Tips and Tricks to Improve Sales With Cloud Apps

Every business strives to close as many deals as it possibly can within a given period. However, not many business owners are willing to invest in upgrading their sales processes to match or even surpass their better-performing competitors.

Are you struggling with managing your customers and looking for tips and tricks to improve your sales? It’s time to embrace automation and move most of your process to the cloud technology. Doing this will help to free up time for your sales team so that it can concentrate on actually making sales.

Below are key areas where you need to focus your automation efforts when looking to optimize your sales process.

Outreach and prospecting

Let’s admit it, outreaching is arguably the most time-consuming activity for any salesperson or team. In most cases, you have to get into a lengthy back and forth exchange with prospects via email, calling, or even visiting in person before you can close a deal. This often leaves you with very little time and energy to do anything else.

However, it doesn’t always have to be this way.

All you need to enhance customer communication is to invest in a proven system that manages everything for you. A reliable customer relationship management (CRM) system like SalesLoft or ActiveCampaign enables you to manage your phone calls and emails directly in the system. In the end, you’re able to gather all the information you need in one place including records of all communications with your customers.

Lead management

Your business is booming and now you boast quite a significant amount of contacts to take care of every day of your work week. Manual management is definitely bound to get hectic at some point which calls for automation of this repetitive process.

Look for a service like Zoho CRM which helps in various lead management tasks including sorting and scoring leads. This ensures you do not miss out on any essential step when qualifying your prospects as well as prioritizing those that are closest to converting.

With such a system, you’re able to get a clear picture of your prospects based on their history with your business and all their past communication. Learn about their preferred approach and language and use these details to find the most effective way to connect with them.

Some CRM systems are also able to assign leads automatically to different sales representatives in your company based on factors like their existing workload, language, and geographical distribution. This allows your or your sales manager to focus on other more critical tasks such as coaching the reps and closing deals.

Sales reporting

For a long time, Microsoft Excel and Outlook were the most sophisticated data storage and reporting tools companies knew. Indeed, everyone that handled data in a company including accountants and managers had to prove that they had enough skills working with these tools to get promoted at their workplaces.

Microsoft Excel and related programs are still being used and considered important for certain tasks. However, we now have to accept that there are more effective tools that take much lesser time to capture, organize, and generate data reports than these two.

Are you spending too much time than you should on your data management and therefore failing to put enough effort into making sales? It’s time to re-organize your priorities.

With a tool like Agile CRM or SalesForce, you can optimize your reporting process and improve your productivity and collaboration with other members of your sales team.

Payment

You’ve probably done all the hard work of convincing your prospects that your company is the right one for the job – so, what next? Well, it’s time to sign contracts and request the agreed payments.

To make this process seamless and also prevent common payment issues arising in the future, consider using automated invoicing methods such as Zoho Invoice and Paypal. You might also want to look at other tools like Dotloop or Docusign to capture your customers’ signatures; you’ll possibly need when dealing with checks and some invoices.

Conclusion

At this point, you’re possibly wondering, ‘you’ve already recommended quite a handful of tools and systems – how do I manage them properly so they don’t end up burdening me?’

Our advice is simple – acquire a cloud-based CRM service that integrates and automatically syncs data between all your business apps and systems. Take a look at this PieSync vs. Zapier comparison which features two of the industry’s best data syncing solutions.

Automate your sales process today and watch as your business profitability grows exponentially.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | 10 Important Cybersecurity Tips

10 Important Cybersecurity Tips

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | 10 Important Cybersecurity Tips

Cybersecurity, information technology security or computer security is the process of the protection of computer systems, programs, and networks from digital attacks or the theft or from the damage of the hardware, software, electronic data or misdirection or disruption of the services they provide.

The cyber attackers usually aim at changing, accessing, or destroying sensitive and personal information. They also tend to extort money from the user or even interrupt the normal business process. In today’s world, cyber attackers are becoming more and more innovative, and cybersecurity is very challenging as it is more vulnerable now these days as businesses now opting for cloud services to reduce the risk of cyber attackers. If you own a small business or are looking for some tips and tricks to avoid getting hacked, then you are in the right place!

Why is Cybersecurity Important?

