Business Process Management Strategy for your Small Business

4 Key Pillars to Ensure a Seamless BPM Experience for your Business

Small business entrepreneurs often think about how much to invest in digital tools that empower their business operations. The question arises mainly because they are unsure if their organization has attained sufficient scalability to bring on-board a digital enablement platform. Among these, one area where most small businesses cast doubt on digital transformation is business process management. 

There is a notion that BPM and BPM software is meant only for large enterprises with well-defined processes and departmental policies. BPM is a practice even small businesses need to follow and cultivate as a cultural trait right from their startup days. 

Now, the question is when should a small business start adopting BPM in its operations? The need for BPM is driven by the demand for efficiency which ultimately leads to better customer service. On this note, here are 4 key pillars you need to build in your company to ensure a seamless BPM experience:

1. Approval Matrix

In most small businesses, bottlenecks in efficiency occur due to a lack of sync in processes. Employees often wait at managerial desks seeking approvals for implementing changes or customer requirements. Managers, in turn, wait for approvals from senior leadership for various essential affairs. 

Delays in submitting contracts and postponing commitments create a wrong impression on the customer. This can be eliminated by formulating an automated process workflow culture in the organization when metrics on items can determine its approval chances. A simple example could be classifying an approval matrix based on the size of the project. A smaller deal would require just a manger’s approval while bigger ones could require review and approval by higher authorities or leaders. Once this is defined, it will be easier to build a business process around it and ultimately automate it through a BPM software.

Related Reading: 5 Ways A Project Management Tool Can Help Your Business Grow

2. Building Awareness

As you grow from a startup into an established small business, there will be a rise in the number of employees as well as departments. For collective growth, it is important to ensure that all employees have access to the right information about the company and its offerings. Only then would they be able to handle internal business process improvement practices as well as become effective spokespersons for the company in front of customers. 

Employees should be aware of how every activity in the organization leads to better customer experience. This can be achieved by having a well-defined organizational induction program for new joiners and a continuous learning initiative for on-boarded employees. This learning experience can be used to integrate employee thoughts with business objectives which will ultimately transform employees into torchbearers for BPM practices within their respective roles.

3. Encourage Autonomy

This is a continuation of the learning experience element we mentioned. There are processes within the organization that may have been brought into existence from a very complex background and scaled meaninglessly over time. To break it into simpler business models, it is important to ensure autonomous decision making by employees involved in these complex business operations. 

Related Reading: 5 Ways To Improve Business Growth Through Employee Engagement

Employees should be given time to identify and map activities to processes with guidance gained from experts whenever needed. Hiring BPM specialists to disrupt and re-write such complex processes within one day is not advisable as it may throw employees into a tantrum and lead to highly frustrating experiences.

4. Drive Data Generation

This is one of the most important pillars that need to be established while adopting business process management in a small business. Every department or team in your organization needs to have a standard data generation policy. This generated data should be a base for determining the KPIs for tracking employee performance and growth, defining their intra-departmental or team dependencies, validating their customer satisfaction objectives and much more. Once everything is defined by data, it becomes easier to bring in automation between workflows, thus enabling better process management through BPM software.

Business process management is a transformational initiative that can bring about unparalleled operational efficiency in a small business. But as illustrated here, it needs a strong foundation and support from your entire organization for effective implementation. This is where a well-defined BPM capability built into your organization’s digital backend can be a game-changer. InfinCE, with its cloud-ready enterprise digital platform, can integrate seamlessly into your operations and enable a sound BPM strategy within your company. Get in touch with us to know more.

5 KPIs that Matter to Every Small Business

Focus on these 5 KPIs to improve small business growth

The journey of building a successful small business involves several challenges. You need to understand and measure every step of your growth and this is where Key Performance Indicators or KPIs become a mainstay in your day to day operations. In simple words, KPI can be defined as a collection of checks that helps you understand whether your business is progressing in the right direction by doing the right things.

A large number of small business management or decision-makers find it difficult to understand what KPI’s they need to measure. Studies show that over 50% of small and medium business owners struggle to find even a single KPI that can be used to measure their growth strategy. 

If you are among that half of the entrepreneur population, here is a list of 5 important KPI’s you can start to measure at your small business growth:

Related Reading: How To Build A Highly Productive Remote Workforce

1. Profit per employee

Very often decision-makers face a dilemma in their staffing priorities. The end result is mostly going for wrong hiring in bulk when your business really isn’t mature to afford such an influx of talent. A key KPI that can help you solve this puzzling scenario is to measure the profit each employee contributes to the company in terms of revenue realized. 

