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The Power of a Centralized Business System

3 min read

To centralize or not to centralize – a hard call made harder with power struggles. The timeless tug-of-war between centralizing and not centralizing remains a dilemma for most companies. Business leaders believe that poorly judged centralization can stifle initiative, compel the business’s ability to tailor products and services locally, and burden business departments with high costs and poor service. [1]

However, as the world courses through in rapid motion, every business is now compelled to have a management system to help them streamline their daily processes and procedures. Systems that allow companies to establish management protocols and facilitate clear communication between departments. A business’s communication structure can influence discovery and the potential of its staff members, which in turn causes the company to innovate and implement its ideas. 

Why Choose to Centralize your Business System?

A centralized business system means keeping most of your inventory in one or a few platforms instead of having individual storage systems to maintain your account. Doing so can benefit your business’s overall design, including more efficient data control and quicker responses to prospects and customers. These are just some of the few benefits you can gain with a centralized business system. 

Curious to know more about the power of a centralized business system? Here are more of its benefits that you may enjoy. 

Effective Decisions

At the local level, decentralized business systems allow businesses to respond swiftly to unpredictable market conditions. However, in most cases, centralization provides firms with the most efficient decision-making and communication throughout the company. Some decisions, such as responding to unfavorable news events, are best made by executives, especially when it comes to timely decisions and when responses are essential to execution. 

Accountability 

Centralization also highlights decision-makers, making it easier for individual team members to be accountable for their decisions and actions. When the right choices are consistently made and implemented, recognition goes to the right people. Accountability compels corporate decision-makers to invest the right amount of time, effort, and energy to examine decisions and their impact on all stakeholders. 

Consistency 

Consistency is another necessary strength of business centralization. When the same person or group of executives make decisions on behalf of the company, those decisions are consistent and predictable. That way, it helps managers and employees know what to expect and prevents some frustration resulting from constant changes in decision patterns. In addition, decisions that affect customer relationships can improve brand consistency if made by the same executive. 

Reduced costs

A centralized system adheres to standard procedures and practices that guide and reduce office and administration costs. With the right business system, businesses can now reduce spending on storage, augmenting staffing, and even location. 

Improved quality of work

Standardized procedures and better supervision in a centralized business system improve work quality. With the help of systems and apps, businesses can now reduce the potential waste of manual labor and ensure quality and accurate work. Systems like CRM software can help minimize task duplication and increase labor costs. 

Streamlined Information Flow 

Most industries that rely on a constantly changing and inconsistent market have the advantage of being free to update. With a centralized source of information, it’ll be easier for managers and employees to implement strategies and easier to track individual performance. When data is readily accessible, communication is streamlined, thus adding more value to your bottom line. 

Definitive Chain of Command

A definitive chain of command paired with a centralized business system is also beneficial for staff seeking more supporting guidance regarding their responsibilities and expectations. A centralized system works reasonably well to provide people with clear directions. 

The vague nature of a decentralized system may confuse common workflows, but increased autonomy is desirable to employees who prefer working on a flexible schedule. Companies that handle a lot of employees with a work-from-home set-up can significantly benefit when they have centralized business systems that combine reduced oversight and self-reporting tools to streamline admin and managerial responsibilities. 

Creating Standard Internal Metrics 

It is easier to create a standardized format in the central system when developing internal performance metrics. A top-down management structure allows managers and executives to integrate communication and reporting standards with minimal deviation. If the indicators of success are relatively simple, it may be beneficial to centralize the whole structure of the organization. A well-distributed system allows individual departments or teams to decide how to report and avoid confusion about performance results. Active communication between managers and executives helps answer any questions in the report. 

Relationship with customers

Building a direct customer relationship is easier to use in a decentralized organization because there aren’t many communication and reach restrictions. Optimizing social media channels is a prominent decentralization feature that allows businesses to interact with multiple geographic markets with lesser difficulty. Online customer service via numerous communication lines is easy to do with flexible behavioral guidelines. 

However, the power of centralized business systems often has specific guidelines for how they should conduct themselves with the general public, giving businesses more control over their brand image. Companies in industries such as children’s media and baby products typically communicate with the general public through a strong public relations team. In contrast to automated online systems, an in-house customer service team with in-depth knowledge and experience may also respond to complaints.

Key Takeaway

Decentralization may offer plenty of untapped business potential, and it may give plenty of autonomy on an individual level. However, amidst a decentralized environment, businesses need a bit of control of how things are run inside our business to control efficiency and effectiveness. This is the true power of a centralized business system. 

Are you taking measures to centralize your business flow? If not, Saphyte will be more than happy to take you in on a little open secret. Call us today, and let’s get your business centralized today!

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How to Accelerate Growth with a Customer Data Platform

3 min read

Data is everywhere. From a business perspective, data can be taken from the amount a customer paid for a purchase, the number of website visits a day, any information typed in by the customer, and a whole lot more. 

On average, businesses receive data and metrics from 28 unique sources, according to Deloitte. 

Data lets us know what’s going on in the business, what we can do more to get more people to do something, and what we need to avoid doing to keep customers coming back for more.

But to ensure that businesses get clean and accurate data, and so they can organize this data to gain some insights out of them, businesses need to have a customer data platform.

What Is A Customer Data Platform?

A customer data platform is a software that collects data from your customers. 

It may have tools and features that let you perform tasks like telemarketing, email marketing, lead generation, catalog management, and etc. Customer data platforms may also have dashboards that showcase important and relevant data and insights at a glance.

