It doesn’t matter if you are a small mom-and-pop business or an international corporation that spans the entire globe. Running a business means there are many things that you have to juggle at one time to be successful. And while all companies may understand this complexity, not all leverage the available technology that has the power to make this process go smoother.
Let’s do an inventory of several departments–including accounting, human resources, sales, and marketing–to see where your business might be able to improve its use of technology and see an improvement in overall sales, customer happiness, brand awareness, and loyalty.
Accounting: Secure Portals for Sensitive Data
The days where businesses could do all their accounting by hand in leather-bound ledgers are long past. Most companies probably already use accounting software to make their jobs more manageable and keep all their data organized in one spot, which is especially useful for tax purposes.
But there are other areas where technology can be helpful.
For example, a secure client portal for accountants like CountingWorks PRO helps handle sensitive information such as birth dates, social security numbers, and credit card numbers. You might have just e-mailed or text-messaged your employees’ sensitive information in the old days, but we now know that those forms of communication are not secure. A client or customer faces the possibility of identity theft when companies pass their information via such channels of communication. And don’t forget that your business could also face consequences for using unsecured forms of communication, such as the possibility of being found financially liable. It’s probably a given that you don’t want to face a lawsuit for mishandling sensitive information.
Human Resources: ESS, MSS, Virtual Reality, AI, and More
The HR department is getting a tech-lift, too! Human resource departments can find many technology trends that would be useful to stay on top of to run their department efficiently.
For example, Employee Self-Service (ESS) and Manager Self-Service (MSS) tools can help improve HR service, reduce labor costs, and shift the responsibility for routine HR responsibilities directly to employees, managers, and job candidates. They’re kind of like the self-checkout lines at the grocery store.
Another trend is virtual reality for hiring and training. These types of tech can speed up interactions and save time. Many companies are vying for their place in this space, from retail and hospitality training to highly specialized and technical skill sets.
What about companies with a large remote workforce? Virtual workplaces like BrightIdea and Sococo help remote teams stay in communication. There are also wellness tools like Calm for Business, Headspace for Work, and Oracle Work Life Solutions. Employees working from home may struggle to stay fit and healthy as the boundaries between work and the rest of their life begin to blur.
Sales: The Content Management System is King
No matter what type of business someone has, the sales department always carries a heavy load. If a business is going to survive, salespeople need to convert curious “just browsing” types into sales.
A good content management system (CMS) can make all the difference. These systems allow the sales department to fully understand the entire product pipeline and target their messaging to fit the exact needs of their customers. Knowing that a customer has begun to look at your product might mean the sales department sends a coupon. Knowing that a customer has placed something in their cart but never checked out might mean they need a reminder or other follow-up.
A CMS is also helpful because it helps the sales department track their work. Team members can see which customers need to be followed up with and which team member is responsible for following up. A CMS helps streamline the sales process and helps decrease the chance that an important client or sale falls through the cracks. So don’t make your sales team scrimp on tech resources!
Marketing: Literally Everything!
Finally, no discussion of technology in business is complete without looking at the marketing department. Most, if not all, marketing tools are now completely digital. There was a time when your marketing department would create flyers, TV commercials, or take out ads in print media. Now they’re thinking about social media, digital ad spends, search engine optimization, website funnel development, blogging, and even developing an app.
Your marketing team may use social media management tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social; digital ad campaign management software like Adroll or Advendio; search engine optimization tools like SEM Rush, Majestic, and Moz; a chatbot tool to quickly answer questions for customers on the website; and so on. If customers need to search for the information they need, they might tune out and move on to the next business and not give you a second look. Making sure you are working hard to craft your brand’s story and using all the technology available to help you market your business will make all the difference to your marketing department.