7 Technologies that will IMPROVE your SALES

7 Technologies to increase sales

7 Technologies that will IMPROVE your SALES

In business, time is money, especially for those who are responsible for producing and increasing sales. Salespeople by nature, are on the go and often under tight deadlines. Therefore, empowering these individuals with technology that allows them to work as efficiently as possible is key.

Here are 7 technologies that will help your team increase sales and work more efficiently.

1. CRM and Business Communication Integration
Customer Relationship Management solutions (CRM) provide a valuable way to manage and analyze customer data throughout the sales lifecycle. However, they become even more effective when they are integrated with your business communications. Cloud-phone system and unified communication integrations eliminate the need to switch back and forth between multiple systems and provide salespeople with immediate and direct access to important contact records. With convenient screen pop ups, click to dial functionality and instantaneous access to contact history, salespeople can communicate and work more effectively, while providing a more personalized customer experience.

2. Video Conferencing and Online Meeting Solutions
 In person meetings are always a great way to establish a new relationship, but can sometimes be challenging logistically. Some business deals require multiple decision-makers from different locations, or may take place far away and require multiple meetings where reoccurring travel is not feasible. For these circumstances, and so many others, HD video, audio and web conferencing solutions are a must-have technology for every salesperson. Having the flexibility to hold face to face meetings with upwards of 100 different people at one time from anywhere is a huge advantage. These solutions provide opportunities to give personalized and interactive demonstrations and share contracts and other important documents in real-time. Not to mention, they cost a fraction of the cost of travel.

 3. Email Follow Up Automation
Email is an important communication method with your customers and prospects, but can be time consuming to maintain, especially for busy reps on the go. Using software like HubSpot Sales allows salespeople to automate their follow up emails by creating sequences to send a series of emails to prospects over time. By personalizing and tracking each message, reps are better able to collect data and identify which messages are most effective.

5. Business Intelligence
A huge part of sales success is having the ability to analyze important data and be able to transfer that into actionable intelligence. However, when the data comes from systems that rely solely on data entry, you can be missing the big picture. Call history can tell you a great deal about sales performance. Phone systems that offer built-in call history reporting enable sales management and team members to pull reports by individual, team, department and location and view important call data such as: number of calls made, received and their duration by any given time period. These reports are more accurate and allow you to drill down to a more granular level to better evaluate and improve performance.

5. Visual Voicemail
Voicemail may seem like a pastime and for many, in our personal lives it is, but in business, customers will still resort to leaving voicemails. Fortunately, we no longer have to waste time finding a quiet place to listen to them or writing down what they say. Many cloud phone systems today offer the convenience of visual voicemail, where messages are transcribed so reps can read them quickly, easily and most importantly, discretely while out on other appointments. This is a huge time-saver and lessens the burden of voicemail, especially when on the road.

6. Internal Chat 

Whether your company utilizes a stand-alone chat client or one that is built-into your phone system portal or video conferencing software, internal chat can be incredibly helpful in sales. There are often times when reps or prospects have questions that could make or break a deal and require an immediate response. Sending a quick chat message to a manager or coworker will ensure they receive a quicker response and eliminates reliance on a colleague’s overflowing email inbox.

7. Business Apps
There are so many useful business apps out there that every professional should be taking advantage of. However, one that definitely comes in handy for any salesperson is Profit Story. This easy to use app, calculates what the margin would be on each deal in advance, along with other important profit-based metrics that are always good to know going into a meeting.

There is no doubt an arsenal of technology solutions available for your business.  We are fortunate to live in a time where technology is booming and advancements are made daily to improve how we work and live. Taking advantage of these 7 technologies and other valuable tools available will not only help increase your organization’s sales, but will streamline your daily operations and improve your overall efficiency.


Are you a good fit for the cloud?

Is your company a good fit for the cloud?

Are you a good fit for the cloud?
When deciding if you are a good fit for the cloud, there are tell-tale signs that serve as reliable indicators.

This post is a great starting point if you’re looking to qualify whether your company is a right fit for cloud applications:

Of course, as a cloud computing provider, we geek out and get pretty excited about the cloud and the opportunities it presents to businesses. However, customers won’t necessarily have the same reaction. And some aren’t even great targets in the first place, either because they’re closed off to the concept of moving to the cloud, or they’re functioning fine as is. Rather than focusing on these organizations, it’s important to focus efforts on businesses that are open to change and have needs that the cloud can address. These early technology adopters and innovators will be excited to learn more about the solutions. Other good targets won’t even know how much the cloud can help their organization, and that’s where you come in. Below are some key things we look for:

For Cloud Computing

While we strongly believe that many businesses are ready to move to the cloud because it addresses various aspects of IT, there are some specific signs that an organization is a particularly good fit for the cloud in general.

We ask companies the following questions right off the bat:

  • Do you want to upgrade software?
    Do you ]want to refresh your hardware?
    Are you in need of a data backup plan?
    Do you want to cut down on CapEx?
  • Do want to implement BYOD (bring your own device)?

Once we’ve discovered some of you needs, we find out more about your organization.

  • What’s in its service catalog, and what are the top applications it runs the business on?
  • What are its goals and requirements for the future?
  • Who currently supports IT, and what is the leadership team like?
  • How does the business budget work? Is the organization in a stage of growth?
  • Do its users need data access 24×7?

All of these questions are important because they help us determine exactly how the cloud can fit your organization.

Maybe you  think you need one solution, but based on the information we’ve gathered, we know something else is a better fit.

For Infrastructure as a Service

Once we move into the specific cloud services, the signs we look for will change a bit. For Infrastructure as a Service, we  look for companies that are eager to always use the latest enterprise-grade technology but can’t necessarily afford to achieve this themselves.

