Customer service and sales efficiency are paramount to any business striving for growth, and capturing customer orders is vital to that department’s productivity. Manual sales order processing can create bottlenecks that result in stagnated growth and bottom lines that disappoint. From general human error to delayed communication, data entry mistakes, and backtracking to fix those mistakes, traditional sales order processes will not suffice in the digital transformation age. This is where sales order process automation comes in.
Why Automate Your Sales Order Process?
Research has found that sales order automation saves businesses between $5 and $15 per sales order, and it reduces sales order cycle times by more than 46 percent. Sales order automation can be the pivot point for your organization to drive more sales without requiring more labor or burdening your team.
What Is Sales Order Process Automation?
Sales order automation (SOA) is software that automates entering data, validating part numbers and terms, and routing orders – among other tasks – to streamline labor that was once manual. Using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and a business rules engine, processing sales orders becomes a nearly touchless experience for your customer service and sales employees while the system “learns” how to eliminate simple decision-based tasks. Ultimately, sales order automation software enables your sales staff to do what they’re good at: nurture customer relationships, build new ones, actively listen and communicate, strategically prospect, and ease the burden on your customer service team from manual repetitive tasks.
How Does Sales Order Process Automation Work?
SOA software handles all aspects of your sales order process, including:
- Capturing orders from any source (fax, paper, email, portal, EDI, XML)
- Data entry into your line of business system
- Linking to customer, sub-customer, or order level validations
- Processing from receipt of order through approval of exceptions
- Handling rush and special orders
- Automating customer communications about receipts and progress
- Audits of any order received
With automatic checks and validations against data in your line of business system, you can see where workflows trip up and where human intervention is needed to attend to problems. SOA software enables you to simplify order entry and fulfillment to identify exceptions and escalate them as needed.
In an example scenario, your customer sends an email notification related to a purchase order for you. The automation software extracts data from that email and uses it to navigate, find, and download the purchase order and related documents from the customer portal. Using AI and machine learning, the SOA software pulls header and line item data to eliminate data entry. It applies validation rules like low data extraction confidence, invalid terms, invalid part number, and invalid unit price – thus guaranteeing only clean and accurate data enters your ERP system. At that point, business rules take over and send the validation errors to users for review and problem-solving.
Why Use Sales Process Automation Software?
There are enormous time-saving and cost-savings benefits to sales order automation. With SOA software, you get:
- Capture orders into your system sooner and faster, thus realizing revenue sooner.
- Complete, real-time information about order statuses at every point in the order lifecycle.
- Tight integration with your line of business application, so users don’t have to toggle between your ERP system and the order capture process.
- Assurances that the sales order data is in your ERP system to facilitate quick invoicing and shipping.
With sales order process automation software, you’ll benefit from:
Creating More Efficiencies
Through automated data entry and approval routing, your team will speed up sales order processing. The SOA software immediately captures all incoming order documents and extracts order information to store it, post it to the ERP, and route it to appropriate staff.
Improving Customer Service
When your sales process is more efficient, your customers are happier. During the sales cycle, the staff has quick access to stored documents to better attend to customer needs. With instant access to information, employees are empowered to deliver better customer service.
The APQC’s research found that 90 percent of organizations say increased process automation and integration is very or extremely effective in driving the business’s success. Sales order automation reduces the cost of certain processes – such as fulfilling an order – by removing human involvement.
With a system automatically extracting sales order data from all types of orders, your data won’t be lost, and you’ll eliminate a minimum of 70 percent of your manual data entry and validations.
Use Sales Order Process Automation to Strengthen Sales Across the Board
Discover what it’s like to unleash the power of your sales staff – unburdened by menial tasks that take them away from cultivating new customer relationships. With sales order automation, you’ll realize new levels of sales productivity and healthier bottom lines. Contact All Star Software to explore how to grow your business with sales order automation today. Our experts are ready to speak with you.