In 2018, the customer data platform market size was valued at USD 730.1 million. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.5% from 2019 to 2025.

Why Having A Customer Data Platform Is Important

Customer data platforms give you an in-depth understanding of every individual customer so that you can personalize your services to cater to their unique needs and preferences.

Knowing what an individual customer needs and wants allows sales, marketing, and support teams to effectively address the customer’s issues and solve their problems. 

Without data, businesses may have to repetitively ask the customer for information (especially when the issue has to be handled by multiple teams) to deliver the appropriate response. This can delay the service which may affect the customer experience and give the brand a bad reputation at the end of the day.

A customer data platform may collect the following types of data:

  • Customer identification: this refers to the identity of the customer— their name, address, mobile number, email address, and other related information.
  • Qualitative (feedback, opinions, suggestions, etc.): this refers to other useful information gathered from the customer that cannot be quantified, such as their opinions, statements, suggestions, feedback, notes, and etc.
  • Behavioral: this refers to any data related to a customer’s behavior such as their purchase behavior, marketing behavior, app usage, social media behavior, etc.
  • Product: this refers to any data related to the customer’s interaction with the product and services of the business such as products purchased, products viewed on the website, abandoned products added to the cart, etc.

4 Ways A Customer Data Platform Can Accelerate Business Growth 

These are the common ways a customer data platform accelerate business growth:

1. It lets businesses gain a deeper understanding of their customers to deliver better services

Customer data platforms can automate the collection of data from customers to lessen the tasks of sales and marketing teams. 

They can prompt website visitors to fill out needed information which will then be automatically migrated to the database of the platform. 

There, the customer data platform can sort the information and give sales and marketing teams a quick glimpse of the type of lead or customer they’re dealing with.

When sales and marketing teams have a deep understanding of the lead or customer they’re facing, it allows them to craft a workflow that best suits the needs and preferences of the target customer. 

In fact, according to Econsultancy & IBM, 33% of elite marketers say having the right technologies for data collection and analysis (such as a customer data platform) is the most important step to understanding customers.

Having the right data allows businesses to improve the experience of the customer, which increases the chances of the customer moving forward in the sales funnel.

2. It provides users important and relevant data for quick, data-driven decision-making

Customer data platforms often have dashboards that showcase ongoing data related to the business’s sales, marketing, and support efforts.

They may even automatically interpret the data to provide insights, which helps managers and leaders make quick decisions to steer the company to success.

Data analytics help inform businesses which strategy is working and which isn’t. Because of this, businesses can continue implementing workflows that give results and stop or change those that aren’t working.

3. It allows businesses to quickly monitor marketing ROI

Marketing efforts are needed to promote the brand to the market and hopefully establish connections with potential customers. But some marketing activities require a hefty investment for them to work. 

This is why businesses ought to monitor their marketing performance to ensure that they’re giving the expected results or return on investment (ROI).

Without a customer data platform, this may require many manual, repetitive tasks and calculations which can be stressful to the team responsible.

A customer data platform can automate some of these tasks. It can even quickly provide the results of marketing efforts (such as email marketing, advertising campaigns, etc.) to businesses so they can make the necessary adjustments without delay.

4. It helps businesses improve offline and online customer experience

The pandemic has accelerated the online activities of consumers— more and more people buy over the internet now than before.

Because of this, businesses need to emphasize the importance of providing quality service to their customers online as they have done over the past few years on their brick and mortar stores.

A customer data platform can bridge the distance between businesses and consumers on the internet. It can predict what a customer wants and allow the business to offer it even before the customer says it. Some information provided by the customer data platform can help inform businesses what to do next when the customer visits.

With a customer data platform, businesses can quickly collect customer feedback so they can improve what needs to be improved to cater to future customers and encourage repeat purchases. 

Conclusion

Customer data platforms help accelerate business growth in the following ways:

  • It helps businesses provide better service through the data it collects from customers with minimal user participation
  • It quickly provides relevant data and insights to aid managers and leaders in making business decisions
  • It allows businesses to monitor marketing efforts and ensure they provide the expected results
  • It improves the experience of customers online and offline to encourage repeat purchases and establish customer loyalty

Learn more about how you can accelerate your business growth with a customer data platform. Click here to get started.

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How Automation Helps you Avoid Losing Leads in your Sales Process

4 min read

Companies of all sectors and industries rely heavily on data for their operations. Data plays an imperative role for companies and leaders to gain informed decision-making, respond to change, and establish strategic goals. Data plays a more significant role in lead generation campaigns. In 2020 alone, 4.8% of enterprises have invested more than $50 million in Big Data and AI initiatives for their company.

If you think it’s too much money just for a piece of information, then you do not see the whole picture. Data plays a critical part in a business’ sales process, particularly the lead generation aspect. The data you’ve gathered turns into reports, and those reports, in turn, allow you to understand your customers adequately.

How Data Benefits your Business

Data goes beyond information. Potential customers’ phone numbers, email, and postal addresses are among the data sets most in demand in a growing international business. So how does this set of information benefits your business? 

Data Makes Campaigns Efficient

The lack of data with their leads renders leads useless. Leads without qualified data are essentially unusable, given the amount of customization you have to pour dedicate in every lead generation campaign. It’ll be easier to create segments and customized pitches for your leads to follow with comprehensive quality data. It’ll be easier for sales and marketing teams to make personalized pitches and outreaches, thus giving them more leverage to upsell and create sales. 

