Category: Prophet 21
Prospects and Customers in P21
Prophet 21 includes two main categories of customer accounts - "Customers" and "Prospects". For the most part P21 Customers and Prospects are really the same thing with a different status flag in the database. Prospects do have some limitations in P21 - for instance a Prospect must be converted into a Customer before an Order can be created. However it is possible to create Quotes, Opportunities and Tasks for a P21 Prospect. Because of this most P21 shops use Prospects as the primary way to store information about "potential" Customers.
While in most cases using Prospect accounts for potential Customer accounts works well, there are some drawbacks to this approach. For instance many P21 shops end up importing thousands of of leads (potential prospects) as P21 Prospects from file listings from sources such as Dun and Bradstreet or other third-party lead list providers. This can bloat the P21 database and make it more difficult to manage "real" Prospects. There is also no straight forward way to use Prospects in P21 as a pipeline for new customers. Other common sources of bloat and clutter in P21 can occur when P21 shops engage telemarketing services to generate leads and the leads aren't properly qualified as real Prospects or when a sales rep picks up business cards from a trade show and adds them to P21 as prospects before properly qualifying them as potential future customers.
Web Connect provides a way for a user to quickly record information about an organization or individual without having to create a P21 Prospect.
Introducing Web Connect Sales Leads Tracking and Management
Probably the best way to think of a Lead is as an "unqualified prospect" or "suspect" as some like to say. Imagine the following scenario:
A sales rep notices a new business opening. At this point the rep might only know the name of the business, the city and might have an idea of what type of business it is. The rep now records the lead in Web Connect with only this information and then sets the "Next Call Date" as a reminder to call on the business in the coming days. After later calling on the Lead, the sales rep enters additional information including the full address, phone number, website address and some notes. They can also add contacts to the Lead for the owner and also the business manager.
At this point if the sales rep has permission to create P21 Prospects in Web Connect, the rep could, with one-touch/click, convert the Lead to a P21 Prospect if there is potential for business. If the rep does not have permission to create P21 Prospects the rep could contact a Sales Manager or Admin to convert the Lead.
Another use for Web Connect Leads involves importing large listings of business leads from a source such as Dun and Bradstreet. Once the Leads are imported then they can be assigned to sales reps and also inside sales reps. This can work great if your organization would like to assign inside reps to make cold calls and qualify leads as prospects.
If the P21 shop uses telemarketing as a part of their overall lead generation strategy, they can even make the telemarketing firm a user in Web Connect and add the leads directly and even assign them (as directed by the P21 shop) for follow up by certain sales reps.
A Lead can have the following attributes
- Lead Name
- Address 1
- Address 2
- Postal Code
- Central Phone
- Website Address
- P21 Company
- Sales Rep
- Assigned To
- Next Call Date and Time
- Lead Source
- Lead Type
- Lead Status
- P21 Customer Class 1 through 5
- 1 or more Contacts
- 1 or more Notes
The Data Explorer in Web Connect allows you the ultimate in flexibility and complete control over creating custom views of your P21 data or any other data source you may have. For each data connector you create, you can immediately visualize the results in data grids (that behave much like Excel complete with column filters, exports and expand/collapse groups and rows and other features), a variety of charts and on Google Maps. You can control which of your users or user groups can access the data using the Data Explorer Admin tools. See below for a sampling of grids, charts and Google Maps possible with the Web Connect P21 Data Explorer.
We had a great time in Phoenix this week and quickly understood why one of Arizona's nicknames is, "The Sunset State". We witnessed several beautiful sunsets while we attended the P21 Worldwide User Group conference at the Arizona Grand Resort. The folks that run the user group did a great job and worked tirelessly to put on the most well-attended event since Connect began. We enjoyed spending time with current customers, fellow sponsors, P21 users and industry consultants and meeting many new people!
We added information about our new Data Explorer to our booth this year and gave away t-shirts with the famous Arizona Kokopelli image on it. Here's Andy and Eyual pausing for a photo during booth setup day.
Speaking of t-shirts, we ran out of certain sizes and told folks if they send an email with their mailing address and t-shirt size to info@P21Connect.com, we would gladly send them a free t-shirt.
In Web Connect, you can now see your opportunities (created in either Web Connect or P21--both stored in P21) in a Forecast view. A Sales Forecast is the estimation of the value of the Sales Pipeline: the expected revenue from all the deals (Opportunities) in the pipeline over a period of time. The forecast time frame is usually a month or a quarter. Several metrics can be used for sales forecasts but the most common calculations are total pipeline value and weighted pipeline value. Total pipeline value: the sum of all opportunities for a given time period (e.g. quarter). Weighted pipeline value: multiply the value of each Opportunity by its Success Probability % and add them up for a given time period (e.g. quarter).
