Selling Big with Technology
What if there was a computer program that could let your customers order what they wanted from you online, whenever they wanted? And it would keep the mass of small orders from your clients organized? And it could connect directly with your preferred suppliers?
Enter: Enterprise Software
Enterprise software is the technological solution to the complexity problem faced when selling as deep as possible to your clients. It's named after the kind of sale it facilitates, the "enterprise sale" (i.e., a large, multi-part sale that has both a long duration and complex parameters). An example of an enterprise sale would be providing all the branded collateral for a chain of banks over a period of five years, or the complicated car dealership example detailed above.
Enterprise software varies in size and complexity, but the general premise of the software is that it streamlines and automates the ordering process between yourself, your clients, and your suppliers. At the most basic level, this simplification is achieved through customer relationship management (CRM) software that's combined with an e-commerce platform that connects to various suppliers' own systems somehow. However, enterprise software can be much more sophisticated than that.
Susan Godfrey, marketing director for E-Quantum Software Inc., Reno, Nev., described some of the deeper solutions E-Quantum's QuantumNet enterprise software platform offers. "With QuantumNet you have the ability to give your clients an integrated e-commerce catalog," she said. "That catalog can include printed items, promotional products, office supplies, apparel and web-to-print."
She explained that Quantum Net's e-commerce catalogs can be customized to individual buyers, letting you control what products a given client is allowed to browse from. The settings can be narrow, say to three products from a specific envelope supplier, or broad to the point of letting them search the entire SAGE database. Quantum Net's software parameters can also be restricted by user, letting you set restrictions on who at a company can search by what, what budget they're allowed to spend, or even if they need to get their supervisor's permission first.