Every entrepreneur should be aware of the amazing software solutions that are available today. Using technology to streamline your day-to-day operations will result in more revenue and growth. By automating daily mundane tasks, you will have more time to focus on your core business activities. With software tool automation, specialization, and labor input, maximization is easy to achieve. Let us look at the best tools available for SMEs.
What are the Top Software Solutions that Boost Efficiency?
Here are nine of the most popular software solutions that your business can use to increase its operational efficiency. The suggestions are divided into four categories to help you match common business functions to a specific solution.
- Project management
- Helpdesk and customer support
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
Depending on your business type and industry, you might not need software from each category. It is up to you to decide the most relevant ones.
1. Project Management Solutions
Project management solutions let you track, monitor, and coordinate the activities of your team on a single consolidated platform. The basic functionality provided by any good project management system includes tracking tasks, projects, teams, resources, and documents. A major advantage of these tools is the ability to see who is responsible for which tasks and how teams are performing. Here are some of the top project management solutions available today.
This is a cloud-based tool that does not require you to install any software on your local machine. The user interface is an intuitive design with a focus on the Kanban process and boards. Features include creating task lists, file sharing, messaging between team members, and time tracking. It even has a client billing function that generates invoices by tracking the number of hours worked and expenses incurred.
Teamwork Projects integrates into many other cloud-based tools such as Dropbox, Google Apps, Box, and FreshBooks. A free version with the most basic features is available.
Asana is a project management solution with advanced task management capabilities. It can easily track multiple projects and teams at the same time. This platform helps you monitor project progress and ensure that work is flowing smoothly. You also get customized reports, different collaboration tools, automatic notifications, a document manager, and a customer portal. Your team members can also download the mobile app to keep in touch while on the go.
Microsoft Office 365
The latest cloud-based version of this classic office product comes with more bells and whistles. It can function as a complete productivity suite that gives your business all the basic tools needed to work efficiently. The various apps can be utilized in tandem to work as a fully featured, robust project management system. Use SharePoint to manage your content, Outlook Tasks, Microsoft Project Online, and, Planner. Explore all the apps to find the ones that your business need.
2. Helpdesk and Customer Support Solutions
Providing high-quality support to your customers can help improve the relationship you have with them. When customers realize that your business cares about their needs then their loyalty will increase and customer retention numbers will go up.
HelpScout is a cloud-based platform that works as a virtual helpdesk. It was developed keeping in mind the needs of small to medium-sized businesses. The interface design is structured to look like a standard email inbox. Different team members are assigned support tickets. Each ticket is tracked in real-time and allows the team member to view how the customer query was handled. The tool can be set up to support multiple inboxes simultaneously; this means you can accomplish inter-departmental helpdesk functions.
Zendesk has become the most popular online help desk solution. A large number of websites use Zendesk to power their website’s support feature. This tool lets you customize the way your business handles customer support. You can also create a fully branded customer support portal, support forum, and knowledge base. You can activate the live chat feature and integrate your setup with other business tools such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, and even social media sites.
3. Sales Solutions
Sales software gives you more control over the way your company handles sales-related activities. These tools let you automate repetitive tasks and track customer journeys. This lets you spot inefficiencies in the sales process so you can solve the issues.
This tool runs in your browser and is a sales-oriented CRM. It has amazing pipeline management functionality and you can use it to create sale journeys and then monitor your progress as the customer moves through them. Your team will be able to track all their sales pipelines and can remain focused on closing deals.
Pipedrive can automate customer interactions and has many reporting features. The built-in mailing system helps make tasks simpler and integrates with Google, Outlook, and Yahoo email services.
PandaDoc is a great option for businesses who need to juggle a ton of documents during their sales activities. It works well with any kind of documents, contracts, forms, proposals, and quotes. Both your marketing and sales team will find this tool to be useful.
4. CRM Solutions
CRM tool lets you manage and track interactions with current as well as prospective customers. They make communications easier and more streamlined. This increases the overall efficiency of your sales and support functions.
Salesforce is one of the market leaders in the CRM arena. The company offers a software-as-a-service solution that is flexible enough to cater to small, medium, and large enterprises. The main features include sales tracking, marketing automation, customer support, and partner relationship management. Salesforce lets you track leads, monitor existing customer accounts, create and track marketing campaigns, and manage after-sales services. This platform is highly customizable, but comes with a steep learning curve and is not suitable if you have not used a CRM before. If you just require basic CRM functionality, we suggest you choose a simpler option.
Zoho is one of the leading providers of cloud-based applications designed for small businesses. Their solutions are particularly well suited for the needs of startups and SMEs. It is a cloud-based tool so you do not have to download or install any software. All your data is stored on Zoho’s fully secured servers. This CRM includes functions to help automate sales, marketing, and customer support tasks. You can view various reports and even automate repetitive tasks using macros. Zoho is available free for solopreneurs and smaller teams.
You can use any of these great software solutions to make your business processes more efficient. Automated tools are also a great way to streamline day-to-day business operations. When evaluating any tool meant to automate processes, you should understand its features and functionalities. Another thing you need to keep in mind is that all these are web-based solutions and having fast internet connectivity is essential for these tools. Search for Spectrum Internet plans to get fast and reliable internet for your business. Make sure you discuss the options with important stakeholders and get their input before you implement a new system. If the people who will be using the tool understand its benefits, the overall goal of improving efficiency will be much easier to achieve.