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Why a New Website Can Give You So Much More Than a New Online Look (and What the Difference Can Mean for Your Bottom Line)

Posted Wed, October 16, 2013 by Julie Short

For a lot of companies, the time for a new business website comes around at the exact moment that management decides the old site "looks old." While that's not a bad way to judge the aesthetics of your web presence, it's not a great measuring stick for trying to decide whether a new site can help your company be more profitable and efficient, either.

That's because a new business website can give you so much more than a fresh online look… and the difference in functionality can actually make a huge bottom-line difference in your company's future.

To give you a sense of why this is, and why the real value of the new site is in programming and business power, here are a few things a modern web presence can help you with:

Improve your marketing (even if it's business-to-business). Although Internet marketing is something nearly every business owner or executive already knows a bit about, most don't realize how effective it can be in building business-to-business relationships. At the very least, your site should add to your company's credibility and support your other offline sales and marketing efforts.

Make inventory control and logistics more accurate and efficient. With customized databases, real-time information entry, and even the integration of mobile devices, you can keep better track of what's going on at your production facilities and warehouses through your business website.

Help with routine customer service and account management tasks. Why make customers call you on the phone when they could place recurring orders or update their account information online, or through a mobile app? That reduces the burden of time and expense for you and your clients or customers. 

Move potential buyers along with lead automation. Do you or your sales teams spend a lot of time following up with individual leads? An automated response system can distribute marketing literature, steer them towards answers to common questions, and even perform lead nurturing tasks on your behalf, so your time is freed up to finalize concrete sales opportunities.

Help you manage employees, vendors, and projects. There are a variety of tools you can use and install to make your business website support collaborative, real-time project management, even if you have employees or vendors in other locations around the world.

If your business website isn't doing all for your company that it could be, we encourage you to get in touch with the WebRevelation team today and let us show you how we've been able to help other businesses accomplish more online.

Posted in : Websites | 
Tags : web applications , websites


5 Reasons Every Manufacturer Needs a Powerful CRM Platform

Posted Wed, October 9, 2013 by The HVAC Girl

Manufacturers tend to love technologies that make production faster, cheaper, or more reliable while casting a doubtful eye on new ideas that can help other parts of the company. Part of that probably has to do with the fact that manufacturers work in environments where there are very often slim margins and lots of competitors. That means there is very little room for mistakes… but it also means that there are bigger incentives to get smarter and more efficient.

In no part of the manufacturing business is that more true than when it comes to customer relationship management (or CRM, for short). CRM packages allow you to keep track of buyers and prospects, automate communications, and record important details in a way that would be impossible to duplicate in a spreadsheet or simple database.

To see why this is such a difference-maker for manufacturers, here are five benefits you get from installing a powerful CRM platform:

1. You spend less time on marketing, customer service, and account management. Because CRM platforms automate a number of important tasks (like account details and contact information update), you and your team can devote a lot less time to routine tasks.

2. Your company has detailed information about buyers ready to use. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to give them what they want – both individually and collectively. On the one hand, detailed buyer records and account histories tell you everything you need to know about a particular contact; and on the other, it's easy to find the information you're looking for about all customers, those in a particular geographic area, or the ones who have received a specific offer at a glance.

3. Fewer sales opportunities slip through the cracks. Spreadsheets and other manual systems are subject to far more human error than CRM platforms are, especially when it comes to following up on new sales opportunities. In this day and age, no one can afford to let customers "get away," and the CRM can help you manage contacts and new opportunities.

4. It's easier to spot trends in the market, and in your company. Because the right CRM system can give you detailed data across customer groups, date ranges, etc., it makes it easier for you to spot developing trends or concerns. By adding flagging customer keywords to different keywords and search terms, you can even see what buyers are talking to your staff about on a regular basis.

5. CRM platforms lower costs across the board. One of the best advantages of moving to a CRM system is that it can help you save money. Fewer wasted contacts, less time spent chasing the wrong opportunities, and more focus on the right parts of your business all mean better efficiency and bottom-line improvement.

Want to learn more about customer relationship management, or how the latest tools and software can make your company more profitable? Get in touch with WebRevelation and let us share some of our manufacturing success stories with you.

