Most small and midsize businesses run on old software suites. Their systems no longer fit the demands of a work-from-anywhere world. Even worse, they are not well integrated, causing extra work for employees who spend long hours, often on personal time, toggling between programs to support what should be simple business processes. On top of that, poor software support erodes the vendor-customer relationship, because it makes conducting business more difficult.

Not surprisingly, many employees dislike the software tools they work with. A recent survey of more than 500 inside sales professionals that we conducted sheds light on why. Workers told us that they routinely keep as many as eight screens or windows open at once to capture and source the data needed to do their jobs in sales, marketing, and service. When we asked them to compare the onerousness of using their software with other less-than-pleasant…

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