Guest writer, Author at B2B SaaS Lead Generation & Onboarding Agency

How to manage queue at your business during the lock down

Covid-19 has changed our life completely. It affects us emotionally as well as economically. The whole world is facing a major loss in their businesses. But in such a situation, we are unable to do anything for safety reasons. So we have to work in the lockdown situation to run the business.

But how can we work in a pandemic with safety?

The answer to all of your problems is the queue management. Managing a big crowd is not an easy task during this pandemic. But we can handle it with more care and with better queue management software.

We don’t know how long this virus will go but we can’t stop working. For better working and managing everything accurately, you need a booking software to work hassle-free. The software helps in keeping the record and working effortlessly.

The queue management software will make the work easy for every kind of business owner. With this, they can book the appointment from anywhere and anytime.

The other benefit of queue management software is making everything web-connected.  The queue management software enables the utilization of the best services and activities which helps to access the online system by simply clicking on the button.

Your customer can book the appointment digitally from their cell phones. The booking system provides tickets or emails according to the booking schedule.

Here in this article, we are going to review the tips on how to manage queues in lock down.

Table of content

Ways to manage queue at your business during lockdown

Online queue system

Booking through social media

Take all the precautionary measures

Online money transfer

Reduce overbooking

Automatic ticket generation

Wrapping up

Ways to manage queue at your business during lockdown

Online queue system

Technology makes everything easy. You can book an appointment, cancel or reschedule in a single click. The online system can handle the queues digitally. This is the easiest way to manage your clients.

With the online queuing, your clients can send their details through email or text message. On the date of the appointment, your staff will send the reminder of your turn. On the date of the appointment, your clients can wait safely in their homes or cars. Staff members will send you a message timely.

If you use a queue management system then the major concern of virtual queuing is to empty the space as much as possible.

Booking through social media

Social media has become an integral part of life in every aspect. Almost every other person is on social media. In this pandemic, people are more relying on social media to get the right information about each and every aspect. So it is necessary to make the online presence using social media. This is the biggest platform to connect with a large number of people and book appointments easily. Your clients can keep a check about the new updations more often to get the latest updates.

You can contact your clients through social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It can be a very useful way to get maximum clients. Try to post about the working of your office that shows how safely you work. This will give your clients the confidence to reach your office.

Take all the precautionary measures

Whenever your client visits your office; it is important for you and them to follow the safety measures given by WHO. Make sure you paste the guidelines on different places so that everyone can read and follow the instructions such as:

  • Wash hands with soap or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Maintain at least 1-meter distance.
  • Stand on the marks into crowded places to maintain distance.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth as these can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth which will further enter your body and infect you.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask to reduce the spread.
  • Do self-isolation even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover.spread of viruses and other infections.
  • Keep updated with the latest information.

You can send the message daily to your regular clients so that they follow the guidelines before entering. Your company must make sure that the working area must be properly sanitized.

Online money transfer

To stop the crowd and infection, you can follow one rule for sure is online payment. This is the best way to stop spreading some of the focus onto your paying users. Customers can pay through the different payment gateways like a credit card, mail chimp, Zapier, etc. Electronic payment is always an easy and effortless option than a cash payment.

With this, they can provide you with email support to those who are paying online. This provides safety in data transfer and prevents you from any fraud. By putting that requirement in place helps to focus on users who are paying online to get maximum productivity.

Reduce overbooking

You might have seen the scenario where two clients can book the appointment at the same time. Overbooking is not new for the business. This is the major drawback of the manual booking system.

But online scheduling helps to avoid overbooking. The online system sets everything in place by not doing anything repeatedly. Booking software automatically pops up the message if the appointments are booked twice by clients. This reduces the redundancy in the task.

Automatic ticket generation

Automatically ticket generation is the best way of working. This allows them to follow up with a reply in their queue or view, and they are primarily responsible for the entire interaction, along with finding a solution to the problem.

This can be handled with the queue management system. The entire support team works from an unassigned queue. The most significant is a queue management tool that allows users to easily access the information of the queue.

Wrapping up

Above, we have discussed some of the ways to manage your business with the queue system.

Being a responsible business owner it’s crucial for you to help your staff and clients. For safety in the work, make sure you follow the right instructions. This will help to build the trust of the clients that you are mostly concerned about.

Your small effort can make your business better in the competition. Hopefully, this article will give you the best knowledge.

Your suggestions and queries are welcome. Feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading!!

Author Bio:

Yi Ling Liu is associated with Salonist, a smart salon software for all types of beauty & amp; wellness industries. She assists business owners on how to grow their business through fully featured software.

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5 great tips to make your blog more engaging

You put so much effort into writing great content, your blog is one of the best tools you have to make and nurture connections. When you create content, focus on the quality, not the quantity to rank in the search engines, and boost social shares of your content for more visibility. Your blog deserves more engagement, this is where you put a human face on your business. What makes a good blog post is a good topic or idea, share compelling blog posts that resonate with your target audience. Here are 5 great tips to make your blog more engaging.

  1. Provide Useful Content

Your audience is the foundation of your blog and readers want to be educated or enlightened. Understand your audience and how you can help them, your content needs to be clear and compelling. Offer your readers something helpful for free. Interactive content is the future of content marketing, they are the reason it exists. Establish yourself as a resource that brings readers information, and insights, you need to focus on creating valuable content rather than a general one. Quality content helps to attract your audience, boosting site traffic, and improving conversion rates.

  • Write the right headlines

Headlines can make or break the success of your blog post because many people don’t generally read beyond the headlines. Headline Formulas Always Work but don’t forget headline is a promise and your content must deliver. It’s important that your headlines attract attention. But the headline is the most crucial element if your content doesn’t deliver on the promise your headline makes, you will have to face a loss of goodwill. Select wording carefully that makes use of target keywords, it’s what draws readers to your content from social media sites, search engines, and other blogs.

  • Publish different types of content

Varying your topics helps you reach a wider audience. Make your content stand apart by including Video, Podcasts, Infographics, interviews, Group interviews, etc. Implement sound SEO practices and increase the potential of interest in your posts. Leverage outbound links to related pages, simplify your navigation and move the less important link to your footer. Write less and say more. You can expand the reach of your blog by publishing different content types and improves your ranking in the search engines. Share tips that will be useful to your target audience and win customers.

  • Ramp Up on Visuals

Use visual elements to enhance your blog post’s engagement, without visuals, words alone may not be pulling their weight. Using visuals to complement your text enriches website experience as “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Visual communication is a highly effective way for marketers to reach people, an infographic can easily convey the message. It’s easier to show someone something than to tell them about it, enhancing your blog posts with visuals and other rich media helps readers consume your content.

  • Promote Your Posts

You want to generate results with your blog, but it won’t happen if people don’t see it. Keep trying and your traffic will start increasing over time whether it’s for shares, to capture leads, or to initiate a conversation through comments. There are many ways to promote your blog posts. Don’t forget to add 2-3 of your own links within your post. Start caring about your readers while ensuring your blog posts meets your desired objectives. If you have a strong email and social media following, share your blog posts where ever possible, and you’ll start winning their hearts. Leave a call-to-action (CTA) in your blog post telling viewers what to do next also take advantage of Google Plus communities and LinkedIn Groups to promote your posts. Try understanding their concerns. You will significantly increase responsiveness or click-through rates by using web tools such as SumoMe, Twitter Cards, and Scoop

Encourage your readers to engage with you to build trust and brand loyalty. Attract thousands of readers to your blog and make people say ‘Wow”, it is a sure way to increase brand awareness and attract quality prospects to your brand. Your blog is a drop in a very big pool, make sure giving visitors a memorable and enjoyable experience that will make them come back to the blog.

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How‌ ‌does‌ ‌the‌ ‌Uber‌ ‌app‌ ‌work‌ ‌ for‌ ‌drivers?

I am sure that at least one of us used Uber once in life. It seemed to me that it is a comfortable and fashionable thing to use. I want to introduce to you some general information and some interesting facts about the work for drivers in Uber. I reckon you have started or planned to use Uber. Are you ready to start working as the driver? Read on for everything that might be necessary for you to know.

Let’s go!

Short overview

In my honest opinion, Uber is one of the most valuable and effective services. Its service works all around the globe. This company suggests the Uber mobile app, which you can use to offer a trip request that is automatically sent to an Uber driver near to you, informing the driver about your place. What is the secret of Uber’s success? Uber is working currently in over 700 cities globally. This service has a high-interest rate using digital technology that makes it much simpler for clients to fulfill their daily taxi needs. The service also gives a flexible job opportunity for everyone who has a personal car. At the same time, it simplifies the taxi booking system.

