Whether or not you’ve heard about the deal Google revealed this week regarding its productivity suite Google Apps for Work, allow me to fill you in on the details...
Think about the various departments within a single enterprise. From marketing to HR to finance to sales, each team may use different communications platforms, offered by different vendors, based on specific needs. For example, a number of applications are available for use by sales teams to manage prospects and customers. On the other hand, your marketing department’s campaigns may heavily rely on a specific chat system to communicate in real time. Meanwhile, the C-suite might leverage a particular conferencing platform to conduct meetings with international partners and key stakeholders.
Your company works tirelessly to attract and retain new customers. Your editorial team, for instance, may churn out new gated assets (i.e. eBooks, whitepapers) every quarter in order to promote brand awareness. Your marketing division may collaborate on targeted new campaigns in order to keep existing customers engaged based on where they are in the customer journey.
What the Average Sales Manager is Thinking Right Now
In Part 1 of this article, we covered the technology that solves problems for small businesses.
Despite the vast differences between the small and large business, these two specially-sized organizations do have one very important thing in common: their sales teams. The need for superior sales technology transcends any and all differences faced by companies of any size. At the end of the day, a sales team is a sales team, and the team’s primary responsibility remains the same: keeping companies’ revenue smoothly flowing.
The difference, however, comes in the technology used by each company to augment revenue, as driven by the unique challenges faced by the size of each organization.
The Small Business
The art of selling has gone through a few rounds of improvements, and it continues to evolve today. This continuous change is jointly attributed to the similarly evolving customer lifecycle as well as the maturation of sales team technology. As many already know, collaboration technology has revolutionized sales strategies, processes and initiatives – from lead generation to product knowledge to training sales representatives. But, it wasn’t always like that.
Recently, we stumbled across a great infographic by sales automation and lead management software provider Velocify that spells this all out for us. In an effort to explore how sales team collaboration became what it is today, we delve a bit deeper to see what the process used to look like, as well as what it might look like in the future.
The Past: From the “Mad Men” Era to the 21st Century
In the previous article, Best Practices for Using CRM Software for Sales – Part 1, we covered three ways a CRM system can provide tools to maximize your team’s sales potential. But a CRM system's potential to drive sales productivity is limited to your team's use of these tools.
As a sales manager, your job revolves around being information-centric and time-sensitive. The two essentially go hand-in-hand since your sales team is striving to collect pertinent customer information to generate as many quality leads in as little time as possible. We know you’re feeling the pressure to accelerate your team’s sales cycle; however, before you can get started, you need to first identify what could be holding your team back.
An average company loses between 10 to 30 percent of its customers every year. Meanwhile, a five percent reduction in your customer defection rate can increase your profit from 25 to 80 percent
Consumer communications meets business communications in a mobile world
People communicate for work anywhere, anytime, from any device. Despite these undeniable changes in business behavior, a majority of companies haven’t optimized their communications infrastructure for mobile workforces or BYOD. The desire to use the same devices we use at home to do our work is widespread.
- People fundamentally want to work together to get their work done, achieve fulfillment and create value
- This is not a new trend, increasingly people are using their personal devices in their work environment
- Forrester (a US-based analyst firm) identified that 53% of employees are using some form of consumer technology to get their work done
- According to Gartner—by 2017, more than half of companies will require their employees to supply their own devices on the job
- Gartner said, mid-sized companies of $500 million to $5 billion in sales and 2,500 to 5,000 employees are most likely to be using a BYOD approach
- 38% of companies expect to stop supplying employees with devices entirely by 2016
Trends driving mobility and behavior changes in the work place
- 1 in 3 college graduates and young professionals would accept a lower-paying job if it offered more flexibility with device choice, social media access and mobility.
- 98% of Americans own a mobile device, 40% of these are smartphones (sub with regional data - source: Google mobile blog 2012)
- 95% of Americans use cloud services in their consumer lives (sub with regional data - source: Wakefield Citrix Cloud Survey 2012)
- US users spent 121 billion minutes—230k years on social media in a single month (source: Nielsen Social Media Report 2012, cited in NBC News)
How a cloud communications solution is addressing challenges businesses face in the new work world
- 77% of businesses and IT leaders say their companies are currently using social collaboration technologies
- 82% of businesses currently using social collaboration tools want to use more of them in the future
- 66% —make jobs more enjoyable
- 62% —improved productivity
- 57% —gets work done faster
IT and Businesses decision makers both believe emplyees were …
- Able to generate ideas collaboratively —47%
- More easily collaborate with their external customers, partners and vendors —47%
- Better able to engage with peers —41%
Enabling the ROI in Communication + Collaboration Technology
I read an interesting report the other day that concluded UC investments were at risk if employees were not adopting the technology and leveraging investments.
Why does unified communication (UC) technology have such a bad perception?
Why do so many key stakeholders in a business not care, or understand the value of unified communications? The bottom line, the vendors of such technology are (for the most part) to blame for this. The focus on technology over user experience has led to a perception of complexity and too much technology for too little return.
Esna links new Cisco-based college telephony system with Google Apps to enhance campus productivity and reduce IT costs
Thanks to you!
I wanted to take the time to thank all of you that have followed and partnered with Esna over the past year. It has been an amazing year with a wealth of innovation in both the consumer and enterprise collaboration space. Communication is key, and the pace of innovation that is bringing the global community together is quite astounding! Here at Esna we are committed to the development of technology that drives real-time, human interaction and fosters collaboration amongst organizations and individuals. As the holidays quickly approach, I wanted to stop and sincerely thank all of you for consistent support, input and partnership in helping take Esna to the next level and deliver on our promise of Better Collaboration. Better Results.