In today’s connected world, you don’t have to have big secrets of having cybersecurity, and you can have a small business running and need cybersecurity. You may need cybersecurity just to protect your family photos at an individual level. Everyone needs cyber-defense programs. Cyber attackers also aim for identity theft; extortion attempts to access to bank account details. Power plants, hospitals, and even financial service companies rely on cyber-defense programs.

Our society keeps on functioning with the help of these cyber-defense programs. Everyones have been benefiting by being secured. Talos has a team of 250 researchers who investigate any new emerging cyber-attack strategies or new threats. They come up with new vulnerabilities and also educate every individual on the importance of having cyber-defense programs. They strengthen open source tools and makes it all a lot safer for everyone.

Types of Cybersecurity Threats

Following are the main types of cybersecurity threats that everyone should be aware of:

Phishing

This is where the cyber attackers send fake and fraud emails to people that have the same format and resemble the emails from reputable sources. They try to steal login information and sensitive data like credit card details. This is the most common type of attack which anyone could face. You can protect yourself from this type of cyber attack by filtering malicious emails using a technology solution.

Malware

This is also software designed by cyber-attackers to gain unauthorized access and can even cause damage to a computer system.

Social engineering

This is a threat that can be combined with any of the threats stated above and can take over your system by clicking on links, downloading or trusting a malicious source. This is a tactic used by adversaries. Social engineering can reveal sensitive information and gain access to your confidential data. It can also solicit a monetary payment.

Important Cybersecurity Tips

You are always a target for hackers

The very first tip is never to think it won’t happen to you. Everyone is at risk by cyber-attackers. Attacks can be as little as stealing your family photos or as big as hacking bank accounts. Everyone is an attractive target. Be more active as cyber-attackers don’t discriminate between any users.

Keep software up to date

Always update your software as old software can make you vulnerable to cyber-attackers. Install every latest update for your operating system. Turn on the automatic updates so your system can install any new fixes by itself. Keep browsers like Flash and java up to date. Use web browsers like firefox and chrome as they receive automatic and frequent security updates.

Beware of suspicious emails and phone calls – Avoid Phishing scams

These phishing scams are a constant threat as receiving, and opening emails is a daily chore for everyone. Cyber-attackers trick you into divulging information as personal as login id and password or even banking information. These scams can be carried out by text or through social media sites but are usually sent by email. Use cyber-defense programs to identify any suspicious-looking email and be aware of any phone call asking for personal details like banking details

Good password management

You have too many passwords to manage and end up taking shortcuts and using the same password for every website, and that makes you prone to cyber-attackers. There are many programs available that can help you with managing strong passwords and reminding you to change the time by time. For a password 20 or characters are recommended. Use a mix of different characters like uppercase, lower case, and numbers. Don’t use the same password for multiple websites. Update your password every 90 days and don’t share your password.

Think and Click

Don’t visit untrusted websites and download software or links from random sources as they contain threats like Malware which can silently compromise your system. Any emails with links attached from unknown sources or suspicious should not be opened.

Never leave devices unattended

Lock your screen with the password of your computer systems and your phone. But with technical security, physical security is just as important. Don’t ever leave your phone, tablet or computer unattended for a long period. Lock it up in a bag pack or anywhere else so no one can use it. If you have any sensitive information in external hardware or a flash driver, keep it locked in a backpack or anywhere else safe as well. For desktop computer users, always shut-down the system when you are not using it and keep the screen locked.

Protect sensitive data

Always handle sensitive data very carefully. Be aware of any data that is sensitive if you come in contact with it. Keep all your sensitive data that includes your credit card information, health information, and if you are a student, any student record off of your laptop, mobile devices or workstation in general. Remove any sensitive date files or information away from your system when you don’t need it. Always use encryption whenever you are storing or transmitting any sensitive or important data.

Use cell phone devices safely

Always lock your phone with a password and never leave it unattended in public for a long time. Never install apps that sources that you don’t trust. Don’t click on attachments or links from texts or emails that look suspicious. Keep your operating system up to date. Backup all your important data somewhere. Use find my iPhone for apple and android device manager tools to help prevent any theft or loss. Avoid storing or transmitting any personal and sensitive information on the device.

Install anti-virus protection

Install an anti-virus program from a trusted and a known source and keep engines, software and virus definitions up to date, so the anti-virus program remains effective.

Back up your data

Always backup all your personal and sensitive data as you may never know what happens. Back up very regularly, so getting your data back is guaranteed. If any security incident happens, the only way to repair is to erase and re-install the system so all your data will be erased.

WRAPPING UP WITH MORE TIPS

  • Use a firewall.
  • Use public wireless hot-spots very wisely and carefully.
  • Be conscientious of what you plug into your computer , especially with flash drives and smartphones as they can also contain malware.
  • Be careful of what you share on social networking sites as they may provoke cyber-attackers.
  • Monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity.
  • Bank or shop online only on trusted devices and networks and as soon as you have completed your transactions, logout.
StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Understanding Psychiatry: What Does a Psychiatrist Do?

Understanding Psychiatry: What Does a Psychiatrist Do?

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Understanding Psychiatry: What Does a Psychiatrist Do?In the United States, there are about 28,000 psychiatrists employed, and there is actually a shortage of them.

The job outlook for psychiatrists will continue to grow, but many people still aren’t entirely sure what they can do for people.

Are you asking “What does a psychiatrist do?” Read this article to learn more about what psychiatry is and how it is helpful.

What Exactly Is Psychiatry? 

First things first, psychiatry is a branch of medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating mental and emotional illnesses. They can also help with behavioral disorders as well.

A psychiatrist is technically a medical doctor, like an M.D. or D.O, except they specialize in mental health. Psychiatrists are qualified to help treat physical and mental symptoms of psychological problems.

Many people seek psychiatry services for all kinds of reasons. It can range from having panic attacks to thoughts of suicide to hearing voices or to hearing hallucinations. It can also range from just feeling sad, anxious, stressed, or not being able to function.

The Difference Between a Psychiatrist and Psychologist 

If you are trying to find help for any of these problems, you may be trying to decide whether you want to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

As we said earlier, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor, meaning they went to medical school and did a residency. They also got special training in psychiatry to be able to treat you as best as possible. They can also prescribe you medicine and other medical treatments.

However, on the other hand, a psychologist doesn’t go to medical school. They get an advanced degree, normally in clinical psychology. They will have extensive training and can help treat mental disorders with psychotherapy.

But a psychologist cannot prescribe you any medication, so if you think you need medication, you may need to see a psychiatrist instead.

How to Become a Psychiatrist 

If you don’t need treatment but want to become a psychiatrist, there are certain steps that you will need to take. It takes a lot of work to become a psychiatrist, but it’s important to do because you want to make sure that you give your patients the best care possible.

If you want to become a psychiatrist, you need to complete medical school. After you do that, you’ll also need to take a written exam and get a state license to be able to practice medicine.

After that, you will have to do four years of psychiatry residency. During your first year, you will work with all kinds of patients and all kinds of different medical illnesses.

For the next three years after that, you will work on learning how to diagnose and treat mental health issues and learn the different types of psychotherapy. You will have to learn how to prescribe different medications and what they can treat as well.

After your residency is over, you’ll need to take a written and oral exam that is administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in order to become board-certified.

After you get certified, you’ll need to get re-certified every ten years.

What Does a Psychiatrist Do?

If you go to see a psychiatrist, you may want to know what you should expect from your appointment.

A psychiatrist will ask you what all of your physical and mental symptoms are, and they will come up with a diagnosis for you and a treatment plan in order to help you recover.

They can provide you psychotherapy treatment and/or prescribe you medication to treat it as well.

Some of the other things a psychiatrist can do include:

  • Providing urgent care for mental illness
  • Admit you to a hospital
  • Refer you to other doctors
  • Provide advice on lifestyle changes
  • Help you manage long-term mental health problems

A psychiatrist will be able to do so much more than this as well.

How to Diagnose Patients

When you go to see a psychiatrist, you may be wondering how they determine what to diagnose you with.

Since psychiatrists are technically physicians, they have access to all kinds of medical laboratories and run all kinds of psychological tests.

They can use these and look at the whole picture of the patient’s mental and physical state as well.

Their education and their training will help give them some insight into what you may be dealing with, and once they have a diagnosis, they will be able to give you a treatment plan as well.

Normally psychiatrists will base their diagnosis off the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This book has all kinds of descriptions and symptoms of all kinds of different mental disorders.

Different Types of Medications They Can Prescribe

A psychiatrist will be able to prescribe medication to help treat you if it’s actually necessary. Sometimes medication and psychotherapy are necessary to treat mental illness.

