Blog : Middleware – could you benefit from it?



“How can I improve aspects of my business?” Does that question sound familiar?

If your processes are functioning in different systems, making everything just a bit too fragmented, inefficient and time consuming, a middleware solution might be the answer.

Middleware allows you to connect your CRM, back office and any other systems to combine your data into an accurate, 360-degree view of your prospects, customers and sales pipeline. Simplify and speed up data entry and remain confident that the information being passed to your supporting systems is correct. There are so many ways in which you can benefit from middleware, so here are just a few:

Middleware benefit #1: Quote processing – it does the job for you

Middleware offers ways to centralise CRM, quote information and contract data for use at a later date. Business processes, customer portals and apps are all good examples of where a middleware solution can be applied.

Middleware is so quick and easy to use that not only can it enable quotes to be created swiftly over the phone, it can also automate the creation of quotes online so that they’re ready to send to customers. Never have a contract renewal dealt with slowly again. Plus, signatures are obtained online and customers are updated with notifications at every step of the process.

You can achieve all of this with middleware by creating a customer portal as a self-service tool where your customers can see their invoices, quotes/orders and customer service tickets. This allows you to keep customer experience at the heart of your business.

You can also use middleware to view service agreements and any associated jobs and sales transactions, making the whole quoting process so much smoother.

On top of all of that, accessing quotes and service agreement applications ‘outside’ of CRM reduces the need to license all users for your CRM system. Therefore, you’ll significantly reduce costs.

Lastly for quote processing, you can build a price list into your middleware solution to manage it centrally, and you can link this to your CRM and ERP. The price list empowers fields salespeople to quote face-to-face, with the knowledge that they are quoting prices accurately.

Middleware benefit #2: Increase your revenue

Revenue opportunities increase in a number of ways with middleware. It offers the ability to configure and upgrade your CRM system independent of other systems. Similarly, you can evolve and upgrade middleware independent of other systems – it’s much simpler that way.

Processes become streamlined and efficient, duplicate entry is reduced, data inaccuracies are eliminated and inter-departmental communication is improved for all departments using a middleware solution as the central hub.

Also, you will validate data entry to ensure you have complete and accurate information, reducing operating overheads per sale and increasing revenues by managing sales agreement performance.

You can use middleware to build a cost-efficient solution that can be evolved in stages. Once in place, the middleware solution can update CRM opportunities seamlessly. It does this through quote-based processes to automate your pipeline and improve accuracy. It can also send automated pipeline reports to management.

Does your business grow by acquisitions? It can become overwhelming if an acquisition isn’t well integrated quickly. A middleware solution can help you grow without increasing operational costs by adding the acquired business’ systems into the solution. This leaves the newly acquired staff free to continue using the familiar systems while they settle into your organisation.

At a later date, and if appropriate, the acquired business can move over to the centralised corporate systems with minimal effort.

Middleware benefit #3: Get slick, sharp data

A middleware solution ensures that information such as addresses and site information is consistent across all of your systems. No more quotes or contracts with inaccurate information.

Middleware provides one central database that feeds back to the systems and vice versa. You can then send notifications about customer engagement to sales people, based on KPIs, using the data. The middleware solution can then be: used to segment data for targeted marketing, integrated with marketing platforms, and used as the single data source for your BI platform, such as Power BI.

Power BI can then take all the information you have gathered and add value by interrogating it with specific queries that you can manage and interpret for more accurate Management Information (MI).

Further information

Wondering if the benefits of middleware could help your business? Our handy checklist will help you decide.

Talk to us to discuss your business challenges and learn more about how you could benefit from a middleware solution.

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