Older ERP systems cause many challenges

successToday’s speed of change places stress on business processes. Worker expectations have changed on how they want to engage with business systems, and customers have changed how they want to engage with businesses.

Are you experiencing a large turnover of salespeople? Have you done everything within your control to set your staff up for success? The buck stops with you. If you inherently have poor performers, then you have to exercise your authority to either attempt to fix the situation through development or purchase updated technology systems to help assist.

Salespeople should be rewarded for good results and held accountable for underperforming. This is a fact of C-level Management. Check for areas of improvement in your hiring process, your onboarding process, your sales process, your sales meetings, your coaching ability and your leadership. Any one of these can have a tremendous impact on the performance of your sales team. However, even with the best processes in business, you’ll still have to hold your salespeople accountable at some point.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business process management software that allows your business to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources. An up-to-date ERP system with a key measurable for all departments in your business is key. One key part of any good ERP is a CRM. A Customer Relationship Management System normally consists of sales force automation, marketing automation and customer support. As part of ERP, CRM is one of the key ERP pillars, with the other key pillars being financial accounting, distribution or supply chain management, manufacturing and human resources/payroll.

A CRM can be described as the development and implementation of a strategy for handling interactions with past, existing or future customers. It covers all customer-oriented activities from potential market identification through to customer loyalty retention. It is technology enabled and involves data capture and analysis, information generation and distribution, and customer-oriented activity. CRM has a central database and integrates with an ERP system and different channels of interaction. CRM involves different participants and has the ability to manage these participants.

Having a plan and setting goals are essential parts of improving accountability. It is crucial for salespeople to establish a set of daily, weekly and monthly benchmarks that help them measure and manage their ultimate goal. If the goal of each salesperson is to sell “X”, don’t focus on the end goal. Monitor the activities that will help them reach that goal. It also helps if the salespeople are included in setting the goals. If you do this, they should have a personal stake in the outcome. Without inclusion, salespeople will figure out the best excuses in the world about why they can’t meet their goals.

Over the past decade technology has transformed the broader world of business and consumer applications. Workers interact through mobile devices and social media, with applications increasingly connected over the web. No matter what business or industry you are in, at some point someone will ask, “Is it time to change our ERP, or should we continue with our current system?” This is not an easy question to answer. If you decide to keep your current system you risk falling behind technologically and functionally. On the other hand, if you decide to change your ERP, you will be faced with making a large investment, undergo varying degrees of disruption to your organization, and risk a failed implementation.

What is the right answer for your company?  Each company’s evaluation process will led it through examinations of its own unique problems. Older ERP systems cause many challenges for organizations. Inefficient business processes are often dictated by these systems and are supplemented by workarounds created by inventive users to maximize personal productivity. Check your accountability system on a regular bases. Technoligy is changing faster and faster everyday. After all, its on you to help your team succeed!