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Why sales order software should not be stand-alone

December 18, 2018 By Stacey Woods

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In today’s digital world, CPG brands and wholesalers are relying on technology more than ever to help fuel their sales success, but not all are using it to its full capacity. Below we look at some of the benefits of combining your sales order software with other B2B sales tools to help you increase your sales and improve overall efficiency.

1.      Transform your van drivers into sales reps

Most sales reps are using a sales order software to take orders out in the field. Additionally, many manufacturers and distributors use Direct Store Delivery (DSD) solutions to send products to retailers. But what if you combined the two? When your drivers deliver the products, it would be simple to provide them with an ordering app on the same mobile device and give them the capability to take new orders whilst out on delivery.  

This would save overheads- 2 reps for the price of 1, save travel expenses – fuel and other vehicle costs and improve efficiency. It also means the customer is not waiting for their next ‘official’ visit from the sales rep but can make an interim order there and then.

For this to happen the B2B sales solution must neatly tie in field sales, inventory management, invoicing, and payment collection which all syncs with the company’s ERP system in real-time. The right B2B sales platform will cut your costs and unearth new sales opportunities for route staff.

2.     Enhance control over retail execution

Poor retail execution because of low retailer compliance leads to lost sales. According to  a report from the Promotion Optimization Institute, 90% of companies have difficulties executing their in-store promotions.

But combining retail execution and monitoring software with your existing sales order software can increase the efficiency of your retail operation and improve the productivity of your sales reps.

Sales reps are always in the field so why not also use them for retail execution activities? With a retail execution app on their mobile device they can take photos of storefronts,shelves, displays and promotional campaigns. Each image can be time-stamped, geo-tagged and shared for easier analysis.

In addition, they can perform stock checks and submit replenishment orders immediately, through their mobile device.

As a result, by providing sales staff with a mobile merchandising app they are in the position to take control of all field merchandising activity at the same time they take orders.

3.     Get omnichannel right

According to a Forrester report, omnichannel customers are more active, spend more, and are less expensive to support than single channel customers. Brands today use different means to reach their customers, with sales reps in the field or the office and through self-service web and mobile B2B eCommerce.

Unfortunately, these channels are not always in sync with each other and it’s not unusual for each channel to rely on a different solution. Every change the organization wants to make, such as introducing a new sales campaign or adding a new product, must be managed separately by each department, and in each solution.

Clearly, in a world where omnichannel rules the customer experience, stand-alone solutions will not work. Your B2B eCommerce platform can’t stand in isolation but must be combined with your other sales tools under a single platform - using a single management console.

What this also means is that by seamlessly combining B2B eCommerce with sales order software, you can map the entire customer journey across all touch points. Every team member can see the same holistic view in order to provide better and more consistent customer experience, make better decisions and drive sales.

Finally….

The companies that will be successful in the future are those that take a holistic approach to managing their business by making sure all business activities are integrated and management has a 360O view of the supply chain.