Any business serious about growth would want to implement smart strategies for marketing and sales to stay competitive in the market.
There are several ways they can try, but the most efficient and quickest method would be to use a robust ERP system.
Sales include everything from communicating with the customer to tracking dispatched orders for individual customers.
These are often time-consuming and monotonous activities and can be easily automated and managed well using an efficient ERP.
The sales management module in your ERP enables you to maintain extensive and accurate records of all your sales transactions.
The sales management ERP software allows you to update total sales and distribution functions efficiently.
It handles many roles: placing orders, generating new items, scheduling, and altering existing items, sending estimates and quotes to customers, copying, shipping, and so on.
The sales and distribution management also handles the job of creating sales opportunities, and efficient use of distribution channels to turn a profit.
Organizations use ERP to plan the way they want their business to achieve growth.
They can see where they need to make improvements, and how to do better in the future.
Thanks to automation, you can avoid manual data entry and save time with ERP; moreover, it initiates deliveries in a timely manner.
In a scenario of intense and ever-increasing competition, companies need to concentrate on improving sales procedures and increasing leads and conversions.
What Are the Main Activities in Sales and Marketing?
The sales and marketing modules offer functionalities to handle every phase, right from prospecting, to tracking customer orders, placing orders for dispatch, raising invoices, and accepting customer payments.
Here are the core functionalities in the Sales and Marketing module in an ERP:
- Sales order
- Scheduling orders
- Tracking invoices
- Sales returns
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Further, the below-mentioned functions can be recorded as well:
- Automation of employee activities like customer visits and expense tracking
- Setting marketing targets for employees
- Activities related to employees collaborating with franchisees and business partners.
- Customer payments after dispatch of goods
- Contacting customers to follow up on invoices and receiving payments
- Tracking lost orders and reasons for losing them
- Preparing thorough reports of sales and marketing activities like sales trends across different periods, analysing the data to make sales forecasts, etc.
Core Features in an ERP Sales Module
Customers and sales are at the heart of not just a business, but also ERP systems.
They connect orders – which puts demands on a business – with cash flows – which is what keeps a business going.
Now every business has its own sales requirements, yet there are some crucial features that should be there in the sales module of an ERP.
1. Customer Database
This is the entity you do business with – whether an individual or business.
The ERP allows you to group customers within the system in any manner that is relevant for your business – by product, location, etc. advanced features include prospecting tools, sales funnel, and linked customers, that are otherwise found in a CRM.
2. Multi-tiered Orders
A single customer may place an order for several different products. For example, let’s say a company makes baby products like toys, pacifiers, booties, clothes, cloth nappies, etc.
A retailer may place orders for differing quantities of different products, like 100 boxes of nappies, 40 boxes of pacifiers, and 500 boxes of clothes.
When the sales team takes orders, the order form has separate columns for product description, amount, quantity, and so on.
These can be broken down, with lines having different quantities and delivery dates, or even a specific date as requested by the customer for the delivery.
Perhaps the customer wants the boxes of pacifiers to be delivered earlier than the other products as they are urgently needed at his store.
When configured properly, ERP supports this arrangement effectively.
For example, the specific date requested by the customer can be defined in the system as a shipped or delivered date, with the difference being the transit time.
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Quotes in the ERP Sales module are pretty much like an order, without an agreement to deliver yet. They are also valid for a certain period – usually, the last date of validity is mentioned.
The ERP system will let you convert the quote into order once you’ve struck a deal after negotiations.
4. Sales Forecast
This is simply the expected demand for products, or in other words, sales, in the near future.
ERP software uses numerous statistical methods to predict future sales by using historical sales data, seasonal trends, current market conditions, and other factors.
Sales forecasts help businesses plan production properly, and order the necessary raw materials, and so on to meet future demands.
5. Credit Limit
Most businesses set credit limits for their customers.
This way, the ERP software will trigger an alert if orders for a particular customer are taken exceeding the credit limit.
Now this customer will only be able to place orders after making payment for previous orders.
This safeguards your business interests and ensures you don’t end up with several unpaid sales.
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A reliable ERP system must offer a database that can be queried on every open order, arranged by their delivery-due dates.