As you can see, Uber is a service that is more economical to support and faster in operating than a traditional taxi. It is also more effective and useful for drivers. It seemed to me, Uber is required due to its technical features and well-designed operating model.

How can you become an Uber driver?

What do you need to work for Uber? Please follow these rules.

Conditions

If you want to be a driver, you must be 21 years old. And of course, you must have at least a one-year driving experience. Every driver has a valid driver’s license with proof of vehicle certification and insurance. After employing up, your driving history and criminal history will be reviewed by Uber. You must also keep in mind that not every car is accepted by the company.

Free contractor

It is possible for all Uber drivers to get paid weekly and drive wherever they want at any time of day. Isn’t that cool? I suppose, yes. Because you don’t have to report to an office or a boss that you might have had before. But there is one requirement that you must follow, you have to drive your own car, or at least, you may rent one from the Uber company. As a result, Uber drivers are supposed to be free entrepreneurs.

Insurance

All UberBLACK, UberSUV, and UberTAXI rides are presented by commercially licensed and registered partners and drivers. Likewise, these transportation providers are covered by commercial insurance policies provided according to the local and state requirements.

Requirements to the car

In case, when we are talking about car requirements, your car must be not older than a 2008 model year, with four doors. Following this, your car must be protected and registered, and it has to possess the Uber typical vehicle inventory that includes such things and basic items like wheels, lights, seat belts, and brakes. Read and learn these rules beforehand and you’re able to give your first ride. A compact car mount is a must-have, too.

I truly hope that you have gotten some amount of useful information and now know for sure how you can become the Uber driver. Would you like to work in Uber? Take the possibility. Don’t waste your time. 

How does the Uber app work for Drivers?

As usual, Uber provides the special edition of the app for its drivers. To say shortly, this app helps you to decide how, where, and when to earn. If you decide to drive, please follow these steps:

Step 1. Going online

The driver app is always free. So whenever you’re ready to drive or deliver, open the app and tap “Go”.

Step 2. Taking trip and delivery applications

If you are online, you’ll automatically start to get requests in your region. Your phone will provide a peculiar sound. Swipe to accept.

Step 3. Turn-by-turn directions

This app makes it simple to find your client and drive to their address.

Step 4. Earnings with each trip

You may see how much you’ve driven after each trip, and track your progress towards each day and week’s earnings goals. Earnings automatically transfer to your bank account every week. It is rather easy to track up your earnings and choose the time when you want to get paid.

Step 5. Rating system

All drivers as well as all the Uber customers or passengers will be asked to give feedback on each trip.

So, you have read 5 main steps about how the Uber driver app works. That works quite simply. Moreover, you can work only when you want.

Conclusion

So, it’s high time to come to the end. I really hope that this information will be useful and effective for you.

You have read about how the Uber app works for drivers. Here is the shortlist of the points necessary to join Uber:

  1. Conditions 
  2. Drivers’ app
  3. Free contractor
  4. Insurance
  5. Requirements to the car

In general, it’s a gorgeous and original app with a lot of features and full of simplicity. In my view, it’s one of the most active and most intelligent ways to get somewhere in time. Thank you for reading! Enjoy your work!

Author Bio: Alex Vasylenko – an expert in web development. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science. During the last several years the CEO of AVA codes and Photobell companies. The author of numerous articles on web development, tech business, and startups. Leads his own blog – Alex Codes blog where he shares his experience from his work as a CEO and web developer.

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3 critical cybersecurity questions to ask before buying a marketing SaaS product

In years gone the “freemium” model was the favoured one of marketing SaaS platforms that were trying to attract new startup or SME customers. Now even enterprises are willing to use “free trial” offers from new marketing SaaS providers in an effort to secure a winning edge on the cheap.

While freemium offers are great for slashing the cost of evaluating a new marketing platform, have you considered the cybersecurity risks that these free trial offers pose to your IP, your data and your business?

Why should you care about cybersecurity risks in someone else’s SaaS?

It’s easy to get caught up in simply trying to achieve your marketing objectives without stopping to consider what might actually be at risk for your organisation.

Given that most of our systems are connected, either with directly coded integrations using APIs or through external services like Zapier, you can be sure that a security breach in one service could open up your crown jewels to the internet’s underbelly.

As a marketer you can’t possibly be expected to understand how all your company’s CRM, ERP and digital systems are connected. But it is definitely your responsibility to ensure that any external services you use do not increase the risk of a security breach or corporate espionage.

People who have been blamed for making decisions that lead to cybersecurity breaches will tell you that that whole experience feels like you’re getting a root canal without any pain relief.

While no business wants to be hacked, you might be surprised to learn that very few SaaS businesses take all the necessary steps to protect their users. Worryingly, Trustwave found as far back as 2016 that “fewer than one in four organisations consider themselves to be “very proactive” in the context of security testing.”

In our interconnected-applications world, these stats from Norton should have you concerned:

  • The global average cost of recovering from a cybersecurity breach is US$3.86, which is money that would otherwise have been invested in growth projects. 
  • On average it takes 196 days to find a security breach, which is an alarming amount of time that hackers have to rummage around in your network, applications and databases.

So what should I do before accepting a free trial of a marketing SaaS?

It is not uncommon to be excited at discovering a new product that you think might save you an inordinate amount of time or help you finally achieve those seemingly unreachable targets that your boss sets for you. 

But you should remember that time is your friend. And knowing the right questions to ask of the SaaS provider is your secret weapon:

Question 1: Does the marketing SaaS vendor have a publicly published security policy?

Publicly published security controls may not give you hard data about the efficacy of the security policies, but they represent a level of maturity. Such policies signal that that SaaS company is taking proactive steps to protect your data, their IP and ultimately the think that their relationship with you and their other customers is valuable enough to protect.

All popular cloud services that you probably use, think Dropbox, Slack, AWS, Gmail, etc, have such pages that spell out their security practices. Look them up. 

Question 2: Does the marketing SaaS vendor have any information security accreditations? 

Have you ever seen companies claiming to ISO9001 or ISO4008 or ISOxyz accredited? Well, there is an ISO accreditation that for information security: ISO27001 and you should look for it or something similar like SOC2 when you’re evaluating your next marketing SaaS vendor. 

These accreditations are not an ironclad guarantee that the accredited vendor’s SaaS product is ACTUALLY free of security vulnerabilities. But such accreditations do signal that they have the policies and processes in place and if their teams actually follow those processes then their applications should be pretty secure.

Question 3: When did the vendor last conduct a penetration test on their application and infrastructure?

Interestingly an HP Enterprise study found that 72% of web applications have at least one security vulnerability that allow hackers to gain access to things only admins should be able to see. The only way to be sure that the application you want to use isn’t riddled by such security holes is to look at the vendor’s penetration testing report. 

Most smart SaaS companies regularly use reputed web application penetration testing services to find and patch security vulnerabilities before they ship a new version of their app. And if you ask them for the latest version of such a report, they will be more than happy to provide it to you – if you’re a serious buyer, of course. 

Is this a foolproof way to guarantee that a marketing app I want to evaluate is secure?

Unfortunately, no. There is no “foolproof” or “ironclad” way to ensure that a SaaS vendor has mitigated all cybersecurity risks. But there are proven ways to ensure that your prospective SaaS vendor has minimised the likelihood of a serious cybersecurity breach. 

If you really want some external validation of the level of protection that a SaaS service provider you could try running a free scan of their HTTP security headers. HTTP security headers are the front line of web applications’ defence against hackers.

A free vulnerability scanning tool like Cyber Chief will give you a quick indication of how seriously your prospective MarTech vendor takes their app security.

Ask these questions before you accept your next free trial and satisfy yourself that your company’s sensitive information doesn’t fall in the hands of the type of people who shouldn’t have it.

Author Bio

Ayush Trivedi is the Co-Founder of Audacix. World-class SaaS and digital software teams use Audacix’s SAP automated software testing tools and penetration testing services to avoid “oh s**t Monday’s”!

He recently spoke at the Tech In Asia conference about “low hanging fruit” AppSec initiatives that help software teams elevate their application security resilience.

If you want to ship your SaaS with zero security holes and fewer bugs, talk to Ayush’s team now.

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How to make an app for iPhone and Android using an easy app builder?

How to make an app for iPhone and Android?

