Time to Say Goodbye to Excel Spreadsheets!
Excel spreadsheets can seem like a godsend for average managerial tasks.
They’re easy-to-use, cost-effective, maintain seamless accessibility and pull data from multiple resources into one solidified document.
However, in the intricate realm of the channel industry, Excel spreadsheets can contribute to a series of detrimental pitfalls—and the worst part is—these blunders can be completely unnoticed until it’s too late.
Manufacturers and vendors that utilize Excel spreadsheets to manage POS data and inventory levels risk much more than overpaid claims or miscalculated SKUs—they risk losing clients.
The ultracompetitive b2b environment within the indirect sales funnel is filled with complex information, leaving manufacturers and vendors with very little wiggle room for data entry errors or erroneously reviewed claims. Without batting an eyelash, channel partners you once deemed important to your company’s success will terminate the relationship due to managerial incompetence: a common and completely avoidable company gaffe.
If you’re thinking to yourself “I haven’t experienced any issues with Excel spreadsheets, and thoroughly believe that it is a reliable resource that completes its intended purpose,” –you’re not alone, and you might be right. But the underlining theme is not knowing whether you are right or wrong. And with the evaluation of channel data becoming an increasingly essential component of a company’s decision-making process, the risk of misinterpreting information is too great to jeopardize.
1.) It Does Not Save Time
To a certain extent, we are all familiar with Excel spreadsheets.
And for in-house marketing managers, auditors, control supervisors and accounting managers—Excel spreadsheets would appear to be the most logical tool for analyzing channel programs and/or inventory data management. During the initial set-up of program guidelines, accumulating POS and/or inventory data and the process of partner sign up, Excel spreadsheets seem like a rational way to evaluate the numbers.
But in the long-run, as more incentive programs come into play and more partners are added into your clientele list, the limitations and inflexibility (to modify channel programs) can become tediously time-consuming.
2.) One Dimensional Modification Features
Adding incentives and accepting or denying claims are examples of parallel data storage, in which channel managers can possibly deploy without the need for PRM software. But what happens when you want to add exclusivity of incentives for different partners? What happens when you can’t differentiate duplicate data from unique applications? What happens when you can’t oversee inventory stock levels ? or who the end user is ? or when POS occurred?
The limitations of Excel spreadsheets are vast, and without a robust platform that gathers, stores, cleans and analyzes data with seamless efficiency and accuracy—you risk the very partnership you worked so hard to establish.
3.) Lacks Visibility
Data insight into the indirect sales funnel is crucial to marketing strategy, productivity levels—and overall—understanding the do’s and do not’s of your business. With Excel spreadsheet, you have access to only a sliver of the broad data landscape within your industry. Essentially, your Excel binoculars only give you limited vision into the channel, whereas PRM software vendors, such as Computer Market Research, provides data vision as far as the eyes can see.
The End to a New Beginning is Just the Start You Need
Founded in 1984, Computer Market Research (CMR) brings years of experience into the indirect channel sales industry. Through our state-of-the-art automated software, businesses can amplify their B2B marketing efforts via a clear and concise platform that assists organizations to manage channel data, optimize trade promotions, and build effective distribution channels.
CMR can help businesses maximize their relationship with distributing partners and establish transparent, two-way communication that is built on a common goal of success. Our cost-effective, SaaS application is the perfect tool for any business looking to strengthen their bond with channel partners using innovative solutions and converting their channel sales data into actionable intelligence.