Stock To Dock Sales Process with CRM

So, why would we even care to use a CRM system like SalesForce.com to process map and report on a Sales Process that is really simple, like the a Stock to Dock sales cycle?  The Stock to Dock sales cycle is simple and probably looks something like this:

  • Customer visits company website
  • Clicks through to website store
  • Purchases Product with credit card
  • Either downloads purchase immediately or receives an automated notification from the store with confirmation and delivery information.

Stock To Dock Sales Process with CRMThis entire cycle probably takes everyone involved less than an hour to complete. This particular transaction actually happens completely outside of the CRM system and the people using it.  Or does it?  Who actually cares about this transaction?  Is this actually the sales process, the only sales process, and the entire sales process?  Hmmm…

Who actually cares about this transaction?

  • Marketing cares – This transaction probably happenned because of something marketing did, whether it was web advertising, mail blasts, print ads, trade show, or search [SEO].  Marketing really needs to know how effective their marketing dollars are, what’s working, what’s not.  It has to be measurable.
  • Operations cares – they need to be able to fulfill all sales orders.  Measuring sales in real time really helps them manage inventory, do trend analysis, and operations loading.
  • Customer Service Cares – These folks get customer calls all the time to help them either solve problems, purchase new products, or help with use case issues.  Having real time data available is critical, including things like tracking numbers, order date, order numbers, serial numbers, log in keys, etc.  Having this type data can make the difference between a great customer experience and an awful one.
  • Accounting cares – Accounting will automatically get this information from the store.  That’s fine, but unfortunately many of the accounting systems either lack real time automated reporting or they’re just too cumbersome to extract meaningful data.  CRM can do that quickly and easily.

Looking at the actual  sales process again with a different perspective?  Maybe the process should involve CRM and perhaps look something like this….

  • Marketing initiates a campaign, which it delivers and tracks through CRM
  • Customer visits company website
  • Marketing campaign and customer record updated when customer clicks through and visits
  • Clicks through to website store
  • Purchases Product with credit card
  • Customer record updated with all information to be used by all departments
  • Marketing campaign data updated
  • Either downloads purchase immediately or receives an automated notification from the store with confirmation and delivery information.
  • Shipping or operations automatically updated, CRM workflow engine automatically updates shipping queue.

Of course, then there’s the case where the customer has a question before ordering. She calls [or emails] sales, who already has her contact information populated in CRM.  Sales answers the question and then orders the information while on the phone.  This happens virtually since SalesForce is web based, so the actual salespersoncould be located anywhere on the planet.  That’s essential in a “Flat World”, where business is conducted 24/7.

Does any of this sound like CRM {Customer Relationship Management}? Not to me.  This sounds more like an Information System with workflow, business process management, and reporting engines to me.

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