If you keep a benchmark value, then hiring targets can be automatically aligned to ensure that profit per employee stays on track with expected profit figures. This profit figure per employee needs to be calculated every month for your first few years in the business to ensure that you can accommodate the growth pace that usually happens in a sporadic manner in the initial days.

2. Revenue per Customer

In the beginning, any customer revenue is appreciable but as you grow, there needs to be a clear direction on who your sales and marketing teams need to focus. For this, you need to arrive at a KPI for revenue per customer. With time, your operations should focus on continuing good relationships with your initial customers but your sales and marketing should be focused on attracting and on-boarding customers having higher revenue potential. For this, a measurement of revenue per customer as a KPI is necessary at all levels.

3. Sales and Marketing Metrics

As a business owner, you feel relaxed when your marketing and sales team ensures that a healthy lead pipeline is in place for future growth. This has to be a key KPI that needs constant checks as it can decide the course of action for almost every operational team in your organization based on the influx of deals from this pipeline.

Related Reading: Becoming Small Business Leaders In 2020: What You Need To Know

4. Time to Market

It is the time you need to bring a product or service to the market so that customers can purchase it. This is a KPI that is needed to ensure that you incorporate customer feedback, market trends and long term vision into your business growth strategies. In the initial days, there will be lesser influence from limited external stakeholders, but as the business grows, you need more inputs and consider more impact areas before launching every new product or service to ensure that you are able to meet stakeholder expectations across every segment.

5. Cash Reserves

At the end of the day, every business’s stability in the market is judged by the financial muscle it displays due to the cash reserve it has at its disposal. As such, it is one of the most important KPI’s you need to keep track of as a business owner. This is a driver behind several departmental operations such as budgeting, recruitment, infrastructure investments and much more. 

Keeping your employees re-assured on their job security as well as your customers on agreed timelines of service or product delivery is possible if you have a clear vision of how cash reserves are growing as a KPI. A negative growth indicates that you need to keep investments on the check and re-imagine your strategies while a positive outlook on this KPI means that you can go ahead and scale your business risk-free.

Key Performance Indicators are a way to ensure your business has the right checks in place for a sustained growth phase irrespective of how the market operates. To successfully measure and track your KPI’s, there is a need for a comprehensive data-driven digital infrastructure that serves each department in your business from Finance to IT to marketing and operations. This is where INFINCE can be the game-changer. Get in touch with us to know more.

5 Ways A Project Management Tool Can Help Your Business Grow

Why empower your workforce with project management software?

Any organization that wants to serve its customers better should be well-equipped to effectively tackle the project management challenge. Handling multiple client projects and commitments while ensuring optimum utilization of resources involved is often a painful experience for most managers. This is where project management software makes a difference for companies that want to be successful with their daily work management. 

Project management software can help you create milestones and define the core objectives of the project. Studies have shown that 37% of companies today fail with either of these. How can a software-powered project management approach positively influence work management across organizations that handle heavy workloads?

Related Reading: 5 Digital Capabilities Every Small Business Needs To Invest In 2020

Here are a few ways by which project management apps help companies tide over the challenges that plague their work management process:

1. Consolidate Work

Successful delivery of the project to a customer involves a combination of contributions from the service delivery team, billing, finance, sales, account managers, documentation and several others. A comprehensive project management software can bring about a unified platform where all these stakeholders can track the progress of their individual jobs and tasks. It can be a one-stop solution that can help every step of the way from sending quotes to potential customers identified by the sales team to share invoices on the basis of service metrics delivered like billable hours and resource utilization. Bringing all these into a single platform can bring huge relief for managers across departments that are involved in delivering the final service or product to end customers.

2. Track Customer Sentiments

It is a fact that most customer aspirations change over the course of a project and a lot of effort gets wasted in managing changes. With a powerful project management tool in place, it will be easier to accommodate changes in project scope and new requirements without impacting service or work quality. It will be easier to send revised estimates of cost and timelines if everyone utilizes the digital platform to manage their tasks and dependencies. It will be easier to predict the impact that will be experienced due to a new scope change across all departments and stakeholder functions involved in its execution.

3. Foster a Collaborative Culture

When people work in teams to contribute towards a customer project, the most essential capability that they need for attaining success is collaboration. Teams need collaborative spaces where they can discuss work, plan meetings and schedule task deadlines. A project management software offers a virtual workspace that allows teams across departments or offices across geographies to come together and collaborate on a customer-facing task. This allows companies to manage and engage remote workers as well.

Related Reading: 5 Tips To Foster Team Collaboration In A Small Business Environment

4. Manage Dependencies

A comprehensive project management tool enables teams to work in sync and define dependencies in advance. This allows for proper planning and increased visibility into tasks that have multiple stakeholders who contribute to the end result. The improved transparency will ensure that every member of the team feels responsible for his or her outcome as they can see how their task progress is impacting the work of others. It also enables managers to seamlessly handle project schedules based on resource availability or task progress metrics.

