The difference between Reactive vs. Proactive business management
I’ve spoken with many business leaders across Australia and NZ who feel held back by their systems and processes, and they’re all familiar with many of the same issues…
‘I didn’t know’ / ‘Out of stock again’ / ‘System won’t let me do that’ / ‘finding new business is hard’ / ‘Forgot to follow that quote up’
You’ve probably heard them all too.
And it’s easy to think that as a business owner, it’s your direct responsibility to ensure that these issues are addressed as soon as possible to keep your customers and staff happy.
But without the right technology, you spend 90% of your time monitoring staff and processes that should already be operating smoothly, and the other 10% of the time fixing things that actually went wrong. That’s most of your time spent maintaining the status quo and supporting the system – rather than proactively making any real improvements that could take your business further.
At most businesses, this hands-on, reactive approach is just not practical if you want to scale the business up.
Shifting to a new approach doesn’t happen overnight, but here are some ways you can stop reactively managing your business, and start proactively planning for the future.
Three ways to encourage proactive business management with technology
1. Get visibility of your whole business – in one platform
The easiest way to cut down the time you spend monitoring your business is to bring all your information into one platform, giving you a full overview of business performance in real time – as it occurs.
A platform like HARMONiQ for example, not only combines your Financials, Inventory, Sales, Marketing and Admin in one platform, it also allows you to customise your dashboards – we call them Control Desks – to display the metrics that indicate what is actually occurring. You can stop chasing up departments for status updates and reports, and get accurate information presented visually and in time.
By giving you easy and quick access to the data you need, it gives you more time to decide what to do with it, make informed decisions, and set a strategy for the future based on business performance.
2. Make it easier for Sales staff to hold themselves accountable
If you’re running a business, most of your time is probably spent chasing sales staff to make sure they’re talking to customers. You know – doing their job!
Instead of getting harder on your sales team, you can make it easier for them to hold themselves accountable – have constant visibility of their progress against target, and only notifying you when you need to get involved. To achieve this, think about implementing a CRM into your business management platform that actually automates this.
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform primarily stores all your customer and prospect information – but it can also easily track activity, such as what emails were sent and engaged with, what orders they made, which staff member they spoke to last, and when. This gives your sales staff all the information they need to target the right prospects and customers.
An integrated platform like HARMONiQ also goes a few steps further and can automate activities such as follow-up reminders, and notifications for cross-sell or up-sell opportunities – so that ‘forgetting’ is no longer an option. If you really want to stay on top of things, you can even set up automated alerts if any one salesperson drops well below their target or forgets to follow up an important opportunity.
With that level of visibility over their performance, your sales staff will be motivated to up their game and proactively meet their targets without you having to play ‘bad cop’ all the time.
3. Automate ‘what good looks like’ and eliminate uncertainty
The next step of ‘proactive-ness’ is mapping out your ideal sequence of actions for routine business processes – such as onboarding new customers, taking prospects through the buying journey, dealing with unhappy customers, and so on.
Having these workflows readily available gives your staff the knowledge to proceed with almost any scenario in a consistent and professional manner. It also reduces the time you spend fixing problems and answering questions so that you can dedicate more time to developing strategies for future improvements.
You should look for business management platforms that allow you to build and embed these workflow templates directly within the system, easily accessed by all staff.
Sophisticated business management platforms like HARMONiQ, also allow you to escalate problems after a certain time period automatically, or if the issue has not been resolved satisfactorily.
Shifting to more proactive business management processes has a definite impact on your long-term business outcomes. But it can’t be achieved in isolation. That’s why we’ve developed our platform, HARMONIQ to provide all the functionality that a business owner would need to encourage growth, automation, and efficiency.
HARMONiQ Business Tuning Software is an all-in-one ERP solution that includes financials, inventory, sales, marketing, and more.
- With advanced reporting functionality, HARMONiQ can easily generate the data you need for forecasting, KPI generation, and give you all the metrics you need in an easy-to-digest visual dashboard.
- HARMONiQ has built-in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) functionality and can combine and track activity of your customer, prospect, and sales staff alike.
- Sophisticated workflows and can be built, accessed and replicated across your whole business – eliminating uncertainty for staff and making even your most labour-intensive processes run a lot more smoothly.
If you’d like to make the shift towards a more proactive environment using technology like HARMONiQ, get in touch with me by calling 02 9542 2000 or leaving your details here.
If you’d like to go one step further and see HARMONiQ in action, you can request a demo here.
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, click here to organise a demo to see how HARMONiQ Business Tuning Software can make a difference to your business.