Entrepreneurs: Embrace Technology and Improve Your Future Success

2016-11-16-1479313925-8441129-SolomonTimothy.pngBy Solomon Thimothy

Technology can be polarizing. Some love it. Some hate it. But no matter how you feel about it, it's here to stay. As a business owner who works with a myriad of other business owners, from mom-and-pop stores to multi-national corporations, I've seen how technology can transform a business. I've also encountered many who oppose incorporating technology into their businesses for fear of losing control or eliminating roles.

But as technology advances, it's important for entrepreneurs and business owners to embrace technology and view it as a tool to help them achieve more. Here's how technology can help entrepreneurs maximize their potential and create a sustainable path to success.

Marketing Automation Makes You More Efficient

Many business owners I consult on a daily basis are usually hesitant to put automation in place. But marketing automation is key in today's highly competitive marketplace where buyers have the upper hand. Marketing automation allows you to expand your reach and capabilities far beyond what your physical marketing or sales team could do. This is especially important for small startups that are shorthanded and can't dedicate full resources to send personalized emails, keep tabs on prospect activity, or nurture existing accounts.

In the long run, marketing automation exponentially grows your potential to attract, convert and close new deals, simply by creating a journey for everyone that comes into contact with your company.

We implement marketing automation to help move prospects along the entire buyer's journey. Because it can be done in mass and still be personalized to a prospect's individual situation, it prevents our sales team from focusing on prospects that aren't ready to buy.

Artificial Intelligence Helps You Sell Better

Artificial intelligence is no longer a thing of the future: It's thriving, and becoming more and more sophisticated. Many technologies and tools, including sophisticated customer relationship management software like Salesforce, make it easy for marketers and sales teams to gain valuable insight into their leads and prospects, simply by allowing machine learning to do the thinking for them.

Sound intriguing? It is. Imagine if your CRM software could tell you how likely a prospect is to respond to your email, or draft an email based on the response your prospect gave. Picture it scheduling an appointment based on openings in your calendar, or alerting you of changes in your prospects behavior that might be a red flag. It's all possible with machine learning and artificial intelligence, which are now becoming commonplace.

Although artificial intelligence is still fairly new, it's important to know where the industry is going, and understand how your competition may have an advantage over you.

As the owner of a digital marketing agency, I consider artificial intelligence a weapon for sales teams. When competing with large companies, technology like this can truly make a difference. We help many of our clients take advantage of it by defining key turning points that can help them close opportunities faster or improve their closing rates. The continuous learning also helps refine their sales process over time, making them more efficient and successful.

Custom Apps Help You Deliver More Value

In a society that's largely on the go, it's important not to dismiss how your business could deliver more value with a custom app. Today, custom apps allow you to do just about anything from your mobile device -- ordering a meal, picking up coffee, turning off your lights, monitoring your security cameras, or getting a ride to the airport. No matter where you look, the future of service is moving towards custom applications that allow customers to take advantage of your product or service no matter where they are.

I'm extremely thankful that many of the services and partners we work with have custom applications. From a coffee shop to an airport, I can keep up with my customers and my sales leads all from my phone.

Not quite sure how technology fits into your business? While it might not be easy to pinpoint exactly where it would have the most impact, the reality is, there's lots of room to incorporate technology into a young business. From connected point-of-sale systems to sophisticated sales enablement tools, technology is revolutionizing the way we attract new customers and service them. So if you're looking to stay in the game for the long haul, it's time you start embracing it.

As the founder and CEO of OneIMS and Clickx, Solomon Thimothy has built his career around his passion for helping other businesses grow an online presence and thrive in the digital world.