Imagine for a moment that you work in the customer service department at a grocery store. A customer comes in one day and says they need to return a bag of bread. Mostly likely, the store you work for already has a set of written rules in place for how to handle this situation. That written set of rules is what is known as a standard operating procedure.
Anytime you achieve a goal it is usually through implementing some sort of project. The development of new software, the construction a building, and designing a new website are all examples of projects. A project is simply an activity that lasts for a finite length of time. It was created with a specific goal in mind and it has both a start date and an end date. And project management is simply the active planning and monitoring of these activities.
Take a moment to think about the steps your customers go through before they even make their very first purchase from your company. Perhaps it begins when a potential customer opts-in to your company newsletter and then eventually when they decide to make a purchase. And then hopefully over time, they will turn into repeat customers and brand advocates for your company. This is what is known as the customer lifecycle and it is the process your customers go through when they are building a relationship with your company.
Automation has been a goal of business bosses since the Industrial Revolution in England and it’s been a cause for consternation for staff for exactly as long. But in the 21st Century there’s no reason for anyone to be luddites about using technology to automate processes and help speed up business operations. Automating human resources can have particular benefits, so we’ll look at what those can be in this post, as well as what you need to know to make it a success.
The importance of content marketing for any marketing strategy has been clear for many years, with quality content being essential for search rankings, thought leadership and simply for effective communications. However, achieving the right level of good content is easier said than done and it’s crucial to maintain quality control in content marketing, otherwise no strategy, no matter how groundbreaking, will ever have a chance of succeeding.
A business process consultant is an external consultant who helps businesses by researching and analyzing the processes and systems that a business implements. Once this has been done, he or she will make recommendations to improve these processes and practices with an eye to improving overall efficiency. The consultant may also be involved in designing simulations to test proposed process improvements. A business process consultant would generally report to top management.
Every sale your business will make follows a predictable progression of phases that, if completed, will lead to a sale. This is the “sales funnel,” and the way in which its navigated will determine whether you reach the phase where a deal is closed.
Although all businesses and sales have unique characteristics, the broad phases of the sales funnel will apply.
Workflow analysis is a process in which businesses examine the progression of workflows in order to improve efficiency. Workflow analysis identifies areas for improvement, for example:
- Redundant tasks or processes
- Inefficient workplace layouts
By improving workflows, your resources are used more efficiently, and your staff is better able to work to capacity. It’s particularly important in situations where teams handle core processes in succession. For example, if Team B often finds itself waiting for Team A to complete its process before it can proceed, or conversely, can’t keep up with input from Team A, you have a classic bottleneck situation.
Have you ever wondered how long you should wait before following up with a potential customer? Following up too soon might make you seem pushy or unprepared. However, if you wait too long then you might miss the opportunity for a sale altogether. Many people who are in sales have faced this dilemma at some point which is why the sales cycle exists.
A sales cycle refers to the series of events that takes place from the moment a salesperson first engages with a prospect up until the moment when the sale is made. Most businesses want to shorten the sales cycle as much as possible but this can only be done once they fully understand each step of the process first.