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Do You BYOR?

January 30, 2017

An Introduction to Tour de Force’s BYOR Module

Here at Tour de Force, we have so many benefits not found in traditional CRM systems that we want to ensure that we highlight the areas our customers can benefit from the most.

In the month of February, we are highlighting the Build Your Own Reports module, or BYOR. Unfamiliar with BYOR? Build Your Own Reports was built specifically for Tour de Force users, and allows customized reports to be designed using data incorporated from your ERP software into Tour de Force. It allows you to create custom reports referencing the data collected between the two applications. This module gives your company the means by which to harness relevant data, and provides flexible reporting options to fit your unique needs. Once you build your report, Tour de Force makes distributing the reports simple, giving relevant data to the people who need it most, saving them time.

The BYOR module is an incredibly useful tool for creating reports. Administrators can create reports that display any Tour de Force stored data in a new and informative way. After a report has been created and the appropriate permissions have been set, users can then access the BYOR Viewer in the Info Center to view the reports with live data.

Below are testimonials from a few of our customers who had the opportunity to expand their BYOR knowledge, and personalize it towards their needs.

“Daryl [Daryl Fintel, an Application Consultant] at Tour de Force was able to create, from the BYOR module, dashboards for each of my sales representatives, as well as a manager dashboard for myself. Daryl worked with me to understand the KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) that were important to the success of my sales team and our company. He was able to blend information from BI sales data and the CRM portion of the system to provide Sales trends by product category, Market and Account penetration, and finally information for various activity types within each territory. This allows us to look backward to evaluate performance as well as forward to provide insight on future market trends and customer demands. All reps have access to this information just by clicking the BYOR section in Tour de Force Web, and I can see a roll up of that information on the desktop version. By providing up-to-date sales intelligence, we are able to respond faster and with more focus.”

Tim Schou, Director of Sales, HGH Hardware Supply, Inc.

“While the standard Tour de Force application is very customizable, the BYOR and BYOQ modules offer great flexibility for creating custom reports. I am using the BYOR to publish and deliver summarized and powerful information to the right people. Instead of teaching them where to find it in Tour de Force, my goal is to deliver it in one or two clicks. BYOR takes a little more know-how beyond the average user, but now that we got the hand of it, I know we can create whatever we need!”

David Crum, VP of Sales & Marketing, Crum Electric Supply, Co.

 

When you use Tour de Force’s BYOR module, you’re taking advantage of the ability to interpret meaningful information in an understandable format, which leads to more confident business decision making, and more accurate analyses and reporting. Allow Tour de Force’s BYOR to show you Your Data – Your Way.

By: Cassandra Evans



Stanion Wholesale Electric wins for process of quantifying and tracking value added services

Tour de Force, Inc. congratulates the winner of the 2016 Award for Best Innovation. The Innovation Awards are intended to recognize the creative and exciting ways that Tour de Force clients are using the system. The winner was announced on Mon. Oct. 3rd at the Tour de Force Connections Annual Customer Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

Stanion Wholesale Electric was selected as the Best Innovation by the Tour de Force Executive Team for their use of Tour de Force to quantify and track value added services that they provide to their customers.  Stanion has national contracts that require them to provide cost savings equal to a certain percentage of a customer’s total spending. These cost savings are achieved through the delivery of value added services and benefits. When it came time to prepare annual cost savings reports, the team at Stanion struggled to compile the necessary information. Sales representatives and branch managers would schedule internal meetings to identify and review the services that had been delivered, meetings that involved multiple resources and would stretch into days and even weeks.

According to Dennis Guey, Vice President of Sales at Stanion:

Using Tour de Force to manage this process has resulted in significant productivity savings. We have 17 branches and were tying up each branch for weeks at a time trying to create these reports. That has been eliminated now and our sales team doesn’t have to scramble to find this information: it’s all in Tour de Force. Since we’ve been doing this we’ve had no problems meeting our percentage of cost savings; in fact, we typically have a higher amount than what’s required. We knew we were doing it before, we just weren’t documenting it.”

