Are you tired of manually tracking leads and sales and inventory? Do you wish there was a way to streamline the process and make it more efficient? Well, have no fear because a sales portal is here!
Okay, that reads more like a late night TV ad than a practical combination of processes and software, but it really is true. A sales portal is a digital platform that allows businesses to manage their sales process in one central location. Think of it as a one-stop-shop for all things sales. From tracking leads and managing customer information to creating quotes and tracking inventory, a sales portal can do it all.
But why does your business need one? Well, for starters, it can save you a ton of time and energy. No more manually inputting customer information or searching through endless spreadsheets to find that one lead you need. Everything is easily accessible and organized in one place. A sales portal can increase sales by making it much more straight forward for customers to purchase from you. With features such as online quotes and secure payment processing, the buying process is made simple and seamless.
All of those benefits aside, one of the most practical reasons that your B2B business needs a sales portal is to stay competitive! The more seamless the sale, the more value you provide to customers, otherwise they look elsewhere.
Okay, so you’re sold on the idea of a sales portal, but how do you know if your business actually needs one?
You’re going to start by taking a look at your current sales process. Are you manually tracking leads and customer information? Are you spending hours creating quotes and processing payments? Are you creating sales orders, and then manually updating that sale information into an inventory count spreadsheet? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it’s probably time to incorporate a sales portal.
Second, it’s already been mentioned that a portal keeps you competitive, but have you been keeping an eye on that competition? Are your competitors using a sales portal and you’re not? How easy is it for your target prospect to purchase from the competition? Do you have products that should be standouts winners but no one can find them?
Lastly, if you’re finding it hard to retain customers, then a sales portal could be the solution. With features such as customer relationship management and automated follow-up processes, a sales portal can help you keep your customers coming back for more.
You’ve determined that your business needs a sales portal, now what?
Here are features you should be looking for in your B2B Sales Portal
First and foremost, a sales portal should have a lead tracking feature. This allows you to easily track and manage leads, so you never miss an opportunity again and can quickly track their history.
Next up, a customer relationship management feature. This is like a digital rolodex for your customers, keeping all their information in one place and making it easy for you to keep in touch, without relying on scratch pads or buried emails.
Quoting and invoicing are also key features of a sales portal. With the ability to create and send quotes and invoices online, you can streamline the sales process and make it more efficient. When a prospect appears, ready to buy, do not delay the sale, make it frictionless.
Remember how you had to update inventory levels at the end of the day, or after each sale orders, and sometimes you would forget? A proper B2B Sales Portal updates in real time, which also provides immediate insight to stock levels so there is no surprises or stockouts.
And last but almost most important, secure payment processing. This feature allows customers to make payments online, making it easy for them to purchase from you and for you to get paid.
There can be plenty of additional features, but don’t let the plethora of features overwhelm you, just remember that a good sales portal should have lead tracking, customer relationship management, quoting and invoicing, real time inventory updates, and secure payment processing. And if it doesn’t have all of that, well, it’s like starting a business and hoping people will just show up.
You’ve got your sales portal all picked out, now what?
You have caught the vision and you’re ready to roll, but you’re missing one key component to this whole plan, and that’s implementing it. Unfortunately, no matter how good the portal, it’s not as easy as just plug and play.
Before anything is integrated, you’ll want to set up a plan. This includes determining who will be responsible for managing the portal, what processes need to be put in place, and how you will train your team to use it.
Next, it’s time to get your hands dirty and start inputting all of your customer and lead information. This step is a critical investment of time, but the long term gain of efficiency and tracking pays big dividends.
Once all the information is in, it’s time to test, test, test. Make sure everything is working correctly and that your team is comfortable using it.
And lastly, don’t forget to keep it updated. A sales portal is a living, breathing thing and it needs to be taken care of.
So, don’t think that just because you have a sales portal, your job is done. It’s like having a new puppy, it takes work, but the end result is worth it. And who knows, with a sales portal by your side, you might just become the top dog in your industry.
A B2B Sales Portal is a digital platform that allows businesses to manage their sales process in one central location. It can save you a ton of time and energy, increase sales, keep proper inventory count, and make it easier for customers to purchase from you. The portal can provide the edge to winning out the competition and make your services and products stand out.
We’ve covered how to determine if your business needs a sales portal, the key features that a sales portal should have, the steps to take when implementing a sales portal and tips for ensuring a successful implementation.
Remember, a good sales portal should have lead tracking, customer relationship management, quoting and invoicing, integrate with your inventory system, and provide secure payment processing.
Implementing a sales portal takes work, but the end result far outweighs the costs and effort.