Posted in : CRM | 
Tags : CRM


Are Old Ideas Holding You Back From a New Level of Efficiency?

Posted Wed, October 2, 2013 by Julie Short

Despite the fact that we live in a so-called "digital age," there are a surprising number of companies holding on to very old ideas and ways of doing things. In fact, some are even using newer technologies without truly taking advantage of them – something akin to using your laptop computer as a paperweight.

Obviously, we're exaggerating just a little bit, but it isn't unusual for otherwise successful businesses to be using backward processes, especially in the field of manufacturing, where many of our best clients do their work. Instead of embracing tools like CRM software, inventory control packages, logistics platforms, and custom mobile apps, they are clinging to spreadsheets, telephone calls, and other similarly outdated processes.

Why is it that they are fighting change, when they could be enjoying benefits like bigger sales, lower costs, and faster delivery times?

Although many companies would say they aren't ready to make changes, the answers often lie in the psychology of an organization, or the mindset of its executive team, rather than any true limitations of the hardware or software they could be using. That's understandable, but it's also something that's easy to fix. 

Here are a few of the common issues we help companies with, along with a couple quick thoughts on each:

Clinging to old habits. When it comes down to it, a lot of people don't like learning to do new things, or dealing with change at all. What usually happens, though, once we show them how much time and money can be saved by doing things a smarter way, is that our clients can't remember how they ever got along without the new tools and ideas.

A general resistance to change. This involves the same kind of thinking, but in an organizational sense. If things have always been relatively successful working a certain way, why change? The answer is that doing something successfully doesn't mean you can't do it better, or with less time, expense, and stress.

Personnel bottlenecks. Occasionally, we have clients who would like to try to do things differently, but can't get permission from a key executive or decision-maker. Again, the reasons for putting off change are usually valid, but a thoughtful proposal and demonstration are usually enough to let them give our way a try.

The blame game. Conversely, change is sometimes slowed by the worry that, if the new methods don't work out, the person responsible for bringing the idea up (or making the final decision) are going to be blamed. But, that ignores the reality that they can also receive credit for taking the initiative, and could receive even more blame later if they didn't take advantage of an opportunity to help the organization.

If your company isn’t getting enough from technology, right now is the perfect time to decide to change things, become more efficient, and move forward. Call or email the WebRevelation team today and let us show you how a few simple cost-effective shifts in the way you do business can make all the difference.

Posted in : Business Strategy | 
Tags : business strategy


What the Right Mobile App Development Partner Can Do For You

Posted Wed, September 25, 2013 by Julie Short

With thousands of companies across America considering mobile app development projects to help generate sales and boost the bottom line, more and more of them are wondering how to find the right app designer… or even what exactly a good app developer actually does.

That's understandable. It's a very new field, and one that's growing so quickly that it's hard to keep track of different concepts, labels, and best practices. With that in mind, we'll begin by explaining that, in a basic sense, an app developer is usually a person or team who takes your idea, programs it into the right formats and languages, and gives you a finished piece of software that can be used on iPhones, iPads, Androids, and other mobile devices.

As with something like web design, however, there are a lot of different types of companies that can help you with app development – and a lot of different levels of service and value. So, rather than simply defining an app developer, let's look at a few other things that the right app development partner can do for you:

Assess your idea, the market, and your competition. A lot of business owners and executives want to rush an app to market, but that's not a wise approach. Your development partner can do a bit of research and see whether your idea is likely to succeed, and what kind of competition you're up against.

Help turn your app concept into a viable product. Few app ideas are ready for development after an initial brainstorming session. Often, a little bit of thought about the features and layouts that will be used can produce important improvements – especially if a team of seasoned app developers can give some input.

Handle the technical details of app development (and especially troubleshooting). In the same way, there's a big difference between "coding" an app and having it ready for sale. You want your app tested extensively, within different types of mobile devices, to make sure it's going to work correctly for customers.

Get your app to market and help you build initial sales. Apps hardly ever generate their own sales momentum, at least not when they are first released. That's why it's important to have a strong, efficient marketing plan in place to let customers know about your product and start generating orders and downloads.

