In the history of the world, perhaps few things are as monumental as the creation of software and the Internet. Since that fateful day when the first Internet message was sent via email software, there is nary a part of the world that software has not touched.
Perhaps where software makes its most indelible mark is in the business world. Gone are inefficient, by-hand processes. Gone is the need to hire for manual tasks. Software is driving business efficiencies in such a degree of magnitude that for a company to not use software in the modern day is to guarantee its own failure.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at how various types of software are driving automation in business.
- Managing the Customer Experience
First and foremost, software in business is used to manage the customer experience. For large enterprises, this has mammoth consequences. The customer experience used to be disjointed and painstaking to track.
Today, with modern software, a business can track every part of its customer experience. This allows it to iterate on and constantly improve said experience, which in turn results in more customers!
CRM, or customer relationship management software, is what will serve as the source of truth for all things customer experience. CRM is where most executives will do the bulk of their revenue reporting.
The right CRM software will track every facet of a customer’s engagement with your business. This includes the customer’s demographics. It includes their sales experience. And of course, it will track their experience as a customer of your organization.
Another important part of the customer experience software suite is sales engagement. Sales engagement solutions are used to put process and structure to customer communication.
Without a sales engagement solution, salespeople have to manage their communications out of various different places. This includes personal cell phones, email inboxes, and social media platforms. The right sales engagement platform consolidates all of those touchpoints behind one screen.
The result? A far more efficient workflow for the team.
Last but certainly not least, marketing automation certainly leaves a sizable stamp on the landscape of customer technology. Marketing automation is what businesses will use to create brand awareness.
This is the technology that will track website visits, enroll customers into email marketing sequences, and create contact us and information requests on your digital properties. With the right marketing automation tool in place, marketing teams can warm up hot leads to serve to their sales teams.
2. Automating Financial Processes
Another place where business management software helps is with financial processes. At the heart of a business are its finances. After all, virtually every commercial organization out there was built with the intended purpose of beefing up its bottom line.
The software options out there for financial processes are numerous — here are some highlights.
One of the most manual tasks in business was once to process payroll. Each individual employee’s salary had to be hand-calculated. Checks had to be handwritten and then mailed out to the right address for each employee.
Not only did the process take a long time, but it was also prone to error. But today, the payroll processing landscape is completely different.
Every employee that comes on board at a company can simply input their tax information and their bank account details and voila! Salaries are automatically calculated and directly deposited into their accounts.
Another place that financial software drives efficiencies is in automated accounting processes. The right accounting software can connect outward to a business’s revenue platform (CRM) as well as any platform used to track expenses.
Each revenue and expense incident can then be tracked back in the general ledger as a journal entry. Then, at the end of every fiscal period, the general ledger can produce the basic accounting statements: the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.
3. Providing Centralized Communication in an Increasingly Remote World
Last but not least, software drives team efficiencies with online collaboration and communication. The world has been moving towards a remote style of work, and this was further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to keep teams connected, software is crucial.
We would be remiss to talk about software and business without talking about the platform that started it all: email. Email has turned into the de facto method of communication for businesses.
Can you imagine how much slower businesses (and thus the world!) would run if one had to handwrite and mail letters for each piece of communication? Thinking of that puts into context just what a massive invention email was to the business world.
As the business world continues to evolve, email continues to stay at the core of it. Emails are used for digital signatures. Email productivity tools are saturating the market. And the sales and marketing technology we discussed above all revolve around access to a customer’s email.
Despite the many improvements that email provides, the one thing that it doesn’t solve for is the instant style of communication that you get from being in the office with your colleagues. That is where instant messaging comes in to fill the gap.
These tools allow employees to quickly and efficiently transfer information. You don’t have to wait for a colleague to wade through the hundred emails they have on Monday morning.
Finally, conference call software has helped businesses around the world to reduce costs on corporate travel. The right conference call software can support cross-company meetings for even the largest enterprises.
If you’re not using conference calling in your business today, then you’re missing out on a new way to interact with customers across the globe.
Business Efficiencies From Software Cannot Be Overstated
Long story short, we cannot overstate the business efficiencies that software has brought to industry. If you’re a business owner, then be sure to take advantage of the above software options, or you’ll soon find yourself behind the curve.
For more business advice, be sure to check out the rest of the articles on the website before you leave!