It is aptly believed that mobile phones are no longer a luxury, they are a necessity. Undeniably, the importance of the gadget in our day-to-day lives is quite perpetual. Besides allowing users to store data in the form of pictures, texts, audio and video clips, the access to high-speed internet and exceptional communication interface encapsulates the relevance of mobile phones. This exciting mobile computing experience is made possible through the Applications, commonly known as mobile Apps.

Mobile Apps are primarily computer programs or software Applications that are designed for phones, tablets or watches. These are developed for operating systems such as Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile. Initially, Apps such as email, calendar and others were created with a motive to assist in productivity. In today’s digitalized world more than 80 per cent of people owning a cellular phone, browse for products and services online.

Types of Mobile Apps

Techies have categorized mobile Apps into three types based on the technology that has been used for coding. They are:

  • Native Apps: These are built specifically for just one platform. Example, an Android App can be used on an Android phone only and not on iOS or Blackberry. The coding for native Apps is done using multiple programming languages such as Java, Swift, Python, C++ and others. Since the native Apps have a singular focus, they offer fast and reliable performance.
  • Web Apps: The behavior of web Apps is similar to that of native Apps, but is accessed via a web browser on a mobile device. Since they work on a mobile browser, they can be used on any mobile phone or operating system. HTML5, CSS, JavaScript and other such programming languages are used to design web Apps.
  • Hybrid Apps: These are web Apps that have the look and feel of native Apps. Building a hybrid App does not incur a considerable amount of time or cost. HTML5, Swift, Ionic are some of the coding languages that are used to build hybrid Apps.

Steps to build business Apps

A perfectly designed mobile App can provide a seamless and engaging user experience, thereby helping your business exponentially. It can help by improving sales, thereby increasing your revenue, increasing brand awareness, boosting your strategy for mobile marketing and a lot more. Following are the steps to build business Apps:

  • Objectives

In order to create an App, the first step you need to follow is, highlight the objectives behind building it. This will eventually save you from unwanted complicacies that you might encounter. Your App should adequately satisfy your audience as well as your business goal. Therefore, besides studying your potential audience and your ultimate business goal, you should take into consideration the market you are targeting, your competitors, budget and more.

  • Functions & Features

The next step would be to outline the functionality and features of your App. Once you have validated the purpose of building an App, you need to creatively detail your product in order to accomplish the result that you’ve hoped to attain. You may take into consideration features such as E-commerce integrations, chat, social sharing etc.

  • Research

Once you are done penning the features and functionalities, you need to do an extensive research about the competitors of your App. This will help you come up with new ideas and filling in the existing gaps in the market.

  • App Builder

After you are done mapping out the functionalities and learning about your competitors, you can start off by creating a mock-up of your App by assembling your individual ideas with a good App builder such as the VirtuApp App builder.

VirtuApp is a mobile App builder that helps businesses not only by increasing their sales but showcasing their products to a larger audience. It is affordable, easy to use, manage and update, thereby making mobile App creation a child’s play.

A mock-up helps you with an overview of what the App looks like, keeping aside unnecessary details that might distract you. Also, if you are designing an App for a client, a mock-up can help in testing the flow of the App.

  • Design

Next step would be to work on the graphic design for the App. The App that you are creating should be visually appealing to the users and should therefore include pixel-perfect visual details, graphic effects, animations, motions and more. Therefore, if graphic designing is not one of your strengths, you can outsource the work to a professional designer. If you are using an App builder like VirtuApp, then it takes care of the designing bit as well.

  • Landing Page

Once the design is ready, invest time in creating an appealing landing page in order to enhance user engagement. Most App developers tend to overlook marketing strategies. However, a well-designed landing page determines if a user is just trying the App out or becoming a customer. The App’s page should include a headline at the top followed by a brief introduction in the form of text or video, a call to action, a breakdown of App features and an ‘about us’ section. However, it is not mandatory to follow the exact order of the enlisted pointers.

  • Choice of iOS or Android

Now that all the groundwork is done, you can continue to build your App with an App maker. For example, VirtuApp offers an Apple App builder (iOS App builder) as well as an Android App builder. VirtuApp’s iPhone App creator and android App creator are amongst the best App builders. VirtuApp has been built by spending more than 50,000 man-hours of effort and comes with an auto-release platform that updates the Apps for bug fixes and features once you publish your App on PlayStore or AppStore. It offers native Apps and therefore, you can expect the best performance. Also, the Apps follow industry standard security and backup and are therefore secure to use. Therefore, your data gets safely stored in the cloud.

  • VirtuApp iOS App builder: Having the basic knowledge of using social networking websites such as Facebook or LinkedIn will help you create your own App. Since VirtuApp takes care of the challenging task of coding, you can start off just by registering your business and adding the required information into the VirtuBox platform.
  • VirtuApp android App builder: Because of its durability and advanced features, VirtuApp provides users a cloud-based platform that has a user-friendly interface. You can design your mobile Apps without the hassle of coding or previous experience in App building. You can register on the VirtuBox platform and create your groups and subgroups accordingly.
  • Launch

The next step would be to launch your App. The process of creating and publishing an App can be quite exhilarating. VirtuApp also takes on the job to launch your App on the App store.

  • Improvement

Post-launch, you can start working on improving your mock-ups and designs, building new features for the next version of your App. Also, do not forget to promote the App before you launch it.

  • Marketing

Apps are supposed to solve problems and save people from hassles of daily life. If your App has been created to target a certain problem, you need to market it efficiently for the information to reach out to the public. People need to know that there is an alternate solution to an older method. Therefore, as an App maker, focus on marketing your product well.

  • Data Collection & Analysis

The final step would be to use real-time feedback. Gathering quantitative data, using surveys and interviews for qualitative data and communicating with your users can help you build a personal connection. You can make a list of potential improvements and fix them eventually.

Summary

Having a mobile App is necessary for organizations in this digital age. The purpose of creating an App is to make an impact with it. Therefore, one needs to keep gaining insights and improving features to keep the App user-friendly and appealing. VirtuApp mobile App builder will help you build an App in a jiffy, saving the effort of development, deployment, updating and distribution.

About the Author:

Prakash Rastogi, founder and CEO of VirtuBox, holds B.Tech & M.Tech degree from IIT Kanpur with 14+ yrs of experience.He is a serial entrepreneur, currently working on Digital experience platform which helps businesses to digitize using mobile technologies. The aim of VirtuBox is to provide digital technology to organisations and individuals at affordable prices and that does not require coding.

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How To Implement Social Media Marketing Strategy For Any New Business During These COVID 19 Days?

A massive amount of the entire global population is currently in their den due to the catastrophic pandemic – COVID-19. Some of the questions that are haunting individuals these days are:

How are businesses of the various sectors going to sustain themselves?

What will be the next step of the numerous economic engines that are scattered all over the globe?

Even if the situation is dangerous, you cannot put a hold on any of your business marketing efforts. Social Media Marketing is now the saviour of numerous businesses all over the world. Mobile App Development Company of today’s time is equipped with a highly talented team of people who can curate the best Social Media Marketing Strategies for coping with the pandemic.

These companies are also presenting Work from Home opportunities that are bringing in loads of talented and experienced individuals. As you work with those teams, prospects for your own business also increase. All you need is patience, dedication & drive to maintain a stable life in times of such uncertainty.

Why Social Media Marketing is gaining momentum?

The reasons why COVID-19 business days will flourish with social media strategy services are as follows.

  1. As per reports, approximately 70% enhancement in time is noticed in context to the time spent on browsing and using various mobile applications. This is mainly because people need to kill time, calm themselves, and seek information, etc during the days of lockdown.
  1. Influencers these days seem to have everything figured out. For instance, they have a stable following, the resources needed for self-creating content from home, fantastic expertise & a lot more. They are very much familiar with all types of online marketing. But as the economy has slowed down, they will also face challenges. However, you can grab this opportunity for putting their services to work for your brand as they will be accepting reasonably priced deals.

Powering social media strategy marketing during the pandemic

Worried about how you will amp up online advertising efforts? Begin with social media strategy & everything else will take place automatically. Let us learn how.

  • Post content on social media more than usual – When you witness your very own social media utilization during COVID-19 business days, do you feel that you are allotting much more time on Instagram and Facebook than usually you do? If you are hooked more onto these networks, then there is no doubt about the fact that the market is as well. For example, suppose you post stories or feeds 1 to 2 times in one day, simply amp it up to 2 or 3 times. However, spacing the various posts at an interval of 3 hours in between is paramount.

