As customers grow more sophisticated in their demands, and the global market creates greater and greater competition; manufacturers and suppliers need every advantage they can grasp to maintain and increase their customer base. Many times, the difference between a sale and losing that sale to a competitor depends more upon issues such as availability, delivery schedule and customer service than they do on pricing and model availability.
In this type of market, it is essential to get the latest and best information into the hands of the sales force. They need to know on a moment-by-moment basis the availability of products, delivery schedules, restocking schedules, and even manufacturing schedules. This vital information may be just the key to unlock a big sale, especially when the customer is in a bind and needs fast delivery.
Once the order is placed, the sales force needs the ability to enter that order immediately into the system, so that planners can get a jump on scheduling, producing, and delivering that order to meet the customer’s needs.
Enter the virtual private network. With VPNs, companies can give their mobile sales force direct access to the company mainframe at all times. All the critical information that sales professionals have been screaming to have access to for the last couple of centuries can be right at their fingertips. Instead of having to get on the phone and call the home office, they can connect to the company’s virtual private network from wherever they are, and have real answers for the customer.
This could actually eliminate the stereotype of the less than honest salesman, who tells their customers whatever they want to hear, because they don’t have an answer. Having those answers available eliminates the need to make up something to satisfy the customer. When they have questions about the status of their order, the sales professional can give them an accurate answer in minutes, instead of having to wait for hours or even days. That’s customer service.