Automation helps define the competitive edge for modern businesses.
It reduces friction and minimizes process latency by providing business owners with the right tools to stand out among the competition and sustain that momentum.
Much like a chameleon changes colors to blend in diverse terrains, sales order automation (SOA) solutions fit different platforms, equipping businesses with more customer-centered services.
This article explores the importance of SOA systems, how they boost sales, enrich customer experience, and how the latest technological advancements can further elevate SOA capabilities.
- SOA solutions can help automate repetitive tasks, enhance customer interactions, minimize errors, and boost overall productivity.
- Advanced technologies, such as GenAI, robotic process automation, and blockchain amplify SOA’s capabilities.
- Employees appreciate sales order automation for the extra time it frees up, and they feel a stronger sense of loyalty to companies that implement SOA.
Sales order automation explained
With the help of SOA, business owners can automate up to 30% of sales tasks, helping their sales departments achieve more without compromising personal time.
Salespeople can hand manual and administrative tasks over to machines that are unsurpassed in consistent and accurate credit checking, invoicing, or creating order-related information.
Naturally, the efficiency of SOA solutions is enhanced by technologies, such as AI, robotic process automation, and cloud-based platforms.
These tools come in handy to pull data from customer order forms, check the information, route orders to departments they need to reach, and register updates.
Relying on optical character recognition (OCR) and intelligent data capture, SOA can understand and analyze documents to identify and extract necessary details.
Think of OCR as a scanner that picks out essential bits from a document, while the intelligent data capture allows getting what customers mean when they “St.” instead of “Street” or make minor typos.
By integrating SOA, B2B organizations can streamline both the procurement and delivery process, ensuring that bulk orders are processed efficiently with all the necessary approvals and documentation in place.
The B2C sector has a more direct approach, aiming for individual consumers and emphasizing quick conversions and broad marketing strategies.
An online retail store can use SOA to ensure a smooth process at every step when a customer adds an order to the cart, pays, and waits for shipment and delivery.
SOA helps salespeople ride the sales wave
There’s a plethora of tasks that sales order automation systems can assist with, including but not limited to the following:
- Automating routine sales tasks
- Transforming customer experiences from mediocre to exceptional
- Optimizing business workflows
- Identifying sales opportunities with the help of AI
- Verifying orders and processing requests
- Reducing manual entry errors in order processing
- Accelerating order-to-cash cycles
- Enhancing inventory management and forecasting
Picture a seasoned salesperson — let’s call him John — who juggled data entry, invoice generation, and endless follow-ups every single working day.
The repetitive tasks consumed his time and introduced errors, tarnishing his reputation with customers.
He had little time left for strategic selling, and he constantly felt the pressure of missed opportunities.
With an SOA solution integrated with the CRM John uses, he now lets the automation system take care of routine tasks knowing that the system will work consistently, evading potential errors.
His interactions with customers became swifter and more personalized, and he could track how they engaged with sales documents, gaining insights into open rates and viewing durations.
The newfound efficiency allowed John to escape burnout and focus on what he could do best: selling.
He now uses feedback from SOA to strategize better and complete more documents by the end of the month. As a result, John has seen a noticeable uptick in his closure rates.
Customer’s shopping woes turned into wins
Let’s pivot to a B2C example with a regular online shopper we’ll call Mia. For far too long, Mia felt like she was playing a game of chance with her orders.
More often than not, she’d open a package only to find the wrong item size or even an entirely different product.
Sometimes, her eagerly awaited packages could be delayed without any explanation.
When she realized that her purchasing experience mostly boiled down to tedious back-and-forth with customer service, she was about to opt for a different store.
But once the store implemented SOA into their business model, Mia no longer had to second-guess the color or design of her purchases, as they were precisely as she’d chosen.
Her communication with customer service became timely and transparent.
Mia was no longer left wondering about her order’s whereabouts because she now receives updates, and should there ever be a delay, she’ll be notified about the reason.
Sales order automation also helped fix billing issues.
Every charge was precise, and on the rare occasion there was a hiccup, it was resolved without Mia having to chase it down.
The store seemed to finally understand her needs and preferences.
Her browsing sessions were met with personalized recommendations, making her shopping experience efficient and delightful.
Balancing staff-client focus and driving revenues
Behind the scenes, many B2B and B2C companies are grappling with a common challenge: how to optimize workflows to ensure a seamless experience for both customers and employees while multiplying revenues.
By using SOA solutions, businesses can notice a ripple effect.
Employees generally welcome automation with open arms, as it frees up more time they could invest in deepening relationships with customers.
Moreover, 84% feel a renewed sense of loyalty to their employers who are taking innovative steps to elevate employees’ work lives.
