Is Your Company Acting Archaic?
If you want to get directions somewhere, would you take out a paper map or would you use the Maps app on your smartphone? Sure, you can get where you need to go using a paper map, but which method would get you where you need to go faster? Would the paper map talk to you and tell you where to turn? No. At this point, paper maps are archaic and there are more efficient and improved ways of getting around. The same could be true of the technology you’re utilizing within your company.
If you answer “yes” to any of these statements below, the answer is “yes,” — you are wasting valuable time and efficiency within your company:
- I’m using Skype or gChat for internal company communication.
- Everyone at my company uses email and a notebook for communicating and doesn’t use a task or project management software.
- I’m using a spreadsheet to manage potential or current clients.
What is the value in changing from older solutions to using modern technology? Speed, scalability, greater customer satisfaction, and employee happiness. You can’t scale if you are having to text your sales team for updates on clients, you can’t scale if your marketing team is keeping notes in a notebook that you can’t see, and you can’t scale if your employees can’t seamlessly communicate with each other.
I consulted with a company that operated in the three ways outlined above and when we were done updating their processes, we were able to:
- Decrease the number of employees by 10%
- Increase customer satisfaction and lowered churn by 10%
- Improve employee retention and happiness by 50%
Let’s break down just what those percentages meant for the company:
- The company laid off 7 employees, saving them $280,000 per year in salaries. That does not include the amount also saved in lower taxes and benefits that were paid to each of the employees.
- The company increased their client lifetime value (LTV).
- The previous employee training period at the company was 6 months, with an employee average staying at the company for an average of 12 months. Now, the employee training is complete within 4 weeks and employees are now staying over 2 years.
What software/technology should I be using in place of the ones listed above?
Ditch Skype and gChat. Get hooked on Slack.
It’s so easy, you can do it right now: Go to slack.com, set up an account for your business, and invite your top 5 people. After that, come back to reading this…
Thanks for coming back! For a week, stop using texts, emails, Skype, gChat, and any other form of conversation. ONLY use Slack. If you half-ass it, you won’t ever get its value and you will miss the point. If you don’t adapt, your company will be slower and your competitors who are using better software will accelerate ahead of you.
Quick Slack tips that I am obsessed with using:
- If you use a Mac, use command + k. If you use Windows, use ctrl + k. You can quickly search the person you want to chat with.
- If your CRM has an integration with Slack, set up an automation so that every time there is a sale, a #sales channel goes off with an alert. We had our sales team and account management team in our sales channel — it gives excitement, life, and competition to the company. Members of other teams started joining so they could be a part of the excitement when new sales came in.
- Set up private channels with groups you chat with often. You might have an exec channel, marketing team channel, management channel, etc.
Internal communication dies in a notebook.
What I mean when I say “internal communication dies in a notebook” is that no one else sees your notebook other than you.
Unless you make copies and send them to everyone who needs to see them, your ideas, your tasks, and your follow-ups are all locked inside. To make notebooks even worse, if you leave it at home and you go to the office…uh oh! I think you get my point here. It is fine to take notes during a meeting in your notebook or do some brainstorming, but then you need to immediately follow up online in either Asana or Trello. Break things down into tasks and assign them to yourself or delegate them to other team members.
I am partial to Asana over Trello. I’ve used both, and some people prefer Trello, so I like to put both here. The truth is, if you are using one of them, you are ahead of the game. For ease of reading, I am going to continue this article by referencing Asana. Get yourself in the habit of putting all tasks in Asana — and by all I mean all! I even have “give the dogs their heartworm medicine” on a recurring task in Asana. I never forget, because it reminds me every month.
Quick Asana tips that I am obsessed with using:
- If a task is to occur more than once, I set it up as a recurring task. I have tasks set as weekly, monthly, etc.
- Create project templates!!!! Talk about a time saver! These help you make sure you are consistent every time and never miss anything. Examples of templates I’ve created include New Client Onboarding, New Employee Onboarding, and Employee Departure.
- If I delegate something important to another team member, I add a subtask to the main task to remind myself to check in or follow up on it. This way things don’t get lost, and we are always on top of the stats.
You can download our eBook about how to get started with Asana here.
Managing customer and potential customer relationships in a spreadsheet is costing your business.
While Salesforce is the gorilla, there are a number of very powerful, very effective CRMs and you don’t have to go full-blown Salesforce to be successful using a CRM. I’ve used Salesforce and I’ve found that a sales team spends more time figuring out how to use it, or avoiding using it, than actually being productive.
My two favorites are Copper and PipeDrive. They are inexpensive and easy to use. I have a thousand reasons for leaving spreadsheets behind and using a CRM, but this is the most important: You never want to lose customer interactions when you have employee turnover, and if you are using a CRM, you will never lose the history of communication with each customer and prospect. You are able to store everything right there in the CRM and when new employees come in, you can assign them all the upcoming tasks or delegate them to other team members. You don’t have to dig through old email accounts, you don’t have to look like an ass to the client who has told you three times they hate your company and never want to talk to you again, and most importantly, you are in control of your database.
Quick Copper tips that I am obsessed with using:
- Have the side window open when you are in your Gmail. You can easily add contacts and manage them from the right-hand side when emailing people.
- Set up your Slack and Copper integration for when a sale is closed!
- Use tags to pull lists of contacts. For instance, I have “Visit [insert state]” as a tag and, when I’m traveling to a specific state, I’ll pull up a list of everyone I know who is there so I can reach out to let them know I’ll be in the area.
Small progress can make huge changes.
Updating the technology your business uses doesn’t have to feel like a huge obstacle. Small progress makes huge changes for your company. Your employees may not like the change at first, because who actually likes change?! However, they will quickly learn why it’s necessary and see what a difference it makes in their day.
If you would like help implementing any or all of these software technologies in your company, contact us. We’ve also put together this quick implementation guide: How to Train and Implement New Software at Your Company.