Getting Consensus Among Key Stakeholders
Sales has long been taught to seek out the magical individual who can single handedly approve a deal at a company. However, if you have ever been in the position of vetting out a business solution, you are familiar with the reality that it is rarely a unilateral decision. Today, the average B2B purchasing decision involves 5.4 people.1 The fate of a project is often determined by a group of individuals — all with different roles, responsibilities, pain points (and oh-so-many conflicting opinions).
Reaching a decision regarding whether to implement an order processing automation solution is no different. The effects of poor order management are far reaching. There is a growing emphasis on things like supply chain execution, growth management and visibility related to inventory, regulatory compliance and customer satisfaction.
Here’s a quick overview on what order processing automation is … and what it isn’t (click image to enlarge):
There’s no doubt that improving and streamlining order fulfillment is critical to a company’s competitive edge. The benefits of implementing an automation solution are too encompassing to take a back seat to other projects. The following six stakeholders are instrumental in making the decision to go beyond the status quo: CSRs, CSR Manager, Supply Chain Director, CEO, IT leadership, and finally, the customer. These are all key roles in order management that can make or break an automation initiative. Below is the quick-and-dirty breakdown of the how and why.
Customer Service Reps are the backbone of order management. Besides processing orders and supporting sales, CSRs are concerned with solving customer issues and strengthening relationships. Automation offers:
- Faster processing with automatic data capture
- Priority order identification thanks to customizable dashboards
- Quick and easy issue resolution with portal chat tool
- Freed-up time for revenue-generating tasks
- Greater job satisfaction as a result of expanding their abilities beyond manual data entry
Customer service managers strive to get the most out of their team and gain an edge over the competition. Automation offers:
- More strategic resource management
- Advanced analysis of team performance, trends and customer preferences
- Increased staff productivity and focus on customer experience and personal growth
Supply Chain Director
Supply chain directors have a lot on their plate, so any solution that supports their strategies for greater process efficiency and customer-centric practices are a welcome addition. Automation offers:
- Cost reduction by eliminating processing errors
- Avoidance of costly delays by decreasing manual tasks
- Enhanced oversight and metrics
- Improved customer experience
CEOs want to run their business in the most effective way possible. They are focused issues like long-term cost savings and improving global visibility. Automation offers:
- Cost reduction by eliminating wasteful spending
- Lean growth despite growing order volumes
- Customer retention due to improved customer experience
- Cash control visibility via dashboards
IT departments are controlling costs, ensuring security, managing resources and maintaining agility. Automation offers:
- Cost predictability from a SaaS model
- Peace of mind from reliable and robust infrastructure
- Solution upgrades automatically installed by provider
- System harmony achieved by implementing one platform for multiple processes
Though your customers aren’t a stakeholder in the same sense as the roles above, they still play a key part in why you should automate. A great customer experience is what sets companies above the rest. Efficient order submissions, fast and accurate delivery, and the self-service tools to resolve issues at their convenience is paramount. Automation offers:
- Flexibility in order format or channel (e.g. email, fax, EDI)
- Transparency into order status, documents, shipment details, etc.
- Self-service portal for convenience
- Meeting/exceeding SLAs so customers are getting the service they want and expect
If you are interested in a deeper dive on to how to connect with key stakeholders and mobilize your order processing automation initiative download the eBook below!
1 The Consensus Sale. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from https://www.cebglobal. com/marketing-communications/mobilizer.html?referrerTitle=CEB Sales – CEB