A sales pipeline describes an approach to selling, typically based on an underlying sales process. It describes the individual steps salespeople take from initial contact with a potential customer, or prospect, to qualifying that prospect into a lead, and further validating that lead into a sales opportunity followed through the different stages until closed. All sales opportunities arranged along each of the sales steps that make up your sales process is what the sales pipeline represents. The Web Connect Opportunity Pipeline management tool lets you view and filter your pipeline and also touch/click and drag opportunity "cards" from one Stage to another and instantly see the impact on the overall value of the pipeline.
June 2016 Release
- Enhanced the Opportunity Details screen to show the Type, Status Stage and Step description when a user selects an option from the associated dropdown lists.
- Created a new “Opportunity Forecast” screen that charts opportunities based on either the Anticipated Close Date or Next Step Date.
- Created a new “Opportunity Pipeline” screen that places each opportunity into groups based on the Stage Sequence. Opportunities can easily be moved to new stages from this screen.
- Enhanced the Opportunity Listing to display the next task due date, who the next task is assigned to and what type of task is next.
- Added a version of the Opportunity Forecast chart to the CRM Overview screen.
- Added an optional configuration setting that will treat older opportunities as “Dormant”.
- Added the ability to drag and drop Opportunities, Sales Calls and Tasks on the calendar.
- Made it possible to start a new Opportunity, Task or Sales Call from the calendar.
- Added a variety of filters to the calendar.
Added Last Hard-Touch Date to:
- Customer Listing/Lookup
- Contact Listing/Lookup
- Customer Details Screen
- Contact Details Screen
- Added “Create New Task” in Mobile Views
- Added “Create New Sales Call” in Mobile Views
Sales Analysis View:
- Added line and column totals
- Added Ship To as a “View By” option
- Added Ship To as a “Filter” option
- Added Product Group Range as a “Filter” option
- Added Month Range as a “Time Frame” option
Sales Call Log:
- Made both Scheduled and Completed Date visible on the Call Log grid.
- Added the ability to filter the Call Log by Product Group
- Added code to remember the last Stock/Nonstock selection of the user
- Added code to remember the last Company selection of the user
- Added a per-user permission for Customers to be able to access the Item Inquiry Screen
- Added Item ID as a distinct search box. This makes it possible to either search for an item specifically, use the wildcard search or combine the searches.
Remote Order Form:
- Added a field for the Quantity Available for each line-item. This information will update each time the form is loaded so that users can get real-time inventory availability when working with orders over a period of time. This is a per-user setting.
Improved “Time Pickers”:
- Reworked the date/time selectors for screens such as New Task, Task Details, Sales Call, etc. so that the time selector would be more phone-friendly.
Sales Rep Contact Visibility Options:
- Added a per-user setting for sales reps that will either restrict the contact search to contacts related to the rep by ship-to or allow the rep to search all contacts in P21.
Customer Item Inquiry:
- Added the ability to enable then Inventory Search/Item Inquiry system for customer logins.
Remote Order Item Search:
- Added Extended Description to the results and search when looking for an item in the various remote order screens.
- Added Down Payment Applied as a column to the Invoice History screen.
- Added Australian date format compatibility
- Added deployment update options for self-update and auto-update
Visit our YouTube Channel to view our most recent Remote Ordering/VMI demo.
Web Connect provides a number of mobile remote ordering capabilities designed to meet a wide variety of business requirements. Our order entry tools include features for both your employees and also your customers in a consistent format that will keep your sales staff and customers in sync.
Web Connect remote ordering tools do more than just provide access to order entry for users without access to P21. It actually provides ordering capabilities not available in P21. Features such as the Quick-Order/VMI solution, simple order imports and “bulk order entry” makes creating orders fast and easy through Web Connect. These tools are designed to streamline order entry, enhance workflow and security and also provide your business a competitive advantage in the market place.
The Web Connect Order Entry process can be divided into two main branches:
• Standard Remote Order Entry
• VMI/CMI Order Processing
Standard Remote Order Entry
Web Connect includes an order entry screen (Remote Order Form) designed to emulate a simplified version of the order entry screen inside of P21. Because the Web Connect screen is similar to the P21 order entry screen users can easily transition from P21 to Web Connect and vice versa.
The Web Connect Remote Order Form provides users with the greatest flexibility when creating a sales order. Users can search for specific inventory items, define variables such as delivery method, packing basis, carrier and more. There are also several tools available – such as the ability to bulk-add items from a customer’s sales history, P21 contracts or existing VMI templates that can greatly reduce the time it takes to build an order.
