Why You Should Be Using Sales Orders in CRM

CRM Sales OrdersFor many types of businesses, the creation of a CRM sales order is (or should be) the logical next step in the CRM process after an sales opportunity is marked “won”.

In this post we’ll look at the business benefits of using CRM sales orders. We’ll then look an example implementation of orders in CRM.

While the information in a CRM order can be used to generate a traditional confirmation document for a customer, this post will focus on the internal usage and value of orders.

The Business Benefits of Using CRM Sales Orders

There are a number of benefits to implementing orders in CRM. Several of these will be clearer after we go through an example order below.

1. Create a better experience for new customers

An internal sales order can be the centerpiece of customer engagement from the time of sale to the completion of delivery or implementation.

2. Derive more value from a CRM investment

The use of orders gives the operations team their own version of an opportunity—one that has the richer information that’s needed for their customer interactions.

Operations users can create add-on orders for products and services that do not require the involvement of a salesperson.

3. A more efficient transition from sales to finance

As an intermediate step between opportunities (or quotes) and invoices, orders make for a more streamlined and complete handoff from sales & operations to finance.

4. A more precise ROI on marketing activities

The value in the lead source field can be set to flow through from an opportunity to order. If the order record is set to calculate margins, marketing ROI can be calculated on gross profit rather than revenue.

If add-on orders from a customer inherit the same lead source as the original order, the long term revenue from a customer can be attributed to a specific source.

CRM Opportunity Example

Almost everyone reading this is familiar with a CRM opportunity. This CRM entity often has a basic structure.

Salespeople should not—nor do they generally want to be—burdened with too much data entry.

Example CRM Opportunity

CRM Sales Order Example

A order can, and should, contain more detail than an opportunity. Here is a mockup of a CRM sales order.

Example CRM Order

For your reference, here’s a list of the fields in the above image. You may already be thinking of some fields that you would include in your implementation of order functionality.

  • Account (a link to the company record)
  • Opportunity (a link to the close Sales Opportunity)
  • Order Start Date
  • Customer P.O.
  • Invoice Number
  • Order Status
  • Lead Source
  • Project Manager (a link to the CRM user)
  • Project (a link to the Project record)
  • Target Installation Date
  • Customer Contact (a link to a Contact)
  • Special Instructions
  • Billing Physical Address and Email Address
  • Service Address
  • Order Products
  • Shipping Charges

Several notes:

→ The information in the order products table may change from what was in the opportunity or quote. For example, the salesperson may have won a deal for 30 phones. However, the customer may need to add two more phones to the order before the installation date because of new hires. An operations user can update the quantity within the order.

→ Operations users can add on shipping and other charges, which typically aren’t a part of a sales opportunity.

→ The person or department responsible for invoicing can be automatically notified at the right point within the order lifecycle.

→ The assigned project manager can also be notified. If project management functionality is also within the CRM system, the order record can be the parent of the project record.

→ Often the question of what customer email address to send an invoice to comes up at the time of sending the first invoice. This address can be captured earlier in the cycle, within an order. The customer P.O. can also be captured sooner. This saves time and hassle for the finance department.

To sum up, adding sales order functionality to a CRM system both streamlines internal operations and improves the customer experience.

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