Inventory is the lifeblood of Route Sales. if you don’t have what your customer needs, when they need it, you are diminishing your own revenue opportunity and customer satisfaction. This article will serve as an overview of inventory software that can help route sales agents maximize their success and efficiency, while also providing insight to uses and benefits.
Benefits of Inventory Software for Route Sales
Keeping track of customer purchases and inventory levels is easier when route sales use inventory software, because it streamlines the ordering process. A Salesperson who pays attention has a sense of customer needs and inventory on hand, but inventory software allows sales representatives to quickly review each customer’s data, their profile, order history, item inventory levels, and typically provides alerts when stock dips below a set threshold.
What about when it’s time for ordering? Inventory software for route sales can further automate the ordering process to re-stocking items, automate the billing process, and automate customer updates via email, all while ensuring that your customer’s items and materials are delivered in a timely manner.
These inventory software automations cut out all the small tasks that eat minutes and eventually hours from your day. Streamlining your sales process for you and your customers provides more time for lead follow-ups, new connections, improves both your revenue potential and, most importantly, your customer satisfaction.
Understanding Inventory Software Use for Route Sales
The basic purpose of an inventory management system is simple: it keeps track.
It keeps track of sales orders. It keeps track of invoices. It keeps track of inventory. But for route sales, the key information to track is accurate stock levels while having a readily available tool to monitor and update it. Dynamic inventory management software paired with proper integrations ensure accurate inventory data, delivered to a handheld device. It’s a dynamic system to match the dynamic nature of a sales route.
Consider some scenarios that are all too common in your day-to-day route:
- You acquire a new customer from a previous route salesperson who had a history of providing minimum effort. There is no customer profile or records. From your own research you have a good understanding of the company and meet them to make introductions. This frustrated customer gets straight to the point and wants to know how you plan to accommodate them.
- You are chatting with a long-time customer who is worried about staying competitive in the current market, and they ask for your help in knowing some of the new products or solutions that you might provide, and how quickly they can be shipped.
- In the middle of your route you meet a new potential client and they’re interested in showing you their process and might consider replacing their previous provider if you can provide a self-service portal.
- Customer wants item D as soon as possible. You think you have it back at the warehouse, but you’re not certain, and everyone is out to lunch.
In each one of these situations above, an inventory management solution paired with a route sales integration can tackle the needs of the agent.
- You explain to the understandably frustrated customer how you will create a customer profile, track their order history, and monitor item levels if any reorders are needed.
- With the customer’s profile in your route sales integration, you can glimpse into their order overview, offer potential insight, while also showing in real time exactly how much of each item you have on hand and how quickly it can arrive at their facility.
- In your customer portal integration, you can show off a portal built specifically for their needs, providing all the items that they carry and allow them to order at will. You can also mention that you as their sales representative are able to track and monitor these levels to ensure they have all materials that they need.
- You’re not worried about who’s out to lunch back at the warehouse because you have every piece of inventory information in the palm of your hands. Item levels update in real time, and you can see that item D is indeed available, and create an order for that customer on the spot.
While the purpose of an inventory solution is simple, its ability to create value is game changing.
Additional Business Benefits
Auto-Orders. Besides being able to track sales and inventory levels in real time, inventory software also makes it possible to prevent overstock and understock situations by ensuring accurate stock management. Yes, there are manual methods of managing inventory, from spreadsheet to scratch marks in a notebook, but in order to prevent overstocks and stockouts, a digital solution is required. Inventory Management Software provides tools like Auto Purchase Orders to keep items and materials at the level you customize for your company.
Customer Insights. In addition to tracking all things inventory, dynamic inventory software also provides reporting capabilities that allow for a deeper insight into customer preferences, as well as providing forecasting needs for their future, which in turn benefits your businesses well-being.
Reports. Data is the means of fueling our business decisions, but raw data does not immediately provide correlations.With an inventory management system, businesses can generate reports for the metrics that matter most and find opportunities to modify offerings, provide dynamic pricing to help maximize profit, and even reduce wasted spend.
Performance. Maximizing data efficiency and inventory tracking cuts out the human errors that eat away at hours in the week and money spent on returns or even scrap all together. even small changes across the board can compile a difference that saves total company time increases total profit and provides communication across departments so that all team members can be on the same page.
Hit the Road
A route salesperson is only as good as the information that they have on hand. if you know nothing about your customer it’ll be hard to understand their needs. If you don’t know a client’s process, associated costs, and materials needed, you limit the opportunity to find additional item or service potential; you’re not providing them full value. If you flat out do not know what you have on-hand, how long shipping will take, or even what their own purchase trends say about them, then you have an opportunity for improvement with Inventory Management Software and Route Sales Integrations. Simple tools, big results.