There are many investments a company needs to incorporate into its business strategy – both short-term and long-term. Human resources are one of those investments that tend to attract big attention. Having the right people behind you can drive the company culture in the right direction, bring skills and expertise, and build motivation within the organisation to boost sales and aim for bigger and better targets.
But what about investment in business technology? It’s not often you see it at the top of the budget considerations. And when it does make its way onto the list, it often comes back to the hardware technologies employees are using. For some thoughts on increasing employee productivity with the right mobile technology, see our article, 5 Essential Strategies to Boost Mobile Productivity.
Investing in the right software technologies can help generate more sales and increase customer retention. Some technologies also offer quick wins that are easy to implement and financially much less taxing than other investments. But which ones should you be making part of your business strategy sooner rather than later? Here are our top business technologies to help increase sales.
LinkedIn Social Platform
Marketing has seen a rapid evolution over the past decade and there are several social networking platforms now which empower low-cost marketing campaigns with potentially big results. The type of social networking platform that best suits business can depend on whether you have a B2B or B2C model, whether you sell physical products, and many other factors.
LinkedIn can be very effective for B2B organisations to get their message out there, but that’s not the only reason LinkedIn is one of the top 4 business technologies worthy of investment.
LinkedIn is a great platform for your sales force to increase their digital presence, their personal branding, and to become seen as industry or subject matter experts. It’s something we cover in more detail in the “increasing your reach” section of Strategies to Increase Sales article.
Start by getting your sales force in the habit of posting useful, valuable content on LinkedIn to increase your brand’s reach and promote awareness and interaction with potential new leads. Also have the like, comment, and share on other posts from your company and its network of partners or complementary businesses. It’s a quick win that will help increase your company’s digital reach and boost your branding. And when you start seeing healthy engagement with content being posted, you’ll also be likely to start gaining some leads as a result.
WordPress Website Platform
Investing in the best web design and development resources you can afford is something which will also increase your return on investment. When your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is done right, it’s a business strategy that will get you found online and get inbound leads coming through. But there are many moving parts to SEO, including on-page and off-page SEO, site performance, ease of navigation, the text that’s used on your website, metadata, image naming conventions, and more. Make sure you find the right experts for your business needs and maximise the time spent and the possible return on your investment.
If you don’t already have a website or are thinking about a refresh, WordPress.com can be a great option. Your website is your business card to the world and can play a big role in not only attracting new customers but also in retaining existing customers.
People visiting your site for the first time want to quickly understand what your company does and why they should deal with you instead of your competitors. Make sure your site is consistently branded, accurately reflects your company and its values, and is easy to navigate. WordPress is a highly customisable platform, allowing you to create a tailored experience – with, of course, the help of an experienced web designer and web developer.
Using the WordPress platform is free, but you’ll need to consider the cost of themes and plugins, as well as hosting for your site. Here’s a quick explainer about why the WordPress platform is free and some of the considerations.
WooCommerce is one popular eCommerce plugin that supports both digital and physical products, can calculate shipping, supports a range of payment gateways, and allows you to add affiliate or external products to your site for purchase.
WordPress is widely recognised as the world’s most popular web platform. Due to this popularity, there are pre-existing integrations with cloud ERP systems such as NetSuite and JCurve ERP. Integration with cloud ERP software will enable you to provide live product information, pricing, stock levels, back-order information and more. This is where having the right website set up and back-end ERP system to support it can create a first-class experience for your existing customers. Investing in business technology that delights customers with a powerful, easy-to-use online system is sure to keep them coming back.
Outlook Email Software
Microsoft Outlook and other email applications are being used by businesses every day. But spending a little extra time and attention on it can provide additional sales opportunities you may not have even considered.
There are quite a few areas for improvement, such as making better use of out-of-office notifications, automatic rules to increase efficiency, and signatures that can drive your branding and promotional activities further. But in this article, we’ll concentrate on signatures. Many companies keep their signatures basic and include an individual’s names, job titles, and contact details. But how many opportunities are being missed out on here?
Firstly, there’s your company branding. The more times your brand is seen, the more it’s likely to be remembered. You’re aiming for attention saturation by showing your brand to potential clients as often as possible. Make sure you have your company’s logo and your tagline or slogan incorporated into your email signatures. It’s subtle but keeps your branding front of mind for anyone that your sales reps and other staff are communicating with over email.
Next, be sure to hyperlink your company logo – either to a specific landing page or a homepage that you’ll want potential customers to be seeing and engaging with. You can also add a separate text-based website hyperlink to make it more noticeable. Underneath or beside your employee’s email address is a logical place to put it.
Lastly, think of the signature as your last attempt to grab some extra attention. Do you have a current promotion you want to let people know about? Or perhaps a new piece of content that leads or customers will find valuable? Create a well-branded image that will fit neatly under your signature. Ideally, hyperlink your promo image to a website landing page or content page, or simply add a tagline such as “ask me for more information” to help pique interest and drive conversations.
NetSuite ERP Solution
An ERP system can provide some of the best ROI (Return on Investment) of all technology solutions. Find more about this in our article about ERP Bringing Profitable Returns. Cloud ERP software, in particular, brings everything together and leverages single-source data to increase transparency across the business. It also provides mobility and real-time system access which keeps employees productive no matter where they are and improves operational efficiency.
Providing your sales team with a business management system allowing them to see real-time stock and inventory, back order, and product information while they’re standing in front of potential customers can give them a serious advantage over competitors. They can also update the CRM records and see marketing campaign details such as engagement results (even down to the granular level of which individual has clicked on which link in your marketing emails). Having all this available from a laptop, desktop or mobile device can keep your sales resources productive whether they’re in the office or out on the road.
NetSuite is the world’s #1 cloud ERP software suite and incorporates all core business functionality, including CRM, Sales and Marketing, eCommerce, Financials, Business Intelligence, and more. But it’s not just for enterprise-level organisations. SMBs (Small to Medium Businesses) can start with NetSuite early, using the JCurve ERP small business edition. It’s perfect for businesses with up to 20 users.
If you’re interested to see how NetSuite can become your business’ most valuable investment, see our article, Why Choose NetSuite ERP to Improve Business Performance. Or, talk to JCurve Solutions, one of Australia's largest 5-Star NetSuite partners and the exclusive provider of JCurve ERP.
The next time you’re reviewing your business strategy, give some extra thought to how the right software solutions can help increase sales. As you may have noticed, there are some quick wins you can get started with straight away and some longer-term business technology investments to learn more about.
If you’d like some further information about what to consider when choosing an ERP system, get in touch or get your free downloadable guide: