Sales Order Automation Process Steps (+ Free Sales Order Form Template)

sales order

Organizations that rely on traditional approaches to sales order processes are seeing a decrease in productivity and customer return rates that they never expected. These and other factors are driving the rise of business process automation and the use of smart data capturing technologies. These technologies tend to be not only significant and fashionable but also increasingly important for businesses seeking to stay competitive. So in this article, we’ll learn more about sales order process steps and the workflow. We’ll also see a downloadable sales order form template.

What is a Sales Order?

A sales order is a document created by a seller after receiving a purchase order from a buyer that specifies the details about the product or service as well as the price, quantity, buyer information such as the shipping address, billing address, mode of payment, and terms and the also conditions.

In general, the sales order process flow follows the steps outlined below:

  1. The seller gives the customer a quote.
  2. If the offer is accepted, the customer sends a purchase order to the seller.
  3. Based on the purchase order, the seller creates a sales order.
  4. The customer can request a sales order to see the exact details of the products, including the price, terms, and delivery dates. Most businesses usually skip this test.
  5. Following the shipment of the goods, the vendor generates an invoice based on the sales order.

What is the difference between a sales order and a purchase order?

The buyer sends the seller a purchase order that specifies the products to be purchased, the quantity, the price, the PO number, the delivery and payment terms, and also the shipping address.

When the seller receives the purchase order, he or she produces a sales order.
Also, the seller may manually enter the data from the purchase order or use sales order automation software to automate it. Automation software can convert POs to SOs in a single click, minimizing costs, time, and error.

The Importance of a Sales Order

  1. Inventory and order management systems depend on sales orders. When a customer sends you a purchase order or places an order through your eCommerce store, the company is has to fulfill the order.
  2. This provides you with inventory details. If the goods are in stock, how many are on backorder? This therefore enables your buying department to make informed estimates and purchases from your distributors.
  3. As soon as possible, enter a the order into your system. Do not make the mistake of mistaking a buying order for a sales order, as this would cause havoc not only with your purchasing department, but also with accounting.
  4. The billing department refers to the orders to check relevant information and the sale’s validity before generating invoices. By converting sales orders to invoices, businesses have automated the processing of invoices. Pricing and quantity errors in the purchase order can result in accounting errors.
  5. Financial auditors often ask about sales order records while evaluating a company’s financial statements. They grant Working capital loans according to a company’s confirmed order value.

Advantages of Sales Order Automation

These are some of the major advantages of sales order automation.

#1. Job time is kept to a minimum.

Paperwork is one of the most time-consuming activities that sales teams must deal with. The orders’ automation imports or transforms customer purchase orders and generates sales orders in your ERP systems. This removes the need to re-enter data from purchase orders, thus saving time and effort. Multiple departments, including sales, distribution, warehousing, invoicing, accounting, and customer support, may also use a single device entry.

#2. Improves customer support

Instead of sifting through piles of papers, the sales reps will have valuable customer details at their fingertips. Customer service is fast and also reliable. The order automation eliminates mistakes and anomalies in customer orders and billing, resulting in happier customers.

#3. You can quickly scale up and down.

Sales order automation allows you to scale without concern for functionality or capacity. As a result, when orders begin to come in, you will be able to process them quickly without the need to immediately increase your customer staff.

#4. One can process data from anywhere.

Cloud apps allow you to process data and access information from any location. Your sales reps would not have to rely on internal sales reps for data if they need it during sales calls. Generally, customers would be happy with your staff’s productivity and pace

Sales Order Form

Sales order form can serve a range of business needs, such as fulfilling online purchases, generating construction and maintenance work orders, and ordering services such as catering or photography, whether you run a small retail business or need one for nonprofit fundraising. So, you’ll find a number of work order templates below that are all free to download, simple to use and customize, and printable

Sales Order Form Template


Sales Order Form Template

‌ Download Order Form Template — Excel

This template can be used to create a sales invoice or a sales order form. The Microsoft Excel template contains all of the order’s details, such as an itemized list of products, quantities ordered unit prices and total cost. There is also space to provide payment terms and conditions as well as any other details that customers can need. Furthermore, the template computes costs automatically, including taxes and shipping charges.

Key Order Processing Terms and Roles

As we go through sales order management, you should be familiar with the following terms and roles:

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI):

This is a method for computer systems to exchange data in a standardized format, allowing businesses to exchange orders and other documents without the need for human intervention.