Data Allows Sales Teams to Understand the Customer

Prospects or leads don’t like talking with salespeople who don’t know nor understand their needs, which will eventually lead to frustrations on both sides – customers getting annoyed that salespeople are pitching the wrong solutions and the sales team losing their leads.

Sales teams can avoid these issues if they have established data because they already have a basis to work with. They can better understand their leads’ needs, tailor their products and services to their customers, and create compelling messaging that resonates well with their prospects.

Data Gives Sales Teams Talking Points

When sales teams understand their customers better, the more talking points they gain. Salespeople can ask questions, more concrete answers to inquiries, and have more topics they can talk about. When customers feel that sales teams are well-equipped with information, it leads to more profound and meaningful interactions and eventually leads to better conversion rates. 

Manual Data Entry: A Bane or Boon to Businesses

Not all data is created equal, and the amount of data you need to run successful sales campaigns doesn’t matter. Always remember that a hundred quality leads data are better than a thousand unrefined leads. 

Traditionally, data is “gathered” through manual data entry and performed by data entry operators (people). Manual data entry requires entering specific and predetermined data such as prospect’s name, business type, money amount, etc. 

Operators can obtain information from various sources, including paper bills, invoices, orders, receipts, etc., into a target program. Depending on the type of business, the target program could be handwritten record books, spreadsheets, computer databases, etc.

Manual data entry might be a good option for small-scale businesses (1-10 employees) because of its cheap staffing. However, manual entry can restrict expansion and inhibit progress due to these reasons.

Cost penalty. Imagine you’re going to a world-class, luxurious hotel, but has a cheaper price tag. Seems like a bargain, right? But the hotel never made mention or made you aware of the hidden fees and costs. You’re having all the fun, but the moment you check out, you realize that you’ve been completely ripped off. The same analogy applies to manual data entry. You’re spending on hiring staff and spend more on correcting data errors. Manual data errors are costly. Study shows that incorrect data costs businesses at least 30 percent or more of their revenue. It is a penny-wise foolish move to spend more on manual data entry, thinking it can save your business costing. 

High Error Rate. Surely the error rate for manual data entry is not that bad. Well, data says raw Data entry not followed by verification steps shows an error rate as high as 4%. That’s two errors for every five entries made. Another study indicates that data entry operators make 10.23 errors when processing data. These data errors may seem like minor collateral damages, but they eventually create discrepancies in your desired output. The higher the error rate, the higher the damage and cost it’ll bring for you and your business.  

Slow Turnaround Time. Manual data entry is time-consuming, and businesses can’t afford to waste too much time. Turnaround time can result in delays, extra expenditure, and even more errors – three aspects of which companies can’t afford to risk investing. 

Findings: Manual data entry is a bane to every business’s existence. 

Remedy: Automate your data entry efforts today, and save plenty tomorrow.

How Automation Helps you Avoid Losing Leads

Manual data entry error is the main culprit as to why your number of leads is dwindling. The consequences of non-automation are forgetting to follow up with your prospects or calling leads based on the order they appear on your system. You can avoid these pitfalls by implementing a sales automation strategy for your business. 

Automation can help you not only simplify your sales processes from approvals, notes recording, lead scoring, call logging, customer onboarding, or any other manual and repetitive tasks in your sales process. There are plenty of tools available in the market. One of the many is Saphyte CRM. 

Saphyte is a UAE homegrown business operating out of Dubai. Currently, Saphyte is helping hundreds of local companies in and out of Dubai to drive digital transformation through local support, zero implementation fees, competitive subscription models, and an advanced SaaS CRM ecosystem technology. 

Here are some of the benefits you can gain with a sales automation platform, like Saphyte’s customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can achieve. 

Identify Potential Customers. With a CRM like Saphyte, it’s easier for sales teams to view and track the best quality leads, leading to much more successful conversions. This way, sales teams are only monitoring and talking to the most important leads.

Lead Information. With Saphyte’s features and functions, your sales and marketing teams can learn more about the prospects and which industry they’re in. Data like this helps your team understand your prospects’ needs and requirements and the best ways to engage with them.

Easy Reporting. Using a CRM like Saphyte can help you stay informed with the use of internal emails and reports. You can kiss spending hours to keep the rest of the team on the loop goodbye, as the reporting happens automatically.

Create Invoices and Quotes. Saphyte helps your team create detailed and straightforward invoices and quotes in a matter of minutes. 

Marketing and Sales Tools. Saphyte is packed with features and functions that you can use to make your sales and marketing teams work easier, straightforward, efficient, and effective. 

Make Data Work for you by Partnering with a Sales Automation Tool that Works with you

Feeling like this is your chance to take your e-commerce CRM integration to the next level? Book a demo with us today, or start your free trial now! Reach for a new possibility and unlock your e-commerce business’s potential with Saphyte today!

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How to Polish up your Lead Processes

3 min read

Lead generation is a continuous and never-ending effort. No matter how much work and effort one puts into it, you’ll always be on the hunt for more leads next month. If you feel like you’re all alone, we’re telling you, you’re not alone. 

At least 53% of B2B marketers spend more than half of their yearly budget to make their lead generations effective. When companies understand that leads are the lifeblood of their business, placing a polished lead process is the next best thing that they can do. 

A high-conversion lead generation process means businesses are confident that their marketing will bring them a certain number of high-quality leads each month. Hence, giving them peace of mind to try out new initiatives, make data-driven decisions, and spend their budget on the most critical places.

