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Business Development Tools Every Business Should Be Using

If you have a business, then you know you need to regularly be making an effort to get new leads that translate into customers and sales.

This way you can grow your business to be as profitable as possible while helping as many people as possible with your products and services. 

The good thing about the rapid advances in software and technology in the past 10 years is that there are some very impressive business development tools for business owners to take advantage of. 

We have put together some of our favorite types and providers of business development software to help you take your company to the next level and beyond. 


CRM

Customers like to buy from businesses they know, like, and trust.

And one way to earn that type of perception from your customers is to keep regular contact with them.

How can you do that?

By using a strong CRM or Customer Relationship Management tool.

This tool can help you keep track of when and how often you are reaching out to your prospects to get more business. 

Prospective customers ask you to call back at a later date? Need to automate your email campaigns? Make phone calls? Send out text messages? A good CRM can help with all of these. 

Any good salesperson knows that when it comes to leads, the fortune is in the follow-up.

A solid CRM software can help you and your sales team save time while building solid customer relationships.

It is a business development service that will help your bottom line now and in the future. 

Our recommendations

  • Hubspot:

    Hubspot is a great place to start with a free option initially and higher priced tiers with more features as your business grows.  

  • Pipedrive:

    Pipedrive is the perfect option for the small to midsize business that may have a larger sales team at their disposal. 

  • FreshSales:

    FreshSales also has a free version to start with, as well as some impressive features like client behavior tracking. 


Online Proposals

Another important item that can’t be overlooked is the proposal for a business arrangement between you and your customers.

The more proposals you send out, the more are likely to turn into new paying clients. 

Gone are the days of having to FedEx overnight a proposal to a client, waste a lot of time with updating documents, or waiting an eternity for signatures. 

Online proposal software gets rid of all these problems and allows you to work collaboratively with a client.

Now you can send them a proposal with what you are offering, see that they saw it, and get their signature electronically. 

Our recommendation:

PandaDocs.


This awesome tool simplifies your proposal process. It allows you to create, send, track, and eSign sales documents.

You can close clients faster and get started on fulfillment sooner. 


Accounting Software

Keeping the books doesn’t need to be a total headache anymore.

Sure you still might be turning to your accountant to do the heavy lifting, but financial records are so much easier to manage now than in the past.

With this software you can be confident that your records are in order. 

Our recommendation:


Quickbooks.



QB by Intuit is pretty much the gold standard for accounting in business management software. It is the most popular and most widely used bookkeeping tool because it is that good.

You will make your CPA’s job much easier by using it and most importantly keep the tax man at bay. 


Social Media Marketing Software

When it comes to marketing your business offerings, you have to go where your customers are.

And most of them are on social media platforms these days, which means that you should have a marketing strategy in place to reach them there.

Social media content is the way to attract and capture your ideal audience to convert them into customers.

But there are so many platforms to post on and it can be very difficult to understand how well the content you post is engaging people.

What then is a smart business development strategy for your social media marketing?

For starters, you want to organize your social media accounts and automate your content posting.

This way you or your social media manager can put together a plan that efficiently gets the job done. 

Our recommendations:

  • SocialPilot:
    A smart marketing tool for small businesses and agencies. SocialPilot allows you to automate social media accounts and posts. It also tracks your engagement and organizes it in easy to understand reports. 
  • Agora Pulse:
    Agora Pulse also allows for social media automation, gives unlimited reports, and even offers a unique CRM tool to track your social media followers. 


Surveys

The easiest way to find out what your customers want is to ask! And the best way to ask is to send them a survey.

The data you get from regularly asking your customers for feedback will be well worth it to your business over the long haul.

Obviously you want to make it as easy for them to participate and as easy for you to see the results as possible. 

Fortunately there are some pretty amazing electronic survey tools out there. You can email your customer list or desired segment and ask them for the feedback you are interested in. 

Our recommendation:



SurveyMonkey.


This popular tool has a free option to help you get started and paid tiers as you grow. It is a powerful software to have at your disposal to conduct your own market research and learn if your customers are satisfied. 


Office Suite

A place to create, edit, and track data is a must-have for every business. Word processing, spreadsheets, and creating presentations are a few of the things that come to mind. All of these software types come standard in a good office suite. There are several good options to consider.

Our recommendations:

  • Office 365:
    Microsoft’s Office suite has been the standard of the business world for years. They now offer a subscription service and specialized tools for businesses to enhance collaboration and productivity.
  • Google Docs:
    Google offers a free service that includes all of the tools Microsoft has and even saves your documents for you in the cloud. It simplifies sharing and lets you output your creations into any format you want. 

Now that you have learned more about some of the incredible software options and services that are available to help your business grow. Which of these tools are you most excited to include in your business development plan?

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