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Technology is paramount to running a successful business in today's digital world. From cloud computing and artificial intelligence to mobile applications and search engine optimization, every organization needs these tools in its arsenal to remain competitive, efficient, and profitable.
Automation is one of the drivers of productivity and efficiency by reducing the need for manual labor and freeing up time and resources for other activities. Additionally, technology can help businesses to collect, analyze, and utilize data more effectively, enabling them to make more informed decisions and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
The tools that every organization should incorporate into their day-to-day include search engine optimization (SEO) software, artificial intelligence (AI) powered software, and cloud computing platforms. By leveraging these tools, associations and organizations can operate more efficiently and effectively and provide better services and support to their members and stakeholders.
This guide will highlight tools that can add value to your business and save your team time.
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Customer Relationship Management
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is a cloud-based software that, with the help of AI, allows you to manage your business’s relationships with potential leads and existing clients.
CRM tools aid in managing customer data, tracking customer interactions and feedback and using this information to improve the customer experience. A CRM, when used effectively, can lead to sales growth and stronger relationships with your customers.
Here are some reasons your business needs a CRM:
Improved customer service: A CRM allows businesses to store and organize customer data in one central location, making it easier to access and use when interacting with customers. This can help improve the overall customer experience and make it easier for your team to provide timely and relevant support.
Enhanced collaboration and efficiency: A CRM system can help teams collaborate more effectively by providing a shared view of customer interactions and data. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity as teams are able to work together more seamlessly.
Increased sales and revenue: A CRM provides a concise view of the customer’s buying journey and lifecycle. This visibility helps sales teams identify opportunities and create targeted marketing campaigns for upselling, cross-selling, and re-engaging past customers. These strategies, enabled by the proper use of a CRM, can lead to increased sales and revenue for your business.
The market is brimming with different types of CRM tools and software depending on the industry and size of the business. Popular CRM tools include Outreach, Hubspot, Zoho, Salesforce, and Monday.
Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the ability of a computer or machine to learn from data and make “educated” decisions, similar to those a human might make. This can include the ability to reason, learn from experience, make decisions, and solve problems. AI can automate various tasks and processes in an organization, freeing up time and resources for other activities.
Here are a few reasons why your business may benefit from using AI:
Cost savings: AI can help businesses to reduce costs by automating tasks and processes, and by making more accurate and efficient decisions.
Increased efficiency and decision-making speed: AI-powered systems can automate tasks and processes, freeing up your employees to focus on more valuable work. For example, for membership organizations, AI can automate the enrollment and eligibility determination process, making it easier and more efficient for members to access benefits.
Personalization for customers: AI can be used to analyze customer data and provide personalized recommendations and experiences, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Smarter sales outreach: AI-powered tools like Seamless.ai allow users to acquire accurate contact information of target customer prospects, and automate the outreach process thereafter.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) software is another essential technology tool for businesses. This refers to the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website in search engine results pages. By optimizing their website for search engines, businesses can attract more traffic and potential customers to their websites.
Here are a few reasons why your business needs SEO:
Increased, targeted traffic: By optimizing your website for relevant keywords, you can increase its visibility in results for buyer-intent search queries. This can lead to more targeted traffic, and ultimately more leads.
Enhanced user experience: The process of optimizing a site for search engines generally has an ancillary benefit—search engines want your website to have clear, efficient and user-friendly interfaces. Improving your site’s user experience (UX) is part and parcel of SEO, which makes for a better experience for who matters most, your users. This can lead to increased engagement and higher conversion rates.
Investing in an asset: SEO requires an upfront, and consistent investment—similar to running ads. But you’re not billed per click, you’re investing in the overall reach and value of your website, reducing your reliance on paid advertising. Most importantly, your rankings do not disappear the second you turn off your spend, as is the case with ads.
Some of the best SEO software tools on the market include those offered by AHREFS, SEMRush, and Moz.
Cloud computing is the practice of storing and accessing data and applications over the internet rather than on a local computer or server.
Here are some benefits businesses can reap by moving their infrastructure to the cloud:
Cost Savings: Cloud computing can help companies reduce their IT costs, as they do not need to purchase and maintain expensive hardware and software. Instead, they can pay for the resources they use on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Endless Scalability: Cloud computing allows businesses to scale their resources up or down as needed, without the need to invest in, and provision additional hardware. This can be particularly useful for businesses that experience seasonal fluctuations or rapid growth.
Improved Security: Cloud vendors offer advanced security measures to protect data and prevent unauthorized access. This can help businesses to reduce the risk of data breaches and comply with international data protection regulations.
Increased collaboration: Cloud computing allows your team members to access and collaborate on documents and projects from anywhere they have an internet connection. This can improve productivity, and enable distributed teams throughout the world — opening you to talent outside of your headquarters.
Global cloud computing Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Oracle, Digital Ocean, RackSpace, and Linode.
Cloud computing also enables Platforms-as-a-Service like Heroku, Firebase, Vercel, and Netlify, which are a layer on top of raw cloud infrastructure. These PaaS solutions provide entire suites of software tools such as reporting, analytics, automated deploys, automated backups, and more—which enable businesses to move faster, with higher reliability.
In a world where technology is only getting more complex, it’s clear how much it has impacted how organizations operate and compete. With the current economic climate, businesses need to focus more than ever on improving efficiency and growing sustainably. These software trends can improve communication and collaboration, reduce costs, automate tasks and processes, make data more digestible, and improve the overall customer experience. In doing so, they improve your bottom-line and help you grow.