Other finalists for Best Innovation included ABCO for centralizing their vendor co-op programs, Etna Supply for streamlining business processes, Penn-Air & Hydraulics Corp. for creating an automated assembly queue, and Powerstep for streamlining sample requests. Finalists for Best Use Case included Allegis Corporation for improving quoting processes, O’Dell Associates for automating project backlog reports, PHD for replacing a homegrown customized CRM, and Springfield Electric Supply Company for driving e-commerce.

To learn more about the 2016 Innovation Award Finalists and Winners, visit www.tourdeforceinc.com/2016InnovationAwards

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Stanion Wholesale Electric Co. is a full-service wholesale electric distributor. Founded in Pratt, Kansas in 1961, Stanion has since grown to 17 branches that service the entire state of Kansas and parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and Nebraska. Learn more at www.stanion.com

 

By: Ashley Parinello



CRM and sales management go hand in hand, and one without the other is typically not as successful as both pieces working together.  CRM systems make it much easier for a sales manager to effectively manage their sales team. While the sales manager needs a CRM system, the CRM system also needs the sales manager to fully buy-in to the use of the system in order to drive user adoption.

Tour de Force empowers salespeople to become better at managing their customers’ expectations.  With Tour de Force, your sales team spends their time selling and managing sales opportunities instead of tracking down information and putting out fires.

Here are the top 3 benefits of integrating CRM and sales management:

1. Easily set and track sales goals

Our Sales Planning Module allows you to set sales goals for your sales team and track progress on an individual, branch, region, territory, and/or company level.  The sales numbers are pulled directly from your company’s ERP system, saving managers and salespeople from time wasted filling out spreadsheets and reports.

Our Business Intelligence Summary shows run rates, goals, annualized % to goal, % to goal, and even next year goal! These metrics can be viewed at multiple reporting levels, from an individual sales person to a branch or region, even at an account level if your company sets goals specific to individual customers.

2. Optimize time management

Contrary to popular belief, CRM is not big brother!  Tour de Force provides a set of features that were developed to assist salespeople in becoming more efficient and more effective by reducing the amount of time spent on administrative tasks and streamlining their workflow.

Tour de Force is highly flexible and is mapped to your existing business processes during your implementation.  We work with sales management teams to identify your key objectives so that you are able to balance the features that are rolled out to your team.

3. Improve KPI (key performance indicator) tracking

Tour de Force makes it easy to create custom dashboards and scorecards that can be used to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your sales team. Dashboards, reports, and scorecards can easily be accessed on the fly from within the Tour de Force Info Center, or they can be automatically sent out on a scheduled basis, ensuring that both managers and salespeople know if KPIs are being met.

To learn more about Tour de Force’s capabilities for sales management and sales teams, or to schedule a discussion about what Tour de Force might be able to do for your business, please Contact Us.

By: Ashley Parinello



In recent Forrester research (*), Forrester identified the biggest challenges to addressing customer management capabilities based on survey data. The top three challenges identified by this survey were:

  1. Creating a single view of customer data and information, cited by 47% of survey respondents
  2. Creating customer insight to drive decision-making, 41%
  3. Gaining cooperation across the organization to support customer management improvement efforts, 38%

Wholesale distributors, manufacturers and other leading B2B businesses who are already Tour de Force clients have had the advantage of addressing these key challenges head on from day 1, while others without Tour de Force have struggled mightily. So, how does Tour de Force address these challenges?

First, Tour de Force creates a consolidated, 360° view of all customer information, whether that data originates in Tour de Force or is gathered from external systems, including the client’s ERP and email systems. The level of integration Tour de Force provides with its customers’ ERP systems, which is unmatched in the industry, allows Tour de Force to import accounts, contacts, orders, quotes, invoices, inventory, and purchase orders, along with over 1000 analytical data points about customers and vendors every day. This, coupled with Tour de Force’s ability to automatically log all email associated with customers and vendors, and to make that information viewable in concert with other key customer data, enables clients to view all customer-related information in one common place, which is in Tour de Force.

Second, because Tour de Force goes beyond traditional CRM solutions delivering full business intelligence, or sales analysis and reporting, customers can utilize the analytical data noted above to view this information in scorecards and dashboards, to slice and dice this data in grids, and to receive and consume information via automatic alerts and notifications, either on the user’s home page or via email notifications. This combination of capabilities enables users to consume information in their own preferred ways.

