We’re eight weeks into 2023, and there are still far more questions than answers about the year ahead.
Will there be a recession?
Is inflation under control?
What do all these tech layoffs mean?
Will consumers keep spending?
How high will interest rates go?
What’s the housing market going to do?
Should business owners keep hiring?
No one has the answers, and expert predictions are all over the place. It’s enough to make anyone nervous, but there’s a better way to approach 2023.
One of our clients recently referred to this year as a “mindful market” where the key to success is remaining calm while being intentional about how you spend time, money, and effort.
We think she’s right – and we’ve decided to write a series of blog posts on how real estate and financial services businesses can thrive in this environment. First up: how to be mindful (and get more ROI) from your technology investment.
A Quick Note About Doing Business in a Mindful Market
Before we dive into how to make sure your technology investments pay off, let’s spend a little time on what it means to do business in a mindful market.
You never know exactly how consumers, the economy, or the market will behave in a given year. There are always curveballs – hello, COVID-19 – but some years bring more uncertainty than others from the start.
When that happens, like in 2023, it’s tempting to react fearfully and rush to cut or freeze all spending on everything. We’re a growing business, so we 100% understand that impulse, but success in an uncertain market is less about scaling back or spending less and more about making sure you’re spending your money, time, and energy on the right things.
You need to be intentional about every initiative you pursue and every dollar you spend, with a laser focus on efficiency and ROI. That’s what it takes to thrive in a mindful market.
Sometimes the “mindful” approach involves making judicious cuts, but it can also lead to spending more money on things that will fuel growth and bring higher returns.
Four Keys to Getting ROI From Your Technology Investment
Okay, enough context – let’s talk about mindful technology investment.
Technology investment is a double-edged sword.
If you get it right, technology investment can accelerate growth, eliminate inefficiencies, and fuel long-term success. If you get it wrong, though, you can quickly end up wasting huge amounts of time and effort with nothing to show for your trouble.
In a mindful market with lots of uncertainty and little room for error, you need to make sure your technology investment leads directly to ROI and better business outcomes.
Here are four practical suggestions to help you achieve this goal:
1. Choose the right tools for your business
This may seem obvious, but don’t skip to the next one too fast. It’s easy to end up with technology solutions full of fancy features you don’t need – or that are great for someone’s business but not your business.
We work with a variety of real estate, lending, wealth management, and other financial services firms, and we see so many clients with tech stacks full of technology that’s providing zero ROI.
In most cases, the technology isn’t bad; it’s just not helping the client achieve any goals or contributing to better business outcomes.
So how do you choose the right technology for your business?
Take your time.
Start with a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish with the technology and the type of ROI you want to achieve.
Then ask lots of questions and analyze how any proposed solution might fit into your processes and affect your results.
If you can’t clearly see the connection between the technology and ROI, walk away and head back to the drawing board.
2. Configure your technology solutions properly
No technology investment will pay off if the system isn’t set up correctly.
It’s another issue we frequently see with our real estate and financial services clients – they’ve made a great decision by choosing Salesforce, but improper configuration is holding them back.
“Improper configuration” can mean lots of things – bad data models, wonky workflows, subpar integrations, inefficient automation – but the results are always the same: frustration, mistakes, and non-existent (or negative) ROI.
You can avoid this problem and boost your technology ROI by ensuring your core software is properly connected, integrated, and set up to support your most important workflows.
3. Make sure you have the staff to support your technology
The next key to getting more ROI from your technology investment is staffing.
Powerful technology solutions like Salesforce can pay off big time, but to keep the returns coming, you need someone who can maintain the system, troubleshoot problems, and scale the solution as you grow.
Too many businesses try to get away with the bare minimum by appointing an IT generalist or hiring someone with entry-level experience to be the in-house “expert.”
But basic skills won’t cut it. To get the kind of ROI you want, you need someone who’s been there, done that, and knows how to use technology to achieve and exceed your business goals.
Don’t make the mistake of skimping on technology staffing – get the help you need to get results now and in the future.
4. Consider working with a technology consultant with expertise in your field
One of the best ways to ensure your technology investment pays off is to partner with a trusted consultant who understands technology and your business.
In fact, this might be the most important piece of advice on our lists.
Because a good technology partner with expertise in your industry will help you choose the right tools for your business and make sure they get (and stay) set up to support your goals.
Technology consultants like Platinum Cubed also offer cost-effective maintenance, administration, and ongoing development support through managed service contracts.
Yes, working with a consultant costs money, but even in a mindful market, the investment more than pays for itself with time savings, reduced in-house staffing costs, and higher technology ROI.
Platinum Cubed offers Salesforce implementation, advisory, integration, and management services to businesses in real estate and financial services.
Whether you’re new to Salesforce or looking to improve ROI from your existing solution, we can help you choose the right Salesforce solutions for your needs and set up your system for maximum efficiency.
We also offer managed services to take care of your ongoing Salesforce staffing and development needs.