For decades, automated time-saving, manual processes have been important in making businesses more scalable, adaptable and efficient. Study after study shows that companies, especially at the enterprise level, continue to invest heavily in automation technology to drive growth and gain an edge over the competition.
So, why are so many companies still wasting money and people’s work time on manual sales and order management processes? A study by McKinsey & Company found that while today’s technology makes it easy to automate one-third of sales and sales activities, only one in four companies has automated at least one sales process.
What’s going on here To keep sales and orders flowing, the company’s leadership may be hesitant to intervene in this part of the company. Often, they change pieces as much as possible, with little or no improvement as sales and customer care teams continue to handcuffs due to busy work. This leaves sales teams unable to focus 100% on sales – and customer support teams unable to focus 100% on ensuring fast and accurate product delivery.
Bottom line: If you don’t use technology to automate the rest of your manual, routine and recurring sales and order handling processes, you’re leaving a huge gap on the table.
Sales and Order Management Challenge
In companies of any size, sellers accept manual orders in a variety of ways: by phone, fax, email, and during meetings with sales representatives. For each manual order, a sales or customer support representative will need to verify the details of the order, calculate the discount and shipping fee, and re-enter the information multiple times in the tracking spreadsheet, accounting software and packing lists.
The overall process results in employees wasting time on incorrect corrections, erroneous or delayed deliveries, lost profits, billing errors, strained customer relationships and even business losses.
SABX, a provider of digital B2B commerce and collaboration tools, suggests that companies move toward “digitally integrated sales and purchases.”
To do this, create a shared environment for your company’s sales and customer support team where they can place orders and track. There are several cloud-based solutions out there. Look for ones that allow payment exchanges and offer two-way communication throughout the entire sales order process.
A system with this capability ensures the accuracy of orders with the ability to live-update vendors’ product and pricing information. When buyers log in to place an order, they always have up-to-date information at their fingertips.
When companies transform into a cloud-based, self-serving sales and buying environment, they and their customers experience a win-win. Both can perceive skills as they:
- Combine digital sales and purchasing activities
- Automate routine data entry work
- Eliminate costly order errors
- Automatically capture two-way communication throughout the cell order process
- Track order activity from start to finish
A competitive compulsory
The Gartner Futures of Sales 2025 report predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales and order interactions will occur on digital channels.
Companies and enterprises that are hesitant to leave familiar processes behind and move away from their own legacy infrastructure are at risk of being left behind. With the speed and efficiency that today’s digital world demands, automation is essential to the ability to manage sales and orders.
Through automation, through modern digital technology, everyone wins. Customers benefit from rapid change. Companies benefit from higher sales-power productivity. Sales representatives feel more job satisfaction because automation allows them to focus on what they want most: deliver value to customers.
The benefits far outweigh the short-term efficiency gains and cost savings. Free from the manual weight of doing business, companies can measure the growth rate in a limited way without any increase in headcount as well as providing first-class services to stakeholders.