A key goal for many businesses is to be more efficient and to achieve goals as effectively as possible, without breaking the bank. It is very common for businesses to use a variety of tools and software to help make teams run more smoothly and to eliminate timely manual tasks that can otherwise be handled by software.
This makes business software a key investment area for many businesses, but deciding where to invest and for what purpose can be tricky. There are literally thousands of business tools available online, covering almost every area of a business, and even tools dedicated to particular markets and niches.
If the budget is limited, you may be considering investing in business software, but only in areas where it will save time, effort and money. For revenue-driving activity, the costs of such tools will need to be factored in, as some of the more premium marketing tools can be expensive, but many have tiered options for varying business sizes.
With this in mind, take a read through 3 of the key areas for software investment in 2020, with some examples of tools that can help your business achieve its goals for the year.
Marketing & Sales
The marketing and sales teams are the key revenue drivers of business in most cases, and therefore should be fully optimized to be as efficient as possible in achieving business goals.
This makes this business area a prime target for software investment, with the aim of driving more sales as effectively as possible, and ensuring staff are focused on the important things, rather than manual or tedious tasks.
Software such as Hubspot offers a complete suite of marketing and sales tools to help your business get ahead with marketing and sales. The tool is divided into 3 core areas; the marketing hub, the sales hub, and the service hub.
The marketing hub focuses on attracting new customers via website traffic and then converting them into leads or sales. It includes features for lead generation, marketing automation and an in-depth analytics platform to understand more about how key marketing activities are performing.
The sales hub focuses on converting leads into sales, by offering deeper insights into potential customers, automating manual tasks to convert them, and ultimately closing more sales faster.
The service hub focuses on existing customers, both in terms of customer support and client retention (driving additional sales). The service hub has built-in functionality for support tickets, customer feedback and an extensive knowledge base for further learning.
The mix of these 3 core hubs can vastly improve the volume of inbound leads and sales, and help to manage existing client relationships in a way that a manual or bespoke approach would be likely to fall short of.
Gone are the days of large whiteboards for managing business projects. They are archaic, inefficient and draining on time and resources. Most businesses today will use some form of software to manage projects, as they offer a wide variety of functionality and are accessible from anywhere in the world thanks to their online connectivity.
Some of the more popular project management software tools are freely available to use, such as Asana and Trello. For many businesses, the free versions of these tools will be more than enough to effectively manage multiple projects at any time, allowing anyone from within the business (and even external stakeholders) to interact with the project.
However, both of these tools, as well as many other leading project management tools, offer premium versions, which offer a wider selection of options and functions to better manage business projects.
The main benefits of these tools are focused on the functionality of the software, whereby it easily provides a platform for effortlessly viewing, editing, and reporting on projects – both as a whole and on a more in-depth level.
For example, stakeholders can add sub-tasks to existing projects, or notes to the project manager if they have questions or feedback. The tool can also be used to follow how a project is progressing, with status updates for individual tasks as well as the project as a whole.
Admin & HR
As admin and HR departments are not typically revenue driving areas of the business, at least not directly, they should be made to function as efficiently as possible. One of the best ways for your business to achieve this is to invest in software and systems to reduce the volume of manual work and allow the teams to work more efficiently.
Tools like CIPHR HR software offer a suite of programs for different areas of HR, such as people management, payroll management, recruiting, and analytics and workflow.
Using software systems such as these ensure everything is kept in one place and is easy for different members of the team to access a single point of information for various areas of the HR function.
A typical barrier for integrating a new software tool into a business is the learning curve. This particular tool comes with access to its own expert support team, making familiarisation effortless and allowing the team to get to grips in no time.
Another useful benefit is having the option to install on a range of different device types, such as computers, laptops, tablets and mobile. This is a big benefit to modern businesses that have broken away from a computer-only model and allows access to the system for HR team members who may be working from home or away from the office.
Of course, this guide has only touched the surface on the wide range of software and tools available to help your business grow. The right choice of software will ultimately depend on your business, what size it is, and what it’s goals are.
However, most businesses will have these 3 core departments, and as stated, these kinds of software tools offer real value, and may just be the best investment your business is likely to make in 2020.