It’s a catch 22; software can make your work easier, but it can also be a frustrating and confusing process long before it becomes a valuable contribution to your life. You can spend hours researching the best combination of tools and technology to maximize your efficiency. It involves evaluating, on-boarding, training, implementing, and calibrating the software until it provides value to the people that use it .
We’ve had the unique opportunity to thoroughly reassess the technology our teams use during our work day. It was a good chance to decide what we needed at a minimum and what might enhance our capability to work quickly and effectively. We evaluated each tool on what provides the most value to specific departments, as well as the team overall. Here are a few tools that we’ve found to be essential to our daily lives.
For Damon, our CEO, nothing provides more value than a reliable phone system. It’s critical for our conversations with internally and outside of our company. We wanted a system that had mobile applications and provides access from our personal devices. After trying several systems, we settled on RingCentral, a VOIP provider. RingCentral gives our team team the ability to call from their laptops or cell phones, and talk with you using our favorite headsets (or Airpods).
A robust customer relationship management tool (CRM) allows our sales team to track current prospects, deals and essential client information. Because this tool would also be used by our support and marketing teams, we looked for systems with easy automation, analytics, and seamless integrations. While there are many capable CRMs available, we chose HubSpot, a system that had the features that our team uses, rather than using one with the greatest number of features available.
Above all else, the tool that provides the most value to our team as a whole is a company-wide communication platform, like Slack. A centralized communication platform prevents our team from having to rely on clunky, disorganized internal emails. Separating our conversations into small groups and channels allows our teams to work in the open and see only what is relevant to each person and department.
We’ve found that regularly evaluating the tools our team uses is important. For each tool, there are many questions that you have to ask yourself: How often are we using this? How much does it cost? Are we using it to the fullest capacity? What are our alternatives?
Our experience over the past few months has helped us to understand the importance of proactively taking inventory of our technology options. Modern technology can save a lot of headaches, but can also create a lot of headaches if not carefully evaluated and implemented. Whether you are just getting off of the ground, or have been in business for decades, taking the time to regularly evaluate the technology tools in your office is essential to maximizing productivity and organization.
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