Sales portals have become a strategic marketing tool for businesses large and small. Sales portals provide a centralized location for managing and coordinating business relationships. Sales portals offer businesses the ability to easily manage their contacts and provide them with the tools and information they need to close more sales and gain new customers. So, what exactly is a sales portal, and what do they do? A sales portal often referred to as a “Portal Master” is a website used to track, record, store, and display data on the activity that takes place within a specific sales channel.
Sales portals are much more than shortcuts. A great sales portal isn’t an asset; it’s a financial liability. What goes inside of a sales portal? A sales portal’s interface is usually a web-based application that connects the portal to your CRM (customer relationship management) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, allowing you to integrate both systems seamlessly. Sales portals tend to focus on a particular product offering from a company, such as a camera or a video recorder, or a particular channel such as automotive, while the underlying software allows you to search all channels and sales opportunities.
Ways to approach the creation of your sales portals
As a business owner or salesperson, you have a few ways to approach the creation of your sales portals. You could hire a company to design and implement the sales portals, or you could do the same yourself by purchasing and implementing your own in-house portal development tool. The essential thing to remember is that no matter which avenue you take, you’ll need to have a great sales team in place before you go live. Without a strong support team, your sales portals won’t do you much good.
If you decide to hire a company to implement your sales portals, you’ll want to do some research to make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Most companies offering portal development services will offer a free trial. To find out if the company you’re considering offers a solid support team, check their website. Find out how long they’ve been in business and contact information for any past customers. Ideally, a sales team can offer support round the clock, but even the best sales teams can get caught up with the demand of the day-to-day operations and may have to hire external help for specific tasks.
Integrated marketing automation systems
For those who are willing to invest in their own in-house sales portals, there are several options available. For example, some companies offer fully integrated marketing automation systems. These integrated systems include the full functionality of an online portal, including integrated email marketing automation, integrated inventory management, lead tracking, subscription management, real-time customer service, and more.
Depending on the type of sales team you have, you may integrate your sales portals into your own existing sales system, or you may need to build your own. With the great advancements in technology, there are various software development kits available to integrate your portals with. Some software development kits include complete web-based interface creation, shopping cart integration, database-driven features, and detailed reports for day-to-day management. This makes it easy to maintain your in-house portal and gives your sales reps a comprehensive training and support package.