Are Your Sales People Spending Too Much Time Processing Orders?

Time spent on non-sales administration work means less time spent talking to customers and completing pre-sales and post-sales activities.  Studies show this is becoming more of a problem rather than less of one.

What is this additional administration work and what is causing it?

In years gone by the administration level required was a smaller proportion of a day’s work as customers’ expectations were lower and the complexity of the sale just wasn’t there.  Sales reps made a pitch and closed the deal.

Today’s sales reps tend to sell complex solutions rather than just products.

This in turn means Order Management Systems have become more complex. Unfortunately all of this extra complexity means more time is required to create sales orders.

A key time consumer is the booking of the sales orders in the Order Management System.

Let’s take the following true life example that landed on my desk this week.

“I was talking to one of my sales team one day and asked how her day was going.

Her answer was ‘It would be great if I didn’t have to create 1100 sales orders for this customer, who is nationwide and had approximately 1100 locations’.

We were shipping products to all 1100 locations and they require an individual sales order for each location!

Now you can imagine how long it took her.   The majority of their time is spent on sales ordered entry which takes them away from engaging with customers to understand and manage the relationship.  This is a huge cost to us, which will only get worse, we’re currently at 38 staff in this sales group and we are employing more all of the time.”

For these folks, they realize that they need to be spending their time doing research and working with their clients, not performing semi-repetitive order entry tasks.

Why did I receive a message like this?  I’m part of the team at More4Apps.  We provide Excel based software that integrates with Oracle’s E-Business Suite.  One of our products is called Sales Order Wizard.  It is designed to mass load sales orders.  Now the management team has seen the Sales Order Wizard they are fast tracking the procurement process.  Like all businesses they’d rather have their sales reps selling not order processing!

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