When you’re going through a digital transformation, there’s one area that should get more attention than anything else: your business workflows and business processes.
Your workflows are the most fundamental way that you conduct business. They govern how you work on a day-to-day basis. Yet they can also be just as much of a handicap as a tool for success. It all depends on how you approach them.
And if you’re trudging along through your business workflows, you’re approaching them the wrong way.
Here are our top ten tips to streamline your most time-consuming workflows and turn them into an asset.
1. Create a Master Business Process Flow
The first step seems simple: create a master business process flow. In other words, visualize and write down how your business process actually works.
The keyword is seems.
What we’re talking about here is business process mapping, which is a visual representation of every step a business takes from start to finish. In doing so, you document the entire process.
This is an important step, as it forces you to conceptualize every part of your business–including some that might not have occurred to you. The simplest way to get started is to think in terms of inputs, processing, and outputs.
2. Detail Each Part of the Process
This brings us to the second, related tip. When you map your process, you need to detail each and every part.
Yes, every part.
That means each and every customer and staff-facing interaction. If it’s an interaction, it’s part of your business process, and it needs to be visualized and documented in detail.
This is what allows you to understand how your process works. It’s easy enough to just write down a step and call it even, but that lends itself to disregarding the finer points of what makes each step tick. Instead, take the time to detail each step. In doing so, you have to think critically about how each step really works–and where it doesn’t work.
That way, you can shed light on some areas you might not think about, and identify inefficiencies you might have otherwise overlooked.
3. Describe & Visualise How the Best Process Would Flow
Once you know how your business process currently works, you can think about how it could work better.
What should your BOS (Business Operating System) look like? What should your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) look like? What are your ideal workflows?
This brings you to the next important question: how can your current workflows and processes evolve from where you are now to where you need to be? What needs to be streamlined and cut? And what tools do you need to get the job done?
4. Research All the Technology Providers
You could try to develop those solutions on your own, but that would be inefficient. And since we’re here to streamline your processes and simplify your workflow through digital transformation, your best bet is to turn to an expert third-party provider.
The good news is that there are a lot of options. The bad news is that you have to find the right one for your organization.
As you look into business operating systems and business management software, ask yourself:
- What are my top three most important solutions?
- What are the most important areas to drive efficiency?
- What needs to change to make each step in my process more efficient?
- How can this tool help me drive efficiency?
- Are there extra features that I need?
- Are there extra features that I don’t need?
Just as you detailed your business processes and workflows, document the details of each potential solution.
5. Create a Request for Proposal to Send to Suitable Suppliers and Consultants
Next, you have to create a request for proposal (RFP) to send to potential suppliers. There are three points to keep in mind when writing an RFP:
- Figure out what you want
- Figure out what you need
- Figure out what’s possible
There’s a happy medium between what you want, what you need, and what’s possible. Think of it this way: there’s no reason to buy a Ferrari when a bicycle messenger could get the job done just as well. Itemize what you want, balance it with what you need, and streamline it with what’s possible (i.e. budget or operating constraints).
6. Analyse All Vendor Submissions
Got your RFP sent out and your submissions in front of you? Time to sort through your options.
Before you do anything else, do a preliminary check for completeness and clarity. Any omissions or ambiguities should be clarified by the vendor. If there are any submissions that just aren’t the right fit, or just aren’t very good, now is the time to discard them.
From there, create a spreadsheet detailing your business requirements (this should be easy to do based on the RFP triage you did earlier). This will allow you to score all submissions using the same grading scale and objectively assess who is the best fit for your needs.
Next, assign an importance value and a performance value for each requirement to weigh them. This should be on a scale of one to ten, unless a feature is so important that you would immediately discard a vendor who didn’t have it.
Next, go through each submission with a fine-toothed comb. Performance value will likely be the hardest to score–this is when you score the vendor based on how well they perform for each requirement. Once you have a complete scoring sheet, calculate each vendor’s score.
7. Select a Winner
Your analysis gives you the tools you need to select high performers. From there, you can weed out the winner based on price, suitability, experience, and local support.
Look for a vendor that matches your budget, provides the right experience, matches your company well, and, of course, has plenty of local support to help in case something goes wrong.
8. Implement a Pilot Solution
You’re not done yet!
Once you’ve chosen a winner, it’s time to craft and implement a pilot solution with a limited number of super-users to provide proof of concept. Think of it as the test flight for your solution. This gives you a chance to iron out all the kinks, resolve any major problems in advance, and reaffirm that this solution is the right fit to streamline your business processes.
Give the pilot run a few weeks of earnest effort. That way, you can get past the initial adjustment period and ensure it really works.
9. Approve and Roll Out to All the Business
If it passes with flying colours, you’re ready to roll it out to your whole business.
Work with your vendor to craft a multi-stage rollout plan. This gives you a chance to train your employees, make sure the new process is well-understood, and ensure strong adoption across the board. Make sure to listen to issues as you go so that you can make adjustments.
