7 ways you can improve your sales processes

Posted in Sales techniques and processes.

Just because you are getting customers to buy products and place orders doesn’t mean that your sales order process is perfect. With a few minor tweaks your sales processes can be transformed from just good enough to great. These simple tweaks can increase your customer base, satisfy more customers immediately and, even increase profit and reduce costs.

1. Confirm all order information first

Improving your sales order process need not be difficult or time-consuming. There are simple things you can do to place orders more efficiently.

First of all, get all of the information you need before placing a sales order. This will eliminate incorrect order placement by sales reps and lead to quicker ordering which will, in turn, create satisfied customers. Confirm that the information you have entered for your client’s order is factually correct so no orders are messed up. Orders that are not placed correctly because of factual errors can mean the customer does not return or gives a bad review of your service.

2. Use a standardised order form

Have an automated system where order forms are all standardised to make sure that important information is not left out when entering a customer’s order. Often, in the heat of the sale, a sales rep can forget to add information that will be invaluable to future selling. Preset order forms would normally contain details such as shipping, company contact person, contact numbers and so forth. These types of forms will ensure that sales reps take less time gathering information from a client because they already know what they need to ask beforehand.

3. Use order-taking as opportunity to cross-sell and upsell

Placing a sales order is not the final step in the process. Keep all of the information your sales reps have gathered and use it to your advantage in the future. Know and remember the contact person (or the decision-maker of the company), have their correct details (follow up every few months to check that details are still correct to avoid crossed lines in the future), note their preferences and what products are their favourite (make future suggestions on products they may like based on this).

4. Eliminate paper processes

Eliminate all paper processes from your sales ordering. Printing order forms every time and then having to print copies for each person involved (including the client) is time-wasting and, of course, not great for the environment. Keeping track of a physical paper trail is also difficult and may create a chaotic atmosphere that holds back selling processes. Divert all of your sales ordering to an online system and rather use email to keep your clients as well as your sales team up-to-date on what was ordered and what needs to be done to complete the order. The people who receive this order can then decide to print documents at their own discretion.

The Onsight Mobile Sales App has a feature that can help you achieve the elimination of paper. Every time a sales order is placed, a PDF copy of the order is emailed to the client, the people packing the order and whoever else the person thinks would need the relevant information to complete the sale. This action can be easily modified by adding or removing the people who get emailed when a sales order is placed. With this feature, those standardised forms we spoke about are in mobile form and paper is not being wasted.

5. Live in the cloud

Keep all of your important documents (including client details and sales orders) in the cloud to make sure that you never lose a document due to not having enough space for it or it becoming lost in a mountain of other similar documents. Being organised is the main thing to establishing a successful sales ordering process at all times and traditional filing has been proven to be time-consuming, cost-depleting and inefficient.

All information entered onto the Onsight Mobile Sales App is available to anyone who has been made a user. Any updates are immediately synced to all mobile devices (these include Android, Windows and iOS devices) that have the app installed. This way the relevant people will always have the correct information about products, contacts and accounts on hand so that misinformation is never spread around or orders messed up. A central cloud database makes sure information is accessible and up-to-date at all times with less chance of it getting lost in the future.

6. Have a master copy and sync all information

One of the many advantages of becoming more cloud-orientated and automated is the fact that information is available to share with anyone. Any information needs to first be part of a master copy and then placed on a database needs to be put at the disposal of every sales rep and sales manager. This is helpful so that everyone knows what sales were made, what the most popular products were and, if a sales rep needs to take over a client for whatever reason, they have everything they need on hand without going through lots of paperwork. It helps to avoid the duplication of information and documents as well as miscommunication.

Another advantage is the fact that you can share only what is necessary with certain individuals through passwords and email, which reduces the risk of confidentiality breaches and the like.

7. Make sales available 24/7

Make your sales order process available 24/7. If customers have the option of simply sending through, for example, amendments to a sales order document via email and not having to meet face-to-face each time or make a phone call, it will up the efficiency and satisfaction tremendously. Your customers need to know that you are available and responsive to their needs so if you can send a document via email no matter what time of day it is, they will see you are quick to respond and therefore reliable. It is also helps save them time and money because email and technology is quicker than a drive across town for a short meeting.