5. Empower Leadership Decision Making

With a project management platform, it is possible to run risk analysis and other measurements on the progress of projects which can help leaders make better decisions. It is possible to calculate costing, resource utilization, timelines and other factors that can inspire decisions related to hiring, client communications, invoicing and even serve as an impetus for sales and marketing teams. Unexpected emergencies and risks can be avoided to an extent if all teams work in sync with the centralized project management tool. This includes the case of even remote workers and managing their working hours which may be in other time zones.

Project management will always be one of the key pillars of success for any business. From meeting customer expectations in delivery timelines to estimating resource requirements, it covers a wide spectrum of managerial activities that take a lot of effort. Bringing this entire aspect into a powerful digital platform will enable better operational efficiency and ultimately lead to a more productive workforce. Platforms like Infince have been helping business to manage their most critical operations successfully with digital power. 

Related Reading: Features to look for while selecting a project management tool for your small business

Project management is one of the key offerings from Infince. With a track record of enabling seamless project management for leading businesses across industries, Infince can be the game-changer in bringing a streamlined project management culture in your business. Talk to us today to know more.

Becoming Small Business Leaders In 2020: What You Need To Know

5 Tips for Small Business Leaders to Stay Ahead of the Game in 2020

It is quite easy for a small business or startup to get immersed in the competition flooding the market and never really swim ashore. Those who want to survive and succeed in the storm needs to have a considerable idea of how to use successful strategies to win customers despite the competition. In 2020, if you were to seek tips on how to grow an SMB into a successful business, the most dominant answer you will receive is to invest in technology that can help you deliver better customer experiences and drive more revenue from your operational channels. Keeping this fact in mind, let us examine a few tips and ideas to help small business leaders remain on the top this 2020.

Related Reading: 5 Digital Capabilities Every Small Business Needs To Invest In 2020

1. Building an automated business environment

Today you can empower your workforce to focus more on value-added jobs while mundane and repetitive tasks can be automated and seamlessly managed by innovative software. Automation can be implemented across every department in your small business, like Accounting, HR, Administration, Customer Relationships and much more. 

It does not replace human resources in any of these departments but provides you the flexibility to run these operations with limited resources and better efficiency. This will lead to lowered cost of operations as well as lesser managerial overhead and will ultimately provide better returns on your investment.

2. Intelligent Personalization for Customer Experience

Any business, small or big, needs to deliver an experience that customers would enjoy interacting with. However, with the rise of digital-savvy consumers, it is important to digitally transform your customer-facing operations as well. A simple example would be setting up an online retailing option for your small store wherein customers could place orders from the comfort of their homes through a web browser or even better, a dedicated smartphone app. 

In order to win an upper hand in the digital endeavor, small businesses need to rely on intelligent personalization for their customer service. Providing services or offerings based on factors such as budget, tailored offers, and discounts, geographical or demographic preferences, etc. will enhance your customers’ loyalty.

3. Smart Marketing

Small business leaders and startups face a need to garner attention from potential customers at the earliest after they have started business operations. Today, the fastest way to reach out to potential customers is through social media and other digital channels of interactive marketing. 

Using insights from a powerful CRM to drive efficient email campaigns and through intelligent sentiment analysis of your brand in social media, it becomes easier to win customers’ hearts. Powerful social media management and email automation tools can help you in reaching out to a large yet more qualified audience who have higher conversion chances.

4. AI-Driven Services

Artificial intelligence has become a mainstream technology today and is found in almost every consumer segment ranging from things as simple as a music app in our smartphone to highly sophisticated security systems. Small businesses are without a doubt, one of the biggest beneficiaries of AI evolution. 

With AI, they have the arsenal of serving more value for customers without having to spend heavily like established business houses. Things such as recommendations, automated customer service management via chatbots, the predictive forecasts for business revenue, etc. are all made possible by the implementation of AI platforms within the business.

5. Workforce Empowerment

The digital transformation wave that can propel your SMB into successful growth is not restricted to your customer-facing operations alone. Your employees are your biggest asset and brand promoters. Making their lives better through technology is a key factor in enabling sustainable growth in your business. 

Providing virtual spaces for teams to collaborate irrespective of their geographical location, powerful collaboration and communication platforms, secure file exchange systems, and intelligent marketing and sales automation systems contribute to making a seamless employee experience in your organization. When employees have access to the tools and digital channels, they need to work better, it ultimately creates a positive impact on the service they offer to your customers.