10. Review and Readjust Accordingly
Once the solution is firmly in place, don’t break out the champagne. You have to keep on reassessing your solution to make sure it continues to be a good fit and continues to maximize efficiency.
The good news? You already have the tools to review and readjust and improve. Just follow the same initial steps you took at the start of this process and score the solution. Then, make adjustments as needed.
The Smarter Way to Manage Your Business Processes
At the end of this process, your digital transformation should deliver a BOS and CRM process that dramatically improves your business’s past inefficiencies. Instead of processes and workflows that slow you down, you’ll have a system that drives success. All it takes is careful attention and dedicated effort. You’ll be amazed by the difference.
Need Help streamlining your business processes – Let’s Talk.
Customer relationship management is crucial for any business.
Whether you’re B2B or B2C, profit-driven or a non-profit organisation, a private company, or a publicly-traded corporation. Virtual phone systems are a great enabler!
You need a good CRM platform and virtual phone systems in place to help ensure you remain competitive and that you provide the best possible customer experience as you can.
There are dozens of tools that can help you accomplish this goal. An example of this is how host companies know the benefits of having a CRM platform to help organize and regulate customer service and sales activities.
But you need to go further than just a rock-solid CRM platform; there are other tools that you need to leverage in order to build the best CRM experiences possible. One of those tools, and one that’s often overlooked, is a virtual phone system. Here’s what you need to know about how cloud-based, virtual telephony can help support your goals to build the most efficient and effective CRM strategies for your company.
What Are Virtual Phone Systems?
Let’s face it: every company, from the largest multinational corporation to the smallest start-up in the most unassuming garage workshop, needs its own commercial telephone listing. Most companies maintain a virtual phone system today to handle their incoming calls through internet-based Voice-Over-IP technology. These systems are resource-light, but they still require on-site installation and maintenance.
Meanwhile, new technological developments have enabled even more innovative approaches to business communication. Systems developed by industry leaders such as RingCentral and Aircall are revolutionising virtual communications even further, thanks to the ever-increasing speed and quality of mobile connectivity. In fact, it’s entirely possible to have a completely cloud-based virtual phone system, with all aspects of a company’s communication needs stored and managed remotely.
The 5 Key Advantages of Virtual, Remote-Hosted Business Communications
So what, exactly, places virtual, remote-hosted telecommunications head-and-shoulders above traditional or even VoIP options? There is a number of excellent advantages, all of which have either a direct or an indirect impact on your ability to provide the highest levels of customer relationship management. Here’s just a few:
A cloud-based virtual phone system couldn’t be simpler. With all hardware being hosted off-site, you don’t need to have any telecommunications equipment in a back room or a storage closet and you don’t need to disrupt your entire workflow for days or even weeks in order to run extensive copper telephone lines throughout your offices.
There’s nothing more flexible than a virtual phone system. It’s easy to scale up (or scale down) your needs as your company’s needs and conditions change. Adding or remove additional extensions or lines in your central headquarters or in branch offices anywhere in the world takes just minutes, getting you up and running in no time.
It’s easy to access a virtual hosted telephone system from anywhere. As long as you have a reliable internet connection, you can gain full access to all of your phone system’s functions. You can view call activity, access voicemail, and change answering settings from the field, obviating the need to return to the office to change settings by hand.
With no physical equipment to manage and with all updates, upgrades, and maintenance performed off-site at the hosting facility, a virtual phone system couldn’t be easier to keep in working order. This frees up your technical staff to support other, more critical areas of your company’s day-to-day operations.
Hosted VoIP phone systems work on a subscription model with low monthly costs that scale depending on your needs. With no need to rent expensive hardware to keep on-site and with no need to be locked into a long-term service contract, cloud-based virtual phone systems are extremely cost-effective.
How Does This Tie Into Better CRM?
Sales and customer service are inherently communication-heavy. This means remaining in contact with your customer base is the key to effective CRM; this also means that any technologies that support better, more efficient CRM activity have a direct positive impact on your ability to build and maintain the right kinds of customer relationships. Modern virtual phone systems support these goals in several different ways.
Cloud-based virtual systems offer functionalities that more traditional systems lack, thanks to their flexibility, mobility, and cost-effectiveness. They also offer direct integration with a CRM platform of your choice, such as Zoho CRM. No longer will you have to maintain two separate silos when it comes to customer communications; it’s just one more reason why you should strongly consider relying on cloud-based virtual phone systems.
Turn to Informatix for Cutting-Edge Virtual Phone System Solutions
By now it should be crystal-clear why a cloud-based virtual phone system is one of the best choices for supercharging your company’s customer relationship management efforts. The affordability, scalability, and simplicity of such a system means that company resources that would have been tied up in maintaining an on-site phone system can be repurposed towards providing higher levels of customer service, and that translates directly into more positive CRM.
