There was a time a small business owner could feel like they had put a real effort into optimizing their ability to make sales by hiring and training a dedicated staff, making local media ad buys and installing enough registers to meet demand. In today’s technology-driven world, things are a bit more complex. Here are a few different technologies you can use to give your small business an edge when it comes to making sales.


Take your customer relationship management to the next level

As this Entrepreneur article points out, 77 percent of best-in-class companies are using what’s called automated engagement tracking software to aid with their customer relationship management efforts. As a small business owner, you know the ins and outs of your product or service better than anyone else. What you need to complete a sale is information about your customers, and AETS gives you that insight. AdRole allows you to track engagement across various devices and various social networks. Marketo gives you the ability to manage and personalize your email campaigns. will give you data based on user behavior that will let you craft e-marketing efforts that are optimized for getting your customers’ attention. NG DATA has a solid rundown of the 50 best AETS tools and apps and their various attributes.


Get on board the mobile payments revolution

It would be a crying shame to invest a lot of time and money in a top-flight AETS app only for a customer to leave your store unsatisfied because they had to wait in line too long. According to this Nomi post, a full one third of customers will abandon the transaction if they’ve had to wait more than five minutes in line. As such, you need to be doing everything you can to make your checkout process as efficient as possible. One good way to do this is to accept mobile payments, which have an average transaction time of 12 seconds. Companies like Square and PayPal have made things easy on merchants by creating payment processing units that are both elegantly designed and relatively affordable.


Use IBM’s mobile first sale assist

When two of the world’s largest tech companies collaborate on a project, it’s probably worth paying attention to. In December 2014, Apple and IBM introduced the Mobile First suite of enterprise apps. This set of programs was designed to facilitate a greater level of efficiency in a wide range of industries. For retailers, Mobile First offers Sales Assist. Utilizing iBeacon technology, Sales Assist will let your sales staff know when an Apple device using customer comes into your store, what their last few purchases were, and offers a few suggestions about what they should purchase today, with inventory information included. For reasons that should be obvious, Sales Assist can be a powerful tool in converting occasional browsers into regular customers.

This article was written by Mario McKellop of for CBS Small Business Pulse.


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