Some ideas that you can follow for posting on social media are:

  1. Take a sneak peak in all the various elements of social media strategy you were operating on. For instance, were you working on a fresh product or preparing for a new service? You need to offer your existing as well as potential customers something really valuable when all this virus hocus-pocus gets over.
  2.   Whatever the genre or niche of your business is, you can opt to post some fun ideas that customers can engage in that are directly linked to your business. For example, if your business is a salon, you can share DIY hair tips for preventing your precious customers from chopping off their own hair. On the contrary, when you are a CPA or attorney, you must share few applicable tips that can help people. Everyone in the current world is escaping to numerous social media networks and apps for distraction & fun. Take advantage of it completely.
  3.   You can display contents like videos and images as updated about your business & the employees. As you post the pictures or videos, people will automatically get a feeling that they are all together in this pandemic and they shall overcome it together. By showing your audience what you are actually working on, you offer a shared experience for the entire world.
  4. Ramping up email marketing – If unable to understand which social media strategy for small business you need, go with this one.

If your business is actively engaged in email marketing already, then kudos to you. But if you have placed not so much focus on this, then you must send out a few emails informing the subscribers about the current updates. It can include anything starting from new products or services to be launched after the lockdown, update about when the business will resume, any new offers or discounts after lockdown, etc. Sending emails and newsletters on a regular basis is important.

  • Targeted social media & Google ads – We know that the COVID-19 business days are challenging & difficult but by following effective social media strategy tips, we can do it all. For instance, this is the time when you need to benefit from digital ads. What do you want your audience to witness? Whatever it is, simply create a post & upload on Facebook. Is the business doing well from all the search ads? You can position some targeted Google ads. You can really keep the happenings of the business in front of your target audience with the help of digital ads.

Final Say

Weathering storms like COVID-19 is no joke. This is a time of scarcity, uncertainly, worry & anything catastrophic. But if you are blessed with your own Mobile App Development Company or if you work for one, assign & divert your time and effort in developing social media marketing strategy that will help businesses of numerous corporate, media, industrial sectors thrive successfully. Only way we can deal with this pandemic is by staying in unity & looking out for each other’s requirements. Not to forget we all need to stay home to stay safe. Use this ultimate social media guide for chalking out the next plan. Also, we are always here to serve you when it comes to social media strategy services. Our social media marketers are the best in town. Connect with us to know more.

We all will fight this together & win gradually.

Manan Ghadawala is the founder of 21Twelve Interactive which is one of the best mobile app development company in India and the USA. He is an idealistic leader with a lively management style and thrives raising the company’s growth with his talents. He is an astounding business professional with astonishing knowledge and applies artful tactics to reach those imaginary skies for his clients. His company is also recognized by the Top Mobile App Development Companies. Follow him on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

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Challenges of Online B2B Order Management

B2B order management involves the fulfilment of orders between companies.  The main difference between B2B and B2C is, in B2B, the orders are bulk. Additionally, they are pricier. With the amount of work involved in the various B2B order management systems, it is no wonder that some challenges are facing B2B enterprises.

In this article, we are going to look at the various challenges in online B2B order management.

Let’s delve into specifics:

  • Late deliveries

Some clients want their products delivered in unrealistic timeframes that are not business-critical. However, whether in B2B or B2C, late deliveries are bad for business. For starters, they leave clients disgruntled and go a long way in ruining the reputation of a business.

In B2C, late deliveries might lead to loss of money. Normally, a couple of dollars. However, in B2B, losses incurred can run to unimaginable levels – even millions of dollars.

The effects of late deliveries can further cause cancelled contracts and chargebacks. These consequences are catastrophic to a business because a single customer in B2B relationships can be worth hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars.

  • Remote accessibility of inventories

To ensure order management is effective, there is a need to have access to your inventory from all locations. You need to remotely see delivered orders, pending deliveries as well as those in transit.

Without this accessibility to inventories, you are likely to lose orders and fail to meet deadlines, which is detrimental to your business.

  • Responding to orders

Order response SLA’s are a gem when it comes to responding to orders. Unfortunately, it is only established businesses that have them.

To better manage your company, a fast response to B2B transactions is imperative. Some B2B customers want their order requests responded to in a matter of minutes. They need to know whether you possess the ability to meet their orders. Failure to which, they seek the services of your competitors.

  • Meeting customer demands

We are all different in one way or the other. The same applies to business.

B2B customers have varying demands. Some of them are very specific and want their orders customized according to their preferences. Considering that B2B orders are large and bulky, meeting these demands can be challenging. Especially, if you have several customers with different demands.

As such, B2B companies need to come up with strategies to ensure customer satisfaction.  These strategies should be aimed at addressing the specific pain points of each client.

  • The need for customer-specific pricing

Customer loyalty does not happen over-night. These types of relationships require nurturing, and that happens over time. The fastest way to break the trust is to handle loyal clients no differently than the way first-time clients are handled.

Clients need to feel valued and appreciated. That is how loyalty is built in the first place.

One way to appreciate repeat-clients is to come up with a pricing that is specific to their needs. Introducing a contract and investing in software that automates the pricing of each customer in regards to your B2B relationship is the best thing for the business.

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SaaS sales plan

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Winning Sales Plan

The first question you might ask is, will I be able to execute my sales without having a sales plan?

If you are lucky, yes. But you can run out of luck, and it’s not good to rely on it for something as crucial as sales.

Which is why it is very important to have a clear sales plan in your mind. You need to strategize your sales according to pipelining architectures.

So, let’s take a look at what exactly is a sales strategy and how we can design a winning sales plan.

What is a Sales Plan?

A sales plan is a strategic sketch of how your business can increase revenue, sales funnel, and profit of a particular product.

Developing a sales strategy will help you determine the areas where you need to put your efforts on a particular product.

While creating a sales plan, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. What is your target market?
  2. Why should they buy a particular product or service from you?
  3. What are your USPs?
  4. How can you convey the value of your products to your customers?
  5. How should your strategy impact your sales?
  6. When do you expect to see results?

Sales planning is important because it will help you foresee any potential risks in the market, and if you have planned accordingly, it will be helpful for your business.

A sales plan will put you in charge of every action you take for the system. You can take charge of where your products stand now, and where you want to see it next.

Steps involved in sales planning

1.   Outline your mission and goals

The first thing you need to do is to outline what you want to achieve by the end of your sales process. You have to make a set target that you want to hit in a particular time interval.

For example, you can set a target of doing sales for 1 million in a month.

This depends on the nature of your business. The revenue you will generate from sales will be the outcome of the success of your business. Always make sure that your goals are SMART.

○      Have Specific goals for your sales. They need to be clear and well explained.

○      Your goals need to be Measurable. You have to decide a parameter on which you are measuring your progress. In the case of sales, it can be a number of products or amount of revenue generated.

○      They should be Achievable. Make sure everything you are planning is possible.

○      Your goals need to be Realistic and they need to be Timely.

2.   Define the roles and responsibilities of the sales team

Your complete team needs to have some responsibilities.

For example, if one member is focusing on determining the target market the second person should be working on finding out the desirable aspects of your products.

Every responsibility should be divided with a restriction of time so that your sales plan will execute in a given time frame.

3.   Identify your target market – create a customer persona and understand your customer’s journey

The most important aspect while selling any product is to know where you want to sell your product.

You need to narrow down the set of customers, who will be interested in your product and focus all your sales effort in that region.

You need to create a story for your brand. It should resemble and relate the story of your potential customers. It will be a good sales strategy.

4.   Outline sales strategies and tactics for the target market

Now that you have narrowed down your target market you need to define a sales strategy for your market.

Every field will have its own challenges and its own sales tactics.

For example, if you are a technology startup, there are going to be various sales aspects like standing out from your competition.

If you are selling a mobile phone, thousands of other companies are doing it as well. But what is special about your phone that people should buy yours and not any other?

You need to create a sales strategy specifically tailored to your business.

5.   List down the needed tools, software, and resources

There are various tools and software available that will help you in planning and strategizing your sales.

If we take one example of such software, it will be analytics. There are various analytics platforms available online.

These platforms will help you measure different statistics about your business. This data can help you plan a strategy for your sales.

6.   Define metrics to measure sales performance

There can be several metrics that can be used to measure sales performance.

Sales are directly related to the revenue and sales of the product. Sales can be defined by the number of the product you are selling, the number of people subscribing to your services, or the revenue generated in a set period of time.

