business workflow; provide full support for the design registration process through a single view of the entire funnel, sample management and global account management; display embedded analytics that go beyond showing a static view of the funnel to enable analysis of trend changes; and seamlessly integrate with a revenue management system to manage quotes and gain full visibility into contracts, orders and point of sale.

For the semiconductor industry, moving beyond fixing industry specific issues and nuances are keys to driving maximum selling and effectiveness.

It also needs an embedded solution-selling engine which based on end-market application and block diagrams, recommends to the sales representative what else they can consider proposing to their customer. This means that every sales person and manufacturing rep, regardless of how new or knowledgeable, is turned into a better solution seller who is better equipped to capture every socket on a board and drive more designs into the funnel.

This shifts the paradigm of CRM. CRM is no longer just a data entry solution, but a sales engine that maximises revenues and sell time, proposes ideas to sales teams in order to help them sell more and reach their objectives.


CRM has gone vertical in many other industries. For semiconductors, an industry operating in single digit growth rates, the ability to drive more designs into the funnel and increase sales productivity makes a difference in business performance and sales effectiveness.

- Chanan Greenberg
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