VMI/CMI Order Processing
In today’s competitive environment, distribution companies are constantly working to improve the services that they provide to their customers. Over the past decade one strategy that has emerged is Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI). VMI takes the process and overhead of keeping track of necessary customer inventory out of the hands of the end customer and instead places this responsibility in the hands of the distributor.
Web Connect “Quick-Orders” provide sophisticated order processing tools designed specifically for P21 distributors that provide VMI services to their customers.
Quick-Orders were developed over several years from the real-world requirements of P21 distribution companies. These companies needed the ability to easily create sales orders based on inventory placement at customer locations.
Quick-Orders are placed from “Quick-Order Forms” which are in essence a reusable listing of inventory items that can be set up into groups, have definable min/max or OP/OQ definitions and bin location definitions. The end user needs only to provide a quantity for the items to place an order. Quick-Order Forms can be thought of as a virtual map of the inventory for a given customer.
Web Connect Quick-Orders also enable the concept of “order routing” and “order workflow”. By defining the permissions of each user in Web Connect it is possible to enable specific users the ability to start an order and other users to finalize or “approve” an order before it is sent to P21. For instance, your customer may want to see what is on an order, make adjustments to order quantities or add a PO number before the order is submitted. Web Connect Quick-Orders provide these capabilities out of the box.
The Web Connect Remote Order Form: The Remote Order Form provides the greatest flexibility when creating sales orders. The form can be made available to all user roles with various levels of user permissions.
Editing a Web Connect Quick-Order Form: Items on a Quick-Order form can be placed into “Groups”, can have Bin assignments and a defined Min/Max or OP/OQ. Each user can be granted access to see pricing and quantity available and be set up with various other permissions for using the form.
Editing a Web Connect Quick-Order Form: Each Quick-Order form can be set to automatically notify people when an order is placed with the form.
Editing a Web Connect Quick-Order Form: A Quick-Order form can define custom delivery instructions, carrier, packing basis, freight code and order class information.
Using a Web Connect Quick-Order Form: To place an order with a Quick-Order form the user only needs to specify an order quantity.
Using a Web Connect Quick-Order Form: Items that have been added to an order are highlighted.
Remote Order Management: Remote Sales Orders and all of the Web Connect order sources can be managed in the “Manage Remote Orders” screen. The user can see the Web Connect statuses of orders as well as the P21 statuses.
We are excited to announce that dynamic data grids will be a part of Web Connect during our summer release!
In addition to being able to define and customize your own data source for the grids, the grids will have many spreadsheet-like operations including:
- built-in filter controls and filter templates
- multi-column headers with the columns grouped within parent groups which help easily distinguish the information presented
- ability to save/load user-specific preferences for paging, sorting, filtering, grouping and other settings
- grid-integrated Insert, Update and Delete operations
- hierarchy and nested views
- scrolling with static headers and frozen columns
- selection of cells and rows
- export to PDF, MS Word, MS Excel, and CSV
- column Resize, Reorder and Show/Hide
- row resize and Drag and Drop
- adaptive Mobile Rendering
See below for UI previews:
Over the past several months we have released a number of new features and enhancements including:
- Ship-To Listing
- Contract Order Forms
- Extended Order Details
- Quick Quotes
- Enhanced Customer Details
- New visual indicators such as backorders, specials and directs for Order Listings
- New User Permissions relating to cost methods and inventory
- New Remote Order Form Bulk-Add options
- New Remote Order item conversions to automatically roll up quantities based on UOMs such as case and square feet
- Added Mandatory Notes options to Order Details and Remote Order Form
- Added the ability to import Quick-Order Items to a Quick-Order form from a file
- Added ability to mass-assign (move) items to different locations (shelves, bins, floor areas, etc.) on Quick-Order Forms
- Extended per-user permissions and features for customer and prospect classes
- Added cost/profit source options on Remote Order Form
- Added more control for customer and transaction data for sales reps.
We have also released a new Ship-To postal code mapping feature that include many filter options for Ship-To search results including Ship-To Class and Customer Class filters. Ship-To search results can also be displayed on a map with one click/touch of a button. You also have options to show map points for Customers, Prospects or both. From there you can see map point details and use links for Ship-To details and navigational maps. We are actively working to extended this mapping feature to display other more analytical data such as Cost-to-Serve views.
This year's Epicor Insights should be a great event. With many extended education sessions, social gatherings, keynotes and lots of breakouts and labs, it looks to be a great mix of learning and connecting.
As an Epicor Services Partner, we always look forward to attending and learning the latest from Epicor, spending time with our customers and meeting new people.
Visit the conference site for the P21 specific agenda and click on the "Epicor Insights 2016 Prophet21 Agenda" link.
See you there!