There are different categories of medications that can help treat different mental illnesses.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants are great for panic disorders, PTSD, and depression. They can also help treat anxiety disorders, OCD, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder.

Antipsychotic Medications

These medications can help treat psychotic symptoms that come along with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.

If you are experiencing hallucinations and delusions, these medications could help you.

Sedatives and Anxiolytics

These prescription medications are normally used to treat insomnia and anxiety.

If you have problems with these, you may want to see a psychiatrist to get these medications prescribed and to learn what lifestyle changes you can make to help with this.

Learn More About What Does a Psychiatrist Do?

Seeing a psychiatrist can be really helpful for some people. If you are thinking about finding one, ask your friends and family for some recommendations.

If you are still asking “what does a psychiatrist do?” after reading this article, don’t worry, we have more info for you as well!

If you enjoyed this article, make sure you check out the rest of our website for others just like it!

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Making the Most Out of Trade Show Attendance

Making the Most Out of Trade Show Attendance

Trade shows can be a wonderful way to grow your business, whether you are hosting a stand or visiting as an attendee. They are a great way to make connections with clients, customers and suppliers, show off your business, find ways to save money and to learn about the latest developments and tools that might be available to you.

But, they can also be hectic. Trade shows tend to be busy. There are often many different stands offering similar things, and it can be hard to get noticed, or to remember the people that you have spoken to. Trade shows can be overwhelming, and we often don’t get as much out of them as we perhaps should.

If you want to host a stand at a show, here are some of the things that you can do to make sure you get the most out of it, instead of wasting your time.

Send the Right Staff

If you are hosting a stand at a trade show, you might spend a long time planning your displays, the marketing materials that you want to take, and any freebies that you might want to offer your visitors. But, the staff manning your stand are just as important. These are the people that make you businesses first impression and that really sell it to potential customers and clients.

You’ll probably want to attend yourself, but you’ll also want to send enthusiastic and experienced team members who can speak confidently and answer questions easily. Take enough staff that you can spend some time wandering around and meeting other businesses, instead of being stuck to your stand all day.

Attend the Right Shows

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There are trade shows for different kinds of businesses, niches and industries. Some will be close to home, others further away. Some will be large, others small. Hiring a stand at every single one is a mistake, a waste of time and a waste of money. Take some time to research up and coming shows, find out more about them, and choose those that you want to attend carefully. If you are hosting a stand, this will give you the chance to condense your budget, and spend more time and money on your stand.

Make a Great First Impression

It can be hard to get noticed at a busy show where many companies are bidding for attention. that’s why your first impression is so important. Plan your area carefully. Add banners and signs, and use color to stand out. Consider props and use of your logo, and think about wearing uniforms, or bright clothing.

Get Some Free Advertising

Trade shows are a fantastic place to advertise your business. Some advertisements, like displays with a fabric tension frame system, can be eye-catching and effective. But these come with a cost. Others are free. Create a buzz for your attendance on social media, and encourage visitors to take your business in their posts.

Make Connections in Advance

When you do your homework, you might get an idea of who else is going to be in attendance. If not, reach out and ask on social media. Take the time to introduce yourself to other businesses before the event to give yourself a head start.

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article | 7 Outsourcing Trends You Should Keep an Eye on in 2020

7 Outsourcing Trends You Should Keep an Eye on in 2020

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article | 7 Outsourcing Trends You Should Keep an Eye on in 2020Is your small business expanding? Do you wish to cut down on your costs without compromising your services? Then outsourcing is likely the answer you are looking for.

Regardless if you’re a small firm or an established one, outsourcing can help you in many ways. A key survey revealed that 59% of companies invest in outsourcing to cut down their expenses.

Though this is encouraging to hear, it is not enough for you to simply outsource on the fly. You must also look at the latest outsourcing trends that will shape the industry this year.

So what are these trends to look out for? Continue reading below as we discuss seven trends that businesses must be aware of.

The Outsourcing Industry: A Brief Overview

Before we discuss the latest outsourcing trends, let us first get a glimpse of the outsourcing industry today. Apart from its cost-cutting benefits, outsourcing helps companies focus on their core business. This helped the industry nearly double its growth over the past two decades.

