A Cisco Reseller Partner with over $75M/year in Cisco hardware and software sales, and an additional $50M/year from other Vendor hardware and services plus their own Professional and Managed services reviewed their pre-sales order workflow and concluded that their reliance on Excel workflow for data integration was not meeting their goals.
They identified more than a few key problems in their sales operations cycle based on this antiquated form of data transfer, including:
- Customer quotation errors were growing and found to be reducing overall Company profit by as much as 5% of sales;
- The number of “standard process” Excel workbooks had risen to be intertwined in almost every workflow process; and the number of ‘ad hoc’ worksheets created for daily chores was beyond count;
- Overall, the Excel workbooks ranked low in user satisfaction and ease of use. In many cases they could only be used by specialists, which placed dependencies on the process that led to delays;
- The time spent creating, using, versioning, storing, retrieving and finding these files was out of proportion with the productivity expectations for the full time employee;
- Some Excels were found to be located on an airplane at 33,000 feet on a laptop traversing the continent just when they were needed the most;
- Excel files had become the backbone of the Operations team’s understanding of the Account, which was beginning to create issues with Customer Satisfaction. Revision history tracking and version control became unwieldly to manage at an individual or team level.
- Unless shared, by email in most cases, management processes such as approval were taking far longer than the pace of high tech business required. In some cases errors that might have been caught were missed due to time constraints and the lack of a central data base of data.
- Excels represented the single source of truth from key sources such as CCW (orders), CSCC (Services portfolio) and Distribution (fulfillment Quote) were being processed manually each day by a cadre of employees whose job was to copy and paste the relevant data for each process.
- The burden of meeting the minimum data transfer requirements translated to the inability to pass this data through the company’s CRM system, which essentially blinded management, operations and services from any visibility into the deal using CRM; which one intention when the CRM was licensed and put into service. In other words, everyone was working around the CRM and not through it.
This successful VAR, whose job it is every day to advise clients on the best network, data center, collaboration and cloud technology, decided to take its own best advice and implement StrataVAR Commerce Integration solutions that automate each step of their workflow. This eliminated all sales operations’ reliance on manual Excel process in favor of single click data integration. StrataVAR installation to their own Salesforce.com CRM, a modern, scalable, secure and reliable platform resulted in a unified and accurate data base reflective of their entire sales cycle.
The resulting spike in profitability came primarily from:
- Data integration errors reduced to zero, saving on costly quoting errors that impacted profit;
- Time to fulfill an order decreased by almost 50% as the Disti Quotes were processed by an automated system; with exception reporting sent immediately back to the Disti with a click. This process increased profitability and save countless hours auditing against the CCW BoM;
- Service Contract renewal rates increased by 6%, hitting higher Cisco rebate levels in addition to providing their own typically higher margin;
- Customer Satisfaction increased and their Cisco QBR showed significant improvement;
- VIP rebates increased through data automation that included visibility per SKU/Deal, resulting in rebate optimization that dropped directly to the bottom line;
- Open requisitions for more operational staff were cut, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in Company expense;
- Customer Quotes could be created within 60 seconds of the creation of an Estimate on CCW, winning more deals with a lot less effort; and all processed and recorded on CRM;
- The data accessibility to management, through unlimited reporting, dashboards and queries opened the door to better business decisions and more predictable cash flow;
- Employee morale improved through the elimination of tedious tasks and improved team collaboration resulted from access to a centralized data base in their CRM;
- Significant company IP, such as the Excel for Professional Services stopped ending up in competitor’s hands;
- ROI on CRM investment through user adoption rose dramatically.
Be the next million dollar winner, contact StrataVAR to learn more about how your sales operations can be improved with Commerce Cloud Integration. Start your free trial today and see how easy it can be to run your Cisco Practice.