Related Reading: 5 Tips To Foster Team Collaboration In A Small Business Environment

In today’s highly competitive market conditions, small business leaders and startups can use technology to grow sustainably and grab market share from established biggies. The only requirement here is to choose the right digital channels and a reliable partner to guide them in their digital transformation journey. With a proven track record of enabling digital transformation for some of the most successful small businesses worldwide, Infince can be the digital magic your business was waiting for. Get in touch with us to explore how.

5 Tips To Create The Most Interactive Retail Marketing Emails

How retail marketers can create more dynamic and engaging email content

Email marketing is here to stay, at least for the next decade or so. Statista reports that by 2023 there will be over 4.3 billion active email users globally. Retailers have been using emails as a powerful means to convince shoppers to return for bigger purchases and also to cross-sell based on their customers’ purchasing history. The scenario did not change pretty much when e-commerce started to dominate the retail world.  However, now the challenge that retailers face with their email marketing strategies is to develop interactive and engaging content that can drive conversions from the target audience. So how can you make your retail marketing emails more interactive and engaging?

Here are a few ideas that could help you out:

1. Focus on personalization

Personalization is one of the best ways to bring more engagement in any conversation, be it across any channel and email is no exception. Across the globe, surveys have shown that over 33% of all marketers believe that personalization is the most important capability to have in their customer outreach strategy. By tailoring your marketing email to suit the unique needs and preferences of each recipient, the chances of them trying to glance at your content and further initiate a positive response are high. Leading companies use technology such as big data analytics to gain insights for delivering personalized experiences via email marketing.

Related Reading: How to choose an email service provider for your small business?

2. Identify the right audience

While personalization is a great way to connect with customers or potential customers, it is just one side of a coin that will help you. The other is identifying the right audience for an interactive email campaign. Sales or marketing personnel who organize such email campaigns should be able to segregate and create separate lists of target email recipients for each copy based on information from their CRM system. The list may be classified based on several factors such as time zone, preferences, spending budget history, demographics, regional and personal specialty time periods and much more. The better the segregation, the easier it will be the task of content creators to build more personalized email content.

3. Intelligent Cross-Sell

Brands need to make it a point to follow up on customer purchases with cross-selling opportunities. For example, if a person books an air ticket, an email giving the option for them to choose their seat should be sent within a very short time span after the booking for gauging more interest. The email sent for seat selection can either be interactive and allow the user to select the seat from the email itself or it can simply provide a link to a landing page that has an interactive seat map for the user to view and choose accordingly. The key factor here is the near real-time email marketing that will do the trick and land more monetization opportunities for the business.

4. Mobile Friendly

Did you know that 49% of all emails are opened on a smartphone? Hence, irrespective of the content you stuff in an email, it is important to visualize how it will appear in a smartphone display before you shoot out the campaign to recipients. By limiting the scrolls a user has to make and giving them an action item in the first sight, you have more chances of getting them to interact with the email.  Fonts, buttons, and other interactive elements should be designed to be more responsive in smartphone screens and the entire email should be light in size to load completely. Delays would drive away users be it on smartphones or in desktop browsers.

5. Embedding Rich Media

One of the best ways to engage recipients is to include rich media. This could be a visually appealing image or a short video that can be played within the email interface or an interactive survey or poll. A catchy email subject line can bring in more views for the rich media content and if your media are intuitively planned and executed, it will incite more responses from your target audience. Several leading companies use email as their primary mode of gauging feedback from their customers and often publish their survey results or individual feedback (with consent) as a testimony for their offerings. This will improve their loyalty perception in the market and will ultimately lead to more organic sales revenue.

For retail marketers, interactive retail marketing emails will be one of their most critical assets to gain new customers and improve sales. This is one of the key reasons, why your business needs to have a powerful digital platform like Infince to handle key operations such as customer relationship and marketing. With intelligent marketing automation and CRM capabilities, Infince can empower retail marketers to win more customer hearts with interactive emails. Get in touch with us to know more.

Why growing SMBs and startups need to use CRM

Why your small business needs to invest in a CRM solution

Many small business owners have concerns about how they need to prioritize their technology investments. Since a good majority of companies start with limited budgets, the portion kept aside for IT infrastructure (both hardware and software) will be under great scrutiny. However, there are some technology platforms you simply cannot ignore in your small business because they are crucial in enabling long term growth and success. One such platform is Customer Relationship Management or CRM. The global market for CRM software is expected to reach $81.9 Billion by 2025 and this is proof of how important businesses see this as a path to success.

