Written by   |   Nov 14 2019   |   Read 795 times
Most businesses struggle to keep up with technology even though they know that technology can help save them time, and in many cases, make their lives easier. 

Getting organised in the early days of business is the most ideal situation. You will thank yourself later as your business grows and the systems that you have put in place become the backbone of your business. 

However it is never too late to get organised in your business and implement new systems. Although you may find some short term pain from moving information and retraining, the long term gain will definitely outweigh these pains.

Regardless of what industry you are in or how many employees you have, the following four systems will dramatically improve your internal efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and reduce time-wasting paper shuffling and disorganisation. In simple terms, these systems will improve day-to-day work life for you and your team. 

1. Accounting software

We have put Accounting software at the top of the list. At the end of the day, you need to have a good grasp on the money that is coming in and going out of the business. Accounting software has come a long way in terms of usability and affordability in the last few years. You no longer need an accounting degree to figure it all out. 

Software systems such as Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks all have simple user interfaces and can integrate with your payment systems, invoicing systems and CRM. It is now easier than ever to have clear visibility on your financial situation. The connectivity of these systems with your other systems such as your CRM will mean that you can limit the number of times you need to manually enter information, hence reducing errors and duplication of workload.

2. Customer Relationship Management software

Keeping track of your customers and nurturing prospective customers should be front and centre of your business priorities. Some form of customer relationship management (CRM) software becomes invaluable. 

According to a recent Capterra article, adoption of a CRM software is going to triple in the next two years. If you own a business, chances are you are already using some sort of customer management system. If not, you should be planning to invest in CRM very soon in order to keep up with your competitors. 

Industries using customer relationship management 2020

In terms of CRM options, you may have heard of Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and others that were initially created for large corporations with established infrastructure and legacy systems. Act! CRM was specifically designed for small to medium businesses. Act! is an easy to use, flexible and robust customer management solution that now includes a powerful marketing automation functionality.  Act Growth Suite is an all-in-one sales and marketing platform, that gives you everything you and your team need to successfully manage and nurture your customers.

3. Productivity software

One of the modern-day challenges we all face in our working life is constant distractions. On any given day, the number of distractions and productivity hours lost is staggering - up to 3 hours per day! It is not just social media distracting your employees - distractions come from emails, notifications, text messages, constant meetings and even just being distracted by ‘office water-cooler chats’. According to a recent article featured by entrepreneur.com, we get interrupted every 11 minutes and it can take up to 25 minutes to get back into focus on the original task. 

While you can’t necessarily shut it all out, there is a range of productivity software tools that are designed to keep you and your team on task. Some tools are designed to automatically block social media and other online distractions. Two popular apps for managing distractions are Freedom and Focus. Others apps such as Asana, Trello and Evernote help keep you focused and on task. These apps can also be integrated with your CRM to build a seamless system - visit Zapier to find out what apps can integrate with your CRM.

4. Marketing communications software

The relationship you have with your customers is extremely important and how you communicate needs to be considered by every business, large or small. This includes communicating via all channels such as social media, webchat and email. You need to keep your communication consistent, relevant and personalised. This is where marketing automation comes into play. It is important that every time you engage with your existing customers or potential new customers, that you demonstrate that you understand their needs, only provide information that is relevant to them and help them in solving their problems. Marketing automation not only provides a better experience for your customers, it also offers a more efficient system for you and your team.

There are a number of marketing automation systems on the market. Act! Growth Suite combines a robust CRM system with a cutting edge marketing automation system that enables you to automate workflow between your sales and marketing efforts. Act! Growth Suite features an interactive template editor that enables you to create professional emails to use in your response driven nurture emarketing. You also get advanced CRM workflow, lead capture, surveys, along with campaign and customer insights, allowing you to easily prioritise follow-ups, automate sales tasks, and create a complete interaction history. 

Both marketing automation software and CRM software are useful tools for generating and nurturing leads. With Act! Growth Suite, you get an all-in-one CRM and marketing automation solution which means you will be well-equipped to manage your leads and gain deeper insight into your customers' needs so that you can create long term paying customers.

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Michael Bryant

Michael Bryant is the Founder and CEO of Act Today. Michael’s vision for starting Act Today was born from his realisation of the importance of businesses to have a deep and strong relationship with their customers. 

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