Blog

June 2016 - Volano Solutions

Let’s Talk About Your Sales Emails

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Custom workflow software is a necessity for any sales team that is not operating optimally, solely with an out of the box CRM…basically all of them. Over the years, we have worked with many sales teams. We’re the guys who create the software that makes sure all of the promises made by a vendor or service provider are followed through on: on-time delivery, security, accurate ordering, automated communications, and a whole bunch of other great stuff that keeps customers happy and coming back.  

Given all of our success working with sales teams and managing our own sales, we thought it would be a nice change of pace to talk about the beginning of the sales cycle, rather than the end, where we spend most of our time. More specifically, we’d like to talk about sales emails! Here’s what we know…

A little effort, please?

We get that there is a diminishing return when you spend too much time optimizing your sales emails with personalization and customization. There really isn’t any practical way to ditch the templates and canned emails, but a little effort can go a long way.

Take your sales email template and add fields within to make customizing each email quick and easy. There are the obvious point of contact fields and company name, but be sure to add specifics about their business challenges and industry insights that add value to your communication.

Get down to it.

Lead with the benefits of your product or service. That is really all these people care about. What can you do for me? What will I get out of speaking with you? What is the value? The sooner you can provide these answers, the better your chance of getting a solid lead.

The proof is in the puddin’.

People want to see results. They want proof that you can and will deliver on whatever it is you’re peddling. Hard numbers and statistics can be really powerful. Not everyone has time to read your case study, so make it short and sweet with a powerful proof point, before and after pictures, or client testimonials.

Use your CTAs wisely.

“Learn More” is getting a little stale, right? Remember up there when we talked about adding specifics and industry insights to your email copy? Use those bits of information to create eye-catching, customized CTAs.

Let’s say Volano wants to work with a trucking company, building their employee portal (which we totally did). We might add a “Let’s Get Truckin’” linked button within our sales email, or a “Portal to Your New Portal” link. Cheesy or professional, these are really simple customizations that grab attention and prove your eye for detail.

We hope this helps our sales team friends out there. Generic emails to huge lists will only get you on the spam list. Taking just a few more small steps to add personalization to your sales emails will prove worth it! Even if fewer emails get sent, a dozen well-written, thoughtfully crafted sales emails can be more impactful than a cold, canned email sent to thousands.

7 Ways to Instill Trust in Your Website Users

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A couple of months ago we launched our interactive division here at Volano Solutions. Every project is different, but there are a few things every client wants: increased revenue, more sales, and customer loyalty. Those are standards in our website project objectives. Whether you have an ecommerce site or your site is simply meant to be informative, there are some elements we consider essential in establishing trust with your users. So, let’s talk about how Volano builds trustworthy websites…

  • Reviews and Testimonials

According to a Bright Local study, almost 90% of consumers have read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business, and 39% do so on a regular basis. When you make these reviews readily available, you can establish trust sooner without making your customers dig for the information.

  • Showcasing Clients

Showcase your clients by adding their logos and links to your site. A nice touch would be adding case studies for those really successful projects and relationships. It’s always best to gain consent first.

  • Press Mentions

Be sure to share your positive press mentions. A simple slider with excerpts from articles in which your organization is given props can go a long way in reassuring potential customers and clients that you have a solid reputation for taking care of your customers.

  • Memberships and Awards

Do you have A+ ratings, certificates, memberships, awards, etc.? Be sure to add mention of these on your website. These acknowledgements let your site visitors know what they can expect from you. They are further proof that you can guarantee the level of service they’re looking for.

  • Security Policy

Your customers want to know what measures you’ve taken to ensure their information is secure. Be sure to offer a security policy that includes what systems and tools you use on your site, complete with logos/badges.

  • SSL

An SSL is now a standard online security feature. An SSL is a digital certificate that verifies the authenticity and identity of the merchant or organization. This certificate proves to visitors or online shoppers that the website is secure and reliable.

  • Presentation

Last but certainly not least, presentation is key to gaining trust. You need a professional site with authentic imagery and relevant resources. Additionally–we beg you–please be sure your text is grammatically correct and proofed for spelling errors. Nothing will discredit an organization faster than an unprofessional site.

Not too bad, right? These are all really easy additions to make to your site to instill trust in your visitors. Want to know more about how you can offer your site visitors a safer, more reliable online experience with your brand? Read more about our interactive division here. Then, give us a ring.

Top 5 Reasons to be a Developer at Volano

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We are one of many custom software development agencies in Omaha looking for great developers, but that’s where our likeness with local firms ends. Everyone offers cool perks and the promise to deliver great code, but those are expected variables, not differentiators. The same way a ping pong table isn’t an employer brand.