These metrics will be used to measure the success of your sales plan.

7.   Create a budget for the sales plan

Creating a sales plan needs investments. You need to have a sales team, some sales tools, etc.

So, you need to create a proper budget for your sales plan. Your efforts should match the level of the expected results. They should not be so little that there is no advantage to it.

But the budget requirement of your sales plan should not be higher than the value required for manufacturing the product. Otherwise, you will be in loss.

8.   Build your action plan

With all these aspects given above, we need to build an action plan. You need to consider the following points while building a plan.

A.    What do you want to achieve with this sales effort?

B.    What should be the responsibilities of various team members?

C.    Where do you want to sell my product?

D.    What will be the time period for my sales strategy?

E.    What will be the budget for sales planning?

F.    What are the metrics you use to measure your success?

Once you have answers to all these questions you are ready to set the plan you designed in action.

If you want a successful outcome from these sales, you need to continuously monitor and measure the outcomes of the plan. It will give you an idea about the execution of plan at every single step. 

About the Author

Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Cinergix, the team behind the development of Creately. She is an avid reader, an experienced writer, and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.

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saas data security

How this SaaS company uses application security to attract more enterprise customers

A recent IBM security survey of enterprise tech buyers threw up two very useful insights for SaaS companies. Surveyors asked respondents to identify the factors that affect their purchasing behaviour and the results may surprise you. 

Software quality was the number one factor that affects enterprise buyers’ purchasing behaviour, ie. is the solution free from functional bugs?

Software security was the second most important factor during enterprise buying decisions, ie. have all security holes been identified and patched in the software?

Now you might think that’s obvious and simple common sense. After all, everyone wants software that just works and won’t get hacked, right? 

Ok, but what are you doing about it? 

Effortless & effective AppSec is a combination of habit, hygiene and ultimately, good business sense 

Tell me, when you finish eating dinner at home, do you place those plates and cutlery back in the drawer or do you wash them? 

To re-frame this for you, your plates are on a regular hygiene schedule where eating from them is the trigger for them to be cleaned. 

Let me ask you: what is the trigger that launches the security activities when a new version of your web application is ready for production? 

Do you have a “dish washing” process to find and eliminate the security vulnerabilities in your SaaS app?

Think about this: if your plates and spoons were to become unusable, they can be easily replaced with a trip to your closest shopping mall. However, if your SaaS/cloud software is infested with security holes, then you’ll agree that it would take many more $$$’s and even more upheaval for you to manage the damage. 

A PriceWaterhouseCoopers study found that 86% of businesses would sever all ties with a solution provider that has been hacked. So whether you have sales in-house or use outsourced sales solutions, you can safeguard your ROI by taking care of your AppSec fundamentals.

But my SaaS app hasn’t been hacked yet

“Yet” is the critical word here. In fact, statistics from the 2019 Vulnerability Statistics Report shows that a vulnerability in web applications is exposed for an average of 69 days before it is discovered. 

That means hackers have a 2-month head start on your development team. What they could’ve installed, downloaded, ripped off or stolen from your servers in the last 2 months is mind-boggling:

  • Stolen your entire codebase (ie. your valuable IP)
  • Downloaded your customers’ sensitive data that they entrusted with you
  • Installed crypto mining software maxing out your server resources (have you had to add more capacity recently?)
  • Stolen your customers’ payment details if billing is integrated into your SaaS application
  • Accessed your secret keys and encryption keys to get back into your system at their leisure 

You get the picture – the list really is endless. 

But your SaaS app hasn’t been hacked yet, so you might be forgiven for thinking to yourself… 

…this Would Never Happen To Me, So Tell Me Something That Will Help Me!

You can take that risk if you want – after all, we live in a (mostly) free world. But what if I gave you an upside to investing in your application security (AppSec) for your cloud software? 

Now, as Tony Robbins reminds us, it’s not knowledge that is powerful, but the targeted application of that knowledge. So let me lay out for you what we do to prove our solution as “enterprise ready.”

My company, Audacix, is a SaaS company. Many of the world’s biggest companies use our SaaS test automation software, Qsome. So, like you, we were also keen to figure out how to exploit this information. 

We knew that most of our competitors usually focus on pitching their product’s features and benefits throughout the sales process.  

Differentiating our solution based on features and benefits was getting harder. After a while, in buyers’ minds, all the features start melding into one massive blob of sales speak. 

To get ahead of the pack, we decided to focus on the data and show our prospects a part of us that our competitors were either trying to hide or neglecting altogether.

So, we turned our app’s security into a differentiator. From the start of a sales process right through our customer lifecycle. 

This wasn’t just based on a hunch. Enterprise customers have many security-related questions that they may never ask you, But they will have to provide answers to these questions to their internal security teams. So wouldn’t you rather control this narrative rather than leave it to the whims of others. 

Now, what consistently gets us through to the final stages (and beyond) of enterprise sales conversations is a clear understanding of our prospect’s priorities.  You see, our SaaS app’s features are meaningless to large enterprises if there is even the slightest chance that your app will leak their sensitive data. 

We literally show our prospects the lengths we travel to protect their data and their brand, ie. we literally show them our “dishwashing” schedule and its results. 

When you start a sales process based on trust, rather than features and benefits, you’re more likely to go further. 

Don’t get me wrong, we don’t win deals because of our security resilience alone. But because we have evidence to back up our security claims, our ability to prove our security resilience builds trust fast. This has huge benefits for the other aspects of our pitch.

Ok, what AppSec activities can my team get started on by themselves?

There are definitely things your development team should do before engaging an AppSec company to do an exhaustive web application and API penetration test on your cloud software. 

Here’s a quick list of must-do AppSec tasks that will cost you no extra to implement:

  1. Apply all patches and updates to any open source modules or libraries used in your SaaS app.
  2. Check for and close any ports that shouldn’t be open after each release.
  3. Ensure directory permissions are not set to 777 for all folders.
  4. Ensure your app’s HTTP security headers are securely configured – your team can use the free Cyber Chief service to give them clear, actionable instructions. 
  5. Repeat the above steps for all your environments – dev, test, pre-prod, staging, prod, etc.

Once your team has done all the above for a few consecutive releases, then you’ll know that they’re starting to implement the dishwashing schedule in your app development process. 

You should accept that doing application security properly is more like scrubbing heavily soiled pots, as opposed to putting your breakfast bowls in the dishwasher – it will take many cleaning iterations. If a) your team is handling the above steps well and you’re ready to take your AppSec to the next level where it helps your sales process, or b) you want a done-for-you AppSec solution reach out to me on LinkedIn or talk to my team about your options.


About the author: Ayush is the Co-Founder of Audacix. World-class SaaS and digital software teams use Audacix’s automated software testing and AppSec/penetration testing solutions to avoid “oh s**t Monday’s”!

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[Infographic] How do businesses use Instagram stories?

Learn How Businesses Use Instagram Stories (Infographic)

Having a perfect marketing (or in our case, SaaS sales) campaign is of utmost importance as it is the best way to increase sales. Nowadays, the internet is considered the perfect place for companies to advertise products and services, and with such a huge online audience it is no wonder why.

Ever since it was released in 2016, Instagram Stories became a hit among marketers. One of the reasons is that it has more than 400 million users on a daily basis.

Whether it’s a product promotion, an inside look, or an influencer takeover, companies use different types of Stories to bring their products and services closer to the customers.

For instance, Apple’s AirPay mobile payment service made Stories to drive app installs among millennials. This eventually resulted in a 17% increase in app installs, 52% decrease in CPR, and a 35% decrease in CPM.

Another great example is ecommerce platform Tokopedia. It created a mobile app install campaign using Stories, which led to a 54% increase in app installs, a 35% lower cost per app install, and an 11% increase in reach.

Let’s take a look at several figures which show the current trends in business usage.

24% of businesses rank Story engagement as a measure of success.

88% of businesses state that they want to increase posting to Instagram Stories in 2018.

30% of businesses plan to create Instagram Stories ads in 2018.

Don’t stop here! Scroll down and take a look at the infographic below to find out more about how businesses use Instagram Stories.

How Businesses Use Instagram Stories – 30 Case Studies

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The future of CRM systems: What’s Next?

The future of CRM systems: What’s Next?

Sales teams used to heavily depend on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to sell more effectively. But now, it looks like things have changed. According to recent research studies, sales representatives only spend about one-third of their time actually selling and another 18% of their time in the CRM. All the rest of their time is spent working on spreadsheets and managing tasks for CRM.

