Critical Tools: Agility is the difference between a company that grows too fast and crashes and a company that maintains sustainable growth and thrives. Firms that can achieve this delicate balance between stability and speed grow revenue 37 percent faster than other firms, while turning profits 30 percent higher than non-agile firms, Massachusetts Institute of Technology research has found. Accordingly, agile firms have a 70 percent chance of ranking in the top quartile for organizational health, McKinsey research shows.
Achieving these results depends on choosing the right business tools. Here are four types of critical tools that can help your organization achieve greater agility and generate higher revenue.
In an economy centered around mobile phones and mobile marketing, having a cloud-based IT system has become a key to business agility. Sixty-five percent of corporate decision makers agree that cloud computing plays a key role in increasing IT agility, a survey by VMWare found.
Cloud-based platforms give companies the ability to scale up their IT resources to keep pace with their growth, without incurring proportionate cost increases. Having a cloud-centered IT infrastructure also enables companies to scale up the size of their workforce by adding remote workers, without having to expand their physical presence. Cloud infrastructure likewise makes it easier to serve additional customers without overloading company servers. And cloud apps such as QuickBooks Online enable companies to subscribe to software tools at a scale proportionate to company size and use, rather than having to pay high licensing fees and invest in on-premises installation, maintenance and upgrades.
One type of cloud-based tool which greatly facilitates scaling is customer relationship management (CRM) apps. CRM tools help you automate the sales process, providing your sales team a unified platform where all representatives can view prospect and customer contact information and history. As your sales activity scales up, this can make it easier to filter through leads to identify your hottest prospects and deploy your best sales representatives. You can even arm your representatives with personalized data based on the customerâ€™s sales history and buyer profile in order to make a more customized, more effective sales presentation.
Cloud-based CRM apps also help you scale up by integrating with other apps, automating data exportation to save your staff time and labor. For instance, you can integrate your CRM data with your accounting software to automatically update your bookkeeping, customer invoices, and inventory as you make sales.
Lead Conversion Tracking Tools
Another category of app that integrates with CRM tools to support scaling is lead conversion tracking tools. For instance, Salesforce integrates with Heap analytics, which lets you track all actions customers take when they visit your websites.
This can help you track conversions as well as analyze crucial marketing and sales data. For instance, you can see where your most valuable customers are coming from, what sales pages are generating the most conversions and what upsell buyers and repeat customers are purchasing.
Virtual Call Centers
Scaling up agilely requires scaling up your sales without diluting the quality of your customer service. Cloud-based call centers make it easier for you to scale up your customer service team by hiring remote representatives who interact with customers through a cloud-based interface. Instead of needing to expand your physical call center and install expensive on-premise equipment, you can simply deploy virtual office software that lets your virtual team connect with your virtual call centers and customers through the cloud. This makes it easier for you to outsource your customer service team, freeing your in-house team to focus on your core business operations.
Virtual call centers also enable you to deliver better customer service by transferring tickets from one media or agent to another seamlessly through the cloud. For instance, a ticket that begins with one representative through live chat can conclude with another representative over the phone or email. This eliminates the frustrations customers experience when they have to repeat information to a second agent, boosting customer satisfaction and sales.
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