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Ahead In The Cloud

The Business Solution Partners Blog

Is Your Outdated CRM Costing You Money?

When you’re managing inventory and distribution, you want to put your time and resources toward projects that directly add value, rather than dealing with the nuts and bolts of your distribution business software.
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Streamline Inventory Management With These 5 Expert Tips

on Jul 10, 2014 1:00:23 AM By | Business Solution Partners | 0 Comments | Inventory Management & Demand Planning
For inventory-based businesses, it’s important to maintain efficient processes for ordering, tracking and selling your stock. A properly implemented inventory management system can lower operating costs and increase margin.
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Avoid These 4 Sales Forecasting Mistakes

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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5 Ways to Improve Your Demand Planning

on Jun 19, 2014 1:00:01 AM By | FullQuota Editor | 0 Comments | Inventory Management & Demand Planning
The ability to quickly provide customers with the products that they purchase is a key component of customer satisfaction. Many an order has been lost as a result of the inability to ship products efficiently. The primary factor in the ability to ship product on time is to have the right stock levels of the right product at the right time and at the right location. This is the challenge of today’s demand planner and is no easy task unless you are using a demand planning tool for inventory management. If you are using complex spreadsheets or out dated systems it may be time to upgrade to a better solution. Today’s demand planning systems provide sophisticated forecasting capabilities with easy to use functions and many are specifically designed for the wholesale distribution, e-commerce, manufacturing, and retail industries. Here are five ways that you can improve your demand planning with a cloud based demand planning solution: Improve Your Baseline. Your baseline is the initial forecast that is used to compare all subsequent versions. If your initial baseline isn’t accurate, your future forecasts and your base line variances will suffer. To improve your base line make sure your system is integrated with your ERP and CRM systems so that you get accurate historical data.
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3 Keys To Eliminating Common Warehouse Inventory Management Inefficiencies

on Jan 7, 2014 12:00:28 AM By | FullQuota Editor | 0 Comments | Inventory Management & Demand Planning
Distributors need to be vigilant in identifying inventory management inefficiencies in the warehouse to avoid unnecessary costs and to increase overall effectiveness.
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3 Functions Your E-Commerce Inventory Management Systems Should Support

on Dec 19, 2013 12:00:37 AM By | FullQuota Editor | 0 Comments | Inventory Management & Demand Planning
Technology solutions can help distributors to tailor their e-commerce inventory management systems to fit the demands of the 21st century.
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3 Key Inventory Management Features For Better Supply Chain Management

on Dec 5, 2013 12:00:02 AM By | FullQuota Editor | 0 Comments | Inventory Management & Demand Planning
Cloud-based inventory management solutions provide a high level of visibility that enables distributors to get the most out of their supply chains.
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How Does E-commerce Inventory Management Improve The Returns Process?

on Nov 26, 2013 12:00:32 AM By | FullQuota Editor | 0 Comments | Inventory Management & Demand Planning
With the volume of orders placed through the e-commerce channel growing rapidly for wholesale distributors, so is the number of returns. According to an article on the DC Velocity website, warehouses and distribution centers need to have a superior e-commerce inventory management system to handle the variety of returns and to successfully manage “reverse logistics” in a world where e-commerce is so prevalent. Wholesale distributors are moving to implement omni-channel solutions to capture the growing demand for an e-commerce option in the marketplace. Consequently, warehouses and distribution centers are now receiving returned orders not only from their brick-and-mortar stores, but also from their e-commerce customers.
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