So, will your business need a lead generation process? Yes, of course. Having a strategy for working your leads from brand awareness to closing a sale should be an integral part of your business. Lead generation processes help your sales team make sales and help your marketing business identify content and campaign opportunities. 

Are you for Manual or Automated?

As we all know, lead generation begins with understanding the customer journey, and the rest will go from there. However, there’s a specific challenge to the modern lead generation process nowadays: manual lead generation. 

Pushing through manual lead generation is a troublesome infrastructure because manual effort costs both time and financial resources. Also, manual lead generation is a complete waste of time for both your sales and marketing teams. Your sales teams are preoccupied with calls, and your marketing teams are occupied with the next opportunity. Both teams have no time to deal with manual customer research. 

Further, manual lead generation takes enormous research and can also adversely affect your business’s sales. That is why most companies prefer automated lead generation. We all know that time is equated with money. Time does not come for free, and businesses don’t have the luxury to waste even more time. Automated lead generation not only brings definite speed for your lead generation process but also accuracy.

How to Polish up your Leads Process with Automation

With the discussion above, automation wins the race by a large margin. Of course, your business will always have its unique lead generation strategy. The next big step you can take is to improve your process with the help of a leads automation tool. Saphyte got you covered when it comes to tools to make your lead generation better, accurate, and faster. Here are some tools we have on our sleeves. 

Lead Capture with Saphyte Sync

Most of the people your business wants to talk to are on LinkedIn. Manual data entry can cost you more time and more errors. With Sync, you can capture LinkedIn contacts with auto-populated information such as their name, company, email address, country, and other details. 

What’s even better? All your captured contacts automatically sync to your own Saphyte CRM, and it’s a free web extension tool for all Saphyte users. Nifty, eh? 

Show Creativity with Less Effort

Creativity takes a lot of time and effort, and for marketers, these two factors are hard to balance. Saphyte balances these two forces by bringing in marketing tools to help you create better opportunities. With email marketing, servers, and landing page templates ready for you to use. You can also use our low code/no-code solutions for our landing pages. You can show creativity with less effort. 

Marketing on Autopilot

Saphyte has plenty of automation tools that you can use to your marketing advantage. You can also run your marketing campaigns on autopilot with drip email marketing

Drip email marketing helps you automate the emails sent to your customers at a particular time or specific event and keep it over time. You can send out marketing emails based on varied trigger events such as when leads submit a form, open their emails, click, etc. Users can schedule the flow of your marketing email campaign by setting the specific count, time, days, or hours before sending an email to their leads.

Users can also track and monitor all the contacts on the waiting list of their drip marketing campaign. Not only that, users can measure the success of their drip email campaigns and go beyond metrics like open rates and clicks and focus more on your email list value, the subscribers’ activity, and the engagement rate. You never have to worry about manually sending emails ever again!

Plenty of Tools too Long to List on this Blog

Saphyte has plenty of tools up on its sleeves that this blog can’t merely cover. From Marketing, Sales, Teams, Connect, and Integrations – Saphyte has you covered. 

Taking the next big step but don’t know where to start? Ask our digital ecosystem experts by booking a demo today! We’re ready to help you accelerate and achieve the best for your business. 

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7 Tips to Stay Productive While Working at Home

2 min read

Staying productive has never been so great a challenge to many employees these days. Read on to find out how to bring your ‘A’ game at home.

It’s a challenge to many employees who have remote work arrangements to stay productive. It can be hard to juggle the daily demands of family, chores, and work. There are too many distractions, and it can get easy to get burnout and have reduced productivity. But fret not, here are seven tips to keep you going and bring your ‘A’ game even while at home.

1. Stay on Schedule

Working on nothing but free time can be tempting. But establishing a clear schedule can prove helpful not only to work-at-home employees, but also to their families. Find out which schedule works best for “family time” and which one works best for, well, work.

Remember, when setting a schedule, balance is key. And once your schedule has been jotted down, stick to it. It helps you establish a routine, which makes the transitions in between your responsibilities smooth and easy.

2. Have a designated workspace

Having a specific space for your home office helps you focus on work. It helps you personalize your desk to boost your productivity and get rid of the distractions at home. And studies support this. 

Add plants that require less maintenance to “green up” your office. This can reduce stress too. And avoid working in your bedroom— you don’t want to associate work with sleep and vice versa, as this can destroy the work-life balance that work-at-home employees struggle to achieve.

3. Wake up early

While this may be a luxury to some, it’s important to wake up early to get a faster accumulation of adenosine and help you sleep faster at night. Waking up early has also been observed to contribute to better mood, immune system, and basic brain functions.

4. Take breaks, go outside

It’s easy to get tempted to be immersed into work and other family duties just to get things done asap. But taking breaks and going outside (if permitted) can help you in the long haul.

Short breaks have been observed to help increase mental clarity and overall productivity to many employees— even those working at home. Going outside, enjoying a walk, or even appreciating nature can also give you benefits, physically and mentally.

5. Keep your gadget use in check

Distractions can take many forms but gadgets perhaps belong to the top of the list. It’s easy to form a habit of checking your phone to see who’s liking your post on social media or browsing videos to keep you entertained. But these can delay you from getting work done.

Keep your gadget use in check. If possible, remove all social media platforms from your work computer and log out of all your social media accounts. Putting your phone in the bedroom can also help while you’re at work.

