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Monday, 14 May 2012

How Do You Improve Your Business For Little Or No Cost?


You might be taking stock of your business right now, either to maximise sales for vendors whose financial year ends soon, your own company's, or both.

Improving your business can take many guises. In these recent tough times, some companies looked to optimise the balance sheet by reducing head count.  

Sometimes you can have the best technology and applications but they just aren't working for you.  Why they are not, needs also to take into consideration, the human element.  People are finicky, they have their own ways of doing things and they also have their own perceptions (sometimes misguided, when it relates to your company!).

If you are using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software as a sales pipeline management tool, still running a version of software that you acquired several years ago or are cutting and pasting between applications, then you are working in the dark ages. 

CRM is not solely a sales force automation tool.  Consider your old software relative to your mobile device and how much time your employees waste cutting and pasting between applications?  These appear to all be separate questions, yet are all totally related and can be fully integrated.

Join The Dots
Getting your company working more efficiently can be very cost effective. Old adages of 'we've always done it that way' and, 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' should never apply to your business because of one constant factor, change.

If your whole company is not using CRM today and you showed it to those who aren't, they would see vast potential for the information to help them do their jobs better and be better able to communicate their own activities to the whole company.

If you are still running on an old version of MS Office 2003 or Lotus Notes 6.5, then I would hazard if you upgraded to the current versions, even being able to do simple things like automatically create PDF's would be a major time saver for many people.

You are most probably running multiple applications on your mobile device (it's not just a phone anymore is it?) for personal use. Imagine if most of your field-based employees could access your business applications if they were mobile-enabled.  What difference could that make to your business?

Do The Maths
Here's a recent example from one of our recent engagements.  A 15 user sales team got a productivity gain of 1 hour per week each from reconfiguring Salesforce.com in the way they managed their sales opportunities.  60 hours per month, 100 days in a working year.

Look around you.  What do you know could do with a tweak for little or no investment?  Now do the maths.

Don't Forget The People
Once you've figured out things that could be tweaked, run them by the people that will be affected, and also those that are not.  Making changes affects different people in different ways.  You may have to make a change in several different ways to achieve the same goal, if you want to keep your people on side.  Remember, people are one of the biggest costs in any organisation.  So, save yourself some money by getting them involved in your thinking.  Results will be more quickly apparent when you have high user adoption, and you only get that when you understand both your people and your business.




 
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