Improve Sales Using ERP Systems
For many, ERP suites serve as a costing tool; configured to mine for operational efficiencies and assign costs to revolving tasks induced by a surfeit number of transactions made by machine, man, and consumer. When configured around business processes, ERP systems can eliminate unnecessary waste and improve compliance reporting. Yet, while these results are solid for continued operations, these efficiencies do not necessarily subsidize revenue. Today innovative companies in the marketplace are taking a different approach to digital configuration and mapping ERP systems to become more business savvy. Enterprises have now begun to use ERP systems strategically to improve sales and price strategies for their business.
Using ERP data to improve sales and marketing
Modern ERP software is a primary data source for sales and marketing strategies (primarily pricing and customer service). But many still do not use the software with these strategies in mind. Purchases made from inbound channels drive little profit. Instead of waiting for demand to happen, many innovative companies are asking how their ERP system can create new business opportunities.
Here’s an example of how this might work: A manufacturer surveys the system to find purchase orders were placed by a returning customer every three months for the last year. It’s nearing the time again when the manufacturer should assume this order will be placed, along with many others, and plan changes for scheduling and capacity. However, the current customer has yet to place an order. With access to this data, sales will have already docketed order history and seized the opportunity. More importantly, it decreases the event of a buyer making a purchase elsewhere. Sales then has the chance to structure attractive pricing to teeter the buyer’s decision in favor of the manufacturer. This is just one simple way ERP software, and its static data, can improves sales.
How to make it happen
Unfortunately, many enterprises have yet to structure a plan to benefit front office systems from ERP suites. It is possible sales and marketing users don’t have access to ERP data remotely, or are subjected to work with a limited data capacity on a current legacy system. In any case, some firms see these hurdles as justifiable, but should expect to see a string of latent issues challenge a modern sales and marketing force. What’s worse, sales executives tend to focus the scope of their strategy on market share; but the real proof is internal. Sales leaders should look to ERP account history and improve relationships between the firm and the 20 percent of customers whom contribute 80 percent of sales.
In order to improve market share, it’s a much more logical use of data to streamline account history, demand analytics, and seasonal trend, and non-conformance to marketing. Positioning, distribution, pricing, and PR are then thoughtfully structured for market capture. ERP data can price and position products to new segments, and others structured to speak to the needs of current customers. Also, the integration between marketing and ERP links forecasts to production. Operation managers can then better forecast scheduling and capacity potential give new demand.
ERP data variances can be used to gauge market elasticity and prompt sales teams to create price floors. This process provides sales people more room to vary pricing for unique customer situations. By the same token, this strategy allows the company to push higher prices, whilst staying competitive. The added benefit provides sales with room for a healthy negotiation. This pricing policy improves the ability of sales teams to speak to the current needs of the customer, which reflects the mission of the enterprise overall.
ERP data suggests new pricing on a case by case basis. For a modern enterprise with these ERP configurations in mind, revenue can significantly increase. This pushes enterprises to improve vendor-client relationships and product accessibility – adding a competitive advantage. The perceived value can then be used to increase pricing and improve cost margins.
Another avid pricing strategy, becoming more apparent in modern business, is the use of ERP data to expedite same day shipping and procurement. Remote users should have access to inventory, shipping information, and certs of compliance to react to sudden changes in the market place. Adding this type of capability allows sales to place orders in real time. Accessibility to account data prompts an environment for suggestive selling of new products, services, and warranties. Access to ERP can also move price contracts through the approval process in real time for a same day signing. This added value can also be built into pricing, since customers find ease of order integral to their ongoing operations.
So how do businesses render such ample functionality? A solid solution we’re finding works is an integration between marketing and sales applications and the ERP system. ERPs can be integrated with both CRM and marketing automation software. An integration provides marketing and sales a chance to collaborate on how nurturing campaigns are structured, as well as, automate re-ordering and ensure account managers are on top of accounts. Sales and marketing leaders can then possess more control over less accounts with greater sales potential.
Interested in how ERP can be deployed or integrated into your environment to improve sales and marketing strategies and increase sales opportunities? Contact Datix ERP software implementation and business process modeling experts today.