Not that long ago, proper business-grade applications to help us on the day-to-day of running our companies were meant for big companies with big budgets. SMBs were left with local software houses or outdated applications. Here's a few tools that you can use, mostly for free, to empower your sales, communication and marketing.
The threshold for enterprise software quality grew exponentially, which means that (finally!) we have designers, UX specialists and researchers actually making sure that the software is as user-friendly as possible. For SMBs, this means that they don’t need to pay expensive consultants to explain how a bad software works.
Fast-forward to 2016, and SMBs not only have access to great software for free or for a very low price, the next frontier is the new possibilities of integrating different bits of the software. If this integration plays out correctly, it will replace the ERP software, many times with physical on-premise servers, that they bought several years ago.
Proper, accessible CRMs
The data back-bone to any sales team, CRMs are now easy to test and to adapt to any company’s needs. Here are a few options:
We use Hubspot CRM at Attentive. It’s simply enough if you’re a small team, but lacks more advanced features that you might need further down the road.
This is probably the most complete CRM for smaller teams, with a big focus on intelligence and integrations.
Probably startup’s favorite CRM software. Without any compromise on core features, it’s packed with all you need to get your sales teams on track.
Team communication done easy
SMBs have long relied on self-hosted email or Outlook for communications, along with the good ol’ phone calls. As for project management, it’s again based on Microsoft or good ol’ pen and paper (hopefully with whiteboards!)
If you’re a startup, you already use it surely, if you’re not.. Maybe you also do? The best part of Slack is its integrations. Like the one we’ve developed :)
We’ve been fans of Trello for a long time for team project management. It’s really easy to get started and to figure out the concept of Kanban, based on lists and cards. It’s totally free - no limits on users or boards
Maybe we shouldn’t highlight Gmail on its own, but the whole Google Apps suite instead. Against Google’s usual stand, Google Apps is expensive. It does, however, simplify everything in your business. Also, if you take into account email, file hosting, etc, maybe the price is not that bad!
Marketing software that provides new insights
There are many other areas where the impact of enterprise software can have. In marketing, you can use products like Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Mailchimp or Buffer (all of them with a very good free plan) to build your marketing.
So there you have it - Many tools that in the startup world we take for granted but the majority of SMBs could benefit massively from. Is there any category that we should have included here? Let us know in the comments!