A sales campaign perhaps is among the tougher challenges, as it demands quick reaction to a time-bound project and opportunity. One has to work with many stakeholders within and outside the organization to make it work through mostly patch-work solutions. An organization can do well, if it looks to build Sales Campaign infrastructure so that it can make sales campaign as being business as usual activity. A large organization will always have many sales campaigns running for different LOB (line of business), OR geographies at any point of time. Following are the areas, which can come under your sales campaign infrastructure.
Core IT systems
A sales campaign can require a sub-category of the product to be established, given a different variation of product packaging for the campaign (like discounted product..). A sales campaign can also require special set-ups in the channel management system (for different commission OR compensation rules for sale made through the campaign).
Your CRM system may not be that much to worry about as they are designed to handle varied sales campaigns. Sales campaign CRM systems (including leads management systems) can also sometimes plug the functionality gaps, left by the core production system. The challenge is more on the core production systems.
Disclaimer- We do not mean to say that CRM systems are not Core Systems. By core systems, we mean the ones used to do order fulfillment and financial processing.
The following broad capabilities can make your IT systems Sales Campaign ready-
- Ability to set-up a sub-product with different construct and valid to be sold within a time range, location and channel
- Ability to tag a sales with the sales campaign tag.
- Ability to establish the commission and compensation rules for a given product/product for sales done within a time range, location and channel
- Ability to tag a customer as being linked to a sales campaign.
- Allowing multiple tags for multiple sales campaign to the same instance of a customer, location, time etc.
- Ability to generate reports and MIS as per the sale campaign tags.
One possible approach: As these are fundamental changes (and not linked to a sales campaign..), make it part of a major system release. It does not hurt that much and it can be booked as an enterprise level cost, instead of it to be booked against a specific sales campaign (and thus making it unviable)
Readiness of financial and product modeling for Sales Campaign
Typically the sales campaigns do not ask for a major restructuring of your product base. Therefore, the product and financial impact of the sales campaign should not be a mammoth exercise (as compared to launching a totally new product OR a major product upgrade). Moreover, sales campaign may have some standard type of changes associated with the products and financials. Most of the sales campaigns will fit into the following types of changes:
- Price discount
- Change in sales compensation business rules
- Multiple product and price packaging (buy one product and get another at a discount OR get free coupon of X dollars with every Y dollars of purchase)
- Early bird (X dollars discount for first 10000 customers to buy the product)
- Pay in installments
As long as you have pre-built models to do the impact analysis, this can provide faster response time.
Supply chain flexibility and scalability
The commonsensical answer to this is to develop the outsourced vendor base, which can scale-up the supply chain demands. However, this may not be that simple:
- For a short sales campaign, you may not get the Vendor who will scale-up for a period of few weeks.
- You may not be able to outsource everything, For example you may not be able to build additional production lines of your own and of your ancillary vendors with a short notice and for a short period.
Apart from outsourcing, one can also adopt the following methods:
- Build inventories to meet the sales campaign demand, depending upon your projections
- Longer working hours with additional pay incentive.
- Managing customer expectations.
- Making the operations and Sales persons incentives partly linked to the order fulfillment.
Sales process and promotion Infrastructure
This includes training, sales collateral, sales promotion machinery. If the need be, this can be largely outsourced in terms of training delivery, designing and printing, sales material distribution etc..As long as we are measuring the responsible employees on the right KPIs, this should work.