With each New Year, more and more focus is given to small-to-midsize businesses, and rightfully so, since that segment of society makes up the commercial backbone of business in the United States. When the ‘Small Business Jobs Act’ of 2010 was approved, the government permitted small community banks to provide loans to small start-ups with low interest rates, allowing this sector to grow markedly.
However, success does not just happen for businesses because they are a start-up. In order for SMBs to prosper, they need to access as many of the modern-day tools and resources available to them, and in 2016 there has been a good number of technological advancements to help them improve both sales and productivity. Here are just a few to review and consider.
iMeet by PGI acts as browser and is a cloud-based video conferencing software for an SMBs team to communicate with each other. Up to 125 staff members can sign into virtual meetings at any time where 15 are allowed to communicate. Its features include chat and note taking, file-sharing, customer presentations and more – all from an integrated file cabinet. It’s operational whether you are in the office or on-the-go.
Atlassian’s HipChat is also a team communication platform that for group and private chats, file sharing and a number of other integrations, except this one is not a one-off. HipChat now integrates with Telzio’s VoIP service, with a subscription price starting as low as $1 per month. Its ease of management lies in its ability to display all of the user’s important phone activity in one place – while synchronizing all of an SMB’s staff desktops, mobile devices and web apps so that conversations are never lost when switching between devices.
ClinchPad is a web-based customer relationship management [CRM] software that helps users to track revenue transactions. Its virtual interface provides one with the unique ability to manage your SMB’s sales pipeline in a much more streamlined and efficient manner. Its functionality has features that can customize the company’s sales stages, set goals, visualize incoming revenues, track ongoing sales, monitor performance, and create lead-based to-do lists. All of which will help to increase productivity and boost sales activity for any SMB.
WorkinBox is a mobile inbox that allows users to engage with Salesforce, one of the business world’s top CRM products via your inbox. This tool allows you to access CRM information such as contact data and files, from anywhere online — in addition to receiving real-time updates pertaining to ongoing activities, events, projects and daily tasks. As a native app driven entirely by meta-data, its flexible enough to handle any type of sales process for any company, and for a small company with limited IT staff members and resources, it’s easy to configure, deploy and manage.
Sellsy can integrate all of an employee’s business functions into one convenient and simple to use interface. From a CRM perspective, it gives users the ability to collect leads quickly from the SMB’s website, and users can monitor campaign results in real-time, with updated stats. Considering itself a disruptive company, Sellsy is 100% focused on its customers and provides ongoing free phone support service.
Inside Sales is considered a process acceleration platform that enhances the sales experience for both the seller and buyer. It accomplishes this through communication, analytics and automation with the goal of boosting productivity. It provides users with the opportunity to prioritize leads with a feature called ’Neural/View,’ which automatically and intelligently processes SMB’s leads and prescribes who and when to make contact.
StitchLabs is an online inventory control solution that simplifies an SMB’s entire multi-channel retail business. It automatically syncs inventories, orders and sales across channels used most often by consumers, namely eBay, Amazon, Easy, Shopify and Square. With this application, SMBs can save time by automating their data retrieval across these sales channels, in addition to shipping and accounting solutions.
SMBs can operate on the same level as larger enterprises with Driver Savers. Working with a team that has performed over 500,000 successful recoveries since it’s inception thirty years ago, their technology is a perfect fit for small businesses. The company supports a range of devices from high-end multi-disk servers to consumer-level hard drives, camera cards, smartphones and tablets. The company also observes a no-data-no-charge policy, which means a company using their services pays nothing if DriverSavers is unable to recover a firm’s critical files.
LikeableLocal has aided over 60,000 SMBs grow their businesses with social media. Their software monitors social networks that surfaces conversations relevant to a customer’s business dealings and needs. It suggests content to publish, in addition to scheduling Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn postings on an ongoing basis. Additionally, their Turboboost technology amplifies all of firm’s tweets, posts and status updates, so an SMB can reach and amplify their brand messaging to more prospects and customers across the social web.
By continuing to remain up to date with current technology, apps and digital platforms, SMBs can streamline their online business footprint so they can become more competitive, time-efficient and productive. While there is bit of an overlap with some of the tools highlighted here today, it’s probably wise to test them all to see what works best for your company and field of business. To grow, every SMB needs to look for new and innovative ways to increase their top and bottom lines. Using the latest online tools available in the market today makes sense to assist you in meeting those goals.
Ron is part of the marketing team at Telzio, covering everything from tips and tech for growing businesses to customer success stories for the Telzio blog. Previously a Director of Advertising and Public Relations at Marriott International, Ron has published several books including the award-winning graphic novel Facebucks.