Sales Analytics & CRM expert Jayne Hill of Vecta Sales Solutions addresses the difference between the various sales related technology solutions available to the Wholesale and Distribution sectors.
Relatively speaking using analytics and intelligence within the overall sales function is still in its infancy. Consequently making the right selection when it comes to technology is crucial. You are ultimately looking to analyse, and take as much value from the data and sales transactions that you already hold. Making the right choice makes a significant difference to the holistic growth and efficiency of your company.
New customer acquisition is of course essential in every business, however research has proven that protecting and stimulating additional spend from existing customers is unquestionably the most profitable sale. Experts in the field tell us that sales people often leave potential spend on the table when contacting or visiting a customer – that’s an interesting thought isn’t it?
All things considered the logical route is to take advantage of the scientific approach and technology to help exploit all of the opportunities that arise for your sales team to sell more to your current customer base. It’s the most cost-effective way and makes it much easier to highlight and prompt the whole sales team of where spend potential exists.
The popular choices of Business Technology on the table at the moment, particularly aimed at supporting the Sales and Management functions are: Business Intelligence (BI), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Intelligence (SI) – But which do you think would best suits your business needs?
BI tools are valuable and definitely best used when the managers within a business require a ‘broad spectrum’ overview of the various elements within an organisation, particularly within financial and complex management reporting environments. However, beware as BI can prove to be incredibly resource heavy and it’s often found to be too complex or static to be effective in the fast moving sales environment.
Producing masses of information and reports in formats that require a detailed understanding of data manipulation is, in most cases within the Wholesale or Distribution sectors, not helpful. Typically by default BI sales reporting, data extraction and manipulation fall to the IT or Finance teams. Not an ideal scenario particularly when the IT and finance teams are a more valuable asset to the business when focussing on their own areas of expertise.
It’s far more efficient and effective for the sales team to have independent, continuous and mobile access to a consistent flow of accurate sales and transaction information alongside customer intelligence and presented in an easy-to-use and easy to manipulate format.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
When in situ, fully operational and the team adopt it, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a useful tool for supporting central contact management and tracking communication and new opportunities with Customers or Prospects across almost any business sector. However, CRM often doesn’t provide the key information related to sales data, customer spend patterns, link-sell opportunities and profitability nor will it highlight attrition.
Within the Distribution sector it’s a powerful tool when every member of the customer facing sales team is able to tap into the up to date full customer picture if they are to maximise every opportunity; using traditional CRM often means that sales people still have to look elsewhere to achieve a meaningful overview of a customer’s account and activity.
With the typical CRM system businesses tell us that they sometimes experience uphill struggles with user adoption simply because the sales or marketing teams are not reaping instant rewards from the time and effort invested in recording information within their stand-alone CRM. Encouraging any sales team to comply can be challenging especially when they don’t see immediate results.
Ultimately, the stand-alone CRM solution cannot highlight opportunities to help retain and grow an existing customer base – a vital factor for many Wholesale or Distribution businesses where link-sell or up-sell opportunities will make all the difference.
Sales Intelligence (SI)
A complete merge of BI, Analytics & CRM, created specifically to suit sales professionals, Vecta Sales Intelligence delivers the scientific management, analysis and presentation of your sales transactional data in a format tailored and ready for each individual sales person to use.
Designed for businesses that typically have a large number of customers and an extensive product listing to manage, Vecta Sales Intelligence is predominantly (but not exclusively) used in the B2B environment, where repeat selling and customer retention (and therefore a proactive and knowledgeable sales team) is vital. SI utilises and analyses the valuable information hidden within any in-house sales processing system to produce powerful intelligence relating to your customers buying habits, preferences and trends. Vecta even shows you what your customer should be buying but isn’t!
• Access to actionable Sales information is the key to Sales Growth
• Combining CRM functionality with powerful Sales Analytics has a direct bearing on improved sales performance.
• For successful distribution selling, every member of the team should be equipped with fast and easy access to sales and customer information.
For further details contact:
Tel: 0114 262 2020 or
Mobile: 07753 224959