For any business, processes are important. They set the tone for how a business is conducted, how efficient they are, and how well they reach consumers. Your business probably has many different processes for many different procedures. One of the most important has to be the sales process. This involves moving consumers from being prospects to buyers and hopefully into loyal customers. Using cloud computing can help make the sales process easier, smarter, and more efficient. It can do this at every point of the sales process, so implementing cloud computing solutions can make a huge difference to your business. Here’s how.
When your processes are manual, you are relying on your staff and yourself to take the necessary steps at the right time. Through training and repetition, everyone should know exactly how to follow a procedure, but that doesn’t mean that is the way it always is. You could have staff who want to do things their own way or ways that are slightly different than what you think is best. When things are informal, there can be gaps. They might be unintentional, but they still exist.
By making cloud computing a part of your process, you can eliminate the human factor that leads to those gaps. Once you have a vision of what your sales process should involve, you can set up software that will keep everything in that framework. Your team will know immediately when a sale is made, when it’s time to reach out to certain customers and prospects, and how many times they need to contact prospects during each part of the sales journey. Your vision will be followed and it won’t be subject to the errors of others.
Nobody can run a business effectively without collecting and analyzing data. It’s vitally important, but many businesses don’t take the time to properly build data collection and entry into their processes. Or if they do, data does not get entered in an efficient way, or not everything is collected in the first place. Even then, it often takes emails or passing physical paper around the office for everyone to know what is going on.
With cloud computing, you can eliminate many of the errors and delays that can happen with manual processing. Cloud solutions will collect data automatically and enter it into your CRM. Everyone on your sales team can access that information immediately. It will also be available in real-time when you run reports. So when you are measuring and analyzing your key performance indicators, you will have accurate and up-to-the-minute data. You can make better decisions and have a better grasp of what is happening with your sales in real-time.
Having a good sales process isn’t just a benefit for the business, it’s a benefit for the customer as well. Cloud computing can make buying your products easier for the consumer, which will make them more likely to buy from you. You can have a purchase platform that will automatically take their payment and email or text them a receipt. Many will also handle returns and exchanges as well, depending on your type of business.
Another convenience is security. Automation can help eliminate fraud and identity theft. Manual processing leaves customer information vulnerable if it’s not disposed of properly. Cloud software will store customer information on secure servers using similar encryption that banks and governments use. Customers will appreciate that their information is safe and secure.
By having accurate data, you can better forecast future performance. For every step of the sales process, you can track how successful you have been, and then forecast for the future. You need to know how many of your initial prospects for a campaign move on to each step, to first and second contacts, to quoting, to selling. Then you can also make any improvements if you feel like you are underperforming at certain points. Good forecasting will help inform your marketing decisions and your budgeting process.
It Can Grow With You
If you are handling your sales process manually, what will happen if you experience a sudden burst of growth? You could end up with desks full of paper that needs to be processed, emails flying back and forth for updates and major delays in entering data. You may then have to quickly hire someone to handle the overflow. Even if your growth is gradual, at some point you might reach a tipping point. Yes, it’s a good problem to have, but you may be missing and wasting opportunities because you are not able to keep up with your process. With cloud computing, you can benefit from more automation and easier communication between team members, so you can stay on top of things no matter how busy you get.
When you’ve run your business a certain way for a long time, it can be hard to make changes to your processes. However, with cloud computing solutions you can make things easier on yourself, your staff and the customers. With improved processes, you can focus on day-to-day tasks that help build your business further.
About the author
I’m working as a content editor at Sure Oak. We are a small USA-based digital marketing company led by Tom Casano. Previously I worked with many different websites and companies on their content and marketing strategies.