From $46 billion in 2000, spending on outsourcing grew to $85.6 billion in 2018. Furthermore, the United States outsources around 300,000 jobs annually.

Companies are also starting to embrace cloud services to improve their outsourcing. This is despite the concerns on data security surrounding cloud technology.

Furthermore, 70% of transportation and retail firms outsource portions of their services. The same thing goes for 71% of financial service executives in the country.

Outsourcing Trends

With 2020 already underway, there are outsourcing trends that will make an impact this year. Let’s take a look at seven of the most important ones:

1. More Flexible Contracts

If it is your first time to outsource, you will encounter a contract that comes with stipulations. But unlike before, companies can expect more custom outsourcing agreements this year.

You will see more contracts that come with room for flexibility. This is important considering the different limitations and cost pressures that businesses face in regard to their outsourcing needs.

This flexibility covers service, delivery, and pricing.

2. More VAs and Chatbots

You can also expect to see more virtual assistants (VA) and chatbots doing the job for companies. Businesses will incorporate these technologies to interact with their customers.

This new form of outsourcing is evident in the chat boxes that you see on various websites. These chat boxes address customer inquiries without sounding too robotic.

The good thing about chatbots and Vas is that they offer consistency. Though real people can show emotional knowledge, there is a tendency for them to lose their cool. Moreover, chatbots can handle different tasks that don’t require human emotions.

These tasks include arranging schedules, finalizing meetings, and qualifying clients, among others.

3. The Cloud Effect

As we mentioned earlier, more companies are opening up to cloud services. Cloud-based technology increases connectivity. In turn, this makes offshoring more efficient.

Furthermore, the media and information industries will continue to invest in telecommunications outsourcing. They will continue to incorporate cloud-based systems to expand their reach without physically going out in the field.

Also, the cloud computing industry will likely continue to grow. In 2020, the market grew to $180 billion. By the end of 2020, observers believe the industry will reach the $411 billion mark.

This is because tech leaders like Google, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft will pour in more money to create a quantum computer. Experts also believe that the quantum computing market will reach a value of $8 billion globally by 2027.

4. Telehealth Market to Make Waves

The healthcare and medical technology industries will continue to outsource reduce their costs while improving their processes. The telehealth market will offer more online video calls in lieu of physical hospital visits to the doctor. You can expect to see more hospitals attending to patients living in faraway places through online services.

Moreover, hospitals will outsource wearables to improve their diagnostics. Examples of these wearables include smart eyewear, wearable patches, trackers, and heart bands. Observers project the medical industry will spend over $27 billion over the next six years.

Additionally, more doctors will outsource virtual reality tools featuring artificial intelligence. They will use these gadgets to diagnose more complex diseases like Alzheimer’s.

5. Small Businesses to Outsource Heavily

More start-ups and small businesses will outsource this year. These companies will increase their spending on software development from 6% last year to 9% this year. Moreover, small companies will look to use new technologies and approaches to improve their services.

Instead of building in-house teams to cover non-key operations and other excess workloads, they will opt to outsource since it’s the more cost-effective way to go.

Outsourcing offers financial respite for smaller companies that are working on a tight budget. It also solves problems concerning a lack of manpower.

6. New Outsourcing Destinations

You can expect to see new players for software development outsourcing. Though China and India will continue to serve as havens for IT and business process outsourcing companies, Eastern Europe will rise as the emerging provider for small to medium-sized firms.

Also, medium-sized companies in the US and Western Europe will continue to experience a talent shortage. This will prompt them to outsource employees who are technologically-skilled.

7. The Emerging Experience Economy

Last but not least, there is the emerging experience economy that will play a bigger role this year. This pertains to the companies’ needs concerning experiences affecting the overall client experience.

This involves outsourcing services that focus on intangibles and immaterial attributes. These include aesthetics, values, culture, and design.

Examples are services that improve the health and wellness of employees. Companies will look to outsource wellness solutions to increase employee retention and satisfaction. More businesses will hire coaches, trainers, doctors, and therapists who can provide these services.

Outsourcing and Beyond

By following these outsourcing trends, you can make better decisions about your outsourcing needs. You can invest in the right services that will improve your company’s overall efficiency.

But outsourcing is only one of the many tools worth considering. Check out our other articles to learn more about other solutions. We discuss topics that will help grow your business.