As you are no doubt aware, there are many challenges working in today’s SME environment. Not only do you have to effectively manage the day-to-day business operations, you have to do so with markets that are increasingly competitive, and buyers that are more and more demanding.
As we’ve seen happen all too often, many businesses sink under the pressure of these challenges. But not all of them.
Having worked with many businesses across Australia and New Zealand, I’ve seen first hand – in a variety of contexts – the three most common challenges faced by businesses like yours, as well as the steps they took to overcome them with the help of a little clever technology.
Challenge One: “I’m losing out on revenue due to poor follow up of quotes”
One of the most common challenges I see is the inability to consistently follow up on quotes. Since many sales people lack the time to individually follow up on all quotes that go out, they usually end up prioritising the ‘easy’ sales, such as return customers, and neglect a lot of good opportunities.
Few things are as frustrating as poor processes holding up the progress of a business – especially when it means letting a whole lot of new business and revenue slip through your fingers.
Many business just hire a few extra hands to deal with the influx of quotes, but that’s a Band-Aid fix for a more serious problem. If you’re looking to fix a broken sales process, you need a solution that can empower your existing staff to become more productive, ensure the best possible experience for your customer, and guarantee scalability to grow with your business.
Businesses looking to solve a lack of quote follow-up have commonly implemented the following best-practices with impressive results:
- Simplify your quote follow-up process with automated responses for low-value quotes, letting your sales team concentrate on the bigger sales, while also providing a seamless experience for all your customers;
- Allow your staff visibility over all communication to customers, ensuring no one is ignored or followed-up with twice;
- Set up triggers and notifications to ensure your team is capitalising on all opportunities and nothing falls through the cracks; and
- Monitor KPIs and sales performance using robust reporting and analytics tools that allow you to track and improve your team’s success.
Observing the success of these practices, we’ve built HARMONiQ CRM complete with clever customisations and powerful features to take the mundane tasks out of your sale process, while empowering your staff to stay focused on generating revenue. It also integrates with your existing Micronet Distribution Software to provide you with the full breadth of information available in your business.
Challenge Two: ‘My marketing chews up too many resources by being time-consuming and complicated’
One of the most common complaints I hear about marketing is that many businesses lack the time to do it. In my experience, effective marketing includes segmenting your audience, either by industry, products purchased, or location, and sending them personalised content tailored for their needs. But if you lack a sophisticated email marketing platform, that’s usually a time consuming process.
For example, one of the businesses I worked with had a process that involved several databases and spreadsheets, and relied on staff to manually de-dupe and segment the lists. Not only was it laborious, it was also technically complicated and prone to errors.
To eliminate the manual processes around marketing, best-of-breed businesses have implemented software that can:
- Seamlessly send data from your existing databases to an email platform, complete with the ability to segment your contacts, create targeted marketing lists, and ensure your clients and prospects get emails with messages targeted specifically to them;
- Help you stay top-of-mind with beautiful email templates, which can be customised to suit your branding; and
- Give you visibility over how your marketing is performing, tracking your engagement to see exactly which campaigns generate the most sales.
Recognising the increasing importance of email marketing to our clients, we built HARMONiQ software with a seamless integration to the email engine Campaign Monitor. This exciting new feature allows you to easily and efficiently send beautifully branded, personalised and customer-centric content to your database – with no more importing and exporting of lists.
Challenge Three: “My digital clutter is out of control”
We collect so much data about our day-to-day business activities that it can be quite overwhelming to try and do something with it. A common challenge is finding a way to collect, store and analyse this information in a way that doesn’t cause digital clutter.
What’s more troubling is that our information is stored across a variety of systems, such as email inboxes, spreadsheets, or databases, with no link between them. With no single source of truth, your staff are probably wasting time switching between systems to find answers, duplicating data entry efforts, and providing you with little whole-picture visibility over your business.
Where I’ve seen businesses excel at killing clutter is ensuring by leveraging a single system that lets them:
- Combine data from all existing platforms into a single source of truth for all customer and operational information;
- Integrate various aspects of your business by incorporating accounting, inventory management, sales orders and customer relationship management modules into one easy-to-use solution; and
- Use sophisticated reporting and analysis tools to track key performance metrics, as well as pipeline analytics, allowing you to forecast your outcomes and make more informed decisions.
Not only does digital de-cluttering save your staff time, but it also gives your data context in a way that allows you to make more informed and intelligent decisions for your business.
To help you on your journey towards being clutter-free, HARMONiQ CRM integrates directly with your existing platforms, such as Micronet Distribution Software and Microsoft Outlook, to compile all your business information into one simple, easy-to-use platform. What’s more, its powerful reporting tools allow you to get insights from your business data like never before.
If you find your businesses dealing with any of the above challenges, and are interested in finding out what specific steps you can take to overcome them, please call me on 0412 421 350 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to see for yourself.
Drew Arthur is the Managing Director of Micronet Systems, and is focused on helping business leaders overcome inefficient sales, inventory and customer relationship management practices by leveraging cutting edge technology. If you want to gain better control of the sales processes in your business.