Don’t lose your competitive edge because your tech isn’t updated. Support your growing business with these tools and save yourself the headache of going without.
We promise we’re not biased when we say that VoIP is the only type of phone system that can keep up with your business. It just makes sense.
What is VoIP
First, you have to understand what VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) is to understand what we mean. VoIP is a type of phone system that is rising in popularity due to the fact that it uproots your phone from just one physical device.
Customers of Aline and other VoIP providers are able to access their work from a desktop icon, a physical desk phone, or even a mobile app on their cell. It makes it easier to transfer calls as you see who’s available and send messages using an internal chat feature. Many providers, like us, already have the option of adding texting to your plan, increasing your chances of connecting to hard-to-reach individuals.
Gone are the days of the Blackberry and shelling out unnecessary sums for limited phone systems. As long as VoIP can connect to the internet, you can make your calls.
Why VoIP Matters
You might be shaking your head that you don’t need a phone system that is that versatile and mobile, but your business could certainly benefit from it.
Forrester predicted that only 30 percent of businesses would transition back to a fully in-person work model in the post-pandemic world. In fact, 55 percent of employees preferred to remain remote, a startling amount considering that many employers are still shying away from the idea.
Even if you don’t like hybrid or remote work, there’s a good chance that at least 50 percent of your workers prefer it, so you can’t afford to pretend that the digitalization and shifting tides of the workplace are not happening.
With that in mind, the most cost-effective and efficient phone system you can adapt is VoIP. You don’t want your phone system to be the thing that holds you back as you continue to grow and adapt to the rest of the world.
If your company has an HRIS then you’re probably wondering why this is on the list but you’d be surprised. The reason we included this here is because many companies either haven’t adopted a system yet or are managing their different HR functionalities through multiple systems.
What to Look for in a Good HRIS
There are a lot of HRIS systems out there and it can be overwhelming to find a good fit. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- How do you manage your team-keeping? A good system has easy-to-use time-keeping that makes it simple for employees to clock in and for supervisors to monitor attendance in real-time.
- How are you handling payroll? Having payroll integrated with your HRIS will make your life much easier. More than likely you already have a payroll company that you trust or an internal team that manages it. Consider how your time-keeping and payroll processing will tie together with a new system.
- Is it user-friendly? You might find an HRIS with all your desired features and a gentle price tag, but if the user interface is clunky, it could end up costing you more time and training than it’s worth. Most systems offer a free trial and we say, take advantage of it!
- Do you need an LMS? A learning management system (or LMS) is a great way to make employee training more effective and easier to track. If you use an LMS already, it’s worth considering if the HRIS system you’re looking at either has their own built-in or integrate with the one you use. It’s even more important that an LMS is user-friendly since employees could end up spending a lot of time here.
- Can you enter and track performance reviews? Most HRIS systems will have somewhere you can track performance and performance reviews to some degree. For this side of HRIS, consider the needs of the company and the employees before deciding on a format.
3. Multi-Team Collaboration System
With team members now located all over, it’s more important than ever to ensure that live communication is easy and accessible. There are various platforms out there that provide the ability to have one-on-one as well as group discussions.
It’s not enough to have running chats where team members can reach each other easily from any location. It’s important to make sure they can share files, actively collaborate, and view updates on each others’ progress for projects.
You can’t wait until meetings to update each other on what’s going on anymore and most of the time your employees would rather it come in the form of a message or email than spend thirty minutes around a conference table.
If you thought social media was something just for after hours, think again. Not only should you open up pathways for employees to be social with each other, but you should encourage it.
It’s really easy to make work grueling and unenjoyable for your team members, but you’ll never keep them that way. The tolerance threshold for unfavorable work conditions has greatly dropped since initial lockdowns engulfed the world. You won’t be able to keep employees if you don’t give them a good reason to stay.
The Harvard Business Review’s top reasons employees stay are because of job satisfaction and their environment. Who creates that work environment? The people. Social channels foster interaction, help build community and familiarity, and ensure that employees know that they can rely on each other as they help build trust between team members.
This is another one that you may already have, but a good CRM is essential for managing your book of business. We’ve found that without a CRM, potential and existing customers seem to slip through the cracks.
Look for a customizable CRM that fits your business’s needs, because not all systems are created equal.
Lead Management and Follow-Up
Whether you’re collecting leads from lead providers, enticing customers through social media, or pulling in interest from a variety of places, you need somewhere to keep organized, especially as your business grows.
A good CRM, like Blitz Sales Software, allows you to import your prospects, sort them by folder, add tags, and track them through the sales pipeline (and beyond). It will even allow you to track interactions with time stamps made by the reps interacting with the various accounts.
Lastly, you can use Blitz and other CRMs to set reminders to follow up, store leads information, and send emails directly from the system using pre-made templates. This makes it easier to maintain contact during essential milestones of the customer’s buying journey.
Easy-to-Access and Understandable Automation
Let’s be honest, automation still scares people. It’s a technology that doesn’t need hands-on management and runs by itself. In fact, several automation platforms operate in a “set it and forget” kind of way that can be daunting.
However, you control the parameters for your automation and it doesn’t actually replace the human touch. Good automation fast tracks through tedious tasks so you can get in front of customers and prospects more quickly.
The team at Blitz makes it super easy to set up your automated workflows and make adjustments as your business grows and changes. You bring your desired follow-up process and they help build the automated workflow to support it.
5. Social Media Channels
Some businesses may still be hesitant to jump into social media, relying on good ol’ fashion word of mouth to sustain themselves. However, the last few years have accelerated our move into a digital-first service world.
Online Presence Matters
If you’re not online, you don’t exist to many people, which will make it harder and harder to find new business. Prospects now do their own research before and after talking to your reps by searching you online. Creating at least one or two social media profiles makes you more accessible and gives you the opportunity to control your business’s reputation beyond your website.
You don’t need to be obsessively active but a few posts a week and 10 minutes a day to engage others are all you need to get started.
The online world hosts thousands and thousands of communities that are actively influencing each other and sharing information. The words, images, videos, and more that are exchanged in social media spaces provoke emotions and actions within the real world, something that has a direct impact on your business, whether you realize it or not.
If you knew that prospects were gathering at specific locations around town, you wouldn’t pass them by anyway and just keep walking, would you? No, you would join them! So, go join them where they’re already gathered … on social media.
While these 5 tools aren’t the only ones that you’ll need, they’re a great start and will help you lay a solid foundation for success.
Of course, your success isn’t just determined by your technology. It’s also determined by the people in your company and how you utilize the talent and tools you have at hand.