For many small and medium-sized businesses, finding a balance between growth and budget is challenging. They need to make the most of everything they have: people, resources and money. Usually, the winning equation includes finding ways to work smarter and faster – without degrading their decision-making abilities or burning out employees.
Application integration can help SMBs gain both breathing room and productivity improvements. It enables them to tie organizational communications into core business processes, improving interactions between employees and customers even while it streamlines workflow. Here are a few examples of how SMBs can benefit from application integration.
1. A More Productive Workforce
With the integration of applications like Salesforce, not only can your sales team squeeze more minutes out of the day, but you can make better use of sales and marketing intelligence.
For example, with the integration of sales applications, a sales executive can dial a potential client straight from the customer record on their desktop. If the customer returns a call when the sales executive is busy, their voicemail is transcribed and sent via email – reducing the risk of an opportunity being lost. When a deal is closed, the entire record and details of the conversation can be sent directly to sales administration with just a single click.
Because calls, texts and messages are automatically recorded, both the sales executive and the administrator can move on quickly to other deals.
2. A More Effective Hiring Process
As the economy improves, it’s becoming tougher for companies to recruit top-quality employees. As candidates gain the upper hand, businesses that deliver an exceptional interview experience obtain an advantage. Integrating an applicant tracking system (ATS) with your communications platform can eliminate candidate frustrations and help companies avoid missing out on the best prospects.
For example, employment agency Abacus Service Corporation improved its candidate experience by integrating its ATS with a ShoreTel phone system. Before the integration, recruiters would leave dozens of messages for potential candidates, who’d call back and get another recruiter on the phone. It often took several minutes of questioning before the conversation got on track. Now, however, recruiters can see the caller’s information and background on their screen, helping them to make an instant connection.
3. Happier – And More Satisfied – Customers
It costs less to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones, which is why so many businesses focus on improving the customer experience. In fact, Forbes predicts that customer service will be one of the top 10 business trends in 2016.
It’s easier to deliver on that promise when the company’s CRM is integrated into its communications platform. Call center reps can resolve problems more quickly with full access to the customer’s information. And features like “presence” make it easy to track down internal experts and use instant messaging to get answers fast. Fewer calls are transferred, and customers get fast answers, which makes them happier. This focus on excellent customer service not only helps SMBs retain business, but increase sales.
Finding ways to working more efficiently helps SMBs eliminate the squeeze on their people, resources and budget. They’re likely to discover that the integration of business processes and communications will offer much more than that in the long run: happier clients, first-class employees and strong business growth.