We’ll cut to the chase: going cash-free, IoT, social, and that perennial favorite, CLOUD.
We’re not using a crystal ball. @@If you know today’s business technology, you can see tomorrow’s trends@@ as well as anyone.
And if you’re a cloud-based CPQ software vendor like iQuoteXpress, your job (ours, rather) is not just to identify the trends, but to be out in front of them.
Want to serve millenials (and their successors, generation Z)? Go cashless.
Want to be connected to every element of your customers’ buying behavior? Embrace solutions that in turn embrace the Internet of Things (IoT).
Want to influence sales and improve customer service? Get your social ducks in a row.
Want to be caught up to the late 1990s and still be ahead of the curve today? Put absolutely everything — your office apps, your CRM and CPQ systems, etc. — in the cloud.
Cash is dead
Beyond being an object of affection for speculators, bitcoin and other blockchain currencies are still kind of up in the air as viable forms of everyday payment. But paying sans cash is absolutely here to stay.
According to our friends at the National Federation of Independent Business, by 2020 the amount of consumers paying with mobile devices will increase by 80%. That’s no incremental lift!
If you’re not using Apple Pay or Venmo or another person-to-person payment software from endless vendors, it’s time you start. Because many of your customers or partners will want sales to be cashless going forward.
Is there a better name for this better way?
We’ve made no secret of our disdain for the name “Internet of Things,” which is a supremely lazy name for a supremely amazing advance in how we acquire and retain customers.
In the retention world, IoT-enabled hardware, for example, can deliver real-time updates to your sales team on everything from a car that needs repairs (get ‘em back to the lot!) to a refrigerator on the fritz (make a proactive call to a customer!).
On the acquisition side, it can be the ability to send real-time marketing messages to prospects when they’re out and about. You’ve tagged a prospect online; they walk by your storefront; a transponder detects their mobile device and sends a message with a discount; a sale is made.
Sounds like sci-fi, but it’s a trend to keep your eyes on (and, in many ways, a trend that keeps its eyes on you).
Sales is a social call
Social media is for far more than pictures of what’s for dinner and learning where your highschool friends went on vacation.
It won’t necessarily expedite the sales process (like CPQ software, naturally), but social media is a proven sales influencer. The reason is simple: if someone has a good experience with your company, they’ll probably share it. If they have a bad experience, they’ll DEFINITELY share it.
You don’t need to be posting every day or have a following of 100k to make good use of social media. Be practical: use it for what it’s meant for — engaging with others. Answer customer questions, address their concerns. You’ll find that an honest, consistent social media presence can serve as a vital extension of your customer service department.
Send in the cloud
As pioneering CPQ software vendors, we have been touting the benefits of cloud-based business platforms from day one.
So when we went to investigate what trends might be on the horizon for our customers and colleagues, it blew our minds that cloud is still considered a trend. For us (and hopefully for you, too) it’s simply how business is done.
Less infrastructure costs, easy to scale, predictable pricing, built-in back-ups… doing business in the cloud has always seemed simply to be sensible — who knew we’d be so trendy ; )
If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.