Finally, Tour de Force enables cross-functional business process optimization. Clients can utilize these capabilities to manage areas such as quote to order processing, job and project management, case management and support, and more, which yields substantial overall improvement vs. utilizing a series of stove-piped solutions that don’t communication with each other.

This combination of capabilities helps Tour de Force clients overcome the three biggest challenges to addressing customer management capabilities, as identified by Forrester Research. For more information about Tour de Force or to schedule a discussion about what Tour de Force might be able to do for your business, please Contact Us.

(*) Source: Forrester Research, “Benchmark Against Best Practices to Optimize CRM Performance”

By: Dave Litzenberg



At Tour de Force, we have discussions all the time with sales executives and owners of small and mid-market wholesale distributors and manufacturers, along with sales and executive leadership from major divisions of large enterprises. Two years ago, the response we received when asking whether clients wanted to run their CRM solution on-premise vs. in the Cloud was overwhelmingly on-premise (roughly 95%+ of the time); however, we’ve seen that trend shift significantly since then. Over the past 3-6 months, we’ve been hearing 70%+ of the respondents say they are open to either option which makes most sense for their business, with those who have preference for Cloud CRM vs. on-premise running at roughly a ratio of 75-80% to 20-25%.

What are the main benefits of cloud CRM for clients as opposed to running their CRM solution on premise?

1. Accelerated time to value
By replacing the process of specifying, acquiring, and deploying on-premise IT server and storage with provisioning a comparable Cloud instance, the time to go from project kickoff to go live has accelerated by numerous weeks, which is variable depending on how readily available the client’s IT infrastructure team, if one exists, is to focus on this subject matter. In fact, there have been a number of instances where clients have had to delay projects altogether due to the lack of IT resource availability to focus on the project for an extended period of time.

2. Reduced involvement for IT resources
Because the IT infrastructure and application deployment are owned and maintained by the Cloud solution provider, who provisions what is necessary to support the client and performs application upgrades, the client’s IT resources, if any exist, are unneeded for these tasks. As a result, there isn’t a delay to wait on client IT resource availability to initiate or upgrade Cloud-based solutions.

3. Accelerated access to improved application functionality
Because the solution team’s resources have IT ownership for performing solution upgrades in the Cloud-based model, upgrades are performed on a more frequent basis with more consistent results than when relying on the client’s IT team to perform these tasks. As a result, Cloud solutions can be deployed in smaller functional increments than those that require more enhancements to be rolled up as a release when deployed by the client’s IT team in an on-premise solution model.

4. Improved speed of access, data security and business continuity
Because Cloud CRM solution providers have resources specifically trained in the disciplines of establishing and securing hosted IT infrastructure and associated network access and business continuity with access to the best solutions available in the market, most small and mid-market clients achieve a significant improvement in application performance, data security and business continuity as compared with running the solution on their own IT infrastructure, which requires internal or third-party IT personnel to plan and implement these solutions.

5. Reduced capital expense
There is major competition for capital funding in wholesale distribution and manufacturing companies, especially in the areas of upgrading facilities and equipment. Cloud-based software deployment, where the common software licensing model is based on subscription charges over time, is generally funded as an expense; whereas one-time perpetual software license charges, which has traditionally been the most common approach used for on-premise software deployment, typically requires capital funding.

Tour de Force, whose combined CRM, SFA and BI solution was purpose built for wholesale distribution and manufacturing, offers our clients a choice of running our industry-leading solution on-premise or in a hosted model with Tour de Force Cloud. Please contact us for more information on the benefits if Cloud CRM or to discuss a potential project.

Tour de Force Cloud

By: Dave Litzenberg



A new year is upon us and many business professionals are looking for ways to save time in the workplace in order to get more done
during the day and calendar year. Saving time on mundane tasks leaves opportunity for more sales, and more sales means more revenue.

If saving time is a goal for your organization this year, consider these 5 ways that Tour de Force can help you manage time better and generate more sales.

1. Alerts & Notifications
Alerts & Notifications delivers automated email reports to Tour de Force users on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on the time requirements of the associated information. Rather than waiting for someone to create and send the report manually, Tour de Force compiles the information and automatically sends it out to specified users.

