The digital transformation means that a smaller workforce can perform and keep track of their activities and timelines. (Shutterstock)
The startup environment, in its very nature, demands that all members wear many hats and perform a multitude of tasks. The obvious reason for this is simply that there is always too much going on. There is a congruous activity of defining and developing processes while simultaneously executing tasks that need to get done. Moreover, these processes tend to evolve quickly and eventually they need to stabilise so that the organisation can scale.
Another critical challenge that startups face is “lean workforce” resulting in a few people doing too many things. Consequently, attention to detail often gets missed out, deadlines often lapse, and executives often find themselves firefighting more than running, scaling and maturing their businesses.
Compounding these challenges is the continual need to stretch the proverbial dollar to its maximum thereby minimising capital investment and exposure, and leveraging available funding to its maximum. Apart from these key challenges, there are, of course, many more issues as well that need to be contended with, in terms of delegation of authority, auditing of data and decision-making matrices – the list goes on.
Traditionally, startups would start out with an investment into just an accounting software which may or may not include inventory management. Today, however the digital transformation journey is within easy reach of startups owing to more and more affordable solutions, cloud technologies, smarter devices, easy-to-use interfaces, and SaaS subscription models, operations management, governance and automation solutions.
Centra CRM for example is available as a perpetual licence or SaaS subscription, across the hosting on on-premise, private cloud, or shared cloud models.
Through the aspects of marketing using the CRM, companies can build campaigns, conduct focused communications to new and existing databases, to generate leads and opportunities, as well as monitor budgets, expenditure and ROIs. The digital transformation of these processes within a startup means that a smaller workforce can perform and keep track of their marketing activities and timelines.
Arguably the most important process in any business, particularly that of the startup domain, is the generation of revenue – sales!
With a lean workforce, the biggest challenge that startups face is keeping track of all their leads, maturing them into opportunities, following up with them within efficient timelines to ensure positive progression towards a sale, meeting deadlines of tasks due, and ensuring that nothing “falls off the radar”.
A single opportunity left unfollowed could potentially be worth millions in revenue which could be lost to a competitor simply because a deadline was not met, or the sales executive forgot to make a follow up phone call or email.
After sales service
Once again, a key component to customer retention falls within the purview of the after sales teams. Customer complaints and issue tickets need to be resolved swiftly and efficiently. Moreover, it is critical that the service administration manages turnaround timelines of service resolution, ensuring that once again, nothing “falls off the radar.”
Ultimately, in today’s generation, the startups need a tremendous competitive edge to remain relevant in the challenging market place.
By Rohan Tejura
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Al Bawaba Business or its affiliates.