Capture More Leads, Engage Your Audience Across Every Possible Channel
Here at Informatix, we know how crucial it is to provide the absolute best CRM we can. That’s why we’ve partnered with both Aircall and Ring Central to provide integrated virtual phone system capability to our already impressive suite of transformational business support services, including Zoho CRM! With Informatix calling the shots, and with tools like Zoho CRM, Aircall, and Ring Central all working together, you’ll be able to capture more leads, engage your audience across every possible channel, and close more deals by working smarter, not harder.
Want to see how Informatix can help you grow your business to new heights? Contact us today to book your free 30-minute digital strategy session. We’ll show you what it means to partner with Australia’s premier leading full-service digital transformation partner. Get cracking on your business growth today!
Digital business management is an absolute necessity
If your company wants to remain competitive in the modern marketplace. No matter what business sector you may inhabit — and no matter its size — the advantages of having a suite of digital resources to manage that business are manifold.
Yet there are complications associated with using digital tools to manage your company. In many instances these tools, while robust, are limited by their role.
This can often result in a business having to employ a number of different stand-alone digital solutions in individual silos, making business management needlessly complex, cumbersome, and often expensive. This can sometimes place access to digital business management squarely out of reach for all but the largest companies with the resources necessary to bear these costs.
But what if there was some way to integrate all these functions together without breaking the bank? You don’t have to imagine what that would be like; the Zoho One all-in-one business operating system is here, available at a price that won’t strain your resources and ready to transform the way your company does business.
Robust and Capable Tools, All Under One Roof
There are literally dozens of digital business management solutions available on the market, all of which do varying jobs of providing you the tools you need to keep your company firing on all cylinders.
Zoho One is no exception to this, and its massive suite of CRM tools provide you with the deep, robust functionality you need to manage lead generation, communication, follow-up, and conversion. What differentiates Zoho One from other SaaS providers is how truly well integrated all these tools are.
When Zoho says “fully integrated”, this isn’t just lip service. Gone are the days of managing multiple silos — thanks to Zoho One, gone are the days of having to maintain various unconnected ecosystems just to manage different aspects of your business.
From task scheduling and client communication to document management and even social media functions, Zoho One provides it all; unlike other CRM suites that lack capabilities, Zoho One’s in-app solutions and deep integration with existing third-party apps such as Mail Chimp, Office 365, and G Suite make it easier than ever to access crucial data and functionalities to support your day-to-day business tasks.
The result is a fully immersive experience that can’t be beat. Deep mobile functionalities such as instant notification, offline data access, and even GPS-enabled navigation and location tracking make access to Zoho One a seamless CRM tool suite that will revolutionise the way your company does business. The best part is yet to come, however; Zoho One manages to do this without straining your resources.
Functionality and Access at an Affordable Price Point
All of Zoho One’s functionalities make it a highly attractive solution for companies looking for a capable business operating system. You’d expect to pay a premium for access to such a robust CRM environment, but this is yet another example of how Zoho One differentiates itself from its competitors. In fact, unlike some other SaaS cloud-based business management options, Zoho One is remarkably affordable in comparison.
The value that Zoho One provides only increases when you take into account the sheer amount of features you gain access to at such a reasonable price. The truth is that Zoho One offers access to more than 40 integrated apps for just one low price.
Gone are the days of having to pay for multiple digital management solutions in multiple, isolated silos that can’t be integrated with one another, all for a resource-stretching premium that needlessly inflates your company’s overhead costs.
Zoho One provides the greatest value for companies looking for an all-in-one solution by providing access to every app in Zoho’s arsenal for a rate of just $50 per user per month. This is a true bargain, one that can’t be beat anywhere.
As if that wasn’t enough, Zoho One also provides high levels of back-end support for technical management that offers detailed back end capabilities for role provisioning, identity management, and other large-scale deployment issues by providing IT managers access to a full-featured Admin Panel.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find that kind of functionality anywhere else!
Providing Risk-Free Peace of Mind
Migrating to a new CRM or even adopting one in the first place is a major undertaking. It’s only natural to be reticent when it comes to taking the plunge and fully committing to a digital management system for your business. It’s the kind of decision that can make or break a company. It can be difficult to make an informed decision without first being exposed to the environment, but many SaaS providers require a full commitment before providing you access.
This is, again, where Zoho One differentiates itself from its competitors. With our partnership with Zoho, Informatix can provide you a variety of trial options for you to test drive Zoho One to see if it’s the ideal solution for your business. Whether it’s a free 30-minute consultation, a detailed demo, a free 30-day trial, or a combination of all three, you can rely on Informatix to expose you to all of Zoho One’s capabilities in a risk-free, pressure-free environment.
Informatix is Your Premier Zoho One Access Provider
Informatix knows what it takes to run a successful business. Our adaptive CRM implementation approach means we listen to your needs, analyse how your business operates, and understand its specific requirements before implementing systems, processes, and workflows that are specifically designed to get the best out of your people and systems.
Our partnership with Zoho is an integral component of how Informatix provides you only the best digital business management. We’re confident you’ll see the value of Zoho One immediately. Contact us today and we’ll be thrilled to show you just we can transform your business with the help of this revolutionary all-in-one business operating system.