2. Build Your Own Reports (BYOR)
BYOR enables organizations to build reports based on relevant data with flexible reporting options. These reports can be designed for executives, various levels of management and sales representatives. For example, BYOR can calculate and report on goals versus actual sales, or even sales commissions per rep. These reports can be automated and set as the home page when users initially open the Tour de Force Info Center. This frees up time for employees to perform other duties rather than building manual reports day in and day out.

3. Grid Management with Short Cuts
Tour de Force is built with grids to allow for easy access to any information at any given time. Users can filter and sort any grid within the platform with the ability to save their views for rapid access to that same data at a later date. Specified data can be selected based on various criteria within the grid and the sales data can be viewed for one or more accounts. Furthermore, filtered lists of contacts can be exported for an email blast, or passed directly to Act-On utilizing Tour de Force’s integrated the Marketing Automation feature.

4. Web/Mobile Sales Call Reports with the ability to use Talk to Text
Users can convert appointments and tasks in Tour de Force Web with one button. Users can then select to add notes by selecting the talk to text icon on their smartphones and talking through notes which then appear on screen. Using this capability, sales reps will no longer have to type notes after a sales appointment.

5. Global Search with Recent Items and Favorites including Inbox Navigation
Users can save time looking for information needed on a daily basis by using the Global Search, Recent Items and Favorites from the Outlook toolbar, Tour de Force Info Center and Web/Mobile. The Tour de Force system automatically tracks user activity, which is then available to be recalled from Recent Items. Any item within Tour de Force can also be saved as a Favorite. This makes it easier to find information users would like to be easily accessible over time, such as top Accounts. Inbox Navigation allows users to open an account or contact record while viewing an email in Outlook using the Tour de Force Outlook Toolbar. Appointments can also be created from an Outlook email via the Tour de Force Outlook Toolbar.

We all want to save time and sell more. Tour de Force allows you to save time by automating every day processes, freeing you to generate more sales to meet or exceed your 2016 sales goals! Please Contact Us for more information.

By: Rechelle Bischoff



Integration with existing ERP/back office business systems is a key requirement for CRM projects. When you are researching and investing in CRM solutions and providers, here are 3 questions to ask about the solution’s ability to integrate with your ERP system.

1. Is the integration a standard offering from the CRM system? Or does it require the use of a 3rd party application or software integrator with development customization fees?

The first question you need to ask revolves around the CRM provider’s ability to integrate with your existing ERP/back office business system. Do they provide a prebuilt, standard connection to your ERP system, or is every ERP integration project a customization, requiring the use of a 3rd party application and/or software developer customization fees?

If the CRM provider requires customizations or a 3rd party application to make the ERP integration function, make sure you are completely informed of the costs involved, the projected timeline for completing the integration project, and the expectations for keeping the custom integration running as you upgrade either your ERP or CRM system.

2. What is the process for synchronizing information between your ERP and CRM system?

Once you fully understand the financial and time constraints involved with your ERP integration project, the next step is to understand how the synchronization process works. Will the synchronization require any manual uploads or downloads? Will it be a seamless process that can be scheduled to run according to your organization’s needs? How often is the data in your CRM system updated, and can information be synchronized from the CRM system back into the ERP system?

3. Does the integration between the CRM and the ERP system match your existing business structure?

When viewing sales data in your CRM system, it’s important that the reporting and analytics structure matches the way that you currently do business. Take a look at your organization: how are you currently tracking your sales? If you are a smaller organization, you may have a fairly flat reporting structure, with several sales representatives rolling up to a Director or VP of Sales. If you are a larger organization, you may have branches that roll up to regions, who then roll up to Regional Directors or VPs. You may even have Product Managers who are responsible for various segments of your business. Before embarking on your ERP integration project, it’s key to ensure that the information being imported into the CRM system can still be accessed and reported on based on your existing structure.

CRM-ERP-Integration

Tour de Force has been providing seamless, out-of-the box ERP integration since 2001. We currently offer standard integration with over 45 leading ERP systems and are continually adding new systems to that list. For more information about Tour de Force and our fully-integrated software solution suite for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Force Automation (SFA), Business Intelligence (BI), and Business Process Optimization (BPO), please Contact Us.

