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A CRM for Manufacturing: How Performs in the Sales Manufacturing Industry

Case study looking at the overall performance of when its used as a sales tool.

Last update on June 25

Company Name:Delikant Feinkost GmbH
Sector:Spreads and Fillings Manufacturer
Number of Staff:20 Salespeople Edition:Expert

An interview with Christian Suding, Director Sales at Delikant Feinkost GmbH

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How does CRM work for manufacturing work? Christian Suding, the Sales Director at Delikant, knows a thing or two about progressing leads. Delikant Food Ltd., where he supervises a sales team of almost 20 people use for their sales pipeline. And we sat down with Christian to find out how Germany's leading manufacturer of spreads and fillings for bread snacks sets up its sales process.

Mr Suding’s team is required to manage a significant amount of leads on a daily basis. Some of them are quite small in size and value, whereas others are big leads for important food franchises, as well as national and international catering distributors. These leads can take up to months to close, going through several different stages in the sales process. They also need a lot of follow-ups by phone, email, and face-to-face meetings – before finally turning into a customer.

Given his experience as a successful manager, we asked Mr Suding for his opinion on conventional CRMs when it comes to sales. What should be done; where do most problems occur; what is the best approach to managing a team of salespeople efficiently? Here are some of his insights… Mr. Suding, thank you for your participation! We are very pleased to have you on the phone today to talk about Sales CRMs.

What are your expectations for a CRM?

Mr Suding: In essence, only one thing: it really has to benefit the user and must not force unnecessary information input. It needs to provide employees, who often use the software on a self-organizing basis, with a tool they really need. This is the absolute crux of it, as the acceptance of any software, in my opinion, depends on its user interface. Especially for frequent travellers, who often don’t have the time or the necessary local technical possibilities to work their way through a complex data acquisition system! In your opinion, what common mistakes are made with traditional CRMs?

Mr Suding: The biggest problem is that the broader understanding isn't transported. Conventional CRMs are too complex and require a long process of data collection in advance, for which there is simply no time. In sales, it is important to know about next steps – and not how the marketing department could benefit from the data gain.

In sales, it is important to know about next steps – and not how the marketing department could benefit from the data gain. The demand for CRMs has increased a lot in the last few years. However, thier correct usage and efficiency have been the subject of many discussions. Why do you think that CRMs nowadays tend to fail their purpose?

Mr Suding: Let’s take the online market leader, Salesforce. An extremely complex process-controlled system, wasting the user’s time instead of focusing on the core issue of each salesperson: what is my next step!? You don’t need a tool to maintain your contacts; you need a tool to structure and organize yourself. In addition to the complexity of its system, what other reasons can you name for CRM failure?

Mr Suding: It’s because they have a different background and aim for something completely different. They focus way too much on the data gathering aspect, and of course that approach then eventually fails. The needs of the individual employee have to be taken into account instead. Keeping your data clean and tidy is already hard enough, but wasting valuable time by filling out completely useless information is pointless in my eyes, and failed its purpose of existence. How do you manage your sales pipeline and what is especially important for you?

Mr Suding: For me as a sales manager, it is especially important to look at current events. I like to have an overview of the ongoing operations and want to know where we're at in the sales stage. With my administrative user access, I keep myself in the loop with our projects in the final phase. As some projects are kept at a special branch, we have implemented tailored sales steps to keep our sales funnel clearly arranged. What CRM did you use in the past? Why did you choose to change the provider?

Mr Suding: At Delikant, we used to work with the Microsoft Business Content Manager. The system was widely accepted amongst our office employees. However, due to its complexity, it was only of little use for our sales representatives on the field. Furthermore, I was missing the ‘Funnel’ option, which is extremely important for better visualization. That’s one of the features I find very useful inside You Don’t Need a CRM!.*: Why is different?

The pay-as-you-go model is great, cost implementation and training costs are kept to a minimum.

Mr Suding: The pay-as-you-go model is great because cost implementation and training costs are kept to a minimum. If you come from other systems, usually the configuration process itself occupies your time for the next 14 days, before you can even start to work at all. With, I can start right away! I am very grateful for that! :) How does the use of such tools impact the efficiency of your workflow?