Related Reading: 6 Benefits of Using a Cloud CRM 

In the initial days, it might be easier for you to keep a spreadsheet or document having details of customers and leads and follow-up with them occasionally for new business. But as time grows, your business will expand and so will the list. Missing out on tapping and monetizing the huge potential of your accumulated customer and lead data will turn out to be one of the biggest mistakes you will make as a small entrepreneur. A CRM platform can solve all these problems in one go. If you are wondering how here are 5 reasons why every growing small business or startup must on-board an efficient CRM solution:

1. Managing contact and relationships

Over the years, your sales guys or business development folks may change. But the customers or leads with whom they have interacted will still be a potential business opportunity for you to explore further. If there is a place where their data can be stored and organized for easy discovery in the future by your salespeople, then your business can continue to build and nurture relationships with customers even if people handling the operation change over time. It also allows sales personnel to track the progress of each customer relation like the context of the last conversation that was reported for the customer, their preferences and behavior as observed by the previous or sub-ordinate salesperson and many such insights.

2. Forecasting business opportunities

A good amount of success in your business depends on how effectively you can predict revenue for the coming months or an entire year. For this,  there is a need for clear visibility into the sales pipeline as well as insights about customers that frontline staff can use to nurture and close deals at the earliest. A CRM platform is a perfect choice for this situation as it helps managements identify business opportunities, forecast revenues based on relationship status with prospective leads.

3. Engaging responses

Today there are multiple channels through which customers or potential customers interact with a business like social media, in-store visits or through any digital and physical channel. Sales personnel need to have accurate information about the services or products that are up for grabs and need to know the preferences and interests of the customers they are handling. By tailoring responses suitable for each customer with a tinge of personalization, they will be able to engage them better and ultimately have greater chances of a sale. 

A CRM solution can bring about this level of engagement by acting as a medium to dispense information for use by the sales personnel. The information will include details of what to sell, how to sell and whom to sell. A CRM can bring about social conversations with customers to improve brand loyalty and bring in long term business prospects by allowing folks to respond to queries and sentiments posted on social media channels as well.

4. Improving team productivity

CRM software can create a virtual platform for different employees in customer-facing and support roles to collaborate efficiently for better customer service. It helps divide tasks between colleagues or departments such as marketing and sales, assign the responsibility of customer engagements with respective regional or area representatives, provide relevant support and progress measurement for leadership and so on. A huge amount of sub-tasks within these collaborative scenarios can be automated through the digital capabilities of a CRM solution. With automation, teams can focus their energy and effort on core sales and customer service activities thereby improving productivity levels considerably.

5. Empowering intuitive growth of sales process

Your sales strategies need to accommodate market trends over time as consumer demands are very dynamic. With a powerful CRM solution at the heart of your sales and marketing activities, you have an engine that can constantly supply rich information on how your customers and potential customers react to market trends. This allows your sales team to modify rules, policies, and strategies accordingly and garner support from other divisions such as marketing. In short, your sales team can sell what the market demands at any time.

Related Reading: 5 Digital Capabilities Every Small Business Needs To Invest In 2020

A CRM solution is an inevitable component of the growth strategy of a small business today. Having an effective digital enterprise platform that offers you a data-driven business infrastructure accommodating even CRM capability is the need of the hour. This is where Infince can be the solution. Get in touch with us to know more.

5 Tips to Select the Best Email Service Provider for your Startup

How to choose an email service provider for your small business?

When you set up a new business or startup, one of the first things you need to do is to invest in a custom email and website domain for your small business. Once you have brought the rights, bring in an email service provider to create an email channel for you and your team. 

Many startups make the mistake of going in for free email services in the beginning to cut costs, but it is not at all a recommended move. They fail to understand that today’s customers are highly conscious of sharing information or doing business with anonymous startups that do not have a website or unique email address for communication. Now that the need to use a powerful email service is justified, it is time to look at the criterion to select the best provider for your small business.

Evaluate these factors before choosing an ideal email service provider:

Related Reading: Why Your Startup Needs A Professional Email Account

1. Identify your Needs and Potential

Before going through the features of an email service provider, startups and small businesses must first look within their organization to identify their needs. Find the number of email accounts needed, the potential scale or rate of growth in emails expected over the next couple of years and the budgetary scope available for investing in IT platforms like email. Also, make a list of devices and other software tools you are likely to use in the coming years that need integration with your business email.

2. Evaluate the Compatibility of Platforms with Demand

Once you have your unique requirements listed down, it will be easy to cross-check on feature offerings from multiple email service providers. See whether the service provider can cater to your needs of scale, device friendliness, platform integration, and other technical requirements. Check for hidden clauses or limitations from service providers that prevent you from exercising full flexibility in your particular email operations such as subdomain requirements for different departments like sales, marketing or support.