By: Ashley Parinello



2016 Sales Planning

It’s that time of year again when sales leaders center their attention on building annual sales plans for the following business year. While throwing darts and crystal ball gazing are a couple of potential techniques to employ, here is a list of six key techniques and considerations which should yield far-superior results.

1. Consider trends, economic outlooks, and projected market growth.

Use this data to substantiate anticipated growth rates by industry segment, geography, etc.

2. Build at the top line and flow down.

This is the most simplistic approach. Create your top line sales goals and then trickle those goals down to the sales team. Goals can be created and distributed based on weighting factors, such as taking the prior year’s data and increasing goals by a set percentage.

3. Build by sales rep, territory, branch or region.

Build your sales goals at the individual team member level and then roll those goals up to help gain ownership from the players for delivering on their own commitments. However, a potential challenge can arise when there is a gap between the roll up of the bottom line numbers and the organization’s top line sales growth objectives.

4. Build by key products or product groups, customers, or customer groups, and/or vendors or vendor groups.

Key combinations can be planned utilizing a typical Pareto principle (20% of products, customers, and/or vendors produce 80% of the revenue or profit).

5. Add new markets or products.

Create a model based on an existing market, product, or product group for best approximation while adding into a previously existing mix.

6. Add new territories.

Model and analyze data to segregate accounts in order to create reasonable business volume to support a new sales territory.

Annual sales planning is a data-intensive process which requires correlated combinations of financial and account data with tremendous flexibility analysis options.

Tour de Force’s Sales Planning module combines extensive account data managed in Tour de Force with sales invoice line-item data gathered through standard integration with your ERP system to provide an easy and convenient way for you to analyze your sales data and set goals based upon your sales, profit, and growth objectives. For more information about Tour de Force and our fully-integrated software solution suite for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Force Automation (SFA), Business Intelligence (BI), and Business Process Optimization (BPO), please Contact us.

By: Dave Litzenberg



With so many CRM and Sales Force Automation (SFA) software packages available today, it can be a daunting task to figure out which one is right for your distribution business.

Whether you and your company are brand new to CRM or you’re an experienced user who is unsatisfied with your current product, this guide will help you during your selection and review process. It will cover six important areas to consider when looking at CRM providers and supplies questions to ask when interviewing or reviewing different CRM offerings, in order to ensure that you select the right CRM for distributors and the distribution industry.

Today we will review the 5th area to consider when selecting a CRM solution.

Area 5: Ease of Reporting

How will the CRM system help to improve our reporting, and will it help us to eliminate our many pushed Excel reports with live, quick access reports that are available company-wide?

Providing your sales force with access to current, relevant data is one of the single most effective ways to drive sales and margins higher. Access to this data also increases CRM adoption during the early stages of implementation, as your sales team can immediately see for themselves the benefits of using the system.

With accurate sales data, sales managers can coach their teams more constructively and effectively. Marketing Managers can target the most productive areas for campaign dollars and promotions. Corporate management can make the effective profit driven decisions they need in evaluating their Sales Managers and vendor partner performance to goal.

The CRM system you chose should have a robust capability for easily viewing all sales data and executing Actions on customer and vendor sales data as well as specific Opportunity pipeline data and Account/ Contact data.

Having to search in many locations of the CRM system is a major turnoff for sales people and other employees, and dramatically decreases the user adoption of your system. It is important that you ensure that all data be available from a single, easily accessible portal.

CRM Interview – Ask these questions to determine if the CRM system provides comprehensive and effective Reporting capabilities:

  • Will we have a central screen/ tool that opens from the Outlook toolbar area that will allow us to see all of the following segments of our business – in a format that we can set up globally for all our various types of employees (sales, customer service, regional managers, corporate managers, marketing, etc.)?
    • Sales History
    • Sales Performance to Goal
    • Accounts
    • Contacts
    • Opportunities (pipeline)
    • Activities (Appointments, Tasks, Call Log Details, etc.)
    • All Account & Contact correspondence, including emails and other forms of documentation in a safely stored format.
  • Can we easily change the various columns to the size and order of appearance we want to view?
    • Do we have to know or be able to write code to accomplish this?
  • Will we be able to sort on any fields from within our ERP business system, for example, booked orders, credit status, etc.?
  • Can we provide the ability for our individual employees to sort and save data views in any manner they want if they feel they could more effectively use data viewed the way they want to see it?
  • Will we have the ability to easily export to Excel should we want to?
  • Can the various Report Views be saved and shared on a company-wide basis by company management for easy recall at a later time without having to build reports again?