It’s tough to find great talent that’s in it for the long term and fits the company culture. It requires more than a classified ad, it requires real transparency of the value proposition of employment. So, away we go…

Project Diversity: At Volano, you get to work on a myriad of projects, not just the same old project month after month. We have a diverse client base and lasting relationships, meaning our developers and clients work together long enough to establish a true understanding. Still, new and exciting projects are always coming down the pipeline. As a custom workflow software development agency, it’s not only clients and industries that change, but the problems, solutions, successes, and strategies that change as well.

Software De Novo: There’s nothing quite like a blank canvas to foster collaboration and ignite creativity. This is how most of your projects will begin: from scratch. Our tagline is, “We make work flow.” We revel in finding dynamic, innovative ways to optimize processes and workflows with our clients. You will never deliver a product you’re not proud of because we don’t offer 80% solutions.

The Latest Software Development Tools: Around here, we’re picky about a few things: clients, technology, and whiskey (or whisky, depending on your palette). We want to be the best, so we settle for nothing less. We fully understand and appreciate the ROI of using the right tools, being selective about clients, and… who cares about the cost of whiskey as longs as it’s amazing.

An Open, Collaborative, Team Based Environment: We’re not siloed here. In fact, our software developers work directly with our clients. We saw an intrinsic flaw in the traditional client>project manager>developer flow of creating custom software: a massive game of telephone in which all parties speak a different language. We saw work environments in which developers would walk in, soak up some third party information about a client, and code for hours to create software for problems, organizations, and people they’ve never met and have no chance of understanding. Little to no collaboration seems to be the norm, but that’s not how we develop. We believe in an open, collaborative, team-based approach to innovative software and solutions.

Fun As a Core Value: Be it daily darts, Whisky Wednesday, or ‘putting the week in the books’ on Friday, we provide a fun work environment. We’re in this together and we’re in it for around 40 hours each week. Fun and a work/life balance are not lost on us. From the top down, we want everyone to walk into and contribute to a positive work environment. Something, somewhere along the way sparked an interest, or dare we say passion, for software development–the way it challenges you, the excitement of “going live,” or when you finally find the bug! We want to keep that spark alive.

If this sounds like a company you can get behind, contact us and let’s see if we’re a fit. Or, if you know someone that sounds like a fit, we are hiring a mid-level and/or senior-level developer with placement bonuses for referrals after 6 months. Thanks for your time and we hope to see you slingin’ darts in the Volano office soon.

Work Management Is Not Task Management

Posted by | Accountability, Accuracy, Efficiency, Transparency, Workflow | No Comments

You often hear of people complaining they need a better task management system. That’s why there are so many different apps for task management. But who needs an app for something that is relatively easy to manage with a good, old fashioned pen and paper?

Work management, however, is where people generally need help, but most don’t know the difference between managing tasks and managing work. There are so many differences that we’re going to cover the similarities first, of which there are two.

With both work management and task management, you have something to do and after you take care of it, you check it off the list.

Those two instances are the only similarities between work management and task management. Since work management tends to be a bit more involved, we will delve into its key features.

Steps

Work is always part of a multi-step process. In order to begin managing your work, you need to determine the steps and where they fall in the workflow. You also need to define who is responsible for each step.

Fields

Pertinent and ancillary information associated with your work will fall into fields. The information in these fields can range from contact information to the date a contract was signed. You define what type of data will be stored in the fields, including: text, numbers, web addresses, geo-coordinates, pick lists, or anything else you can think of.  We have found that many times, particular fields are filled in by the people responsible of certain steps.

Work Queues

Work queues foster the accountability we talk so much about.  They allow people to see what they need to work on and in what order. How does work end up in a particular queue? It can either be directly assigned to a person or can appear based on which team they are assigned to. For example, all of the work in step 1 is directly added to each team member’s queue. Pretty nifty, huh?

History

Having a history of work completed is essential to good work management. It brings the transparency necessary to know where the bottlenecks are in your process or to answer your clients when they ask, “what’s taking so long?”  It would be short-sighted to not keep a running history of who worked on what and when.

Reporting

The purpose of capturing fields, tracking steps and recording all other detailed information is to be able to produce reports. Reports are essential for both a high-level and micro-level view of the work. At a high-level, it is important to ensure nothing is falling through the cracks. On a micro-level, you need to be able to answer the questions of who, why and when for each aspect of the work.

Over the past 9 years, we have focused on architecting and implementing custom software that helps businesses manage their work, allowing it to flow through their unique processes.