Orders to be delivered next month are likely to be in the process of either production or procurement, while those say 6 months away are not likely to have any action planned for the present.
It is also desirable that the production and quality control modules are integrated, as this renders decision-making that much easier.
7. Sales Territories
While not absolutely essential, this is a desirable feature.
ERP software can break down sales by executives categorized by regions.
This way, a particular executive will be responsible for all sales-related activities in that region, like bookings, orders, backlogs, tracking deliveries, etc.
8. Sales Returns
Customers may want to return their purchases for a number of reasons like defects in the product, quality issues, duplicate orders placed by mistake, and so on.
Without a proper system to record and track returns, it may lead to data duplication, errors, and confusion.
A robust ERP sales module should have a proper system to account for sales returns.
Benefits of Using ERP for Sales Management
Let’s take a look at the benefits of sales management in a nutshell:
- Integrating business processes
- Improved decision making
- Unified reporting system
- Customer management
- Real-time information
- Easy implementation
- Saves money
- Unified reports dashboard
- Efficient management of inventory
How Does ERP Help in Sales and Distribution?
- Obviously, the most important goal of the sales and distribution activity is increasing productivity and profitability. With the right ERP software, you will be able to respond appropriately to customers, improve response time, and achieve your sales goals quickly and efficiently.
- By allowing the sales team to view all the essential information in a central location, the ERP helps in the management, monitoring, and tracking of every stage in the sales process.
- Scheduling customer appointments, following up, evaluating competitors, and other activities are automated by ERP, and this helps to boost performance and productivity overall.
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- An efficient sales module facilitates improved collaboration among sales teams, enabling them to work together for better productivity and optimal results.
- An effective sales management module can help businesses enhance their sales processes, maintain and update records of orders, invoices, agreements, and other documents, manage accounts, and so on. This affords businesses comprehensive visibility into the process from start to finish, identifying opportunities for cross-selling and upselling, regulating expenses, and craft more efficient and customer-centric business strategies. Basically, it helps companies to have a tighter control in the sales department.
- It centralizes data in a unified dashboard and provides accurate data in real-time that helps in making informed decisions.
- Accurate data and analytics help in predicting future demand for products, ensuring you don’t lose opportunities for sale.
- By boosting efficiency in the sales and distribution process, you can empower the sales team to stay competitive as a business.
- The solution can be smoothly integrated with other functions like marketing, inventory, HR, payroll, finance, production, etc.
The software helps in the planning, scheduling, regulation, and observation of contacts.
By sending alerts regarding current activities and opportunities in one place, it helps enhance performance and improve time management.
This helps to avoid hurdles during sales activities before they become problematic.
Your ERP sales management module maintains historical and current records of all transactions with customers including goods and services delivered to them.
This signifies the importance of sales management module for businesses.
The Benefits to Sales Function
Though manufacturing can benefit instantly from including sales in the overarching equation, it also benefits the sales function immensely.
The ERP solutions of today are capable of performing the same functions that standalone sales software used to do, and even go beyond it.
It not only allows easy access to the sales data, but it also tracks the sales process from end to end.
This can lead to quicker lead times, fewer manufacturing problems, better productivity, and enhanced efficiencies overall.
This in turn can help improve conversions and customer retention.
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Detailed records of communication with prospects and customers, transaction information like sales history, terms of payment, special requests for delivery, etc. can be easily maintained.
With ERP, you can also manage the sales cycle more efficiently, and provide improved customer service including after-sales service.
This will help you to decrease costs associated with marketing and sales.
By integrating all the functions into one organization-wide system and making data centrally accessible, you can facilitate improved decision-making for your business.
Siloed information can lead to redundant data and confusion.
But with a centralized system, everyone is on the same page.
An efficient ERP system with a feature-rich sales module can benefit your company tremendously. By automating monotonous activities and streamlining the entire sales process, you can stay ahead of the competition.
Tranquil Cloud ERP is a robust, cloud-based ERP that can help boost overall efficiency and productivity by transforming your sales process. We can show you how exactly our software can help your business – all you have to do is book a demo with us at your convenient time. Our executives will take you through the solution and answer any query you have.