Okay, we know this sounds a bit clickbaity. Improving business performance is, after all, what most of us who own or work within a business want to achieve. Yes, of course, it’s never quite as cut and dry as ‘Try This One Simple Trick To Boost Your Business Performance!’ - but there are things you can do to make sure you’re giving every day your all.
One aspect of managing a business which often gets overlooked is the streamlining of the processes. Yes, we know it’s not exactly glitzy or glamorous - but there’s never been better tech to help you manage the behind-the-scenes admin, so it’s the perfect time to get going. Usually simple to use, with no piece of kit fancier than a standard computer; software platforms designed to refine and streamline the sales, marketing, or communication processes are key to operating a successful business and improving your performance - from the office, from home - or really anywhere you like. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that technology can help your business improve its performance - for good!
1. Technology For Sales Teams
Let’s kick off with one of the most hardworking teams of any departments - Sales. Of course, sales teams have to process a lot of data - and for a sales team to perform effectively, all this data has to be shared across the wider company to the relevant departments. Now, this can be done by saving it all onto a hard drive, and then sending the information around (or by granting email permission manually to allow access to each individual bit of data. Yawn). The issue (apart from the mundanity) is that each aspect of this takes up valuable time - in other words, time that could be spent on other more productive tasks. Using cloud storage a business can easily grant permission to documents saved in a shared folder to all employees, meaning that permission to any document is automated. This isn’t only faster but actually keeps your data safer and more secure than manually granting permissions - especially if you’ve got a large team.
Another technology your sales should consider taking advantage of is a CRM. A Customer Relationship Management tool (or ‘CRM’ software) is an excellent way to organise your sales team. A CRM can send automated emails which are tied to a specific circumstance, it can store data like client birthdays (which is a great way to build relationships) and it helps sales teams identify good and bad leads. All this information is on cloud storage, which means the whole sales team can access it.
Social is a creative way to help improve sales performance; depending on your company and product, different social media will be better for different things. For B2B, social media platforms like LinkedIn are a great way to stay in touch with your customers and create a relationship - but are not necessarily great for lead generation. For B2C, social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram are a great way to engage consumers with their product and bring in more sales. Social media provides promotion and interaction which are key elements to boosting sales - improving performance no end.
2. Combined Sales & Marketing Technologies
Social, as we’ve found over the years, is always a good segue into marketing. In other words, social is a place where sales and marketing can truly meet. Marketing is instrumental in many stages of the process of creating leads and sales, and as such your teams should always be actively using social media to engage users. Of course, it can take a few interactions for a potential lead to become an actual lead. Social media is a great space to display your products and services and show your value as a business, as well as demonstrating your brand identity rather than just the product you sell.
Automation is another key element for improving marketing performance. Automation campaigns can allow marketing to engage an audience in a personalised way, without spending hours creating individual content for each customer. CRMs and CMS are excellent tools that both facilitate automation of different features of marking including, email, social, and blog uploading.
Speaking of personalisation, making a real connection with a customer is the best move your brand will make all year. Connecting with really engaging and relevant information enhances the perception of your brand and creates more lead generation than simply following the latest trend. How do you make a connection? Well, for that, we turn back to our old friends; ‘Data’ and ‘CRM’.
A CRM can tell the marketing team what type of prospect becomes a lead, allowing marketing to better target their efforts. It can also store data about different campaigns, allowing you to see which campaigns actually make an impact with this intended audience. To be blunt, the phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’ is the easiest way to sum up the use of a CRM and its potential for your business.
3. Internal Communication Boards
The key to any successful business, a cliché as it may be, is effective communication. When you’re waiting weeks for an update on a project that goes across multiple departments, it can feel like you’re juggling multiple balls (that you know are just waiting to fall back down and smack you in the head. Not a good strategy).
Any delays in communication in a multi-department project of this kind inevitably lead to drops in performance across every department involved. This kind of delay can be really damaging to a business - not just in terms of its own productivity and billable hours, but reputation and rapport with customers if deadlines aren’t met.
Direct messaging is a lifesaver in this circumstance. Messengers are unlikely to replace emails, and certainly shouldn’t replace face-to-face or video call meetings - but as a simple fix for quick requests whilst your office is WFH, it’s hard to beat. If your office needs to communicate a little better - or a little faster - a workplace Direct Messaging system like Slack can provide a fairly immediate messaging board.
If you need an actual messaging board - that’s where job boards like Monday and Asana come in. Using platforms like these allows a quick listing of jobs, assignees are able to see their tasks quickly and easily - and updating files, subtasks and time spent on a task are as easy as clicking a button. Communicating in this way keeps messaging tied to the job in question - which makes it far more efficient to work remotely.
With video calling software like Google Meets, Google Hangouts and Zoom rising to prominence, we’ve digitally replaced the face-to-face meeting as much as possible. Whilst these are no substitute for face to face interactions, these technologies offer a comfortable and relatively easy way for work to be carried out in the office or remotely.
As technology progresses, its role in everyday life continues to grow. If your business isn’t yet taking advantage of these myriad tech helping hands to help improve your performance, we hate to say it, but you can expect to lose any competitive edge.
If you don’t know where to start, or what technology your business should be using - that’s not a problem! Get in touch with Ultimate today; we’ve helped hundreds of companies to improve their performance in the digital world and stay market-leaders in their industry - and yours could be next.