Quotes, sales orders, invoices and payment receipts are all part of the everyday sales process, whether you’re selling products or services. They can definitely be hard to manage and keep track of, especially if you run a high-volume business and expect to provide consistent, quality customer service. Cloud-based sales applications (like Second CRM) with built-in billing and invoice software can be powerful tools for managing these documents by helping users create and streamline them to make sales just that much easier. It’s not particularly difficult to do either, with the way Second CRM is designed to be efficient and intuitive for the most novice of users. This post will help you make invoicing and the sales process effortless with these easy steps.The basic sales process, from quote to receipt:
- A quotation is a business document created to formalize the sales deal with details of products and services. It basically allows you to anticipate and reserve stock to be prepared for the customer, in the case of products, and gives the customer a projection of the costs they will have to pay.
- Upon confirmation, a sales order is generated, which creates a confirmed customer order that will begin the internal process of dispatching shipment. This includes removing the requested items from inventory, calculating taxes and arranging for shipment by a carrier etc.
- An invoice is an itemised bill that lists the total amount owed by the customer for products/services, generally including details such as cost per unit (if applicable), terms of payment, taxes levied etc. This is given to the customer for them to make payment.
- After payment is received, a payment receipt is generated, which, as the name suggests, is an acknowledgement that payment has been received. Like an invoice, it also contains a breakdown of what exactly the customer has paid for.
Second CRM’s billing and invoice software combines the invoice and sales receipt in one document, simply stating at the end that payment has been received, for easier filing and tracking purposes.
Imagine your business is selling software CDs, and you’ve just expanded your list of leads at a PC fair. You’ve entered your list of leads into Second CRM. Now, you’ve received an email from one of your leads asking for a quote for a shipment of VirusCleaners.
This is a quote in Second CRM. This page contains everything from item details to tax and shipping information. This information can be entered manually, or some fields such as account name and address can be selected from a drop down list.
Items need to be selected from an existing catalogue in Second CRM. You can find out how to create a product catalogue.
After you hit [Save], you can export this quote to PDF and email it to your lead. You can email directly from Second CRM or use your own mail program (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) and track this in Second CRM.
Keeping track of your interactions here streamlines the process and saves you from having to remember who ordered what and when in case someone contacts your company about their inquiry. It saves you time and effort, and definitely keeps you from looking incompetent in front of a prospect.
You should also update the Quote Stage field as you move along the sales process to keep track of and inform management of your progress. An administrator can set up a workflow to remind users to follow-up on the quote if there is a lack of activity, inform management of changes in status and more.
Second CRM allows you to create multiple company details and maintain separate addresses, for example, in the case of multiple companies owned by a single corporation. These can be easily selected by a sales representative while generating a quote for the respective company. Administrators can assign specific users to companies in order to restrict access. Quotes will be generated with the assigned company’s separate quote running number in order to facilitate tracking.
Turning it into a sales order or invoice
Creating the quote was actually the hard part. Say, your lead turns into a potential, and wants to go through with the sale. Great! From here it’s easy to turn this Quote into a Sales Order or Invoice.
Most of the Quote information will be automatically populated. You can add anything else you need to.
An administrator can set permissions so that an invoice or sales order can only be generated once a quote has been approved. This saves you from unnecessary confusion and mix-ups, and potentially angry customers.
Here’s what the invoice will look like. You can keep track of payments from the tab on the right, and export it as a payment receipt PDF to send to the customer when you’re done.
Second CRM also allows you to track payments. Set up a workflow to receive an automatic updates every time the payment status changes.
Find out more about how to use quotes, sales orders, invoices and more at the Second CRM User Manual.
Keep thorough records
Keep as much information in Second CRM as possible. It’s your record of everything you’ve done and plan to do to close the deal. Use a good billing and invoice software to keep track of your sales documents. Add notes, descriptions, track emails, social interactions—everything. This way, you won’t lose track of which stage of the sales process you’re in with a customer, and will make a great customer service impression besides freeing up valuable brainpower. You’ll know what’s happening with your shipments on any given day, giving you peace of mind that you have your sales process under control.
Maintain a disciplined sales process
Sales has many crucial aspects, but a disciplined process is the most critical. Consider that process, manage that process, and use Second CRM to keep you focused and on-track. You’ll be more efficient, in control, and confident in what you can do.