Data Analysis Needs
The need for Sales data is critical for these manufacturers. We will definitely need to integrate to their ERP. The good news is, that this is doable for almost any ERP built after 1995! For older or non- API’d systems, we would make the disclaimer that the integration would likely be one way – from ERP to Salesforce, but using various methods from SQL views to flat file integration, we can likely get the data out of their ERP. Right now, this data is in their ERP, but:
- Reporting is convoluted and locked down
- Reporting cannot be defined or manipulated by users
- Signing in to ERP and finding reports is not convenient
- And it’s not Mobile usually
We can solve for all of this by bringing that data into Salesforce and using basic reports and dashboards as a start.
Writing BACK to ERP could also be a huge advantage. If we go to all the trouble of building out a complex Quote (See below) if we can send those details back to ERP to create the Sales Order that could dramatically reduce the data entry requirements for the client. In addition, Samples typically require a transaction on the ERP side to reduce inventory and track not only the product, but the Lot and other data about the sample shipment. If we initiate a Sample in Salesforce, we can send the results back to ERP if we have an API.
If the system is a newer ERP (Microsoft GP, SAP, NetSuite, etc.) we can use the system API to send Sales Orders TO ERP.
How can we Help?
- With Enterprise Edition, we could integrate to their ERP and pick up critical Sales and if necessary, inventory information.
- Mulesoft is a possibility, but the pricing typically removes the tool as a possibility. We can and have used Middle ware to do the integration, BUT, in our opinion, we are better served writing APEX code to do the integration. We believe that we can do most integrations for between $12K and $15K one time (not counting the rest of the project). Middleware such as Jitterbit or Informatica can START at $20,000 a year.
- And by using this information in Salesforce Reports and Dashboards, we could deliver this analysis to the Account Reps’ pocket. They can use this information to analyze sales by Product, by time (This Year/Last Year), by category – really anything we can get from ERP. We can do Gross Margin Analysis if the cost of goods can be sent in the integration, we can analyze product mix if the category can be sent. Really anything they want to see, if they can get us the data, we can draw at the account level, and then for the company/rep/time period
Questions to Ask
- What is your ERP System?
- How do you identify new Leads? How do you engage with them?
- How do you track early stage leads?
- What kind of data do you need on the road? Is the data in ERP? Outlook? Spreadsheets?
- Is your ERP data in good shape? Do you have tons of dups, old or dirty data (we can sometimes fix – but usually need something like Cloudingo to help on the Salesforce side or some other way to clean after integration)
- If a Rep leaves, how do you “Institutionalize” the account relationship history? (I bet they don’t!)