6. Listen to music

Have a playlist dedicated for work. This helps you associate the playlist with work which not only helps improve your productivity, but also keeps you happy and entertained. But remember to only add music that helps you get in the groove and not those distracting ones.

7. Use tools built for collaboration

Communication is essential in work— especially when everybody is working at home. Tools like CRMs are built for collaboration. They help bridge distances and keep everyone, wherever they are, on the same page. They also reduce the need for employees to switch between platforms to get tasks done.

CRMs are also often built with features that automate manual, repetitive tasks which can bore employees and affect their productivity.

Stay productive while at home

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What Does It Mean to Be Customer-Centric? Will It Pay Off?

2 min read

The word “customer-centric” is thrown around in a lot of boardrooms. But what does it mean to be customer-centric? And will it pay off?

What Is Customer-Centric?

Customer-centric is a strategy that involves creating the best experience for the customer for a meaningful, long-term business relationship. In this strategy, the customer is at the core of the business’s decisions and operations.

Providing a positive customer experience helps the business achieve customer satisfaction. Once the customer is satisfied, the chance for a repeat purchase is high. This behavior, when repeated, builds customer loyalty and drives sales results.

Overall, being customer-centric is necessary for companies especially when the business environment is competitive. It helps them distinguish themselves from the other brands. It also ensures long-term business success.

What you should know:

Customer-centric is a strategy focused on enhancing customer experience.

It helps businesses set themselves apart from the competition, drive down business costs, build customer loyalty, reduce customer churn, and improve overall sales.

Using technology is necessary to implement a customer-centric approach. It helps businesses run smoother workflows. It facilitates faster information exchange.  And it helps businesses generate insights faster.

Benefits Of Being Customer-Centric

Being customer-centric has multiple benefits to businesses. Here are a few:

Lower business costs

For businesses to drive sales, they must acquire new customers through lead generation tactics. But these tend to be costly. Spending on ads to gain a wider audience reach, giving discounts, or other promotional activities, to name a few examples, are expensive to run. 

Compared to having existing customers make repeat purchases to gain sales, lead acquisition tends to drive costs higher. This need to acquire new leads is eliminated when the business successfully runs on customers making repeat purchases.

Reduces customer churn

When customers are dissatisfied with a business, they tend to leave the business and choose the competition. This is wasted sales potential and is often measured by the rate of customer churn. Reducing customer churn improves sales performance, which, in effect, improves profitability.

When a business focuses on the customer experience, it ensures that the customer is satisfied with the service from the start of their journey towards the end of the sales process. This reduces the chances of customers churning. 

Builds customer loyalty

Aside from reducing customer churn, being customer-centric ensures that customers get to stay, make future purchases, and recommend your products and services to others.

Customer loyalty helps the business gain a wider reach through recommendations and referrals. For example, when a customer is satisfied with your product or service, they tend to introduce your brand to others on occasions when a need arises.

How to Be Customer-Centric

One of the popular ways to be customer-centric is to use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. The software is designed to help businesses get to know their customers more, gain data and information, and craft a workflow that enhances their services.

CRMs are known to help businesses gather information about their potential and existing customers. They do this by using landing pages, for example, to prompt website visitors to fill out a form and get their contact information.

Or by providing feedback loop mechanisms that help customers smoothly provide feedback at strategic points of the sales process (e.g. when closing a deal or after the customer makes a purchase).

They can also help businesses tailor their content and send content via email automatically, based on a schedule. This is important especially when the business runs a drip email marketing strategy.

Learn more about drip email marketing here:

Customer-centric Through Tech

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How to Help your Business Stand out with the Help of SaaS

3 min read

The world has reached a point where everything is expedited, customer demands and expectations are at an all-time high, and employees’ mental health is a priority. Businesses scramble all over the place to find solutions to their everyday problems and the problems mentioned earlier. The pressure has become overwhelming, that business leaders are finding it hard to keep up. 

With the challenges of the 21st century, businesses cling to software solutions to meet the demands and expectations of the times. With that came the demand for Software as a Service (SaaS) products. Many companies are moving away from off-the-shelf software or pen and paper to SaaS solutions. But, even though digital integration is a typical coffee table discussion, there are still businesses that are not familiar with the term SaaS.

So, what is Software as a Service (SaaS)?

To technically put it, Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications developed by cloud provider hosts make them available to end-users over the Internet. SaaS models are independent software vendors (ISV) that may contract a third-party cloud provider to host the application in this model. 

How does Software as a Service (SaaS) Work?

SaaS works through the cloud delivery model. This model works when a software provider hosts a particular application and its related data through its own servers, databases, networking, and computing resources. Or it may be an independent software vendor (ISV) that sub-contracts with a cloud provider to host the application in the provider’s data center. 

The application will then be accessible to any device with a network connection. That is why you can see SaaS applications are typically accessed via web browsers. This is beneficial for businesses that use SaaS because they are no longer tasked to set up and maintain the software. Users pay a subscription fee to gain access to the software, which is a ready-made solution.

How SaaS helps Businesses Stand Out 

Customers look for two common qualities for an outstanding and reliable business: efficiency and always on the pulse. Mere processes do not achieve efficiency and being constantly on the pulse, but they are performed with tools and software like SaaS applications. So here’s how SaaS helps businesses stand out. 

