In our post about What is an all in one CRM?, we saw that an all-in-one CRM is one that covers Sales and Marketing like most CRM solutions, but also offers Order Management, Project Management and Service Management. In this post I’d like to look in detail at the benefits of having Order Management features within your CRM.
Right away you can imagine some of the most obvious advantages: your sales staff can see the history of quotes and invoices on each client record within the CRM, as well as payment status and Accounts Receivable balances. This makes it much easier to hold sales staff accountable for encouraging clients to pay their bills in a timely manner, and not processing client orders when they can see a credit limit has been exceeded. Sales staff can also see when a client’s last order was and their favourite products, so they know when to chase clients and what they like.
Perhaps even more importantly for Small/Medium businesses, sales staff are empowered to create quotes, sales orders and invoices, as permitted by the CRM system administrator. For both conventional catalog type products, as well as billable professional services, this enables inside and outside sales staff to be responsive to client requests in a very timely manner – an advantage not often shared by larger competitors.
Having both service management and order management in the same system with all the normal range of CRM data makes for some great operating efficiencies. As an all-in-one CRM also covers service management, admin staff can close off service cases and invoice for any billable time right away, all in the same system. 1CRM makes it a single click to invoice for time spent by service technicians.
As well, a technician assigned a new case can alway check out the client’s history, and see if they are a key customer, or if a large sales opportunity might be pending with them. This way your service staff can be much more a part of the business team, engaged in delivering the best outcomes for your clients and your business.
Similarly, with both project management and order management capabilities in the same core system your professional services staff can be aware of the full business context for each client they work with. And as each milestone is reached, or the project reaches completion, hours booked to project tasks can be invoiced with just a click.
A common complement to your CRM solution is a customer portal. After all, how can you possibly call something Customer Relationship Management if it only gets used by your staff and not your customers! The portal lets your clients share with you a subset of CRM data that relates to them. Typically clients can see information like service cases, FAQs, and perhaps tracking info for current projects. How much more useful is that portal if clients can go there at any time to see all historical invoices and print out a copy of the PDF? And in 1CRM’s Customer Connection portal for WordPress they can even check on which invoices are outstanding and make payments.
Now you have really provided your customer with a valuable resource which will reduce the workload of your administrative staff as well as adding to customer satisfaction.
Order management capabilities within your CRM are one of the most useful features of an all in one CRM.
- They inform and involve your service technicians and professional services staff in the full picture of client interaction, and help them take responsibility for client billing.
- They enable your sales staff to respond quickly to client requests, and give them more information to help them make better business decisions and know where to focus their efforts.
- They turbo-charge the power of a customer self-service portal, allowing clients instant access to the business information they need, improving customer satisfaction and reducing the load on your administrative staff.
Looking for more information? Read our Ultimate Guide to All In One CRM Solutions.