How to Stay Organized and Productive As a Busy VAR

You know the VAR world is fast-paced and falling behind could be detrimental to your business. Keeping your services up-to-date while staying organized can feel like a juggling act. With shrinking margins and heightened competition, working efficiently and delivering excellent customer service is more important than ever.

As a VAR you might be struggling with too much time spent on repetitive tasks, too little visibility into your team activities, difficulty holding your team accountable, and not knowing the solutions to alleviate these issues.

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You’re always looking for a better way to run your business and to find ways to stay on track, work efficiently, and become more successful. Here are a few tips to help solve your common VAR problems.

  1. Find a Calendar That Will Keep You Organized and Accountable
  2. What you do day-to-day is just as important to your business as what you have planned months, if not years, into the future. You need a tool that can keep track of the what, where, and when you need to accomplish your goals. This applies to your employees too.

    It’s one thing to communicate with your team, it’s another to make sure they actually listen and accomplish what you need them to do. They can say they are making the calls they need, but how do you really know for sure? The right calendar lets your employees track their time, which allows you to ensure everyone is staying on task and being productive. This is much easier than checking up with each employee individually—and a lot less time consuming too.

  3. Leverage a CRM
  4. As you add more customers, keeping each sale straight can be difficult. Having one tool to keep track of all your opportunities lets you see what needs a follow-up and what’s making its way through the cycle. If you don’t have a CRM to organize every opportunity, you could fall behind, lose track, or worse, lose a valued customer. As your company grows, so does the number and variety of your customers. Your CRM needs to scale along with you because the wrong CRM could lead to a critical mistake.

    Here’s an example. Steve, the account manager for a big client, re-reads an email thread and makes a follow-up phone call. The problem is, Steve already followed-up on that email and the client had to remind him of the call they had last week. Now, Steve looks unprofessional and the client doesn’t trust that they will be valued.

    Having a centralized location for every opportunity allows you to have a better look into what needs your attention and what doesn’t. You can now spend your time on what’s important—and avoid serious mistakes, unlike Steve.

  5. Use Online Quoting and Automating Capabilities
  6. Your customers are just as busy at you are. When they finally decide they are ready to purchase your product, you want to make the process as simple as possible. If it can’t be done with a click of the mouse, you could potentially lose the sale. Implement a quoting system that allows for e-signatures and online payments. Anything to make the buying process easy.

    On your end, you’ll want to be notified when a quote has been open. According to the Harvard Business Review, companies who contact prospects within an hour of receiving quotes are 7x more likely to talk with a key decision maker than a company that waited more than an hour. If a prospect opens a quote and doesn’t act on it, you want to know why. Reach out and answer any questions the customer may have to eliminate any worries they have about working with you.

    To really improve your quoting process, you’ll want to automate it. It’s easy to make errors when you manually create quotes and a simple mistake could cost you thousands in revenue. Experian says that an average of 60% of companies see human error as the reason for poor data quality. A simple mistake now can snowball into something much bigger.

  7. Product Source the Right Way
  8. A product sourcing tool can save you countless hours looking for prices, but only if you have the right one. Finding a tool that gives you real-time data from your preferred distributors lets you offer your customers the most competitive pricing.

    Your customers are always looking for the best deal, and competitive pricing makes all the difference. You don’t want your customers looking elsewhere just because you didn’t have the right pricing information. Real-time pricing ensures the amount the customer sees on their quote is the price they will pay. Nothing ends a deal quicker than having to provide a higher price than what was on the original quote.

  9. Find Tools That Integrate and Automate
  10. InformationAge shows that 90% of employees are performing tasks that could be automated. That not only takes up a lot of time that could be used on more critical projects, but also increases the likelihood of mistakes happening. Automation increases productivity and efficiency while decreasing costs and human error. The right tools can make all the difference.

    When you’re researching, make sure your tools automate your business and communicate with each other. Find a system that sources products, generates quotes, inputs information into your CRM, and adds activities to your calendar. All of this gives you better visibility into your sales pipeline and makes closing deals much easier.

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