3. Examine Cost options

For small businesses and startups, it is important to allocate budget for core business activities and hence very often the IT department has to work with limited financial resources. While selecting an email provider, it is important to evaluate their pricing options to see if they offer a perfect combination of features and cost-effectiveness. Modern-day cloud-based services offer subscription plans that bill you based on usage. This is the best option that lets you scale on demand while paying only for what you consume be it the number of user accounts, email storage size, features, etc. A service provider that offers seamless flexibility with prices for their subscription-based email services will be the most ideal candidate for your startup or small business.

4. Availability and Support

While choosing a service provider for your business email, it is important to pick one that has a well-defined Service Level Agreement (SLA) on service availability. For most startups, emails are the primary sales and marketing arsenal and often require round-the-clock availability and flexibility. As such, ensuring uninterrupted services for enabling such critical functions is an imminent feature that needs to be offered by the email service provider. While it is impossible to have a zero fault service, the response time they agree in the SLA is vital in making a choice. The faster the service provider can get your email back on track from a disruption, smoother and seamless will be your operations.

5. Security and Backup

At some point in time, businesses need to exchange sensitive data with their customers or employees through email. The information may include data pertaining to sensitive company credentials such as business models or financial statements. Hence, it is important to know how secure your email data is with the service provider you choose. Any scope for data leaks or unauthorized access should be eliminated at all costs. From a security perspective, ensure that the email provider offers a well-structured and redundant backup policy. The provider must offer fault free service operations in the event of a major issue.

Related Reading: 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Promote Collaboration Among Teams

It is important for startup businesses to entrust their core communication channels like email to a service provider that can help facilitate seamless availability, affordability, and flexibility of features. This is why cloud-based enterprise platforms like INFINCE are finding greater acceptance among small businesses and startups. With interactive enterprise management features and powerful email and other communication platforms integrated into them, INFINCE can be the game changer in your digital journey. Get in touch with us to explore more about how INFINCE can be your startup’s best companion.

5 Must-have Features In A Project Management Tool For Small Businesses

Features to look for while selecting a project management tool for your small business

For any small business, the best way to ensure a culture of continuous success in their services and offerings is to seamlessly facilitate teams to work together on projects. Hence, the need for a simple yet powerful project management tool is a matter of high importance. 

Every member of a team needs to be able to track and manage activities in their individual and group level-dependent tasks. From a simple tracker of daily meetings or scrum updates to enabling faster completion of dependent tasks, there are quite a few capabilities that small businesses must look out for while selecting a project management tool for their operations. Let’s have a close look at the top 5 features that every small business need in their project management tool today:

1. Resource Management

Without a doubt, any project management tool will be the key source for managing resources assigned to a project irrespective of the size or duration of the project. It gives a clear picture for decision-makers to lead efforts for new deals from customers based on the availability of resources free to take up the load. 

Such a tool gives management the visibility of their resource utilization from past or current in-progress projects as well as their availability for future work orders. This intelligence about resource utilization and availability will be useful in setting the tone for a number of activities within the organization such as marketing, recruitment, budgeting, infrastructure and maintenance planning and much more.

Related Reading: 5 Ways To Run A Successful Business With Remote Employees

2. Manage Scope Changes

Every project that your team sets out to work will have an initial scope of work defined according to customer expectations. But in most cases, customer expectations change in short time spans. This leads to situations where a project or individual task scopes require a change in definition midway into their original implementation. With an effective project management tool, it becomes easier for managers to identify points of impact with the scope change and delegate responsibility for change management to every individual or group that may be impacted by the change. 

Another important point to note here is that the intelligent insights you have into your team’s availability and task progress can be used to resist overwhelmingly large scope changes that have deviated considerably from initial customer requirements. It will be easier to give a data-backed response citing budgetary constraints, delivery timelines and resource availability for unaffordable scope changes.

3. Issue Management

In every project, it is the duty of the managers to identify obstacles and issues that prevent the project or sub-tasks from progressing. This becomes easier with a powerful project management tool. 

When various stakeholders of the project report an issue, it is easier for managers to identify dependent task owners or groups who can step up to resolve the issue in the fastest and best way possible. A faster resolution will enable faster time to market for customer deliverables and effective issue resolution will ensure that the delivered product or offering will meet or exceed customer expectations and avoid returns.

Related Reading: 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Promote Collaboration Among Teams

4. Schedule Management

As far as small businesses are concerned, they face the challenge of having to deliver on customer commitments in the fastest schedule possible. This is vital in their growth journey especially if it is the case of a budding startup. Having to rely on manual documentation and spreadsheets to keep track of subtasks and activities is not a welcoming endeavor. Having to follow up with concerned personnel for updates will result in a lot of time and effort overhead which can slow down delivery timelines. This is where a project management tool can step up the game. 

