Winning sales in B2B markets can be difficult in the best of times - sales cycles are long and decision-makers numerous. Add in the current challenges of an unstable economic climate, high inflation and rising interest rates, and it can seem almost impossible.
Unfortunately, at a time when making sales is tough, it's never been more important to do so to keep business afloat.
Economic uncertainty has customers tightening their belts, reassessing their priorities, and thinking twice before spending when they might not have before. And when there are fewer customers going around, there is more fierce competition between vendors.
Unfortunately, there's no magic pill that can improve your sales conversions overnight. But your ERP comes close. Utilised to it's full extent, SAP BusinessOne can give you the power to create more sales opportunities, sales and position yourself with customers who might be more likely to spend, and increase your chances of winning sales.
5 steps to better sales
Follow the 80/20 rule
Are you out there chasing new sales and attempting to diversify your client list in an effort to close more deals? While there's no harm in searching for new business, when time and resources are tight and the goal is to close sales, it's best to stay close to home.
For most businesses, 80% of sales come from 20% of their client list. These are customers who've already bought from you, so you don't need to worry about carrying them through the buying journey - you just need to encourage repeat sales. Triaging your database to identify the 20% of your list that have (or are likely to) buy again can help you focus your effort and resources accordingly for greater ROI.
Prioritise & record customer interactions
Are you paying close enough attention to the interactions your staff are having with customers? How often are you touching base? You should be reaching out to them regularly, ensure all enquiries are followed up promptly, record interactions so they're visible to all team members. The goal is to have customers feel supported and important to your business.
This has two key benefits: It keeps your business front of mind for customers when they are in the market to buy. It also helps improve the service you can offer them.
Identify buying patterns
The past buying habits of your customers are a high indication of their future needs. By identifying what your customers have bought and when, you have the power to create new sales opportunities rather than waiting for them to come to you.
When you know what your customers are buying, you can market more meaningfully to them, highlighting products or services they've previously bought, similar products, or customised sales or deals. This increases your ability to upsell or cross-sell, while also improving your inventory management and buying decisions.
Make buying (and paying) easy for them
Once you've identified buying patterns, you can make life easier for your customers (and stimulate more sales for your business) by setting up features like product notifications, automatic reorders, and customised marketing material.
You can even go so far to help them with their cash flow by negotiating custom payment options or through something as simple as putting due dates on their invoices (you'd be surprised how few business do this).
Provide service reliability
You don't always need to go above and beyond - sometimes you just need to provide what's expected. Avoiding difficult buying processes, mixed up orders, poorly packaged orders or sloppy delivery. Not meeting a required standard can be enough to lose a customer that has the potential to be a repeat buyer. So, you should make sure all your internal controls and processes are as tight as they can be.
SAP B1 sets you up for success
Each of these measures requires you to have a clear view and good understanding of your customers and your sales. It requires staff to work together and for internal processes to be solid. Visibility and communication are key.
SAP B1 users like you already have the tools you need to achieve this functionality. The platform is capable of delivering all the features mentioned above - your ability to execute will rely on how well your system is set up and if you're using functions to their full extent.
- Fully integrated CRM to make use of enterprise-level functionality
- Financial management visibility to maximise not only your own financial management, but that of your customers
- Inventory control and reconciliation to match purchasing with sales
- Reporting on customer buying behaviours
- Automated marketing activities tailored to customers
Customer experience is paramount to converting sales and winning repeat sales, while good internal processes ensure you can service these sales as they come through. SAP Business One helps you achieve both.
To ensure SAP B1 platform is set up to deliver the functionality your business requires, or for help maximising your platform to convert more sales, contact the KBS team.