Although a lot of companies offer "app development" as one of their services, very few really give you the level of value that you're probably looking for. Remember that, and then choose your app development partner wisely.

Want to learn more about mobile apps and how they fit into your business? Call or email WebRevelation today to arrange for a free consultation.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


5 Ingredients to a Great Mobile App Development Project

Posted Wed, September 18, 2013 by Julie Short

These days, almost everyone thinks they have a great idea for an app. But, once they get to the market, many apps fail to make an impression, either because there is too much competition, the design and development are lacking, or the concept ends up being unworkable as an actual piece of software.

So, how can you tell if your mobile app will be a success? There aren't any surefire answers, but here are five ingredients for a successful app development project:

1. A unique concept. There are a lot of really great app development ideas that fail simply because others have thought of them in the past. If your app is similar to others that are on the market, it needs to do something different, or better, in order to stand out.

2. A strong list of features. Does your app development project truly represent big value for someone who would buy or download it? By examining your list of features – that is, what it is your app will actually do – you can decide whether or not it's actually needed in the market, and whether customers will actually come looking for it.

3. Streamlined design with an emphasis on usability. No one wants to spend a lot of time learning to use an app, and if it doesn't shine from a usability standpoint, it's only a matter of time before a competitor releases a product that's easier to navigate. The same goes for design, where your app should have a pleasing look and interface.

4. Extensive testing and compatibility research. Apps that crash frequently, or don't work consistently across different mobile operating platforms, will struggle to achieve even modest sales. Because you don't want your app to get a reputation as being unstable, extensive testing is a necessity before you release it.

5. A comprehensive marketing and promotion plan. It's very rare for an app to simply show up for sale online and start to generate attention and reviews all on its own. Just as websites don't automatically appear in Google's rankings, an app promotion and marketing plan is important to generate momentum and find those all-important initial buyers.

Does your mobile app idea meet all of these criteria? Whether it does or not, now might be the perfect time to speak with the WebRevelation team – we can help you get more from your concept or turn it into something that's profitable for years to come.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


3 Ways Companies Make Money With Mobile App Development

Posted Wed, September 11, 2013 by Julie Short

Mobile app development is a big business, and one that's getting bigger all the time. With millions of iPhones, Androids, and iPads flying off the shelves each month, Americans are becoming more and more connected through mobile web devices – and looking to new apps to help them make their lives and careers more convenient at the same time.

But, while businesses across the country are looking to cash in on app development, many will struggle to even break even on mobile software packages. There are a lot of reasons for this, including competition and a lack of understanding about app development, but one of the most important is that companies don't always know the best ways to profit from apps in the first place.

To help keep you from making the same mistakes, here are three ways that businesses profit from app development:

1. By becoming an app store bestseller, or steady sales over time. By now, you've undoubtedly read about an app that has made its founder or creator millions of dollars (and might have even purchased a few of your own). While these kinds of apps are obviously incredibly profitable, they also require that you have an original idea, along with more than a bit of luck. It's certainly possible to come up with a popular app, but know that you face lots of competition and will have to have a concept that's well above average.

2. By lowering costs with customer convenience. Another way to profit from apps is by giving your customers convenience they couldn't find elsewhere. In other words, by giving them an app that lets them place orders, for example, or update account information online, you don't just make life easier for them, you lower your own customer service costs at the same time. Looking for that mix of convenience and savings can be a great way to use inexpensive app development to boost your bottom line.

3. By using apps to introduce buyers to different products. Sometimes, the best way to make money from an app isn't to sell it at all, but to give it away and use it to promote other products and services to those who download it. Of course, you don't want to go overboard with the advertising or your app might get bad reviews. But, put together a handy tool that leads customers to other parts of your company, and you might have a win-win marketing solution.

One thing you'll notice about each of these ideas is that they all represent a different mobile app development, pricing, and distribution strategy. So, just as you need to know how you can make money with an app, it's also important to envision what that chain of profitability will look like before you begin if you're going to maximize your chances for success.

Have questions about app design and development? Get in touch with WebRevelation today and let us find the answers you need.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile apps


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