automating quote to order (1)

When it comes to any sort of sales activity, a large component of time is spent on administrative tasks which could easily be streamlined through automation.

Managing enquiries: Enquiries often come in through a range of disparate systems. They are often then entered into a CRM like Salesforce, combined with other data from core systems and put in a queue for sales follow-up. This is a process that can easily be automated. A robot could go and find job titles, work experience and even cross-reference a company against VAT or companies house. In a matter of minutes, a substantive picture can be formed to better inform both sales and marketing as to how good the prospect is.

Identify, manage and qualify leads: Automation isn’t intelligent enough to spot buying signals but it could be used to provide some basic form of qualification. Once a prospective client’s details have been entered into the CRM and details have been verified, the bot could then score that lead. This could take into account the turnover of the company, the job title, perhaps the amount of connections to the company. This would provide a quick but rough indication of which leads may be better, and certainly it could flag up leads where payment may be an issue. Ultimately your team will need to prioritise which leads are the most important.

Create an initial sales quote: Automation can certainly remove the need to retype a client’s information from one system into another, can bring up the appropriate terms and conditions and pull in product information.

Approve pricing, discounts and promotions: In the creation of a quote, you could add in some rules as to the lowest price that can be negotiated or perhaps the fastest turnaround that should be offered, but generally speaking these considerations all require manual oversight.

Generally speaking in industries where negotiation is required, you will need a person to do that. You could set up some basic rules on what is an acceptable reduction on cost and rather than every discount needing approval, this could be automated. When people are willing to buy they want fast answers and for any business with a wide range of products getting each and every discount approved may simply loose sales. A bot could work across a CRM/ERP to verify the current cost of a particular product, cross reference that with the requested discount, and discounting policy and approve or disapprove the discount.

Create and manage customer orders: A problem that many organisations have is that sales and operations sit in two different silos. This leads to problems where sales are the one who have the relationship with a customer, when operations take over the chain they don’t have that rapport causing a lot of back and forth as to who should update that client when/if something goes wrong. Tools like Robotic Process Automation work across systems and so can create sales orders, and instantly inform all stakeholders when updates occur.

Manage customer data: Customer data is something that has very much been on the agenda, especially since the introduction of GDPR. Bots can log into a CRM and automatically check details for customers, send catchup emails and cross-reference linkedin to see if that person is still in the same position.

As you’ll see above the main purpose of automation is to take away the data entry, the retyping and the low-level tasks and allow you to focus on prioritising your pipeline and converting more leads.

To find out more about the different automation technologies which can help you: contact Proservartner today.

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