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on Sep 23, 2014 1:00:00 AM | by FullQuota Editor | Tags: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Blog Posts
Most firms, especially small and midsized companies, have a goal of growing their business. At some point in this growth you will need to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. An ERP implementation can be an overwhelming project for those firms that are not prepared for it. It is precisely these firms that are at risk of experiencing an unsuccessful project. If you want to be prepared, consider the following steps.
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on Sep 9, 2014 1:00:00 AM | by FullQuota Editor | Tags: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Blog Posts
Does your business use an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution? If you’re reading this, then the answer is probably yes. Or, at least, you’re interested in purchasing one. What about a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software? You know, so you can manage leads, customers, opportunities, quotes etc.? How do you sell your product? Maybe through a catalog or retail outlet? Maybe through a web store? If a web store, on what platform is your e-commerce site built? I’m throwing a lot of questions at you but here is the really important one: If you’re using two or more software systems to run your business, how are they talking to each other? How are they integrated with one another so you’re tracking sales, receivables, and payables? A proper system integration ensures you’re not duplicating data and effort by maintaining uniquely identifiable customer records, inventory counts and order data which are the same in each system.
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on Aug 19, 2014 1:00:18 AM | by FullQuota Editor | Tags: Retail e-Commerce, Blog Posts
By now we all know that ecommerce is an important sales channel for distributors, or any business for that matter. But knowing this is not enough. In order to deploy this channel successfully an ecommerce strategy is critical. This planning helps you to determine what your goals are, where you currently are with your ecommerce capabilities, and where you want to go.
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on Aug 7, 2014 1:00:23 AM | by FullQuota Editor | Tags: CRM Trends, Blog Posts
Poor business process can slow down even the most successful managers and their teams. Unless a team is following a well implemented and thought-out process for maintaining efficient operations, managers will see harmful bottlenecks in sales, order processing and fulfillment. To avoid these issues, we’ve put together a few tips for process improvement. Separate and analyze – Don’t try to tackle the whole process at once. This is surely a fatal step. Of course most, if not all, of your business processes interact with one another on a daily or weekly basis. Sales reps interact with finance and the order processing department communicates with fulfillment operations all the time. However, these processes can and should be separated into individual teams/departments and tackled one at a time.
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on Jul 24, 2014 1:00:23 AM | by FullQuota Editor | Tags: Sales Order Management, Blog Posts
If you’re using an e-commerce order management tool to track orders through a web store, it’s vital you manage the relationships with customers closely. A lax customer service plan in e-commerce will mean less customer loyalty and dwindling profits. We’ve assembled some tips which you might find vital in implementing an exceptional e-commerce order management system. Communicate with customers through every channel: One of the most important things to keep in mind is that multichannel sales is key. If you have a brick and mortar store, your customers should have the ability to purchase and return items both in person and online. If the sale is made in the store, the customer should be able to log a support case online or on the phone. If they want to return their item, don’t make them come back to the store location. Provide an easy to use reverse fulfillment option through your website. Establish a way for your customers to log support cases through your website. People are reluctant to pick up a phone or travel to a store location so giving them the option to email you through your site will increase the likelihood that you’ll get constructive feedback from your customer base. Providing multiple possible touch points for your customers will give them a sense of security and hopefully a desire to bring their business to you in the future. Track all customer interactions: Whether it’s a sale, a support case, or just a phone call with a question, you should be tracking every touch you make with your prospects and customers. E-commerce order management systems should have a viable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) option built in. By tracking interactions with customers, sales and support reps within your company will have access to the entire account history which will help them to make informed decisions on how to best work with a customer. Once again, this puts control of things into your team’s hands rather than leaving yourself in the dark about how sales and service operations within your company are working. This method also leaves your customer’s feeling taken care of and fosters trust in your company and how you do business. Provide an FAQ page: This may seem like a no-brainer, but provide answers to your most commonly asked questions on an easy-to-find page on your web site. This achieves a couple of things: First, it will allow your customers to answer their own questions about your products and services without having to call or e-mail you. Customers will thank you for not having to call you just to ask if you ship internationally or not. Second, it relieves some of the pressure on your sales and support staff. By cutting down on time wasted answering the same questions over and over, you will increase the efficiency of your e-commerce order management staff. Use the right metrics to analyze and improve customer service operations: By tracking closed web store sales, resolved support cases, and abandoned cart statistics, you can have greater insight into how your customers are interacting with your e-commerce system and hopefully improve as you go. Keep your staff on top of open support cases and unfulfilled sales orders. If you’re getting a lot of customers abandoning their shopping carts, have a workflow to send out e-mails to remind customers to buy. Keep an eye on products which are frequently abandoned so you can examine their description pages and add or remove detail which may be leading to customers changing their minds about the product. The age of multichannel e-commerce is upon us so be prepared with the right tools. A comprehensive e-commerce order management system is necessary to integrate your web store with multi-channel operations and track sales and support. Looking for more information about how to maximize your e-commerce order management system? Contact Business Solution Partners to speak to an expert today!