We look for companies that:

  • Are running applications on physical or virtual servers
  • Are rapidly growing or scaling
  • Want to take advantage of enterprise-level hardware and security
  • Have limited capital
  • Have compliance needs
  • Have disaster recovery needs

Once we determine that you are a company that qualifies with some of the above criteria, we figure out what kind of infrastructure you have  in place today, including how many servers and their specifications (CPU, RAM, Storage). Additionally, we determine which operating system and critical applications the business is running. We are sure to determine if your  business currently has a plan in place if a server goes down, and if any equipment is due for an upgrade.

For Desktop as a Service

For Desktop as a Service, we look for companies that are interested in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend and have traveling or remote employees that have to be accommodated.

W e look for companies that:

  • Deal with refreshing desktops, laptops, or tablets
  • Want to move to a BYOD model
  • Have remote employees
  • Have employees who travel
  • Need the ability to add or remove users quickly
  • Have limited IT resources

Businesses that haven’t yet moved to the cloud may spend a lot of time maintaining devices like desktops, laptops, tablets, etc. We try to find out how much time is going to this task currently so we know if a Cloud Desktop or Cloud Office can help save time. Similar to IaaS, we find out what applications your  organization is running, because these could potentially move to the cloud. We are sure to get details on the licensing they own and how they manage it. Other questions might include how many users the organization has, how users are sharing files, and who currently manages IT?

For Disaster Recovery as a Service

For Disaster Recovery we look for companies that are extremely reliant on the availability of their data at all times.

We look for companies that:

  • Still run physical servers on-site
  • Live in areas affected by natural disasters
  • Have a very low RTO and RPO
  • Are heavily reliant on their data
  • Can’t afford to be down without their data
  • Need to have quick access to their data in the event of a disaster

We try to find out what kind of disaster recovery plan your business already has in place – do you back up your data, and if so, how long would it take to retrieve backed up data? Do you know what you’d do if all systems were down? We are sure to request your business’ Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO), and find out which business-critical applications are running in-house.

 


Cloud adds value

Using Cloud-Based Technology to Future-Proof Your Business

For entrepreneurs, thinking long-term is key to guaranteeing the health and future success of any growing business. Whether you’re just starting out on a new endeavor, or are looking to ramp up already-instituted processes, you’re liable to be bombarded with a vast array of technological choices. Where you go from here, and the choices you make can have a lasting impact on the future prosperity of your business. Fortunately, cloud-based technologies allow businesses to streamline operations, cut costs, and scale efficiently. You’ll not only be future-proofing your business from servers crashing or going offline, but will position your brick and mortar store as an innovative place to visit and shop.

 

Reduces Capital Outlays

Minimizing overhead costs for any business is essential. And making sure your business is running efficiently on a lean budget is key for any venture to get ahead. That’s why choosing cloud-based technology is not only a sensible, but also economical, step in ensuring the overall performance and lifespan of your business.

As the name suggests, with cloud-based technology, all your information lives in the cloud. This means there is no need to run and maintain a server, which drastically cuts down on costs. There is also no need to purchase expensive hardware, which also reduces capital outlays. In addition, cloud-based software often runs on a subscription model, eliminating costly and binding contracts.

A recent white paper on the overall cost of cloud computing for SMBs, found that that over a four-year period (for a one hundred-employee company), cloud-based software cost 50 percent less than onsite software. Less money spent, means more money saved that can go towards areas of your business you’ve been meaning to improve. Been looking to renovate your dressing rooms? Finally, you have the money to do so!

 

Accessible Data from Anywhere

Using cloud-based technology allows you to work from wherever you’d like. Your data is always available and secure. The flexibility this allows is invaluable. Employees are now no longer tied to their locations but can work remotely and have easy access to important business data while traveling. The ability to access information with this kind of ease encourages better work-life balances for business owners and their employees.

Not relying on an in-house server also reduces the risk of having your business go offline if the server crashes. Being unable to look up customer information or process transactions can have a crippling effect on your business. With cloud-based software, however, your business information is always accessible. Essentially, you’re future-proofing your information from human error and even natural disasters.

 

Ability to Automate Tasks

Arguably the most critical advantage to cloud-based technology is its ability to automate already-existing business operations — encouraging streamlined processes and freeing up your time to spend with customers and family. Cloud-based technology that helps with tasks, such as employee management and store inventory, not only saves time, but also provides convenience rarely offered by server-based computing.

Online scheduling software such as WhenIWork.com, organizes your information, letting you know who’s working when at a glance. While cloud-based systems, such as ShopKeep, provide an easy-to-use iPad POS system that helps business owners take control of inventory management and make smarter business decisions with detailed reporting. Cloud-based POS systems are also streamlined and aesthetically pleasing. This might not seem important, but a modern looking piece of hardware signals to your customers that you are
up- to-date on the latest technology and security measures, and that you take customer experience seriously. You’d never want loyal (or potentially new) customers to pass up coffee at your shop because the place down the street has a better point-of-sale experience.

 

Easy and Automatic Software Upgrades

Unlike legacy software systems, which required expensive in-store software updates, cloud-based software is managed and updated off site; therefore updating your system is no longer a hassle. Since a vendor is storing your data, they are also responsible for taking care of uptime and ensuring that your data remains secure.

Switching from server-based to cloud-based computing can seem daunting, but the benefits it provides will last well into the future The key to a successful transition, however, is to stay focused on the operational needs of your business. Don’t try to replace all of your software at once. To make sure the adoption process runs smoothly, be sure to find providers that integrate with each other. It’s also a good idea to test out the support desk before you purchase a product. You can never be too careful. You want to make sure that the people you will be speaking with are not only friendly, but also knowledgeable.