Operational efficiency is a key factor in the success of any business. When you have an efficient workspace, you can focus on what’s most important: ensuring customers have a positive experience at your business and increasing sales performance. Approximately 80% of CEOs shared that they planned operational efficiencies to drive revenue growth this year, according to PwC’s 2022 CEO Survey.
Does that mean you should focus on cutting costs? The answer is no. Achieving operational efficiency goes beyond simple cost-cutting measures. It’s more about digital transformation, big data, machine learning, AI and human input.
If you’re not already doing these things, here are 4 actionable strategies to get you started.
1. Embrace automation for labor intensive and repetitive tasks
Automation is a powerful tool for streamlining manual labor-intensive and repetitive tasks such as data entry, invoicing and customer service. It can also be used to increase productivity by reducing errors and increasing accuracy.
For example, retailers can implement digital self-service channels to handle high-volume transaction requests, such as tracking orders, paying bills, or renewing subscriptions. Or an AI-powered platform can make autonomous decisions about the supply chain in real time. The machine will automatically identify the products to be purchased from suppliers and order them based on their availability in the market.
Another way to embrace automation is to use a business process automation (BPA) tool, such as Automated Commerce, to quickly clean, enrich, and add contextual meaning to product data. This will ensure your product discovery experience is meaningful and successful in any language.
2. On Capital Technology: Create Channel Partner Syndication
Businesses distribute their products through multiple channels, such as wholesalers and retailers. It is important to have consistent product information so that all channels are aware of the latest changes or updates to the product line. Many still use spreadsheets to handle this process.
The problem with traditional data management is that it requires a lot of manual effort. Your team must continuously create the spreadsheets manually and then send them one by one to your channel partners. This inefficient process takes up valuable time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere, not to mention the errors and inconsistencies that can occur along the way.
If you’re still using spreadsheets, it’s time to use technology to help make syndication easier. With the right platform, you’ll have a single source of truth for all product content and information. You can also be confident that your data will be enriched and distributed seamlessly and consistently across channels, at the right time and in the right format.
Lindy, a manufacturer of computer and audiovisual communications products, is a great example of the success of syndicating product content. The company operates multiple sites to serve customers from different countries. Previously, they used multiple platforms to manage data across these channels, making it difficult for them to provide a consistent content discovery experience. But all problems were solved after they implemented content syndication. Lindy now makes it easy to provide customers with a clear, comprehensive and user-friendly experience, no matter where they are.
3. Use configurators to improve CPQ
Customizable products are a great way to engage shoppers, allow them to customize their orders, and increase your sales. They allow you to offer different options and ensure that every customer can get exactly what they want.
It’s important to note, however, that customizable products can also be a huge pain for sellers and customers. The longer it takes for a sales rep or customer to get their quote and refund for a regulated item, the less likely the deal will close. This is especially true if there are multiple options for selecting a particular regulated product type.
Here is the good news. you can use interactive, visual product configurators to enhance CPQ. No IT or coding required, meaning it’s easy to set up this feature in your online store. Plus:
- It displays all available products and their compatible accessories so customers can quickly and easily create their own products. The result is an improved customer experience that spends less time searching for the right ingredients and more time creating the perfect product.
- It shortens sales cycles by removing tedious processes like quoting and ordering, leaving less room for error and giving sales reps more opportunities to focus on closing deals instead of filling out forms.
- It works like a referral. Customers can build products in real-time and add parts and features as they go. With each change, they will immediately see the price update. By making it easy for customers to choose what they want and give them confidence in the price they pay, configurators help eliminate sales complexity and build buyer confidence.
4. Provide sales teams with better training materials
Sales teams are always on the go. They need to be able to access product information, have a way to communicate with customers, and remember all the details of your company’s offerings. If they don’t have these things, they won’t be able to do their job properly.
That’s why providing sales reps with the best training materials is so important. For example, think about digital assistants and configurations that can help them easily find the information they need when they need it, without spending time digging through files or calling the product support team for help.
One way to do this is to give sales teams easy access to customer information and other relevant data they need, such as product information and pricing details. This makes it easier for sales representatives to understand customer needs and, more importantly, how those needs align with the product or service being offered.
Improve operational efficiency for sustainable growth
It is no longer pleasant to work efficiently for business. it is a necessity if they are to survive and thrive in today’s world. Businesses that provide the greatest value to their customers are those that can deliver their products at an affordable price and with the best quality. This requires significant operational efficiencies that can be achieved through automation, technology and well-trained teams.