The aim of any business is to maximize profit and minimize costs. With the rise of the Internet this goal has become easier to achieve no matter whether the company chasing the goal is a multinational or a dorm-room startup with dreams of making it big.
Many online services for business are accessible for free, or at affordable prices, providing a real opportunity for companies to develop without blowing their budget. But even if costs can be trimmed and revenues increased there is one thing no company has yet been able to make more of: time.
All the free or low-cost software solutions in the world don’t help a business in the long-term is they are complicated to use, have a steep learning curve, or lack integration with a businesses existing processes and thus force a change in practice. On the other hand, if a software solution can save a business time as well as money, then it quickly becomes indispensable.
When it comes to sales software there are thousands of options already crowding a competitive market, but not all actually save a business both money and time. While the internet has powered sales software solutions that help outsource sales efforts, optimize call-backs and promotional campaigns, and even automate many of the processes in turning a prospective client into a confirmed customer, these options can be prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, inexpensive options usually lack the features that companies really need to drive their sales strategy forward leaving more than a few sales directors reflecting that while the cost saving is significant, the time savings for the sales team are not.
When seeking out a sales software solution, then, there are three things to keep in mind:
- Identify what is costing you money right now
A monthly subscription, an annual fee, or even a turnkey software solution might all seem financially attractive on the surface. But if they only help you overcome the problems your team have already solved you won’t really be saving any money. Before embracing a particular solution make sure you have identified what part of your sales process is costing you the most money, and decide whether the software can address this directly.
- Identify where you are losing most of your time
It’s a simple equation: if you want to increase sales then you have to stop wasting time on tasks that distract you from this goal. Before choosing a software package to help your business grow you should identify where you are wasting most of your time and look for a solution that will help you spend more time generating sales, and less time administering, measuring, and analyzing your efforts.
- Look for software that is already a perfect fit for your business
OK, so maybe a perfect fit is impossible, but you should be seeking a solution that doesn’t require all of your business processes to change to fit the software. Remember the adage that software should serve the user, not force the user to serve the software. If your team works primarily in Microsoft Office or on Google Docs, make sure your software will fit with your current software configurations. Seek out solutions that integrates as much as possible with the other software you already have because, when it comes to saving time and money, this is perhaps the most important step of all.
Online sales software solutions abound but, if you keep the three tips above in mind, you’ll be sure to make the best choice from among them.