Download the full Guide to Selecting a CRM for your Distribution Business.

By: Ashley Parinello



Industrial Supply Magazine

Cover Story by Johnston Supply Industrial

 

 

 

 

Johnston Industrial Supply makes wise technology investments to boost profitability!

Very few companies want to be on the “bleeding edge” when it comes to trying new technologies. Adopting a technology before it has been thoroughly tested – or before customers or employees are ready to use it – can be a costly mistake.

But smart business owners understand that applying the right technology can make a major impact on bottom-line profitability. Johnston Industrial Supply has discovered that wise investments in technology make good business sense.

“Technology touches every department in our company. We’ve been able to utilize it and reduce our workforce, yet continue to grow sales,” says company president Susie Johnston. “It has enabled us to be flexible enough to serve our customers and still give
them personalized service.”

Continue Reading…

via Industrial Supply Magazine by Rich Vurva

This article originally appeared in the Mar./Apr. 2012 issue of Industrial Supply magazine. Copyright 2012, Direct Business Media.

By: Ashley Parinello



Any effective business intelligence (BI) strategy should have 2 key goals:

  1. 1. Uncover trends that can be used to drive sales and revenues.
  2. 2. Allow the user to act on those trends and drive sales and revenues.

All BI software programs have the first goal covered. They offer a wide range of reports and analytics that can be used to uncover trends, identify top accounts and at risk accounts, top product lines, top vendors, etc.

The problem with many business intelligence software programs is the second goal – actually acting on that data. Most BI programs are standalone applications that require data to be imported and exported, making it difficult to take any sort of structured action on the results.

Tour de Force CRM integrates with Microsoft Outlook and your ERP system, allowing you to efficiently and effectively achieve both goals. There is no manual importing required, as your sales data from your ERP system is automatically synched to Tour de Force CRM. There is no exporting required, as you are already connected with Microsoft Outlook and can easily create structured mass email campaigns or direct mail campaigns, create and assign tasks or appointments, re-assign account managers, or create custom groupings of your customers.

With Tour de Force CRM, not only does your sales management team have access to these capabilities, but so does your sales force. This allows you to provide your individual sales people with the ability to gain these same actionable insights from whichever sales data you decide to give them access to.

To learn more about Tour de Force CRM and our BI Strategy, please join us for an upcoming webinar:

Tues. March 13, 2012 2:00p-3:00p EDT Why Tour de Force CRM?

Tues. March 20, 2012 2:00p-3:00p EDT Business Intelligence with Tour de Force CRM

By: Ashley Parinello



With so many CRM and Sales Force Automation (SFA) software packages available today, it can be a daunting task to figure out which one is right for your distribution business.

Whether you and your company are brand new to CRM or you’re an experienced user who is unsatisfied with your current product, this guide will help you during your selection and review process. It will cover six important areas to consider when looking at CRM providers and supplies questions to ask when interviewing or reviewing different CRM offerings, in order to ensure that you select the right CRM for distributors and the distribution industry.

Today we will review the 2nd area to consider when selecting a CRM solution.

Area 2: ERP Integration

What’s the importance of a CRM with ERP integration, and how can I ensure that the CRM provides the ERP data that my sales and marketing teams need?

In the most basic sense, a CRM is a database to store Accounts and Contacts. Almost all CRM systems provide a simple method to log new Accounts and new Contacts to this database. In addition, most provide various forms of Opportunity or Pipeline Management tools.

