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6 Ways to win time using cloud tools

What kind of business apps does the cloud offer, who are they for, and how do they help you save time? This blog sheds light on 6 different areas.

Ask anybody what advantages the cloud offers SMEs, and the financial aspect wil pop up first: hardware costs are low, scalability is high, and you spend nothing on specialized IT personnel. Which saves you a lot of money.

Time, that other resource of a healthy business, gets fewer mentions. Still, the cloud makes all the difference in that area as well. You don't even have to bring your infrastructure to the cloud; many apps make great use of the cloud to increase efficiency on every level of your business.

What kind of business apps does the cloud offer, who are they for, and how do they help you save time? This blog sheds light on 6 different areas.

1. Flexible marketing

Marketeers save time in the cloud by using a sniper rifle instead of a shotgun. Take Unbounce for example: it lets you make great landing pages fast, A/B test those pages and quickly adapt them if need be. No IT help required, so no technical bottlenecks. The integration with a range of other marketing tools ensures that your workflow keeps moving.

Moreover, you can use a social media management tool like Buffer to schedule automated posts easily, analyse the ROI and start adapting again. That way you don't lose too much time on social media campaigns that don't hit the target.

2. Simple administration

Business administration often comes down to a time-consuming paper chase. Xpenditure takes some of that work out of your hands. A smartphone or webcam is all you need to digitize your receipts, transform them into expense reports and export them in a few clicks, even to your accounting software.

3. Limitless productivity

By limiting productivity to office walls and office hours, you restrict creativity too. That's where a digital online workspace like Evernote comes in: you can use it for all your ideas, no matter what format, across all your devices. So you can max out on productivity, always and everywhere.

Cloud-based apps like Confluence allow teams to spike up their productivity by organizing everything in one spot. And Invision lets design and software teams work together flawlessly on interactive prototypes of websites and apps, without slow feedback through email or tardy revisions.

4. Sped-up sales

Sluggishly organized sales leave you trailing in the modern business world. Fortunately the cloud has answers for that: you can for example organize virtual meetings with potential customers using Gotomeeting or, saving you lots and lots of miles and hours.

Do leads often ask for quotations? Given the right cloud platform, they can consult your quotations online, give feedback and hopefully approve them right away. Having invoices read and paid online is also a viable option through the cloud. On top of that, a good online CRM autosaves accepted quotations and paid invoices to the proper company or contact, so every step of your sales process builds on the last.

5. Streamlined workflow

Investing in a streamlined workflow is a great idea regardless, because nobody likes unnecessary work. A perfect example of how that might work is Zapier, the workflow tool that connects all your apps so they can exchange data easily. Event-based automation then makes sure you steer clear of useless repetition.

Originally directed more at consumers, If This Then That (IFTTT) lets the internet work for you in a similar way by making simple connections between the tools you use. Because an integrated workflow means optimal productivity.

6. Direct communication

The shortest way from A to B is a straight line. In a similar fashion, your communication can do without too many detours. Choose an online platform like Slack to communicate internally or Intercom to do the same with your customers. Or Olark, which gives you the opportunity to answer customer questions live, without circuitous emails or tickets that still have to be seen and responded too by the other party.

You obviously can't be online all of the time. So try to look for a timesaving cloud-based ticketing platform: the customer can closely follow the status of his support question and provide additional info whenever, your customer service can see all open tickets in the history and even close them automatically after a while. No more lost time, no more superfluous searching.

Save time with Teamleader

Teamleader helps you get the most out of the cloud. All CRM info stays up to date and readily available, making data exchange easy. Thanks to a long list of self-built cloud platforms, every department of your company goes straight for the target: sharing ongoing projects with customers, having quotations and invoices sent and approved online, or efficiently planned meetings, Teamleader can do it all. Try it now for 14 days!

PS: Think you could put some extra time to good use? Then you'll enjoy our ebook on better time management.

Download the ebook

About the author

Robin Van Cleemput

Writing something about a copywriter, always tricky… If it’s bad, he’ll hate you for it. If it’s good, he’ll hate you for it because he didn’t write it himself. Although Robin isn’t quite the hateful type, on the contrary. His sharp pen makes sure you are engulfed with – hopefully positive - words our customers have to say about us. He can turn a shopping list into a genuine page turner!

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