Editor's note: this is a guest post by Disha Dinesh.
Sales and marketing teams are constantly under pressure to meet targets. In environments where these employees feel compelled to work longer hours, you risk a knock-on effect on morale, engagement and productivity - leading to resentment, slip-ups and poor results.
There is an alternative: boosting efficiency with the help of software.
Software streamlines tedious tasks, improves time management and reduces human error. In sales and marketing in particular, the right set of tools can significantly improve workflow.
Here are a few of our favourites.
Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
Managing leads can be a hassle. It requires timely and consistent follow-ups, plus support staff on standby in case any prospect faces issues when trying to sign up or purchase.
Running a sales and support team that never disappoints can be a nearly impossible task, given the inevitability of human error.
That's why companies are increasingly turning to CRMs, whose automatic 'prompt and response' workflows ensure sales teams manage their leads systematically.
Most CRMs automatically register details of prospects who have made an enquiry on your website and let you manage communication with them as they move through the sales funnel.
CRMs can also help you organise your inbox by moving important emails up the queue. Some CRMs also 'gamify' the sales process, awarding points to sales personnel who convert the most leads.
Features vary significantly by system, so look closely for a CRM that works for you.
Social Media Curation and Promotion
Today's social media users are spread out over many social networks, making it tough for businesses to target and connect with them consistently.
Maintaining a presence on multiple platforms has become a necessity for most businesses, but it's difficult to consistently publish high-quality content across so many different sites.
Social media management and content curation software can simplify the process.
Today, most social media management software lets you post across multiple channels in one go - and schedule content in advance so you can maintain regular posts even when you're away.
A specific type of social media software, content curation software, lets you source content from top sources in your niche. This provides an alternative source of content so that you don't need to rely on constantly creating your own.
You can also use this software to encourage your employees to share company content on their own networks.
If you have built up a large database of email addresses, you can turn it into a lead nurturing system by using an email marketing tool.
Use your email marketing system to send out newsletters, share curated content, and run the occasional marketing campaign.
Most email marketing tools allow you to create campaigns using a selection of templates. You can also schedule email campaigns and monitor their delivery, open and click-through rates. Some of them also support A/B testing and can create reports and make content suggestions.
Managing support enquiries can be messy when multiple employees contribute to the support effort.
You need a foolproof way to get an overall picture of the status of each enquiry and which team member is managing it. Thankfully, software exists to do just that.
Shared inbox tools or helpdesk tools let you manage your inbound emails and messages by delegating them amongst your team. You can use these tools to assign tasks, share notes and contacts, and manage your customer support channels efficiently.
Shared inbox tools work best if you're a small team and receive most queries via email. If you receive a high volume of queries, often through multiple sources, helpdesk software is likely to be more useful.
Author bio: Disha Dinesh is a content marketer at DrumUp, a provider of content marketing and social media management tools. When Disha’s not writing, she’s on the hunt for social media trends and inspiration. Follow Disha on Twitter.