The 12 Must-Have Tools for Growth Businesses Right Now
As growth businesses emerge from the challenges presented over the past two years, one thing is clear: Reinvention isn’t a one-time thing. In order to maintain stability and also grow, your business has to be almost constantly evolving with the demands of the day.
According to Forbes contributor Dennis Jaffe, data security threats, privacy concerns, disrupted supply chains and uncertain demand for services are challenges that may not be going away anytime soon. So it’s imperative that digital transformation stay at the forefront of your growth business’s priorities.
One thing hasn’t changed: The customer experience is still paramount. The good news is, there are software tools to help you satisfy even your most demanding clients and at the same time help you digitally evolve to tackle today’s non-linear business flows.
Your goal? Pick the right ones and combine them into a single stack that works as an integrated whole. If you’re ready to further your transformation and replace your remaining manual processes with powerful, flexible digital tools, we have a dozen recommendations that can help you quickly create new value.
As organizations progress further into the digital age, real-time collaboration has become more and more important to move business forward while keeping teams aligned.
Slack is a channel-based messaging platform that empowers businesses of all sizes to build their digital HQ — a place where work flows between teams, systems, partners and customers. With the DocuSign eSignature for Slack integration, you’ll enhance productivity with the ability to send and sign important documents from Slack, on virtually any device. You can also get notifications in Slack as recipients sign documents and be notified when documents require your signature. You can also access a library of templates to quickly generate agreements.
No doubt about it: Collaboration helps you achieve goals, and there’s no better way for growing businesses to streamline the process than through Confluence. As the name suggests, it’s a convergence of better information with better decisions.
Organize projects in online spaces. Track progress through page analytics. See team updates in real-time through activity feeds. Like Slack, Confluence boasts an easy-to-use interface, with powerful collaboration tools. Plus, you can easily manage onboarding, marketing and management workflows with handy document templates that Confluence includes for you to use.
Connect, collaborate and create more effectively through small or growing teams. Google Workspace lets you use business email, video conferencing, file sharing and more in one fluid interface. Industry-leading cloud file storage never stops, and neither do you—when you co-edit docs, spreadsheets and presentations in real-time across devices. Workspace is secure, helps you manage access through centralized administration and allows you to import Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint docs.
And speaking of Office: Your productivity potential is tired of waiting. Help your slightly larger teams do their best work from anywhere, on any device, with the tools that have set the standard for business growth around the globe:
- Excel. Spreadsheets that are intuitive to modify, and unsurpassed in flexibility.
- Word. Process your own words, or let the app suggest some for you.
- PowerPoint. Create presentations that practically design themselves.
- OneNote. Take digital notes with a keyboard or pen. Your writing, transposed.
- Outlook. Email that focuses you as you work.
- OneDrive. Secure storage with unlimited bandwidth.
If you're a growing business with only a few employees, the one-off pricing of Office 2019 may be your best option. For a firm with more than five employees, Microsoft Office 365 is your clear choice.
Finance and resource planning
Quickbooks Online Advanced
Work smart. Grow fast. Quickbooks Online Advanced is about all things accounting, in one cloud-based place. Easily manage your money, track time on any device and get paid anywhere. From simple income and expense tracking to robust cash flow management and reporting, this integrated tool keeps your finances organized and in view. Run payroll in minutes. Accept credit card and bank transfers anytime with a free GoPayment card reader. You can even partner with a live, in-person bookkeeper through the solution—remotely, of course.
Mid sized firms, what’s your top fiscal priority right now? Maybe it’s making financial ops more efficient. Or gaining better control of inventory and fulfillment. Or finally replacing accounting software you’ve outgrown. Oracle Netsuite is the #1 cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) cloud software for the midmarket, globally. It’s a unified business management suite, encompassing ERP, financials, and ecommerce—for when you’re ready to sell online.
Customer Relationship Management
Salesforce for SMBs
It can be an SMB-eats-SMB world out there, so you have to lean on technology to help keep your customer relationships strong. Salesforce Essentials Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is how you hold customers’ attention, foster deep engagement and earn the loyalty that helps you start swimming with real success.
Salesforce helps you:
- Gain a holistic view of customer touchpoints and their data
- Automate categorization, segmentation and sorting of client contacts
- Analyze performance trends and identify growth opportunities
- Automate and personalize Sales and Marketing customer reach-outs
- Improve analytics and reporting
Even a basic Salesforce-powered system can help you keep up with the innovation curve that all growing businesses face today.
Closing a deal and then keeping that customer happy has never been faster or easier for your smaller growth business. Bring in more qualified leads with automated sales interactions. Track sales calls, sales and marketing emails and customer contact history. Pipedrive users close an average of 28% more deals within their first year of using the CRM system. Name your sales stages, then focus on sales actions while the platform always reminds you of what to do next. Track progress with continuous conversion reports, and then optimize through analytics. Your new focus? Automate your administrative tasks and get growing.
For midsized businesses, Workday helps make adapting to what’s next your competitive advantage. This flexible, agile suite delivers deep insight into your firm and helps you more easily navigate the human resource fluctuations of a changing world.
Confidently manage your internal-business demands. Know how employee engagement impacts your bottom line. A digital hiring and onboarding process increases efficiencies, modernizes the overall experience and improves accuracy—allowing you to stay ahead of competition and hire top talent
Workday helps you digitize HR processes and create employee value by measuring and anticipating what employees need and want today as well as tomorrow.
Motivating your salesforce has never been more expensive. According to Ventara Research, you likely pay 46% more in incentive comp than larger firms with comparable quotas.
Xactly SimplyComp is an incentive compensation management system that delivers enterprise-grade software to up to 25 of your reps, free of charge. The automated solution leverages years of compensation insights to help your growth business effortlessly design, build and manage comp plans to more accurately calibrate commissions and help you grow. Incent and retain more of your reps—more economically—for the long haul.
There's more to your files than you think, midsized firms. The way you manage your market research reports, budget spreadsheets and supply-chain flows can not only differentiate you from your competitors, it can often play a huge role in your success.
Microsoft SharePoint is an intelligent, mobile intranet platform that lets you create a centralized digital collaboration and storage system for your people. Here, you and your team can safely manage, share and store files, as well as interact with one another right within the platform.
SharePoint helps you simplify the way you collaborate on files to get work done. Work smarter and tackle content sharing easily and seamlessly.
Now part of Google Workspace, Google Drive helps you do more than just safely store your business documents in a cloud-native platform. Connect documents to your internal and external collaborators, enabling in-app comments from anyone—that trigger email notifications to those involved. Finally, your tools, content and people related to any project are accessible in the same place.
Google Drive is a nearly foolproof way to optimize your existing workflows, and it’s a completely secure way to avoid advertiser access to your files for digital ad personalization purposes.
DocuSign eSignature easily integrates with your teams’ favorite tools like these, in addition to hundreds more. Save time and resources by initiating and sending an agreement for signature from within applications like these—without having to click out of them at all.
As agreements emerge to become a critical transaction within your growth business’s workflow, integrated ways to send, secure and store those documents can be the most valuable part of your technology stack.
These days, you can never stop reinventing yourself. Differentiate your agreement process to serve every incarnation your business might realize on its road to success.