When CRM came out in the 1980s, it changed everything for sales representatives. You can read more about the latest CRM transformation here.  The software basically automated the management process of their customer contact lists. Since then, CRM has advanced and accomplished a whole lot. Millions of organizations have used CRM to manage their sales because of its effectiveness at increasing productivity.

Gartner released a statistic which showed that the CRM industry was worth about $31 billion. By the year 2017, the value increased to $40 billion. The CRM software industry has increased in value by 2 digits annually.

All companies involved in sales are using CRM, or at least wish to use it, because of how strong it is. But this power might be what brings it down. The classic sales model involves a potential customer calling and inquiring about the price and features of a product. Based on the circumstances, the deal may close or not. However, this linear structure of CRM may be becoming obsolete.

Inside Sales Changes Everything

In modern times, customers don’t even want to bother talking to a vendor. They would rather search the internet to find the right products and services to suit their needs. Instead of asking salespeople for advice on products, customers have the ability to research products themselves and come to their own conclusions. They can read the recommendations of other customers to find out the truth about a product’s cost and features.

Aside from reading reviews, customers can learn about product specifications and download data sheets and eBooks. If you are familiar with B2B marketing, then you already know that customers won’t make a purchasing choice until they are presented with, on average, around 5 different sources of content.

Customer engagement and sales

– The customer is already 70% closer toward making a purchase by the time they talk to the sales representative.

More than 50% of B2B clients will decide to make a purchase by looking at content.

Approximately 88% of consumers have the same trust for internet reviews as they do for personal recommendations.

Organizations now have more inside sales representatives than ever. Over the past 4 years, these roles have increased in organizations by as much as 89%. When a consumer contacts a company to inquire about their products and services, the first person they will talk to is an inside sales representative.

Sales representatives can no longer depend on the classic sales funnel or CRM.

CRM Receives Poor Rating for its Lack of Usefulness

According to a study from InsideSales.com Labs, sales representatives perform an average of 13 tasks per week. Out of all the time they spend on these tasks, not much of it requires selling. Furthermore, CRM is very frustrating for them and they don’t find it to be useful at all.

Instead of spending their time selling, 64% of sales representatives are spending their time on activities that don’t involve generating revenue. The other 35.2% of representatives are performing activities for generating revenue.

Sales representatives are spending so much of their time handling administrative duties. But in fact, they should be spending time prospecting and handling your SaaS sales cold emailing or lead nurturing. About 14.8% of their time is spent working on internal approvals and policies while another 14% is devoted to customer meetings. Sales representatives don’t even find these tasks to be an effective part of their job. In fact, they think the effectiveness of social media use is 7% better than handling administrative meetings and tasks.

What is missing from an ideal CRM?

Studies show that sales representatives will spend their time in the following ways: 18% is devoted to CRM; 61.7% is devoted to sales technology; 33.2% for email sales; and 0.4% for collecting sales intelligence by utilizing tools.

Since CRM is quite inefficient, 9.7% of the average sales representative’s time is devoted to managing tasks connected to CRM. This usually means they are dealing with spreadsheets for most of that time.

Analytical data suggests that CRM is great as a system for recordkeeping. However, if salespeople are unable to get tough questions answered, they will not succeed. Here are some of those tough questions:

– Which leads are the most critical ones to pay attention to?

– Which contact method do customers prefer? When is the best time to contact them?

– At what time will customers accept my phone call? What kind of sales pitch should I use?

Technologies which help you prospect for customers have an effectiveness rate of 80%. Unfortunately, these technologies are not used much. About 1.9% of a sales representative’s time is spent using them.

If you know anyone who is a salesperson and you ask them about their feelings toward CRM, they will likely say it is a love-hate relationship.

CRM is not totally useless for them. The problem is that it lacks the functionality necessary for them to be productive.

Hubspot is a good sales tool to try out. A lot of sales representatives like to use it because it does a good job of tracking every lead. Playbooks is a good source of information regarding this tool.

Artificial Intelligence Can Change CRM Forever

For over 5 years, we’ve all wondered if CRM is still relevant anymore. The short answer is… yes.

Sales representatives continue to actively utilize CRM. All they wish is that CRM had more functions so that it could be quicker and more intelligent. Most importantly, they want CRM to provide more than simply a phone number and name of a lead.

Today, the world of technology provides a number of automation tools, which are to rationalize sales processes. They allow to manage CRM workflow faster and easier: a user is able to update necessary information, focus on the most critical deals, etc. You literally can leave CRM interaction to such an assistant as, for example, Closer bot.

Sales representatives are hoping that CRM can better assist them in closing their future sales and making better deals.

Artificial intelligence is being built into a lot of new sales acceleration technologies. This will give sales representatives more power in the way they negotiate deals and manage closings. Furthermore, sales representatives will get to cut back on the spreadsheets and become more productive while using CRM.

These “smart sales systems” provide users with more information and insight than what is found in their database. This will make a world of difference when it comes to increasing revenue and sales productivity. CRM’s functionality will get better because you will be able to predict customer behavior, receive accurate forecasts of revenue earned, predict deals, and analyze funnels. Sales are going to change forever, thanks to artificial intelligence. This is a good thing that all sales representatives should accept.

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How to build a SaaS product?

How to build a SaaS product?

Nowadays, the use of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) applications gains momentum throughout the globe. And this stands for a reason. SaaS applications obviate the necessity of downloading software, managing its install process, and configuring settings as well.

With a SaaS app, you don’t have to bother yourself with building the whole app functional at once. Instead, you can launch a demo version of your product with a limited scope of functions at once, and add new features over time.  For this reason, many startups give priority of building a SaaS app, since it is a budget-friendly and easy to maintain solution.

We have reviewed the vital aspects of SaaS app development lifecycle. If you want to start own SaaS project, our article “How to build” will suggest you seven tips for building a successful application.

 

Preparatory stage

1. Specify app’s core features

At the initial stage of development, you need to elaborate a clear concept of a SaaS application. It means you have to find out the target users’ needs and requirements.

With this information in mind, it will be easier for you to set up a goal for a SaaS application. It will define the scope of features that are essential for your app.

In fact, customer requirements may change over time. Nevertheless, there is some core features your SaaS app should have regardless of users demands and preferences.

Data protection and privacy

As SaaS applications are mostly cloud-based, there is always a risk of security breaches. Unlike the self-contained app that stores user data locally, a SaaS service tends to store it in a cloud. Thus, if there is a flaw in app’s security measures, user information can be easily compromised. For this reason, your SaaS application has to provide sustainable security measures that prevent data from stealing, compromising, and hacker attacks as well.

Nowadays, there is plenty of security patterns used to ensure data protection. Let’s consider the most popular ones.

  • Trusted database connection

Within this security pattern, a SaaS app connects to the database with the help of own process identity.

  • Customer data encryption

If your application is intended to store a bulk of sensitive high-value information, it should be efficiently encrypted in the databases.

  • Access control list

You can realize proper access control by implementing authentication and authorization processes in your SaaS app. User access is limited to a particular tenant during authentication and depending on access rights, to a specific module during authorization.

  • Restricted API

Restricted APIs provide limited capabilities of data manipulation.

 

Third-party app integration

In fact, there is plenty of accessible and useful applications that perform some particular functions truly seamlessly.  In such a manner, many users would like to have access to these apps at their fingerprints while using a SaaS application.

For this reason, it is worth considering a third-party app integration in a SaaS application. This way you can extend the capacities of your app’s functionality and avoid a need to build some additional features yourself.

As a result, a third-party app integration not only enriches your SaaS-application but also saves times and expenses of project development.

Personalization

There is a wide range of SaaS services for any taste and budget. If you want to make your app stand out of the other applications in a particular niche, it should offer personalization features.

When a customer can change the look of the app according to his/her preferences, he/she gets more pleasant experience from using your application.

2. Choose the right technology stack

It’s a well-known fact that modern software industry offers a dime a dozen of development tools that may come in handy while crafting a SaaS application. As most of these tools are open-source, they generate additional value for SaaS app creators.

How can you benefit from using open-source dev tools? First, you can reduce the expenses of app development by using free tools.

Second, the open-source solutions allow anyone to inspect your source code. This way you can engage more people in detecting bugs and security flaws. As a result, you will be able to react to tech issues more quickly.

Third, with the help of open-source software, you can easily customize your app and adapt it to any use case.

In the long run, the performance and expandability of your SaaS application will depend entirely on the chosen technology stack.