Accessibility

All thanks to SaaS’s capacity for remote accessibility, users no longer have to purchase an application off the shelf or download it on their electronic device before installing it. With SaaS applications, users can have full access to a SaaS software’s features anytime and anywhere they want to. Every individual member of the team or business can easily collaborate through the software, can fully access necessary data, and be constantly in the loop. All they need is to access the Internet, and they can get to work without the hassle.

Up-to-Date Software

Most SaaS models and providers are responsible for maintaining and servicing their software, lest they want to drive away customers. Users no longer have to worry about updating or reminding themselves to update the software to the latest version. No one has to worry about missing an update because everyone gets their updates simultaneously with SaaS models.

Affordability

SaaS subscriptions run on a pay-as-you-go payment scheme. However, users must always be on the lookout for hidden costs when starting a SaaS subscription. They could be guise as maintenance fees, installation fees, update fees, and a whole lot of fees.

Users are likely to save money with SaaS software because they never have to pay for installation fees, fix bugs, or even customer support. Users also have more options for the type of features and packages they would sign up for, according to their business’s requirements. Upgrades are simple and can be done at any time, so users can always use them later.

Employee-Focused

SaaS operates on cloud computing models, and these models offer better options at communications, training, and project management throughout a regular business. Senior management can now transparently manage projects while communicating effectively with both local and remote employees. In turn, this allows companies and employees to look further off the path when finding new talent. 

Ease-of-Use

One of the most significant benefits of SaaS is its ease of use from interface to the function of its features.

A SaaS software is designed and built to be widely adopted. Therefore, it is made to have a short learning curve, well-organized, and a well-designed interface. Precisely, the interface, features, and all other components of the software are mapped out for a novice to learn quickly, either by intuition or following clear guides and tutorials. This model makes it easier for SaaS providers to keep subscribers and easily impress them than those who sell traditional software packages. 

Marketing

SaaS has dramatically increased the use of automated marketing software. Startups and small-to-medium-sized businesses can now utilize SaaS products to help optimize their marketing efforts. SaaS products not only allow businesses to automate their marketing campaigns, but they can also plan, execute and track their progress from an accessible interface, and also store and secure data in one place. 

Finding the Right SaaS Software for you? 

As much as SaaS programs are great for businesses, it is also noteworthy to remember that not all SaaS programs are created equal, and not all SaaS software fits your business. So, the actual challenge is not integrating or the process of shifting to a digital solution; instead, it is finding the right software that fits your business’s requirements, model, and budget. 

With that, you may want to check Saphyte. 

Saphyte is a UAE homegrown business operating out of Dubai. The company is currently helping hundreds of companies drive digital transformation through local support, zero implementation fees, competitive subscription models, and an advanced SaaS CRM ecosystem technology.

Interesting enough to check out? Book a demo with us today, and our digital ecosystem experts will be right on with you. 

Curious how digital ecosystems can help improve your business?

Check out how digital ecosystems can boost your company performance by getting started here.

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10 Things that Matter to Customers in 2021

4 min read

The famous magazine, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, tagged 2021 as the year of the customer. Over the past year, marketers and leading sales leaders learned a lot, whether they liked it or not. After a tough year, it’s time for businesses to go back to basics and focus on what matters – the customers. 

The consumer landscape experienced a sudden tectonic shift as businesses and consumers moved into a fully digitized realm of sales and marketing over the past year and several months. Therefore, strategies and approaches also changed. The focus became less about traditional marketing and sales methods and is now leaning more toward rethinking the whole digital customer journey and, most importantly, the customer experience.

Why should Businesses be Paying Attention to the Customer? 

Emotions, whether you deny them or not, creates an impact. It’s like a ripple. Customers who feel ignored by businesses feel rejection, and rejection can lead to many downward spirals. Meanwhile, when customers feel that they’re heard and valued by the business, it can positively impact your business. 

Businesses must listen to their customers, as customers directly impact your revenue. To actively be involved in your customer’s overall journey – this is where you must apply customer service and customer experience. 

Delivering excellent customer service and experiences is a practical approach in reducing the expense of operations and investing in improving their customer’s experience, and moving the needle on revenue. To do so, you must know what’s on top of your customer’s minds or the things that matter to them. 

What Matters Most to Your Customers 

Knowing what matters to customers and how they might interact with your brand is essential to your business’s success. So what are the things that matter to customers? Saphyte has listed ten things that matter to customers in 2021. 

Omnichannel Communication

With the fast-paced environment, customers will always want to reach out to you at any time. A study has shown that customers no longer desire to communicate with companies when and where it’s most convenient for them — they expect and demand it from your business. 

Unlike before, this new approach to conversational commerce is much bigger than your ordinary live chat. Though live chat is a part of the whole approach, it’s no longer the focus. Consumers expect and demand the ease of connectivity with your brand on their preferred communication platform.

But what is an omnichannel communication approach? An omnichannel communication approach allows businesses to deliver a seamless and constant experience across various communication channels (email, social media chat, website chatbots, etc.) while factoring in consumers’ different devices, behaviors, and choices.

Personalization taking Center Stage

On top of ease of communication, customers expect and demand personalization, and businesses notice this trend. And in 2021, hyper-personalization will take its place center stage. Data shows that customers value a friendly, efficient, and profound personalized customer service experience.

Never underestimate the influence of friendly, personalized interactions. One study shows that most customer buying decisions no longer rely on things like price or convenience. Instead, 70% of buying experiences depend on how a customer feels a company is treating them.

