Here’s some thoughts from Andrew Mulvenna that’s worth repeating, How Integrated, Web-Based Software Makes Business More Efficient:
Cloud computing is the future of business software. Using online software to free you up to get on with actually running your business and making informed decisions based on the information you get.
There’s a plethora of web based systems available for accounting, CRM, e-commerce and email marketing, as well as service desk, billing and card payments.
If your business has been running for a while, then you’ll have a load of contacts, leads, customers and suppliers, as well as a bookkeeping system to make sure that you’re tracking money properly. Maybe you’ve also got a website that’s capturing new leads and sending you an email each time. If you sell products, then you might be running a stock control system, maybe only on Excel, but it’s a system nonetheless.
As the business grows, you’ll be taking on more staff that will need to get to grips with the information management systems that you’re using. Getting the information out of the owner’s head and into a system is a crucial step in the life of any business, and the sooner you start being organized, then faster you’ll grow. Not to mention the fact that using an intuitive, powerful piece of software means that you can spend less time on training staff and more time on selling!
If you’ve got different software applications for each part of your business, then it’s going to take more time to get things done. Re-keying data takes time, and also opens up room for human error. You need to know where the most up to date information is – when a contact is in your accounting system as well as your invoicing or CRM package, which one is right?
Integrated software brings all your essential tools into the same application, which means that you can move quickly efficiently and also gives you brilliant reporting capabilities without spending hours in spreadsheets. Having this integrated system online as a web based application extends this power so that you can access the same, live data as the rest of your team, from wherever you all happen to be working.
Online CRM software can be set up to create contacts automatically from your website, sending an automated response to keep customers engaged until you are ready to follow up. From here, they progress through various steps as you start to narrow down deals and make sales. Sending quotes and invoices straight out by email from a web based application is easy, and the client can approve or pay online by card. When invoices are raised and payments made, everything happens in the same system, which means that you can track the entire relationship from beginning to end without needing to bounce between different pieces of software. No re-keying of data. Everything is online, accessible from home, office or on the road, by multiple users, all at the same time. Now that’s powerful stuff.
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