I admit that I’ve always been a bit of a geek. At 12 I dismantled our new family TV to see how it worked, and, yes, I did have a few problems putting it back together! I still have an inquiring mind and believe it’s absolutely essential for anyone seeking to lead from the front in the online industry.
I have a strong background in strategic business and management having held managerial and executive positions in the online industry for over 20 years.
WEBSITES – THE CENTRALISED TOUCH POINT (CONNECTOR) FOR BUSINESS
Websites supporting core business functions
A website is the platform and driver for marketing and sales and also a data collection center. Of the main business activities: accounting, marketing, sales, recruitment and customer service, the website has a role to play in each.
Accounting: All relevant transactions are fed through from the website to the chosen accounting software, removing human error and increasing efficiency.
Marketing: Website structure and content dictates how results show within search engines, and the website is most commonly the platform that feeds or provides the content for social media and emails. Additionally, targeted online advertising can drive chosen market segments back to the website to provide more information about a product or service.
Sales: Leads and sales are fed through from the website to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), accounting and analytics systems via integration and can provide meaningful data to sales representatives to capture new business. Customer behaviour data can also be collected and reported on, to provide specific demographic data for current and potential clients.
Recruitment: Vacant positions can be advertised on the website, shared and fed out to recruitment websites or vice versa.
Customer Service: Real-time customer service can be offered via the website in the form of live chat or logging support tickets.
Website information flow chart
What does this mean for your business?
A website that supports core business functions, and is the centralised touch point, gives organisations the tools to be more efficient, increase productivity, effectively drive sales and provide executives with meaningful information to make informed business decisions. For medium to large businesses the visible website represents only one third of the total system.
Getting the front-end of the website and information flow right is important. However, the website and remaining IT systems are mutually dependent. It is key that significant consideration is given to those systems behind the website which are essential for capturing the required data and supporting the core business functions.
Investing in integrating these systems is an investment in the future streamlining of business process. The return on this investment will quickly be realised by reducing processing costs, creating efficiency, levering modern marketing methods, and providing companies with meaningful customer data.