Quick—it’s time for a math problem. How many products and apps do you use to manage your customer data? Got that number in your head? Now, how much time do you spend getting all that information in one place? When you’ve got those numbers, multiply them—and the answer is how much time you’re losing because of disconnected data.
You’re not the only one. Just like a young family that outgrows their first home, most of businesses reach a point when they simply need different resources. Here are three warning signs that your business might be at that point:
Warning sign 1: Your team is struggling to make decisions
When it’s time to make key business decisions, no manager wants to use limited or out-of-date information. And yet, many managers spend hours examining financial and sales information presented via different products and apps. Using multiple products and apps restricts the ability of your sales and financial teams to update information and connect with each other, and it also introduces more potential for error into how your team works. For example, with no central place to store this information, individuals or teams report their information separately and may even base their reports on out-of-date information. This disjointed workflow makes it harder for you and your team to make informed decisions about your company.
Warning sign 2: Your team is often working on the wrong things
The nature of using multiple products and apps and storing customer information in many places means your team must input key account information in many different places. Here’s the problem: This way of working takes a significant amount of time at the end of a month or quarter; and many sales and financial teams say this is time they could better spend answering sales queries, discussing ideas for new sales promotions or preparing the accounts of key clients. If your team is spending time manually inputting information like expenses or on other administrative tasks, your business is wasting valuable billable hours on unproductive tasks. Can you afford to let the best members of your team waste their day?
Warning sign 3: It’s hard for your team to collaborate
As the manager of a growing business, you go out of your way to address inefficient business processes, but have you considered the way your team shares customer information with each other? For example, a legal firm may use a product to compile financial data related to their clients and accounts receivable. And employees of this legal firm may use another app to collaborate on current information in different places. Even if these employees avoid making mistakes and remember to update each product or app, sharing the latest customer information internally is still a big challenge for your team. Working with multiple versions of customer information is an inefficient way of collaborating, and it isn’t the way of today’s growing businesses.
So keep an eye out for these warning signs. If you find your business is struggling with them, it might be time to re-evaluate your tech and get your data better connected.
For even more tips on streamlining your business, download our free “Zen of a Connected Business” ebook.