Marketing and Sales
Technology for marketing and sales teams is an area that is ever-evolving. The last 10 years have seen an explosion in the wide variety of software, tools, and apps available for marketing and sales teams, to help them do their jobs better, more efficiently and more effectively.
Today there are literally thousands of different software options to boost your marketing and sales teams’ performance, which also includes industry-specific tools and apps.
Some of the more popular software for sales and marketing teams include Hubspot, Marketo, MailChimp and Pardot – each offering its own range of tools and capabilities. While many of the more popular marketing and sales tools started off with a singular area focus, such as email marketing only, many of them now focus on the full customer lifecycle, from awareness right down to conversion and retention.
One key area of these tools, which can have immense business value, is marketing automation. This is the process of effectively automating much of the marketing process. One obvious benefit here is time-saving, as team members will no longer have to manually set up and send, track, and report on specific email marketing campaigns, for example. Another benefit is how efficient the software can be, once it is configured with campaign rules, in slicing and dicing campaign data to have them as the best chance as possible in acquiring the customer and closing a sale.
These tools are also CRMs, which make them a single point for all customer data information, as well as marketing and sales activity, which in itself is incredibly useful to have it all under one roof. No longer will development teams have to build complex APIs and internal systems to allow the CRM system to talk to the marketing system and / or the sale software – it just works seamlessly together.
A final key area of these kinds of apps is reporting. As all data is centralized, this offers an incredible array of reporting options, with customer-specific reports, such as how many times they’ve visited the website and purchased, to group data reporting, such as what month of the year has the biggest conversion and revenue – and why.
For any marketing and sales teams looking for a competitive advantage in 2020, marketing automation software is an absolute must. Most of the popular tools allow users to scale their packages, meaning even smaller businesses can get ahead, and start to increase their subscription based on how their business is growing over time, helping to reduce costs.
Communication software tools such as Slack have become very popular with small and large businesses in recent years. These kinds of tools offer instant and seamless communication for an entire business and external stakeholders, helping to keep projects moving efficiently and allow team members to effectively collaborate with ease.
Many businesses operate from multiple locations or may have team members who either work remotely or within different parts of the country or indeed the world. Software like slack allows for every member of a team to be in constant contact, no matter where they are located.
These types of communication software usually allow users to create specific channels, allowing for teams to collaborate on particular clients, projects or tasks. They also feature video and voice calling facilities, allowing users to move from text-based chat to voice/video if and when required, all over VoIP. Users can also send and receive files via the platform, allowing key stakeholders to see the latest project documentation and collaborate with ease.
In terms of software built to save time and allow employees to work more effectively, project management is probably the single area of business that can benefit the most. There is an incredibly wide range of options when looking at project management software, from single-purpose apps to full suites of project management tools and systems.
Some of the more popular project management programs include Trello and Asana. These two have been around for over half a decade, and often feature in some of the largest businesses across the world.
One of the core elements of such software is that they offer a visual view of a full project, as well as allowing users to break the view down into smaller areas of the project including tasks, sub-tasks, and the progress of a particular project. This can be incredibly useful not only for the project stakeholders but also for management teams and CEOs when requiring a quick view of how certain projects and tasks are progressing. The tools also usually include an option to export a view of project progress, allowing snapshots to be included in weekly and monthly performance reports, helping to save time for members of a team.
HR and business admin
HR and admin is one area of a business where it is incredibly beneficial to have time-saving software, as this area is mostly a non-revenue driving part of the business, and therefore efficiency is key.
Again, this is another area of business in which the wide range of software types is continuing to grow in terms of availability. There are tools that have the sole purpose of supporting a single particular area of HR or business admin, and there are suites of software, such as CIPHR HR software, which offer a complete range of tools and services.
HR software suits such as CIPHR include tools for recruiting and onboarding – which is usually a timely area for any business – as well as GDPR compliance, payroll, employee management, workflows, and much more. One of the key benefits is that the tool is a complete software suite, meaning all employee data, from hiring to absence reporting, can be held and accessed from a single point, which works on both desktop and mobile via a dedicated app.