By empowering their employees, businesses are indirectly enriching experiences for their customers. Everybody wins.
For example, at PandaDoc, our users report a 36% increase in close rates due to sales order automation.
They also manage to confidently balance the overall morale and job contentment of employees with maintaining customer satisfaction.
The capabilities of advanced technology as seen in sales
From virtual showrooms to AI-driven customer insights, the sales landscape is being reshaped by cutting-edge innovations.
Here is just a handful of transformative capabilities of today’s advanced technology in sales:
- Analytics enhanced by AI
- Advanced automation using robotic process automation
- The use of blockchain for order verification
- Sales order automation with the help of generative AI
Let’s look closer at each one.
AI is perfectly suited to predict tomorrow’s weather with respect to sales.
Businesses can feed captured historical data to AI and allow the algorithm to spot patterns in the behavior of various groups of customers.
AI will make accurate guesses about future sales trends based on detected preferences, sales purposes, spending habits, and other factors.
More specifically, AI-based predictive analytics can help identify selling opportunities, resolve sales bottlenecks, and boost overall sales performance.
AI can help tailor marketing strategies that resonate with specific customer groups and enhance engagement and loyalty.
It can diagnose and rank leads based on their propensity to convert and, on the other hand, predict customer churn, alerting businesses in time.
Hyper-automation with RPA
Hyper-automation, the next step in sales order automation, fits the bill.
It orchestrates a symphony of tools to enhance the entire process from start to finish.
Before hyper-automation started gaining traction, businesses often faced challenges with standalone sales automation tools.
Such tools often failed to integrate smoothly with other systems and required frequent updates, leading to higher maintenance costs.
They typically lacked intelligence capabilities and were limited to working with structured data.
Hyper-automation addresses these issues as it merges the power of robotic process automation (RPA) with artificial intelligence and machine learning.
It appears as a fast and efficient answer for complex e-commerce platforms, streaming services, or healthcare enterprises, and it has become a key component in sales and marketing strategizing.
Blockchain to verify order authenticity
Blockchain is a powerful technology to help businesses with sales order automation, improve data accuracy, and enhance trust between parties involved in a transaction.
It provides visibility over every link in the supply chain.
Imagine blockchain as a ledger that keeps a clear and safe record of every stage a product passes through before reaching a customer.
Each step gets a note, from the moment components are collected to the time the product reaches the store.
This journey starts with the authentication of each transaction using cryptographic keys.
Once a transaction is authenticated, it awaits approval or authorization on most network computers, known as nodes, to prove the transaction’s validity.
After that, the transaction undergoes post-approval verification.
The network’s computer owners, incentivized by rewards, confirm the transaction’s legitimacy through a mechanism called “proof of work.”
This level of transparency and security ensures that customers get what they pay for.
Generative AI in sales order automation
Generative AI is like a creative brain that helps craft new content or data from existing images, texts, audio, videos, and more.
One of the significant ways GenAI helps in sales is by making content that speaks directly to a specific group of customers.
For example, Panda AI is a text block assistant that helps users craft better sales proposals, contracts, invoices, and other sales documents, while taking minutes to generate and adapt precisely to the needs of a particular customer.
Serving not just content creation purposes, GenAI helps improve communication within an international sales team as well.
It efficiently translates documents into different languages and summarizes in writing the most important information discussed during a call.
When drawing up sales strategies, AI can look at customer data and sales trends and advise on the best moves.
How PandaDoc streamlines sales order automation
Sales order automation software benefits businesses by offering a seamless integration experience with popular CRM systems, including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Zoho CRM, HubSpot CRM, and more.
Beyond its integration capabilities, PandaDoc brings a wealth of nifty features and bonuses.
Jumping between PandaDoc’s software and your CRM becomes a breeze, thanks to smooth workflows and immediate updates, ensuring data is always current.
You can also use your CRM data to auto-generate and fill out documents in a straightforward manner.
Automation capabilities appear as a game-changer, helping the sales team ramp up productivity, tackle routine tasks automatically, and minimize errors.
They can leverage a clearer view of the best sales tactics and easily track potential customers through a sales process.
Communication with customers gains an enhanced personal touch, paving the way for increased customer loyalty.
Sales data, neatly organized in one place, helps a sales team access needed information and address issues in a timely manner.
As an owner of either a B2B or B2C business (or both), sales order automation appears as a perfect tool to help you optimize the workload of your employees, assisting your team as they continue to build strong relationships with customers.
Over 1000 customizable templates will also help you along the way, whether you’re the leader of a growing international team or a one-person band.
The more sales automation you use, the more productive you and your salespeople are.
Connect with us anytime to schedule a personalized demo and start accelerating the productivity and satisfaction rates of your team — and the size and loyalty of your customer base.