Communicate the Purchasing Process

Customers hate it when sellers dance around talking points like availability, price, discounts, total cost, add-on options, and so forth. Customers expect you to tell them, in plain and simple language, what items are included in their purchase and how the purchase will take place. No surprises and, most significantly, no last-minute upsells.

Showing Customers you Know Them

Customers no longer want to be a part of your sales number. They expect and demand them to feel seen, appreciated, and understood by the businesses they deal with every time. Of course, this is a natural human response, but it does create a massive impact on your revenue. 

The minor details can make a significant difference for your customers. You could start with tailored recommendations, greeting them on their birthdays, and addressing them by name when they’re talking to you. 

Agent Experience on Greater Focus

Agent Experience (AX) is the holistic outlook of how empowered, efficient, and influential a company’s customer service agents are. As is the case with almost any department in a business, prioritizing your team and staying in touch with your employee morale is the only authentic way to ensure positive customer reactions. 

You can do this by adequately equipping your agents with the right tools, enhanced training, make customer data more accessible, give specific and relevant feedback, and clear process documentation and flexible guidelines that allow agents to prioritize customer outcomes over their KPIs. 

Positive online engagement  

Brands are so obsessed with acquisition, clicks, and conversions that it can be easy for them to neglect the importance of the moments in between. Engaging customers between and beyond purchases will strengthen their emotional connection with your brand. Stronger ties between your customer and your brand will help you retain your hard-won customers.  

By positively communicating with your current customers online will make it much more likely for them to go out of their way to help boost your business socially.

Ability to trust your brand  

Trust is an issue with customers. While it is easy to set up your web page and social pages, it does not guarantee to build and maintaining trust. Customer trust is necessary for an environment where customer expectations increase daily and competition is intense. Customer trust is a brand differentiator that could make or break a business. 

Safety, convenience, and flexibility 

Safety, convenience, and flexibility are known as the new trifecta customer experience. After the pandemic, customers will prioritize their convenience, ease of transaction, and flexibility in options. No matter how great this need can be, the bottom line is that consumers demand it, and if your business isn’t convenient enough for them, they will look for one that is — presumably your competitors.

Understand ALL the Their (customer) Needs

Today, it’s no longer enough to “connect the stars” between your customer needs and your brand’s offering. By knowing and understanding what your customer needs is at the very core of every successful business, whether you’re directly selling to individuals or other companies. Once you have this knowledge, you can persuade potential and existing customers that purchasing from you is in their best interests.

Understanding your customers is the key to giving your customers good service, which further results in stronger customer relations and new sales through positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Craft Compelling Solutions

Solution selling will be a great selling point for businesses this 2021. Customers demand and expect your business to have the essential selling skill of defining and proposing a valuable and practical solution. 

Always remember, your customer’s problem is always more important than your solution, and giving a solution to their problem should be your greatest priority.

Key Takeaway

Your customers are the bread and butter of your business. Knowing the things that matter most to them can set your business apart from your competitors. 

However, the key takeaway is catching up to these needs. To catch up to your customers’ needs, you need tools to gather, keep, and access data, keep business processes simple and make work easier for your employees. Saphyte can help you build these things. 

Saphyte is a UAE homegrown business operating out of Dubai. It is currently helping hundreds of companies drive digital transformation through local support, zero implementation fees, competitive subscription models, and an advanced CRM ecosystem technology.

Feel like talking about this opportunity more? Book a demo with us today, and our digital ecosystem experts will be right there with you.

Curious how digital ecosystems can help improve your business?

Check out how digital ecosystems can boost your company performance by getting started here.

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How Businesses Should Prepare for the After-Effects of the Pandemic

2 min read

The global economy is bound to recover after the pandemic. What should businesses do to take advantage of the growth in a post-pandemic world?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected big companies and SMEs alike. It has created unprecedented levels of uncertainty, and businesses are left to grapple with understanding the new ways of interacting with consumers.

A shift in strategy is needed— businesses ought to find ways how to keep not only customers engaged but also their employees. 

With the complexities the crisis has created, what should businesses consider as part of their growth strategies to keep them not only afloat, but moving forward?

What you should know:

To brace for the market changes post-pandemic, understanding your customers’ needs is key to making an effective business strategy.

Smooth online experiences can make or break a business, during and, especially, after the pandemic.

Speed also gives companies an edge over competitors. And this can only be achieved through investments in technology.

It’s not enough for companies to sympathize with customers during crucial periods of their lives. Companies must demonstrate a higher level of customer understanding through business practices that provide impact to individuals and communities.

How Can Businesses Prepare for a Post-Pandemic Market?

Below are four important ways businesses can brace and adjust for a post-pandemic market:

Understanding the customer’s evolving needs and wants

Creating smoother online experiences for consumers

Investing in speed through technology

Creating value through business empathy

Understanding customers’ evolving needs

This concept is fairly simple. Customers’ needs are bound to change and evolve throughout time. What they need now may not be what they will need in the future, and vice versa.

Understanding customers’ needs is key to making your business strategy work. Without properly determining what customers are going to buy from you (or your competitors), it’s going to be difficult for you to navigate the market. 

To identify customers’ needs, a customer feedback loop is needed (i.e. allowing your customers to give you feedback at every important point of engagement).

You can also do the following techniques to identify customer needs and preferences:

Gather data about your customers (through interviews or surveys)

Mapping the customer journey (where they buy, how they check out the products, etc)

Understand the customer buying process (how the needs arise, what they think about when the needs arise, etc.)