With effortless schedule management, easy and transparent team visibility into task progress, it becomes easier for managers to keep projects on schedule. It also offers insights for planning backup or replacement of resources in emergency situations without impacting delivery timelines.

5. File Management

Irrespective of the domain, any project will involve tons of documents and other files that need to be available for immediate access by all stakeholders. It may be related to project development, schedules, customer deliverables and so on. Without secure file storage and exchange channel, different personnel having access to the project will find it difficult to obtain relevant information on a need basis. 

A project management tool will enable easier and safer access to files such as documents with features such as permission control thereby eliminating unauthorized access. This is a key feature to look out for in a project management tool for small businesses with the security aspect taking center stage to protect sensitive customer data as well.

With the rise of digital, organizations are re-thinking the way they monitor and manage complex customer engagements and projects. For small businesses, the need for effective project management is essential to keep a sustained growth in their business. With INFINCE you can build smarter business practices that enable collaboration among departments and organizations, and engage your customers and workforce better. With seamless project management capabilities, it can help drive success faster for your customer projects. Get in touch with us to see how Infince can support your project management efforts.

5 Reasons Why A Small Business Should Invest In CRM

How A CRM Helps Drive More Sales For Your Small Business?

“Customer is King” holds true for any business, in spite of what you offer to the market for revenue; be it products or services. But with the immense growth of technology and its salient propagation among businesses, there has been a huge reduction in the gap that existed between large and small businesses when it comes to satisfying customer expectations. 

Through innovation and digital transformation, small businesses have been able to penetrate markets that were controlled by heavyweights by disrupting the entire product or service lifecycles. A major factor in enabling this disruption was customer data and this is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software makes the difference in building a great experience for customers. From managing sensitive information about customers to help sales folks close deals faster, CRM is a vital tool for today’s growing small businesses. 

Related Reading: 6 Benefits of Using a Cloud CRM

Here are 5 convincing reasons why small businesses need to invest in a CRM solution today:

1. Identify your Most Suitable Customer

Did you know that 79% of all marketing-generated leads never convert into a sale without a CRM behind the entire operation? This happens when you do not identify and nurture the right prospect. In the absence of a CRM, your sales team will not have access to insights garnered by your marketing team about potential areas of interest of the prospect. This will result in the sales team preparing the best pitch for a wrong target and the entire effort goes down in vain without any result. With a CRM in place, the sales team can get accurate insights about customers who are the best suitable for each sales pitch they have created from the business offerings available.

2. Plan on Building Customer Relationships

It is natural for your sales force to run out of ideas or time while meeting, convincing, and converting prospective leads into rewarding deals. With a CRM application, they can build a relationship with the customer meticulously so that every discussion they have is productive and conversion happens faster. By documenting every interaction in a CRM, the salesperson can use insights from the CRM to approach prospects at the right time with the right context and with the right offering to quickly close the discussion. 

Insights derived from previous customer interactions can be utilized by all members of the sales team as best practices to follow when they meet a new prospect or when taking over the next stage of discussions with a customer who was brought into the nurturing phase by another salesperson.

3. Drive Better Campaigns

Today’s massively popular digital marketing landscape is one way small businesses can catapult their sales considerably. With a CRM platform, it becomes easier to build a data-driven marketing engine around the platform and make better and smarter campaigns to win customer interest. 

A simple example would be using insights from the CRM in an email campaign to boost holiday sales for a small online retail business. The system would give insights such as preferred email reading time, interest and buying patterns of prospects (derived from their past interactions and shopping history also stored in the CRM) and choices in product varieties. These insights can help in closing the sales deal faster with more convincing sales messages and the right timing of email. It may also include targeted promotions such as discounts on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.  The small analytical input from the CRM can make a big difference in winning the sales conversion.

4. Improve Up-selling and Cross-selling Capabilities

Once a customer’s journey has been recorded in the CRM, it becomes easy for a small business to use the data to run targeted up-selling and cross-selling promotions. This will also help you to build sustainable long term relationships with valued customers by engaging with them periodically. A committed customer is your biggest marketing asset and by creating a culture of continuous sales engagement with intelligent CRM inputs, this commitment is easily achieved.

5. Better Employee Productivity

With the help of CRM, your sales and marketing teams can make better and smarter decisions with regard to their daily operational schedules. CRM brings in a great deal of automation and frees up time and effort which your employees can utilize for creating better experiences for customers. By empowering them with real-time and intelligent insights about customer behavior, it enables them to achieve their goals and targets seamlessly. It reduced paperwork and research time involved in every customer interaction, thereby paving the way for a smoother customer relationship management experience in every interaction.