Development efforts

3. Build an effective development strategy

A development stage is a crucial part of an app project that calls for particular attention to every detail. If you want to propel a development process to the highest level and ensure app’s success, you need to choose a right methodology for product management. In fact, modern small and large businesses make such kinds of product management methodologies like Agile and Waterfall first choice.

Agile

Agile is a methodology which assumes using sprints in software development process. A sprint divides the whole project into small parts. Each part of the project is aimed at the implementation of a new feature for software.

As a rule, a sprint takes around two-four weeks for realization. In such a way, a development team crafts a product in a piecemeal manner.

Agile offers wide range of features including:

  • Building a cross-functional team
  • High profile on quick release of a shippable product
  • Regular and consistent client involvement
  • Fast response to changes

Due to the straight course of software building, the Agile methodology allows developers to iron out software features, foresee probable tech issues and respond to them promptly.

Waterfall

Unlike Agile, Waterfall is a more rigid model of software development. When a developers’ team have completed a particular stage of software building, it moves on to the next stages without a possibility to go back to the previous ones.

The main features of Waterfall:

  • Upfront gathering of client’s requirements
  • Sequential completions of tasks
  • Lack of client’s involvement at each development stage except for the initial one
  • Software testing as a final stage of the development lifecycle

There are still a lot of disputes among developers and project managers which methodology is the most suitable for app development.

To opt for the most optimal one for your project, you have to consider the following factors that should influence your decision:

  • Project size
  • Project duration
  • Development complexity
  • Organisational factors
  • Clients’ involvement

 

4. Apply regular tests

It goes without saying that any project will fail without continual thorough testings.

A SaaS app will provide an outstanding bug-free experience, only if you incorporate your development workflow with the following types of tests.

  • Unit testing

Within this method, a QA team conducts testings for each app’s module separately. It is aimed at isolating each unit of a system that makes bug identification and fixing more effective.

  • Integration testing

This type of testing allows checking how the separate units of the system work together.

  • Functional testing

With the help of functional tests, you can make sure your product’s functionalities meet client’s and developers’ requirements.

  • Performance testing

Performance testings pursue a goal to check out how new pieces of code can influence the overall app performance.

After all, it is worth considering the automatization of your testing processes. It will help you save time spent on manual tests, avoid human errors, runs tests unattended, and eliminate the risks of regression as well.

5. Ensure continuous integration

To amalgamate different pieces of code into the main path, you need to set up continuous integration.

How does CI work? The code testing begins automatically when developers push up their pieces of code into the shared repository. This way developers can quickly identify the incompatible fragments of code and carry out its debugging in time.

Product verification

6. Perform beta-testings

The final stage of app testing comes, when your demo version of a SaaS application is ready. A beta-testing will reveal whether your product is on the beam or not.

Getting feedback from your beta-testers, you will be able to elaborate and implement the app only those functionalities that meet users’ actual requirements and needs.

7. Provide proper support and maintenance

Before launching your SaaS application, you should make sure your developers’ team is ready to support and maintain it.

If you want to provide a seamless performance of your app, ongoing environment and infrastructure monitoring is a must. In such a way, it will be easier for your developers’ team to detect tech issues, resolve them at the first onset, and release the updates that will correspond users’ expectations and needs.

Summing up

A SaaS app development is a complicated process that consists of a research, development efforts, testings, and maintenance. Indeed, every step towards building a successful product requires a particular emphasis on details and effort commitment.

The tips mentioned above will help you set up an advantageous strategy for creating a robust SaaS product.

 

Short bio

Helen Morrice is a technical writer at IDAP Group. She is doing her best to keep abreast of up-to-date news in mobile app development.

If IT-stuff kindles your interest, check up her other articles in our blog and subscribe to our channel on Facebook/Twitter

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5 Key Reasons Why Your Business Needs a SaaS CRM Solution

5 Key Reasons Why Your Business Needs a SaaS CRM Solution

Both SaaS and CRM have been major buzzwords in the business world for quite a while now, and with good reason. Numerous brilliant SaaS and CRM solutions currently available on the market keep completely transforming the way businesses work and will only continue to bring huge positive changes to the sales and marketing landscape.

One of the best things that happened to businesses all around the globe is the combination of SaaS and CRM solutions. Instead of utilizing on-premise CRM software that requires not only a significant initial investment, but also constant hardware and server maintenance and a lot of costs down the line, you can now utilize a SaaS CRM (cloud CRM) solution that can really take your entire business to a whole new level.

 

What Is SaaS CRM?

The CRM definition doesn’t really need much explaining, as CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management”, meaning that this piece of software helps you manage your customer interactions and build strong, meaningful and long-lasting customer relationships. With a reliable CRM solution, you can seamlessly communicate with your customers and prospects, following them on their entire buyer’s journey and fostering excellent experiences with your brand.

When you add SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) to the equation, you get a magical combination that can significantly improve all your efforts and help you considerably expand your customer base. This is because SaaS CRM is based in the cloud, which means that you don’t need to invest a lot of money into its deployment and maintenance, so you can greatly reduce your costs and, thus, increase your ROI.

There are many benefits that SaaS CRM software can provide your business with, but take a look at the most important ones that will certainly make you utilize this type of software as soon as possible.

 

Great Cost-Efficiency

As already discussed, SaaS CRM requires no great initial costs, as well as no costs for maintenance, updates and backups, since you don’t need to install any hardware whatsoever. Your SaaS CRM vendor is the one responsible for all the technical stuff.

With SaaS CRM, you can pay-as-you-go or subscribe to use a particular service, and almost all the solutions available are more than affordable, so you can save even more money than you may think. When utilizing a particular software solution, all you need to do is pay to use the service, and you can completely focus on your core competencies.

 

24/7 Access

Since SaaS CRM is based in the cloud, you can access any necessary information you need anytime you want, anywhere you are, regardless of the device you are using. With this tool, you can work on-the-go and communicate with your teams in real-time, significantly improving team collaboration, efficiency, and productivity.

It goes without saying that this 24/7 availability can help you reach your goals much faster, not to mention that it extremely helps your remote employees, as well as field teams, who need to have constant access to customer information.

 

Seamless Integrations

As technology keeps advancing at a very fast pace, integrations of various tools are becoming more and more vital to business success. Instead of having multiple tools for different kinds of tasks and projects, which not only increases costs (deployment, training, and monthly fees), but also requires more time for tasks completion, you can now use only a few tools for most of your daily operations.

This is where SaaS CRM absolutely shines, as it seamlessly integrates with a great number of tools, so that you can streamline all your daily operations and make sure that everything is running smoothly.

 

Flexibility and Easy Scalability

CRM solutions offer excellent flexibility when it comes to all the features that they provide. You can choose only those features that fit your business needs and customize your CRM so that it will perfectly align with your business goals.

As you scale your business, you can scale your SaaS CRM as well, so you can add more features or more storage space, or even completely change your subscription plan. This means that you can scale your CRM both up and down, depending on your changing business needs.

 

High Data Security

Security is a major concern for businesses, which is why a lot of them still refuse to rely on any kind of web-based tools. However, SaaS CRM vendors understand how important it is to have your sensitive data, including all the customer information, safe and secure at all times, so they offer solutions that provide high levels of security. Their success basically depends on data security, which is precisely why they make it their main priority.

There are certainly many more benefits of SaaS CRM software solutions, but these are absolutely the most vital ones that you should take into consideration. Of course, on-premise CRM does have its advantages, but SaaS CRM is definitely the future, so embrace that future and get ready to play with the big guns.

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How to properly integrate technology into your bootstrapped SaaS startup

Understanding When To Integrate Technology into Your Bootstrapped Startup

Startup CEOs have to make hundreds of decisions every single day to properly manage their small companies and help them gain traction and get off the ground. Some of these decisions are small. However, some can be quite significant. Big investments into new technology may be one decision that many entrepreneurs have to make several different times over the course of their careers.

 

There are many ways technology can benefit a company. However, sometimes making such investments is a mistake that allocates important resources without much return on the large investment. You have to be smart about it. With that in mind, here are some tips for understanding when it’s the right time to make an investment to integrate new tech into your business.

 

Keep a Tab on Macro Market Trends

One pitfall for many startups is making large investments much too early. Especially, if it’s into technology that fails to last for the long term.

You may remember Betamax videos or HD-DVD, home video formats that did not last the test of time and were wiped out by their competitors, VHS and Blu-ray, respectively.