Analyze your competition (what does your competition do to serve the same customer? What makes your competition unique?)

Creating smoother online experiences

Digital customer service interactions are expected to increase by 40% in 2021 (Forrester). That means, with the fear of virus transmissions, customers are going to rely on the internet to get their products and services, compared to going in-store.

The online experience will then dictate whether or not the customer will buy from a business again. Bad websites, slow apps, or online services with issues would discourage customers from using these marketing channels again (and might even result in customer churn).

Creating smooth online experiences is then critical to keeping customers engaged.

Investing in speed through technology

According to a McKinsey survey, investing in speed pays off. Companies that make faster strategic decisions and deploy resources faster were found to outperform others when it comes to profitability, resilience, and growth.

Making fast data-driven decisions is essential to get an edge over the competition. Improving internal and external communication, as well as providing platforms for smoother collaboration will need technologies such as CRMs to get companies quickly running. Automation will also distinguish companies from competitors.

Creating value through business empathy

Being able to assume the position of your customers isn’t just being sympathetic with them. It’s all about providing value to customers by demonstrating that you know what they need at that particular point and you’re willing to go the extra mile to cater to that need.

Empathy in organizations not only creates satisfied customers but also makes happier employees. Connecting with communities, addressing customer questions or complaints quickly, hiring people from a variety of backgrounds, or allowing employees to work from home (WFH) permanently are some of the practices in business that demonstrate empathy.

Invest in technology

Get a better understanding of your customers. Provide quicker feedback. And allow for smoother employee collaboration. All in one technology. Get started here.

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Top 5 Small Business Tools for Online Entrepreneurs

3 min read

The success of your daily operations heavily relies on the tools that you use. As times progress, our need for productivity increases. However, progress also comes with frequent changes, most especially with technology. 

Technology changes from time to time, and there seems to be a never-ending option of tools that you can find in the market. With plenty of options, it can steer you away from the primary purpose of increasing your business’s productivity. 

Whether you’re just a startup or planning to scale your online business, you will need a little bit of help. Knowing what type of tools to use is a great start. So, here are the top 5 small business tools for online entrepreneurs. 

Graphic Design Tools: Crello

These days, most people rely on graphics to optimize their marketing efforts across all their channels and build a professional brand for their business. Creating consistency in your marketing collateral enables your brand to be quickly recognizable and lets your customers and clients know your company’s offers.

But, as an online entrepreneur, most especially if you’re still starting, hiring staff can take a toll on your budget. That is why to remedy that, you can start going through design tools like Crello.

Crello is a drag-and-drop graphic design online editor packed with 30,000 pre-made templates in 50+ formats. Crello is a highly intuitive tool, which makes it ideal for beginners. With just a few clicks, you can whip up a design that looks like a professional created it – plus, you can add animations to your graphics. Handy and, best of all, fits within your budget. 

Social Media Tools: Buffer or Hootsuite

Social media is more than just a place for memes and keeping up with your loved ones. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are playgrounds for business opportunities. Nearly 97 percent of all Fortune 500 enterprises use their social media platform to promote their initiatives and products and cultivate positive communication with their stakeholders.

Now, you can’t possibly go through all your social media, open them on multiple tabs, and post and monitor on a manual basis. Doing so can affect your working hours and can be counter-productive.

Apps like Buffer or Hootsuite are the best way to go. Buffer is a popular social media scheduling tool that automatically posts on different channels at your preferred times. 

On the other hand, Hootsuite is a social media marketing dashboard that does more than scheduling content for your favorite channels. It also offers extensive team management features, making it a great fit for multiple marketers to maintain your social media channels.

Office Management Tools: Google Suite

Google Suite has everything you need for intelligent office apps. Google is more than just your average email client, and it contains various apps and features that can come in quite handy for your office productivity.

You can find office apps like Google Docs, Spreadsheet, Slides, and have a communication channel through Google Meet or Hangouts. Users can also enjoy the calendar, task management, and notes feature. 

So, yeah, handy and works within your budget. 

Project Management Tools: Basecamp

As an online business, managing your projects and keeping tabs on progress is hard, especially if you have plenty of things on your plate. Such tools like Basecamp is the best way to manage your projects, store them in one place, and track progress. 

Unline emails where everything starts in disorganized chaos; with Basecamp, you can chuck your work into separate projects. Each project contains everything related to the task at hand: the people involved, every discussion, every document, file, assignment, important date, etc. You no longer have to spread work across many apps, as this is inefficient and ineffective. With this tool, you can eliminate future issues by combining everything you need in one place.

Digital Ecosystem: Saphyte

If you’re a corporate online business, then having a tool that can streamline all your corporate activities in one place is a must-have. With Saphyte, all the customer management tools you need are in one thriving ecosystem. 

Saphyte is an ecosystem with a full suite of advanced customer relationship management tools to manage your sales, marketing, and customer relations needs. The software is designed and built for any business’s growth. Saphyte is engineered to enhance business productivity and boost your overall business performance – all in one piece of tech.

Takeaway for Today

The way you do work can make or break your business. As an online business, you must create a blueprint of efficiency and efficacy to steer through business challenges. As times change, companies also need to adapt and respond to the needs of their time – and you can’t do it alone. 

You will need tools to redefine work and means to help you stay productive and effective. Choose better tools, and redefine how you work today.

Curious how digital ecosystems can help improve your business?

Check out how digital ecosystems can boost your company performance by getting started here.

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