‘Alignment’ can be a bit of a buzzword for businesses. But what does it actually mean? And is it something you should be worried about it? At the very least, it’s something you should think about.
Misalignment can happen in multiple areas of business. But in my experience, working with warehouse and distribution companies, I see it most commonly with the Sales teams.
The lack of interaction between operations and sales can often promote a very ‘us and them’ situation. You can forget that one team can’t actually do its job without the other.
Business growth is great, but as you expand you want to make sure your team stays together, not grows apart. After all, you’re all working towards the same goal.
A good ERP system can help you connect your teams, achieve better alignment, keep your sales team in the fold and even see them performing better. Which is good for business, good for team performance and good for customer experience – a win for everyone.
You need more than a salesperson to make a sale
While Sales and Operations are obviously very different, they’re just as important as each other to the overall business. Without inventory and warehousing, you’d have nothing to sell. But without sales, you’d have no business.
While we all know Sales teams are vital, they sometimes get lost behind the huge demand of inventory. It can be tempting to leave them to ‘run things by themselves’, but this approach can lead to some big problems:
- Sales teams won’t have access to the right customer or inventory information needed to make sales
- They have more tasks than hours in the day
- They’re not on board with business goals or strategies
- They aren’t utilising available data to make better selling decisions
- They aren’t following up quotes
Sales can’t be made without input and information from the rest of the business.
Trying to do it any other way will lead to confusion, miscommunication, a bad customer experience, and eventually, poor sales results.
Are your tools supporting your team?
Everything in your business fits together and impacts everything else. So, while the sales team might be physically separate from everyone else, they need to be on the same page.
It’s often not a problem with the sales team themselves; it’s the tools provided to them which dictate their ability to integrate with the rest of the business.
Ask yourself, why is sales performance as it is? Are you providing your sales team with the right tools? A good way to tell if this is a problem is to determine whether your current system enables teams to have:
Efficiency – Doing things manually takes time. Your team only has so many hours in the day. If you’re relying on them doing each task individually, they’ll struggle to achieve maximum selling capacity.
Communication – When teams are split up between offices, stores or even states, it’s important that they have an easy way of communicating with each other. This doesn’t even need to be phone calls or emails – it can simply be the sharing of information that both can access, view and edit.
Information – Sales teams rely on accurate and up-to-date stock and customer information to do their job. What’s in stock? When and what do customers usually buy? Their ability to sell (and upsell) relies on having this information at their fingertips.
Align and empower with an ERP system
In business, data is king. And this is no different for Sales teams. They can’t make the magic happen without a bit of input from the rest of the business. They need to have access to business data because it’s relevant to what and how they sell.
The first step to aligning your sales team to your business is recognising these needs and their involvement in the wider business. The second is providing them with the tools to make it happen.
This is where an ERP comes in. The right ERP – integrated in the right way for you – can empower and support Sales teams to improve both sales and customer service.
The right ERP system can offer:
Automate replies, quote follow-ups, marketing emails and more, to provide maximum efficiency without time constraints.
Have a system that is built around the specific needs of your business and your teams to ensure that you’re only getting and paying for what you need, and that staff are fully supported and empowered in their roles.
Integrated systems and processes assist the team in understanding how their job fits into the overall business and gives them a wider view of what’s going on. Integrating CRM can also help Sales teams stay on top of – and improve – their customer service.
HARMONiQ is the first all-in-one solution that is designed to help Sales teams stay in the loop and improve their performance through access and alignment.
As a truly customisable and scalable software, HARMONiQ ensures that the software will continue to grow alongside your business.
If you would like to discuss how you can start leveraging great technology to achieve business growth and alignment, please call me on 02 9542 2000 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.