Here at Pepperi, when we speak to brands and wholesalers who are thinking of investing in a sales order software tool for their business, we are often asked similar questions.
Firstly, they want to know what it is – great question. They move on to asking why they need it, especially if they already have a CRM (customer relationship management) and / or ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution in place. Another great question. And finally, they want to know what it will do for their business. What difference will it make?
If you’re considering a sales order management tool for your business and have the same questions, then you’ve come to the right place.
What is sales order software?
Wholesalers and brands that choose to adopt a sales order management solution are usually replacing manual pen and paper order writing processes or transitioning from an internal solution that no longer fits their business.
Sales order management (‘SOM’) software provides you with a single view of all your sales orders from across all your B2B sales channels, from the moment the order is taken, through to invoicing and fulfilment.
So now we know what it does, how is it different from the ERP or CRM software that you may already have.
How does sales order management software differ from an ERP or CRM?
It would be easy to mistake sales order software with ERP or CRM software as they both involve your order and customer data. Mobile CRM software provides your sales reps with a 360° view of each of their customers. They have access to sales and payment history, email correspondence, customer visits and more, so they are in the perfect position to consult with, and answer customer questions quickly and effectively.
An ERP solution helps a company integrate their back-office business processes and facilitates the flow of information within the company so that business decisions can be driven by facts backed up by data.
Sales order software has elements of both and provides essential connections between CRM and ERP by managing the whole sales process from order taking to fulfillment. The improved efficiency of sales order software benefits both brands and wholesalers as well as the customer, of course.
What impact will sales order management software have on your business?
All businesses will see major operational improvements using sales order management software, but the level of impact will depend on your current sales process, how quickly the technology is adopted across your sales team and how it’s integrated with your current CRM or ERP solution.
- Improved view of inventory levels
The provision of real-time updates on the status of your inventory levels means you’ll always have the most up-to-date information available. If you have the information, you can easily and efficiently pass it on to your customers, so they have realistic expectations of delivery times, stock levels and more.
- Faster order processing and fulfillment
Having a system in place that can manage the sales order process from beginning to end improves efficiency. There’s no double order entry, orders taken in the field are immediately transferred to the warehouse for fulfillment improving not only delivery times but also speeding up the order-to-cash cycle. This is in stark contrast to orders previously manually processed using faxes, emails or even snail-mail, involving long delays and human error.
- Cost reductions
Any change from a manual process to an automated one will result in cost reductions in staff time. In addition, there will be a reduction in errors which also saves time, money and customer frustration. These savings often mean the sales order software pays for itself within the very first months of use.
- Improved customer retention
We know as consumers that we prefer to buy from companies that are modern, efficient, listen to us and care about our buying experience. Similarly, B2B buyers also prefer to work with wholesalers and brands that use a modern selling process. Your customers will benefit from an improved buying experience which is largely error free, efficient and fast, which will encourage them to use you, rather than your competitors, for their next order.