What SMB Business Tools is your small to medium-size business using to identify, target, develop and win new business? Let’s demystify this concept and process, together.
As part of the Executive Team of your business, driving revenue through your organization should be top-of-mind. That means you are looking for more than strategy: you are searching for implementation and execution of initiatives to grow, expand and sustain your business.
Your Leadership combines Mindset with Skillset and Tool Kits which are relevant and valuable, not only to your company and employees but to your customers as well.
The proverbial keepers of the SMB business tools are your senior and middle managers, who are already beleagured trying to get their teams to make their numbers. Your company has a tight budget and most Fortune-something business tools aren’t reverse-scalable to SMBs.
Here are some recommendations for you.
SMB Business Tools are lean and mean. They are efficient rather than fancy. They are relevant to your small to medium size business and budget.
Here’s how to get started. Take a look at some of my recommendations. I’m here in case you have questions.
- Develop a social media presence. Yes, that means creating complete LinkedIn profiles for all of your Executive Team, Business Devleopmand and Project Management personnel, for starters. If you get spammed by silly folks wanting to sell you stuff, delete these messages before reading. You are already good at this anyway, if your Inbox looks like mine does each day.
- Manage your social meda accounts on a unified dashboard like Hootsuite, which is my platform of choice. There are many other platforms as well. Just Google “manage all my social media accounts” and read what pops up.
- Use and monitor hashtags on your Hootsuite (or other) dashboard to engage in social listening. I use hastags like #manufacturing, #leadership, #MSP, #sales, you get it. The purpose: determine current trends in those industry verticals appropriate to growing, expanding and sustaining your business. Get a sense of where the marketplace is going, connect and engage in a brief 140 character discussion, then move the conversation offline after a while.
- Combine the profiles of your email contacts on one Dashboard. Why constantly search through past email to find the contact information of customers and prospects you are looking for. I recommend Nimble, which recently relaunched into a highly functional interface which is compatible with LinkedIn, Twitter, various email platforms, etc.
- Identify new customers, create relationships resulting in a business lead, record and track your department’s progress in growing the social conversation into a full-fledged client relationship and won project. You will need a CRM (client relationship management) platform to do this. My recommendation is Pipeliner CRM, an incredibly visual and flexible platform that works for you rather than making you feel like data entry personnel. The platform even has capability as a project management tool, my personal favorite.
For more insights on how use various social platforms to identify, develop and manage a solid pipeline for revenue, take a look at KiteDesk’s new ebook, featuring solid data-based insights on the impact of social media on sales performance and corporate revenue. It’s chock full of relevant and valuable information.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a business coach and management consultant. Her Workshops create Playbooks for startups and small to mid-size companies who want to grow, expand and sustain their businesses, but wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Playbook on leadership, business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
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