Improve Sales With ERP Software
For many, ERP systems are tools for eliminating waste, managing inventory, controlling manufacturing processes and other back-office functions. While these features are crucial for optimizing operations, many businesses fail to realize that their ERP systems also have the power to boost sales and marketing practices.
The most innovative companies are taking a different approach to digital configuration, mapping ERP systems to become more business savvy. Enterprises are just starting to use ERP systems strategically to improve sales and marketing strategies. We'll explain how businesses can take advantage of ERP functions to improve front-office activities.
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 front-office practices in mind, and purchases made from inbound channels are driving little profit. Instead of waiting for demand to happen, many trailblazing 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, finding that 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. Marketers will know when and how to reach out to returning customers. 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 can improve sales.
How to Make It Happen
Unfortunately, many enterprises have yet to structure a plan to enable front offices to leverage ERP data. Perhaps 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. Some firms see these hurdles as justifiable, but they can be easily avoided to boost sales and marketing performance. Even when front offices have access to ERP data, 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 those customers who contribute to the vast majority of sales.
In order to improve market share, it’s a much more logical use of data to streamline account history, demand analytics, 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.
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, while 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 marketplace. 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. ERP can also move price contracts through the approval process in real time for same-day signing.
So how do businesses leverage such ample functionality? The most solid solution is an integration between CRM and ERP. When ERP is integrated with CRM, marketing and sales can easily collaborate on the structure of nurturing campaigns, automate re-ordering and perform other crucial processes more efficiently. Sales and marketing teams can easily access accurate ERP data to create effective strategies and possess more control over less accounts, empowering them to bring in more business.
These advantages are made possible through Datix's Unity, our integration solution that connects Infor ERP with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 or other platforms for a more efficient, transparent enterprise. Datix is a certified partner with both Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce, making us the premier enterprise software experts for businesses that want to boost their sales.
Interested in how ERP can be deployed or integrated into your environment to improve sales and marketing strategies? Contact our ERP experts today!