4 Ways to Improve Efficiency and Save Money During Uncertain Times
As organizations everywhere attempt to adjust the new normal following the spread of COVID-19 and resulting market shifts, everyone is trying to do more with less. We have gone from a time of growth to one of uncertainty, and organizations need to shift their focuses to operate lean and smart. Efficiency is no longer just the dream but the absolute necessity.
Now is an ideal time to turn to your technology stack for efficiency and cost savings. Over the years, you’ve made strategic investments to support and grow your business. Now is the time to leverage every capability and functionality they can offer.
Your ERP, CRM, and data are the tools you need to remain competitive and agile during the economic downturn. Read on to discover four different ways to increase efficiency, save money, and make your tech stack more effective and productive for your business.
Speed to insight
In times like these, tough decisions need to be made quickly. Unfortunately, these situations evoke a fair amount of stress and often result in rash decisions. Real-time information is key.
Enter, your data.
Organized data means faster processing and that, in turn, leads to better, more thorough and accurate reporting. This is made possible by leveraging a data warehouse. Data warehouses serve as your business’s solid foundation for better dashboards, reports, and analytics. It’s where all of your various data sources are gathered, organized, and cleansed for better insights.
Whether you do-it-yourself or pick a fully-managed “done-for-you” solution, a data warehouse can make all the difference to your business outcomes. We’d argue it’s a CFO’s best answer to becoming more efficient, productive, and effective in their evolving role.
Why more CFO’s are turning to data warehouses for answers.
If your organization is already further along in your data journey, there are a number of optimizations that you can deploy to improve your speed to insight. To take full advantage of your business data, consider the following tips:
- Take advantage of Tableau’s “Explain Data” feature which uses AI to derive insights faster.
- Explore Tableau’s “Catalog” tool to discover what source the data came from and whether it can be trusted.
- Use better data reduction techniques for import modeling.
- Uncover any network latency issues by using tools like this Azure Speed Test.
No matter where your organization is on the data maturity scale, using your data to drive timely, informed decisions is probably one of the best practices you can implement right now. Understanding current market demands, your operational health, real-time cash flow, and key performance metrics can help you respond more agilely to changing conditions.
Start your data journey with this 5-step worksheet.
Save time with integrations
How well do your systems “talk” to one another? Seamless integration between your key tools can save you tons of time and money. Reduce manual data entry, duplication of entry, and error by knowing when to push or pull data between your core business systems.
The 6 benefits of system integration.
The important thing when integrating systems is to make sure your data is clean and your fields are properly mapped. There are a lot of intricacies when moving data between systems, but the end result can save your organization substantial amounts of time and resources.
top 3 Integration tips
- Start Small
Build confidence and experience by tackling small integration projects first, before diving into more complicated ones. Begin with a quote-to-cash integration, where your CRM exports a sales quote into your ERP.
- Build on the Strengths of Existing Applications
Take a “best-of-breed” approach and recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each platform in your tech stack. Don’t try to make a platform do something outside of its core scope. Play into what each of your systems does well.
Additionally, use a flexible integration platform like Boomi. Integration Platforms as a Service (iPaaS) are great for agile, scalable integrations. They can better adapt to your process and the core capabilities of your applications, letting you select the best features of each – unlike pre-built connectors which are often more rigid.
You can learn more about all of your different integration options in this helpful eBook.
- Map Out Business Processes and Workflows
How does data flow through your org? Who needs what information? For example, if your CRM is the source of truth for your customer data, how should that information be distributed to other systems like your accounting software? Our integration workbook can help you determine your sources of truth.
The Why, What, and How of Integrating Systems [infographic]
Run lean with automation
Time is money. The best way to save time and drastically improve efficiency is to automate tasks and processes whenever possible.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few straightforward automation approaches in Salesforce that can save your organization a lot of time right from the start.
Focus on Your Customer
The best opportunity to grow your business is with the customer base you already know. If you’re running on Salesforce as your CRM, you already have a plethora of data at your fingertips. Take full advantage of this by:
- Integrating your data to a single source of truth to improve decision-making and find the customers who love working with your team.
- Using Einstein AI in Salesforce to better manage opportunities and account relationships.
- Leveraging Salesforce reporting to embed dashboards and reports into your customer accounts.
- Taking advantage of built-in Salesforce functionality that is available out-of-the-box but not activated in your org. (We’ve made a list of a few of our favorites.)
Optimize Your Marketing Efforts
Salesforce easily integrates with hundreds of platforms, so odds are that what your marketing team is using can be tied into your CRM. This can be a game-changer for driving better client relationships and improving your team’s prospecting and sales pipeline.
- Define your marketing automation plan and then segment your customers to provide targeted communications.
- Turn on Campaign influence and track your lead sources in Salesforce.
- Implement web-to-lead and auto-assignment rules to equip your sales team to get in front of prospects quickly and effectively.
Empower Your Sales Team
Spending time on ineffective tasks can destroy your sales team’s productivity. Given the current business landscape, you want to enable your sales team to be their most effective and capitalize on the right opportunities. Salesforce can help you automate and optimize your sales environment to improve close ratios and focus your team’s energy on the deals that will close.
- Establish a sales path and common selling process to take advantage of Salesforce’s complete selling features.
- Implement collaborative forecasting in your Salesforce org.
- Track your marketing ROI before deals close to make faster, more informed decisions about your marketing budget and tactics.
- Measure your sales milestones and engage your team in performance improvement measures.
- Use Products and Price Books as well as approval processes to gain better visibility into the products or services your customers are buying and at what price structure.
- Evaluate if your environment would benefit from CPQ (Configure Price Quote) to streamline complex selling and quoting.
- Provide your sales team with a holistic view of their customer and their current sales goals.
- Avoid digging through old emails when prepping for prospect meetings by enabling Salesforce Einstein Activity Capture. This will automatically populate lead, contact, account, and opportunity records with every email and calendar entry between you, your prospects, and any of your colleagues who are also using Salesforce.
Finding ways to automate and lean on your existing technology can help you remain competitive and agile during this time of uncertainty.
Want more ideas about how to use your CRM to improve your efficiency, sales, and operations? Here is a recording of a recent webinar our team hosted.
Use your CRM to improve your Business Efficiency
Avoid costly mistakes
Last, but not least, save time and money by avoiding costly mistakes. This may sound like a no-brainer, but we’d bet there are a number of business leaders out there that can relate to the experience of “expense whiplash.” The most painful expenses are the ones that could have been avoided. That’s why it is so important to take proactive measures like evaluating your business’s security risks, uncovering costly waste in your processes, and acknowledging when your business management software is holding you back more than it’s helping you manage.
By investing a little time and effort up front, you could save significant money down the road. We’ve made it easy to take the first few steps with these resources:
There’s no denying that we are all facing unprecedented times. But by focusing on the right areas and leaning on your tech stack for support, your organization can survive and even thrive during these uncertain times. And of course, our team is here to help wherever we can.