Companies that plan to be around for awhile need to plan for the long term. Tech that may seem fashionable one year may be obsolete only months later.

This is especially true for small businesses. An upstart vape shop, for example, might topple before it gained any traction if it put too much money into an atomizer that appeared to be the next big thing, but turned out to be a flop.

 

While it can be hard to predict what tech will stand the test of time, you can get a better handle of the situation by studying macro economic trends that affect large swaths of the public.

Smartphones and mobile devices, for example, are one example of a kind of tech that is here to stay. Proving so is quite easy as well. 90 percent of the American public now owns a smartphone. The statistics released also suggest extreme growth trends of near 50 percent since 2010.

 

With all that data in mind, the trend is clear and extremely substantial. As such, investing in apps and other mobile related campaigns is likely to pay off since most consumers are using smartphones regardless.

 

Do the Math

However, just because the market trends seem favorable to the technology in question, it does not mean investing in that kind of tech is the right course to take.

Instead, you need to be very deliberative about the decision. This requires determining exactly how much the investment is going to cost and whether you have the extra funds in reserve to make the investment.

51 percent of companies plan to invest into big data analytics. This decision was only reached after extensive research by those businesses.

 

Part of this process means trying to gauge the profit that could be made from the investment. While you won’t know for absolute sure, you should perform the research needed to get a close approximation as well as the odds for that outcome occurring.

If you find that there is a 70 percent chance that making the investment will produce an additional profit of $1 million, it may be a good idea.

Alternatively, if the foreseeable profits are moderate at best or only pay for the expense required to make the investment, that money would probably be better allocated somewhere else within the organization.

 

Investing in Technology Requires Investing in Training

You also need to actually consider costs related to the technology apart from the hardware and software itself. One of the biggest expenses will be related to training employees on how to use that technology to reach the company’s goals.

 

Companies spend $1,208 to train each employee. With more tech training, this expense could increase. If the tech in question is needed to effectively manage the company, you will also need to integrate that technology into your leadership development program.

 

Technology can make the difference between developing a strong competitive advantage and losing your profits to more tech savvy competitors. Certainly consider different ways to invest in tech in your company. However, do so strategically and only when you have substantial research and reason to believe it will increase your bottom line.

 

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SaaS customer success

6 tips on how to increase SaaS customer lifetime value (CLTV)

6 tips on how to increase SaaS customer lifetime value (CLTV)

 

In an online business, you can easily pick out all types of numbers through which you can analyse your brand. You can calculate bounce rates, CTRs, conversion rates, and micro conversion rates – all of which are immensely important.

There is another metric, however, the importance of which far outweighs that of all the others. It’s called CLTV— the customer  lifetime value.

The following article is going to highlight the factors required to improve customers’ LTV for an ecommerce business.

The value behind customer retention

While there is nothing wrong with increasing your consumer base, it is essential to remember the real value behind customer retention and brand loyalty. A research by social analytics platform SumAll suggests:

“25% to 40% of the total revenues of the most stable businesses in the SumAll network come from returning customers. Even better, steady customers help businesses weather lean economic times; businesses with 40% repeat customers generated nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with only 10% repeat customers.”

SaaS CLTV

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Attaining brand loyalty is one of the most difficult assets for a company. Or at least, it used to be. We used to depend on customers having a good experience with our service or with our team. Now, brands can give them a great experience, even though most businesses still haven’t figured out how to do it.

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Why Lifetime Value (LTV) matters

LTV is the total amount of money you will receive from a buyer throughout their entire lifetime as a consumer. Let’s say you have an online store. If the average visitor spends $100 per year and does so for an average of three years, then the average customer’s LTV is $300.

Here are some of the reasons discussing why this is of such a significant value:

  • LTV affects every area of business

LTV matters because it affects all areas of business. Take a closer look at how the customer’s lifecycle virtually impacts every section of an ecommerce business.

customer lifetime value

Image source

In the diagram above, what do you see beyond the labels? Strategy outreach, development, product, customer service, management decision-making – basically everything that makes an online brand viable. LTV is part and parcel of it all.

  • Increasing LTV means higher profits

LTV shows you the path to achieve higher profits. The Marketing Metrics suggest the possibility of selling to a new prospect to be 5-20%, but the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. By maintaining focus on existing consumers, you are focusing on a strategy that gives your business much higher profit margins.

An ecommerce store provider, BigCommerce, writes;  to ensure a high profit, it is important to ‘influence your customers to keep coming back to purchase.’ This means that you would want your churn to lessen once you get a customer. Lower churn means higher LTV and a healthier business overall.

As a marketer, what can you do to level up your customer’s lifetime value? The following six ideas will get you there:

1. Publish engaging content to increase CLTV

A newsletter may sound like an old-school trick, but it is also a great method of improving LTV.

How so, you may ask?

Firstly, a newsletter keeps your company front and centre in a customer’s mind. How can they forget about you when you keep sending them regular offers via email? They can’t. And when they remember, they are more likely to return and buy.

Second, you can gain even higher value from each letter by segmenting customers. A targeted email to customer segments is way better than a generic email sent to a huge mailing list. Just having a newsletter, however, isn’t enough. Here is how you can make your messages truly valuable:

  • Make your emails worth reading

Few emails make it to the junk pile faster than a boring newsletter. Therefore, keep your emails interesting if you want to use it as an LTV growth strategy. “People will open good emails no matter how often you send them,” says Kevan Lee from Buffer app.

  • Test your subject lines

The best emails are those that begin with an attention grabbing subject line. By testing my email subject lines, Brian Kelly, the CEO of Kissmetrics, said that he was able to improve his open rate by 203%.

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2. Focus on your SaaS customers to increase CLTV

SaaS CLTV cohort analysis

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The Cohort Analysis chart shown above is a marketer’s new best friend. This script has a really useful function with an aim to expose which specific months in your customers’ lifetime are at the highest risk for churn. To instantly identify where you have a problem, you can examine the churn rate per cohort, and take immediate action by focusing on customer success efforts in that particular period (or before it).

Let’s say, if compared to other days, month-3 has a much higher churn rate, try talking with your consumer base entering month 3, and understand the problems they’re facing with your services. Fixing this may require product enhancements, or a better on boarding and support process.

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3. Send your fans an unexpected present

If your fans take an interest in what you’re selling and what you care about, it’s only fair for you to do the same. Take a look at their social profiles to see what kinds of things they really enjoy, and then send them something you know they’ll like. They will definitely talk about it on their social media platforms as well as in person with their family, friends and anyone else willing to listen.

General electric sent a batman book to one of their buyers, with the latter referencing the gesture in three widely shared articles.

SaaS customer success case study

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Remember to not pick out something obvious when it comes to the gift you send. Do a little research and find something unique from what most people are talking about. (Unless they flat-out said, ‘I really wish to have…’)

4. Be wary of your rivals

One of the essential factors that determine the strength of your consumer bond is their view of your competitors. If they don’t perceive any of your rival brands to be better than you, there is a lesser chance of them churning.

Keeping an eye out for your competition is another important part of the SaaS marketing ideas. See what they’re doing right and wrong to figure out where you stack up against them. By calculating your rival’s next move, you’ll be able to adapt your SaaS marketing ideas accordingly and find something different to offer to your customers.

5. Add sticky features to your product

This one always brings up some conversation, including a term that is usually avoided in product discussions: User lock-in. The idea of adding metaphorical prison bars to your product makes it hard for them to leave, going against everything we have learned about making a great service experience.

Build features in your product that allow consumers to create their own data and add further value to your platform, making them reluctant to leave. For example, if it’s a service app, an automation testing tool like accelQ could enhance product features, with consumers building their own segments inside the platform.

Result: Adding sticky features equals lower churn rate, thus, increasing customers’ LTV.

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6. Solve a consumer problem

Go beyond your actual services and provide your customers something that makes their life easier on a regular basis. Portent did this with their content idea generator and Neil Patel did it with his website analyser on QuickSprout.

Try to understand your customer, find out what product would simplify their lives, and build it. When you are able to pull this off right, you make your buyer dependent on you for more than just your service, and that makes you almost irreplaceable.

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Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is a mysterious beast…

The ideas above represent some of the most common yet effective ways to extend the length of customer lifetime and the amount of money each one is willing to pay.

The only difficult part is having a solid hold on LTV estimation, carefully tweaked to the characteristics of your company, and being able to achieve highly reliable, measurable results from the above ways to grow your consumer lifetime value.

About the author: 

Audrey Throne is a mother of a 2-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about health, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.

Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.

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