Mr Suding: It highly depends on how a distribution is organized internally. Out of convenience, sales department nowadays don't dare to break out of old patterns and constraints, hence are not open for alternative solutions the market has to offer. At Delikant, we operate with a more proactive approach and therefore really like the model we are using right now! How did our solution help you?

Mr Suding: For us, is a win in every aspect. 100% usage. The software was an absolute profitable solution for our direct sales department, but also from a sales manager’s perspective - a huge relief as it is so easy to use. Not only the ability to get quick, precise insights on projects in the final state, and to track an employees’ activity – but also the ease of staying updated on lost or cancelled deals, is of a great value to me.

Doing so is extremely important and enables me to interact with my team directly and dig deeper into any deals won or lost. I use this dialogue medium for an efficient and clear communication with my team, without which I would otherwise have to communicate via email. The comment field is perfect for helping and motivating my sales reps. Thanks a lot! It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking to you!

Our analysis:

Nowadays, traditional customer relationship management software is showing an increasing popularity and demand on the market. However, they tend to fail their purpose of existence by not providing a proactive solution to the universal problem:

“How do I manage my Sales pipeline?”

CRM focuses primarily on a time-consuming data acquisition process, all before you can actively start working on them. It’s commonly distributed amongst salespeople, but initially thought for the marketing department to gather valuable data and compile reports; they fail their function when misplaced and misused.

Salespeople need to work their way through contact databases, with no assurance that the entered data is of any value to the company or even qualifies as a potential prospect.

Way too much time has been wasted on logging customer interaction data in a complex system, instead of facing the issue at its core and providing a tailored solution for the demands of its users.

If CRM systems don’t adapt accordingly to the individual approach of every sales department – and continue to prioritize structuring and reporting over efficiency and simplicity – then the system becomes more of a constraint than a supportive tool for its principal users: salespeople!

Salespeople don’t need a tool to manage their customers; they need a tool to turn their prospects into customers.

In fact, Christian Suding highlighted the most important information for a salesperson: “What’s the next step?”. This is the vital information needed to push leads through the sales funnel in order to turn them into deals finally.

About Christian Suding and Delikant

During his studies in mechanical engineering in Düsseldorf, the Hamburg born entrepreneur founded his first IT service company out of his university dorm and later converted it into a cross-media agency by collaborating with advertising experts.

As a result of his B2B idea for the music industry, Mr Suding launched a Music License AG, which he also conducted as a board member.

Now he’s been the managing director at Delikant Feinkost GmbH for the past three years and successfully manages the company’s sales.

In Suding’s Team, any form of the administrative barrier was abolished a long time ago, enabling employees to manage their daily activities and sales approaches liberally.

The Hamburg-based entrepreneur firmly believes that no tool is needed to maintain contact database; instead, what’s needed is a tool to help you to manage your daily business efficiently. And we couldn’t agree more!

Helped by an exceptional service expertise and innovation, Delikant has become the leader in the snack market not only nationwide, but also in the bordering countries. At Delikant each employee contributes to the company’s distinctive quality management and thereby assures to meet the highest quality standards at all times.

In the last year, Christian Suding and his Team at Delikant successfully created and managed 1261 Leads within You Don’t Need a CRM!, a step closer to their main aim, expanding their market leadership in Germany and around.

We want to thank Mr. Suding and Delikat Feinkost GmbH for sharing their thoughts on the matter discussed above and are very grateful for their time.

About is a lead management software that breaks traditional conventions through its simplistic approach. By placing the lead at the core of its system, it enables sales teams to create Leads in just seconds, and manage them on an interactive feed easily accessible from anywhere.

Since its official launch in November 2013, You Don’t Need a CRM! has convinced managers and sales staff with its efficient and simple SaaS solution for sales management.

Now being represented in more than 60 countries and available in 6 languages; this unique solution has helped more than 5000 salespeople, managers, and CEOs around the world optimize their sales processes and increase revenue.

The service is online now available in German and can be subscribed to on a monthly basis without engagement for an average 8 € per user. 30 days free trial now under

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