A sales quote or a price quote is pricing that you provide to prospective buyers so that they can determine whether the purchase meets their needs. Sales teams are responsible for creating and presenting sales quotes, but because accepted price quotes become purchase orders, sales processing teams must be aware of them.

Pro forma Invoice:

A pro forma invoice is a provisional invoice. The invoice is sent by the vendor until the items are shipped or delivered.

Stock Allocation:

This is the process of deciding how your inventory will be divided among your warehouses or other physical locations.

Sales Returns:

A sales return is merchandise returned by a customer primarily due to an error or defect. This is reported as a debit to the merchandise returns account and a credit to accounts receivable by the finance department.

Price Book:

A price book is a collection of different prices for the same product in some software. So, prices can vary depending on the quantity purchased, retail vs. wholesale, delivery region, promotions, and other factors.

Sales Document Workspaces:

Sales document workspaces are areas in sales processing suites where you can display data related to aspects of your sales order, such as quotes and invoices.

Order-to-Cash Cycle:

The time it takes between when a buyer places an order and when the seller receives payment.

Procure-to-Pay Cycle

The procure-to-pay cycle is similar to the order-to-cash cycle. The former refers to the time it takes from when a buyer places a purchase order to when the buyer pays for the purchase.

Customer service representatives and an order desk or team are important participants in order processing. Also, key account sales staff, sales order administrators, sales order management specialists, and order fulfillment specialists Support this process. They also assist in ensuring that the company handles order inquiries correctly, that pricing and product availability are current, and that employees properly fill orders. Sales accounting is a specialized field, and some organizations, such as the Association of Accounting Technicians, provide order processing training as part of the certification process.

Sales Order Process Flow/ Steps

The goal

This process is used in a distributed environment to handle sales orders, with the ERP system (SAP ECC) controlling data flow to and from warehouses via individual warehouse management systems – either SAP EWM (Extended Warehouse Management) systems or external systems.

The diagram below depicts these process steps using sales order processing in SAP CRM as an example. Instead, if you create sales orders in SAP ECC, the process begins with the order in ERP and continues with outbound delivery; billing also occurs in ERP.

How can sales orders help businesses improve their shipping and fulfillment processes?

Sales orders help businesses improve their shipping and fulfillment processes by providing a clear view of customer requests and expected delivery dates, allowing businesses to prioritize and manage their shipping and fulfillment activities.

How can sales orders help businesses with their pricing strategy?

Sales orders help businesses with their pricing strategy by providing a clear view of the demand for goods and services, allowing businesses to adjust their prices to stay competitive and maximize revenue.

How can sales orders help businesses with their product development strategy?

Sales orders help businesses with their product development strategy by providing insight into customer preferences and demand for specific goods and services, allowing businesses to prioritize product development and improvement efforts.

How can sales orders help businesses improve their marketing efforts?

Sales orders help businesses improve their marketing efforts by providing visibility into which goods and services are in high demand, allowing businesses to target their marketing efforts to the most profitable areas.

How can sales orders help businesses with their customer relationship management (CRM)?

Sales orders help businesses with their customer relationship management (CRM) by providing a clear and organized view of customer interactions and orders, allowing businesses to improve their understanding of customer needs and preferences.

How can sales orders help businesses with their supply chain management?

Sales orders help businesses with their supply chain management by providing visibility into the demand for goods and services, allowing businesses to plan and prioritize their procurement and production activities.


So, from the point of sale to verification to inventory management to fulfillment and long-term customer retention, sales order automation streamlines workflow and decreases turnaround time. It cuts order processing times by half, thus allowing more orders to be processed in the same amount of time.
The right order management program will propel the company forward.

Sales Order FAQs

What is sales order and purchase order?

Purchase orders are used by buyers to initiate the purchasing process with a supplier. Sales orders are sent by suppliers to buyers after receiving a purchase order from the buyer – verifying details and the confirmation of the purchase

What is sales order for?

Sales orders play a central role in making sure a sale is well-documented, properly conducted, and reflective of what both sides are expecting. When the order is received from a customer for goods to be supplied, the Items, quantities, date of delivery, etc., details are given with the sales order number.

What is SAP sales order?

Purpose. The sales order is a contractual agreement between a sales organization and a sold-to party about delivering products or providing a service for defined prices, quantities, and times. … The system generates shipping dates and points in the delivery schedule.

What is sales order creation?

A ‘Sales Order’ is a contract between a Customer and a Sales organization for supply of specified goods and/services over a specified time period. … The sales order may be created with reference to a ‘preceding document’ such as an inquiry /quotation

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