In order to be successful, salespeople and sales managers at distribution companies need more than basic Account and Contact data about their customers. What they really need is to be able to look at an Account or Contact record and also have the ability to see up to date customer sales and margin data by territory, account, product group, order number, and line item. This allows distributors to effectively pursue new business where they are not currently getting it and to drive up margins where they are currently below acceptable levels. Without being able to easily view and analyze your sales data tied to your customer records, it can be challenging and time intensive for your sales and sales management teams to effectively drive new business or uncover new opportunities within your existing customer base.

Many CRM companies claim to be able to integrate to your ERP system.  Unfortunately, each CRM company’s definition of ERP Integration is different. When reviewing the CRM offerings of different companies, it’s important to choose a CRM company that has experience integrating to your ERP system in order to get the highest ROI from your CRM investment.

CRM Interview – Ask these questions to determine the ability of the CRM system to integrate to your ERP system, as well as the types of data they are able to import from the ERP system:

  • Does the CRM system have an existing interface to my ERP system, or will custom software need to be written by a software integrator?
  • If custom software is necessary to integrate to my ERP system, what does that entail?  What will level of involvement will be required of my company?
  • How much time will it take to build a custom integrator, and how much money will it cost?
  • Will data from the ERP system be available on mobile devices for our sales team to be able to access at any time?
  • Does the CRM system have a history of direct integration with a number of ERP systems including my particular ERP system?
  • Will our salespeople be able to see sales data such as Sales, Gross Margins, Gross Margin % and Bookings YTD by:
    • Sales Territory?
    • By Customer?
    • By Vendor?
    • By Vendor Product Group?
    • By individual order to the line Item Level?
    • Past year and Past Two Years?
    • Actual sales performance versus YTD goal?

Download the full Guide to Selecting a CRM for your Distribution Business.

By: Ashley Parinello



CRM Alerts & Notifications

November 4, 2011

Manage Sales Effectively & Efficiently

Driving sales revenues to meet or exceed company goals is the primary responsibility of most sales managers. Effectiveness in this role can make or break a company’s financial year. The stakes are very high for all involved…

…yet most companies do not provide their sales managers with live customer sales data (from their ERP systems) and current sales pipeline opportunity management (from their CRM) in a simple, combined way that allows sales managers to excel in their roles.

Progressive companies have moved to CRM platforms that enable an integrated sales management approach fostering excellent salesperson “Coaching” by their sales management personnel. The best of these platforms integrate fully and seamlessly with company ERP databases.

Immediate benefits can be gained with tools as simple as Alerts & Notifications that give sales managers all the live data they need to easily see sales performance, assess current actions by sales, and enable constructive coaching sessions with the sales personnel to drive sales faster and compress the sales cycles. The net result is increased effectiveness from the sales force and new respect for the sales managers from the salesperson’s viewpoint – they are now working constructively as a team to maximize sales.

Here are some simple examples of Alerts & Notifications that can be automatically sent to the appropriate managers on a daily basis by email. No formatting or pushed reports from IT or Operations are needed.

Top 10 Accounts - Email Alert

CRM Email Alerts of Top 10 Accounts YTD

To see more, all the manager has to do is click on the Open link and they are whisked right into the CRM database for the appropriate Account, Opportunity, Activity or other record type that is listed in the Alerts & Notifications. Now they can see any detail they want. This saves invaluable time searching through databases or pushed reports looking for key data. Alerts & Notifications can be set to provide this data to your sales management team on a daily basis or when certain events occur.

Here are some more examples of what is possible when your CRM is integrated seamlessly with your business system ERP:

 

New Accounts Entered Yesterday

New Accounts Entered Yesterday – CRM Alerts & Notifications | Tour de Force CRM

 

Sales Pipeline Management is Critical

Pipeline Opportunities Entered Yesterday

 

Tour de Force CRM Alerts and Notifications - Opportunities Modified Yesterday -

Pipeline Opportunities Modified Yesterday

 

CRM Alerts and Notifications for your Sales Managers and Sales Teams

New Activities Entered Yesterday in Tour de Force CRM

Imagine the coaching possibilities if this type of data was available for your management team on a daily basis! Envision your sales manager being able to look at key metrics like these on a regular basis – without having to dig through numerous systems and files. Here are just some examples of what is possible:

  • All Pipeline Opportunities that have not moved forward in the sales stage process for the last 30 days.
  • All new Opportunities just entered that are over $5,000 (gives you a reason to strategize with sales to up the odds of closing).
  • All customers that are currently running below 70% of last year to date.
  • All “Key Accounts” that are not tracking at or above YTD Goal.
  • The number of customer Sales Opportunity related calendar appointments scheduled in the last 30 days – by each individual salesperson.
  • All open Opportunities scheduled to close within 30 days.