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Managing an efficient and productive sales pipeline is paramount to regularly closing sales and keeping cash flowing into your business. Proper sales forecasting is not a brainless activity and requires forethought and preparation. Assigning prospective deals to the wrong stage of your pipeline or not moving deals quickly enough through the process can result in skewed data and false expectations for cash flow. We’ve put together 5 of the biggest mistakes sales teams can run into when managing their pipelines and how to avoid them. You’re not in touch with decision makers – It’s important to get the eyes and ears of more than just one person within your prospective customer, but make sure at least one member of the team reviewing your product or service is in a position to make purchasing decisions. Focus on being familiar with the timeline of the decision makers. You might want to close this month but, unbeknownst to you, the purchaser does not foresee actually buying until months down the line. By involving yourself with the right people and becoming aware of their timelines, you can adequately allocate sales resources and attention in the right areas. You haven’t qualified the prospect – A good sales team will want to get a lot of leads and sell the product or service to everyone they can. But moving qualified leads into your pipeline means more accurate sales forecasting and less wasted effort on prospects who don’t meet your company’s definition of an ideal customer. In order to qualify your leads, certain steps have to be taken. For example, learning the size of the company, qualifying their budget and buying timeline, and educating the customer about what you sell and what services you can provide. These are just a few of the steps you should be taking to ensure that you and the buyer are on the same page and ready to work together towards a deal. You’re not managing your sales stages efficiently – Proper sales forecasting requires a pipelines with stages. As deals move from stage to stage, the probability to close increases and your expected sales amount increases accordingly. Sales staff should know how to keep each stage adequately filled with deals moving through regularly. A problem that we’ve seen very often is that there will be plenty of leads, but these leads are not moving from the lead stage into the prospect stage. Define your stages to adequately predict a customer’s readiness to buy. A good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will provide reports to sales staff and management about the status of opportunities in the sales pipeline. Make this process as transparent as possible to avoid clogging the pipeline. You’re relying too heavily on one or two big deals to meet your forecast – Putting all of your eggs in one basket is obviously not the ideal course to manage your sales forecasting goals. Losing that one deal can mean not meeting your forecasted sales revenue for the period. At that point, your other leads and prospects have been neglected and may have lost interest or purchased from a competitor. Focus on deals of all sizes in all stages in your sales pipeline and you’re far more likely to be closing regularly and meeting your sales goals. It’s tempting to take shortcuts but doing so can cause overconfidence. Have a concrete sales process and maintain conservative forecasts and you’re far more likely to keep deals flowing through your pipeline and meet your sales forecasting goals. Looking for more information about how to manage your sales forecasting goals? Contact Business Solution Partners to speak to an implementation expert today!
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on Jul 1, 2014 1:00:42 AM | by FullQuota Editor | Tags: Financial Management Trends, Blog Posts
Corporate Performance Management solutions (or CPM) are tools that are used to monitor the performance of an organization. It is an extension of business intelligence that goes beyond reporting. These tools provide mobility, flexibility, and integration with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and are easy to use.
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on Jun 13, 2014 1:00:13 AM | by FullQuota Editor | Tags: Financial Management Trends, Blog Posts
A slow and difficult quote to cash process can be one of the most prominent pains felt by distributors. It can lead to problems like inefficient sales cycles, longer collection time and poor perception by customers and prospects. By improving the quote to cash process, distributors will find amazing benefits. We’ve put together a few points to focus on when you’re thinking about streamlining your sales cycle. Get the agreements signed electronically – Waiting for the client to sign, scan and return a contract or agreement can eat days and even weeks of the sales process. Rather than relying on outdated paper and pen processes, use an electronic document signature solution. This will allow the client to sign and authorize documents from a mobile phone, tablet or any device with an internet connection. This means that, even when the signer is not in the office, that contract can be signed with a tap of the screen or the click of a mouse.
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