Related Reading: Top 5 Productivity Tools Every Small Business Needs Today

A CRM is a small business’s best buddy for its marketing and customer outreach initiatives. From building a healthy sales pipeline to helping build fabulous experiences through customer feedback about your products and services, it is a one-stop destination to bring more sales revenue for your business. Successful businesses utilize the CRM capabilities of platforms like INFINCE to drive more value from their customer relationships. Get in touch with us to know how INFINCE’s CRM capabilities can be the right choice for your customer relationship management.

4 Reasons Your Startup Needs A Business Email Account

Why Your Startup Org Needs A Professional Email Account

The disruptive gains made by several first-time entrepreneurs in the areas that were once dominated by the big fishes in the industry have given way to the age of startups. However, with the rise in popularity, it is likely that every idea you have for a startup will be probably thought of by another person or team as well. Therefore, today you have multiple startups working in the same domain with tight competition. Here is where every element that makes your startup unique from the rest can be a game-changer or decider of success. 

While innovations in business models, monetary backup and investment, pricing schemes are all key elements in making your startup stand out in the long run, there are a few marketing elements that could make an impact immediately. Your business email is a prime example of such a marketing entity that can re-define your first impressions in the market.

Once you have decided upon a name and launched a website in your name domain, the next important thing to do is to set up a professional business email account with your domain name. Many startup founders make the mistake of using a free email service in the beginning and reach out to customers or investors for deals. You need to be professional from day one to create a better experience for every stakeholder you reach out to, including your customers, investors or other prospective talents who you wish to hire for your team. 

Here are 4 reasons why you should have a professional business email account for your startup from day one:

1. Personalized Experience

It is expected that by 2023, the average number of emails that will be sent daily will be around 347 billion worldwide. Your startup’s marketing email or customized investor pitch will be one among them and should you choose a regular free email service like Gmail or Outlook without your domain in the email address, then chances are that you will likely fall out of the 17.92% of emails that are opened every day. 

A personalized email from a business email account is more likely to be opened by a prospect as they would expect it to have something valuable to offer. The content in your email is a topic for another discussion that we are keeping for some time else. The domain name itself can create a sense of personalized branding experience which will improve your acceptance rates in the market significantly.

2. Improves Credibility

Did you know that amongst the millennial generation, nearly 68% have agreed that promotional emails have influenced their purchasing decisions on various occasions? This is a wake-up call for startups to start promoting their business through email campaigns. But then comes the question of credibility. 

How can you ensure that prospective customers will open and respond to your promotional email? 

Related Reading: Top 5 Productivity Tools Every Small Business Needs Today

Having an email account with your business name’s domain at the end surely helps in this regard. People have a natural tendency to ignore promotional emails from generic free email services like Gmail. This happens even if you have a great subject line to catch attention or even better promotional content in the body. The impression that the brand has its own website and business email account is vital for establishing the right contact in the first instance.

3. Provides Flexibility for Future Expansion

In due course of time, your startup is expected to grow into a sizeable business with a possibility of numerous subdivisions. If you have a professional business email account rather than a free one, then it is very easy to set up sub-groups within the main email account in your domain. It will ensure that every sub-function or department in your business has a unique identifying email subdomain for better internal mail management and communication. Additionally, this allows external stakeholders like customers, partners, and vendors to reach out to the right department when they need support. 

For example, customer service requests may be directed to an email account like “support@mybusinessname.com” for faster responses. Investors may reach out to “investorrelations@mybusinessname.com” for their dedicated information hotline and much more. Today there are cloud-based service providers that offer unlimited expansion in subdomain email accounts under your main domain on a subscription basis. These ensure that your overall costs stay under control and you only pay for what you use be it storage or number of users.

Related Reading: 5 Digital Capabilities Every Small Business Needs To Invest In 2020

4. Higher Security

We are not saying that generic free email clients available today are insecure but as far as a business is concerned, their email systems often handle sensitive and confidential customer and business information. So, an extra layer of security is always needed to safeguard the system from cyber threats. Dedicated business email clients offer this added layer of security for your business email and ensure that file exchange, data and user management is seamlessly secured by encryption and other security standards. Effective rights management controls to ensure that no unauthorized communication happens from your business email account and prevents leakage of sensitive data through emails.

5. How Infince Can Help

A professional business email is a startup organization’s first asset to begin scouring for resources, be it customer deals, investor communications for funding and vendor communications. To get the first impressions right, it is absolutely vital to have a secure and powerful business email platform incorporated in your own domain. Successful businesses rely on platforms like INFINCE to set up their entire digital ecosystem from websites to business emails and intra-organizational information management. Our suite of applications running in the cloud allows you to build the most secure and flexible digital framework for your startup. From setting up a professional email account for your small business to manage user rights, INFINCE has a host of features designed exclusively for startups and small businesses to start their digital journey. Get in touch with us to know more.