Business technology has come a long way since the days of fax machines and tape recorders. There’s now a plethora of software solutions, applications, and cloud systems available. Due to the sheer number of options, it can be unclear as to what will have the most significant impact on your business.
When considering which technologies are right for your business, it’s essential to look at your short and long term goals. Like any other investment, your technology needs to support those goals, demonstrate value, and deliver a return on investment (ROI). Otherwise, there’s the potential for a lot of time and money wasted.
There are, of course, many business technologies out there that will suit each company differently. Here are four, however, that can help boost sales.
1. The LinkedIn platform
LinkedIn has over 706 million users worldwide. For B2B companies, the odds are that you and your customers already have LinkedIn accounts. Are you using the social platform to its full potential, though?
A classic mistake of many professionals on LinkedIn is thinking of their profile as an online resume. That may be fine if you’re actively looking for a career change. But, this can hinder you in using LinkedIn to grow your business (and your personal brand).
When used correctly, LinkedIn is a powerful business tool that can help attract new customers and retain existing ones.
When using LinkedIn as a tool for business growth, you can:
- Improve your company’s brand reputation with a LinkedIn Company Page. Be careful to keep the aesthetics and information in-line with your existing brand to create a cohesive company presence.
- Profile and position yourself as a thought leader or subject matter expert in your space. Share your knowledge through posts, articles, and re-sharing of relevant information.
- Creating a network of people who can help your business; including suppliers, advisors, leads, other employees and even referrers.
- Interact with (and build) your network. Showcase what’s new in your business, what makes it unique. Start and join in conversations about shared business interests. You never know who might become your next lead or referrer.
- Enhance the customer experience and drive retention. You can create a customer-focused LinkedIn group, for example. It’s the perfect place to post news, articles, and new products or services in which customers might be interested.
Whether you’re looking to build your team, create a strong network of contacts, or generate quality leads, LinkedIn has additional free and paid tools to help. Paid options include LinkedIn Ads, InMails and premium accounts to connect with your target audience and generate new leads. When used correctly, LinkedIn is a powerful business tool that can help attract new customers and retain existing ones.
2. A WordPress website
When looking to build a new site or redevelop an existing one, a website built on WordPress.com can be a great option. WordPress is a platform behind your website, much like Microsoft Windows is the operating system behind what you do on your computer. It’s one of the most popular and well-supported website platforms available.
While the platform is free to use (otherwise known as open-source), it doesn’t include the use of themes (i.e. the design framework of your site), or hosting (where your website lives). Here’s a rundown on why WordPress is free and what to consider.
Integrating your website with an ERP can provide website visitors with real-time product information, pricing, stock levels, backorder details and much more.
WordPress has countless themes, plugins and integrations that can make a website highly customisable. There are also many website designers and developers familiar with the platform who can assist you in creating a standout site. A quality online presence is key to building your brand reputation and becoming both a lead magnet and sales channel.
There are also many cloud ERP systems, including NetSuite, which offer WordPress integrations. Integrating your website with an ERP can provide website visitors with real-time product information, pricing, stock levels, backorder details and much more.
3. Video conferencing
Particularly in recent times, video conferencing has become an essential tool for business. When COVID-19 hit, face-to-face meetings were few and far between.
One of the most vital tools in a salesperson’s kit is rapport-building. It’s also the basis for building strong business relationships. It creates memorable experiences that customers (and potential customers) will want to repeat. To build rapport quickly effectively, however, seeing whom you’re talking to is crucial.
A large amount of how we communicate with each other is non-verbal. There’s even a word for it – kinesics. Kinesics is how we interpret body motion communication, including facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, posture, and body movement. It can be as simple as a nod that indicates agreeance or a reassuring smile. And, what it brings is the ability to create familiarity, trust, and rapport.
Here are some tips on how to use non-verbal communication more effectively in your next video meeting.
4. Cloud ERP business management software
Many years ago, ERP software was only available to large enterprises. But thanks to cloud delivery, this powerful business technology is now more accessible to businesses of all sizes. Here’s more information detailing what is an ERP system if you’re interested.
Cloud is rapidly becoming the new norm for software delivery. When it comes to ERP systems, cloud options have long been providing significant cost savings, faster implementation, and improved business continuity.
Sales teams with cloud ERP access can also be far more effective. They can have better customer interactions. With accurate, real-time stock availability, backorder details, and pricing and product information at their fingertips, they can deliver fantastic customer experiences.
When it comes to ERP systems, cloud options have long been providing significant cost savings, faster implementation, and improved business continuity.
Sales reps can also update customer records directly into an in-built CRM system. When everyone has a clear view of interactions, consistency of service to customers becomes much more manageable. With marketing campaigns going out from an ERP system, reps can drive promotions further and take advantage of upsell opportunities.
NetSuite is one vendor that has been a pioneer of cloud ERP technology and operates on a subscription-based model. This model reduces the upfront costs compared with on-premise solutions makes the ongoing costs more predictable. There’s also no need to invest in servers, or teams to maintain the infrastructure.
Which technology is right for you?
The type of business technology you choose can have an immense impact on generating new sales and selling more into existing customers. As with any business system, it’s essential to understand what will be the right fit for your specific needs – and provide the appropriate ROI.
Technologies like LinkedIn, WordPress, video conferencing, and cloud ERP systems are excellent options to consider. But, there are many more out there.
Let me know what’s worked for you in terms of supporting your sales or business goals.
If you’d like to know more about how an ERP solution can help your business improve financial planning and forecasting, do more with fewer resources, and gain a competitive advantage, shoot me an email. One of my clients is a local team of award-winning cloud ERP experts who take a considered, personalised approach to ERP implementation.