Order Management Systems: Bridging the Gap Between Field Sales Reps & Headquarters

By
Chris Russillo
January 13, 2016

Today, digital order writing and order management systems are empowering field reps to write orders on mobile devices, whether on the road or at a trade show. These easy-to-use interfaces include digital catalogs, an order writing interface, and customer information––all in one place. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to these order management systems is the ability to sync orders back to a web order management hub, where admins can track orders and disseminate information to sales reps operating outside the office. In the past, sales reps may or may not have been on the same page with headquarters. If, for, instance, a new product was added or an old one was discontinued, the company would have to have new product catalogs printed up or (in a more likely scenario), an email update would be sent out to reps letting them know of the change. If a sales rep missed the email or forgot about the change, they could end up selling a product that was no longer available or miss out on possible sales of new products. These digital sales order management systems remove that headache. By syncing information between sales reps and the back office, manufacturers and distributors can seamlessly update any information regarding customers, prices, products and more, to close that communication gap. The following are specific examples as to how order management systems can synchronize your teams.

How Order Management Systems Can Promote Better Coordination Between Reps & HQ

1) Creating a Fluid Product Catalog

As already mentioned, the admin of any order management system can add new products to their catalogs or remove products if necessary. The new version of the catalog will automatically sync with the mobile order writing apps used by sales reps in the field, so their of the catalog is always up-to-date. If a new product variant is available, admins can introduce these options to the digital catalog as well, and sales reps can immediately begin selling them to customers. In addition, if a brand chooses to modify product descriptions in the catalog, admins can go into their order management system to execute the changes, which, again, will instantly appear on the sales reps’ mobile order app.

2) Storing Customer-Specific Pricing

With an order management system, wholesalers can institute advanced pricing systems that adjust depending on the customer, so that reps always have the right pricing on hand. Through customer-specific price lists and discounting capabilities, sales teams never have to check with the back office for pricing again.

3) Informing Remote Sales Reps on Inventory Data

Beyond delivering a personal buying experience to customers, order management systems also benefit sales reps by keeping them informed. For manufacturers and distributors that have a sales force on the road, it is crucial for them to be conscious of current stock levels. An order management system permits the admin to upload inventory data from an ERP or inventory management system, painting an accurate picture of what’s in the warehouse.

4) Streamlining a Scattered Sales Team

Order management systems also enable admins to better manage their sales team’s territory. By assigning customers to specific sales reps, order management systems can coordinate what information is disseminated to certain reps. For example, if a new customer is added to the client-base, or if a customer has changed addresses, admins can remodel the customer network and only the relevant information will be sent to each individual sales rep. Each rep can see only their customers and the product lines relevant to them. With the newest order management systems, sales reps can now have the product and customer information they need right at their fingertips, allowing them to transcend the traditional sales role and become trusted advisors for their customers. Instead of having reps and back office personnel dedicate valuable time to verifying a product’s price, or confirm inventory availability, these systems allow that information to flow freely, eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth communication.