Chapter 9: ERP Sales System or Selling Module
There are a couple of factors that contribute to the saleability of Spindl's products—innovation, sustainability, and comparatively low costs. There is something about it that is inherently human. No software can change the core of what the company’s products offer. What it can do, however, is equip employees to dedicate their energies toward what matters by helping them deal with the technicalities of sales operations. Because at the end of the day, the driving force behind the company’s survivability is profit.
Using ERP, Lyn can construct a structured pipeline that Spindl's employees can use to manage their business interactions with all their customers. While presales (gathering leads, opportunities, emailing, etc.) fall under the Customer Relationship Management (or ‘CRM’) module, active selling—quotations, orders, deliveries—is covered using the Selling module.
Why use ERP for sales?
As a business, your bread and butter are selling, be it a product or a service. The process of how you may go about it may differ slightly from other businesses, yet the end goal is largely universal—get more people to purchase what you have to offer. With that in mind, an ERP can assist you in implementing and following some universally recognized best sales practices. This includes efficiently tracking all communication with your customers and also integrating with other modules such as CRM, Accounting, and Inventory.
Breaking down the workflow
As with the previous modules, we’ll quickly go over some key elements of any ERP’s Selling module.
A customer (otherwise known as a client, buyer, or purchaser) is the entity (individual or organization) that receives goods or services from a seller, generally through a monetary transaction. In ERP, any entity that makes such a transaction with your business is stored in a database of customers.
A quotation is a document containing the estimated pricing quotes and other terms of engagement (e.g., taxes, T&C) for what the buyer is looking to purchase. These are usually valid for a limited amount of time, depending on the business’s discretion. Quotations are also known as proposals, estimates, or proforma invoices.
A sales order is the confirmation of a quotation, signifying both parties’ agreement to a monetary transaction. Any deviations from the quotation (change in price, for example) should be settled on before submitting a sales order.
A blanket order is an order from a customer to supply materials for specific items over a given period of time at a pre-negotiated rate. A blanket order can be used to generate sales orders as per the delivery schedule.
Any entity (individual or company) that assists you in getting business is a sales partner. They are otherwise called channel partners, distributors, dealers, agents, retailers, resellers, etc. Usually, sales partners have a specific commission rate (which you can define within the ERP). When a sales partner is selected in transactions, their commission is auto-calculated for the net total of the transaction.
You can view your company's sales performance, analyze sales data in different views to see the sales performance.
- Sales analytics repor: You can analyse your sales order/invoices and compare the value/quantity between different periods based on certain parameters like customers, customer group, itme, item group, territory or order type.
- Sales order analysis report: This report provides current billing and delivery status for all active Sales Orders.
Setting up a selling workflow
After completing their trials and assessments, the sales team at Spindl begins using the following sales workflow:
- All existing customers are entered into the system. This gives the salespeople a comprehensive database of details for each customer. Information such as tax ids, account managers, accounting details, territory, etc. Are all added.
- A list of sales partners (along with their commission details) is also uploaded to the system. This eliminates the need to manually enter information for these sales partners in future transactions.
- Whenever an opportunity (see: CRM module) comes to fruition, a quotation is sent to the customer. The quotation includes all proposed details of the transaction (i.e. Quantity, pricing, tax details, discounts, fulfillment date, etc.).
- Once the quotation is approved by the customer, it is converted into a sales order. This acts as a confirmation from the buyer that they are ready to purchase the clothing from Spindl.
In the case of a blanket order being placed, details about the expectations are entered and saved. This includes the validity period, item quantities, and prices. If there are any other terms & conditions, those are also mentioned. Sales orders are generated using the blanket order based on the delivery cycle.
Benefits of using the ERP's selling module
An integrated system benefits all department users in planning and organising better. For example, Max from the procurement department had real-time access to sales orders and reports without switching between different spreadsheets or apps. He could plan out Spindl's raw material purchases and create inventory space accordingly. Even Dex's manufacturing team could create production plans way ahead of schedule based on the sales orders and have clothing ready for delivery efficiently.
Inter-department communication can easily be reduced when all the information is readily available to the responsible parties. This increases the overall productivity and efficiency of any company.