Alerts & Notifications also allows you to set up email alerts when certain events occur in your business system ERP or your CRM. This means selected people or groups could be alerted when, for example, any new customer order for over $5,000 is received. The Salesperson can now immediately call and thank the buyer, as can company management, building customer rapport and loyalty.
Alerts & Notifications can be set up to alert any individual or group on any data occurrence selected by management. The possibilities are limitless!
Of course, with a CRM that is integrated with your business ERP system data, the manager can easily dig in and find anything he/ she wants about Accounts, Contacts, Pipeline Opportunities, Branch, Territory & Customer Sales Data vs. Goal YTD and anything else within your ERP database and your CRM. Pretty powerful stuff!

Alerts & Notifications are just one of the many ways that forward thinking companies are dramatically increasing their revenue streams and their company profit.
Whether you and your company are brand new to CRM and sales force automation, or you are an experienced user, Tour de Force CRM is glad to assist with consultative business and technical support designed to help you maximize your company sales and effectiveness.

Contact us today for more information.

By: Ashley Parinello



Sales Planning is an event that most Sales Managers and Executives approach with dread.  There are endless spreadsheets, files, and folders.  You may have to pull data from several different applications within your organization.  You have to deal with the frustration of waiting for sales people to turn in spreadsheets or compile data.

The CRM Sales Planning Module in Tour de Force CRM makes this once tedious process easy!

Tour de Force integrates to your ERP system, providing comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities.  The Sales Planning Module allows you to enter sales goals by territory, region, customer account, or sales person.  It also allows you to create sales goals by product group or revenue category within each territory, region, customer account, or sales person. Once entered, you have real time analysis throughout the year on your actual versus goal without any manual updates to the plans. Goodbye spreadsheets!

Interested in learning more?  Join us Tues. Oct. 25th from 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT for a free webinar.  During this webinar, we’ll conduct an in-depth review and demonstration of the CRM Sales Planning Module. Spend an hour with us to find out how easy Sales Planning can be!

Sales Planning made easy with Tour de Force CRM Solution | This webinar was presented by Matt Hartman President/CEO of Tour de Force CRM.

By: Ashley Parinello



At Tour de Force CRM, we have spent the last 10 years building and expanding our feature set based upon the input of hundreds of distributors and manufacturers. Today, Tour de Force CRM offers the most extensive feature set available to the Distribution & Manufacturing industries.

A few of the key features offered through our extensive integration with your ERP system are:

  • Gap Analysis – Allows you to review your customers purchase history, and easily identify where there are gaps or opportunities for additional sales.Quickly and easily run reports such as “all customers who have purchased product A & B but not product C in the last 18 months” or “customers in territory X who have spent $10,000 on product A in last 2 years, but $0 on product A in last 6 months”.
  • Tour de Force Mobile CRM – Provides your users with anytime, anywhere access to key CRM data as well as customer sales history and sales data directly from your ERP system.
  • Advanced Reporting & Filtering Capabilities – Quickly and easily generate sales reports by sales person, branch, territory, region, or for the entire company, with the ability to filter on any field found in Tour de Force.Save frequently used filtering or reporting criteria with the option to provide convenient access to all Tour de Force users.

If you’ve already invested in a solution that is simply not delivering the value you expected, or you’ve just started to evaluate the CRM options available that will seamlessly integrate with your ERP software, we’d like to provide you with a brief introduction to the Tour de Force CRM solution. Find out today why Tour de Force has become the CRM solution of choice in the Distribution & Manufacturing industries.

“Tour de Force provides our company with an easily and highly customizable package with the added benefit of tying specifically with our Eclipse ERP system, allowing us to track what we deem important. The support team is top notch and provides a level of professionalism rarely seen in the software industry.”

Chris Bohn
Director of Information Technology

By: Ashley Parinello



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