automation

Boosting SMB marketing with automation

Small business marketing has often been a difficult endeavor for small business owners. Marketing involves a great deal of time and effort, and can require a significant financial investment. Previously, only large corporations could afford marketing automation, but that’s no longer the case. Read the five most profitable benefits of this new IT innovation here.

Instant responses to email requests
If a customer or prospect sends your business an email via your website or a “Contact Us” form, any delay in response could ultimately cost you a client. But if you have a marketing automation plan in place, you can customize automatic email responses to respond to these leads as soon as an email is received. This either provides potential customers with the information they requested or informs them that you will be responding in greater detail soon.

Stop leaving voicemails and start closing deals
There’s a reason most people prefer to communicate via email: Keeping in touch over the phone can be tough if both parties are always busy. An automated system solves this by logging when you’ve contacted leads and automatically emailing them about follow-up times. The call, email, and its response are all logged in your CRM and calendar without a single minute wasted on inputting mundane information.

Inbound lead assignment
When you have phone calls, emails, and meetings piling up, it’s hard to keep track of which customer goes where and who is working with them. With marketing automation software and tracking, customer service representatives are automatically assigned to inbound leads based on specialties and demographics so they can begin working on building profitable rapport right away.

Give and you shall receive
Potential clients and leads get dozens, sometimes hundreds, of business emails every day. You need something to set your business apart from the rest. By offering valuable content such as how-to guides and total cost of ownership tools in exchange for contact information, you can provide prospects with content they actually want.

All it takes is a web form and some creative writing that ultimately leads visitors back to your products and/or services. Your automation software delivers content to anyone who provides contact information, and it downloads metrics that can be tracked and analyzed by your solution.

Never type another phone number again
Networking events mean new contacts and new leads. They used to mean having to keep track of thick stacks of business cards, but cutting-edge marketing tools now make it possible to take a picture of contact information and automatically store it as part of a cloud-based database. Call-ins, scanned business cards, and received emails all get organized into a single digital Rolodex with recommendations on whom to contact and when it is best to do so — without one minute of tedious data entry.

Every business owner knows that automating mindless tasks is a worthwhile investment. But not everyone knows just what sort of tools are available to help you cut down on wasted work. Our team specializes in using technology to add value to your business, and we believe that if you’re not utilizing any of the solutions above, that’s the best place to start. Get in touch with us today to make your marketing technology work for you.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

ERP: the software your business needs

Managing a business is complicated enough: different departments like accounting, management, and sales each have its own software and systems. Don’t you just wish there was a less difficult and more efficient way to manage your enterprise? Wish no more, because enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can solve management problems for you. Read on to find out how.

ERP explained

ERP is a program that integrates all your systems into a single database, so if you want to take a look at human resources, accounting, or sales, you only need to access one system instead of three. In practice, this means that everyone, regardless of department, will be able to access the same information. This also means that employees will no longer have to re-enter data onto their department-specific database, because all databases will already have been linked.

Deeper insight

Simplicity isn’t the only merit of an ERP, however. A single database lets you see all information across every branch of your business and gain actionable insights that enable you to make more informed decisions. Financial reporting, for example, benefits a lot from ERP, since general ledgers, revenue recognition, and tax reporting functionality are built into most ERP software solutions.

In addition to this, ERP systems come equipped with business intelligence features that provide intuitive analysis into your operations and forecast the growth of your company. This helps you and other executives identify bottlenecks and business opportunities.

Better customer service

ERP makes better and faster customer service possible. For instance, if a customer asks whether or not an item is still in stock, customer service representatives can easily access the ERP database and provide a quick answer, instead of having to ask the supply manager.

Simplified compliance

With an ERP, meeting stringent data management regulations is much easier. That’s because the software generally comes with audit functionality, giving you full visibility into your processes. It also provides templates and guidance to help you meet regulations within your industry, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the International Financial Reporting Standards.

Streamlined workflows

ERP streamlines workflows by eliminating redundant and time-consuming tasks through automation. For one, you can set your ERP to instantly reorder materials when stock levels have reached a certain threshold. This ensures that your enterprise won’t have to deal with out-of-stock or overstocking incidents. Moreover, you can even assign workflows that route invoices and reimbursements to the right accountant to make sure tasks are handled quickly and efficiently.

Rich integrations

One of the most beautiful things about ERP is its integration capabilities: you can integrate it with other services to extend its capabilities. For example, if you need to track customer information and sales figures, you can combine ERP with customer relationship management software or pair it with e-commerce services to streamline web-based purchases. This way, your processes will be seamless and everything you need will be at your fingertips.

As your business grows, your business needs change as well. ERP systems can adapt to your ever-changing needs by giving you unparalleled business management solutions. If you need to add further value to your business, call us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.