Paying for a service is as old as time. People have been subscribed to all sorts of services in the physical world for as long as anyone can remember. The biggest difference is that this model is, all of a sudden, the default business model in the software world.
The reasons behind this are simple: it’s scalable, cost-efficient, and all the updates are automatic.
No wonder so many businesses use these SaaS tools, and today, we’ll cover some that a successful modern business couldn’t run without.
Remember that while some conferencing tools like Zoom and Skype are essential to every workplace, you don’t have to subscribe. The one-hour meeting restriction is not problematic, and free features are more than enough. So, in this article, we’ll focus on the subscriptions worth paying for.
Customer relationship management (CRM) tool is a platform that will determine your relationship with your customers, enhance your interactions, and help you with customer analytics.
- Centralized customer data: Every piece of information that you learn about the customer, including their contact information and purchase history, will be stored in the CRM. This way, you’ll get a database from which you can extract important information when needed and a base you can analyze for insights.
- Better customer relationships: Reengaging your customer with an offer is a method that will have varying effects. You need to know what to offer, and when you have a CRM, you’ll always have an answer.
- Automation: A modern CRM tool is not just there to gather information. It’s also meant to help you with outreach, appointment scheduling, and time-saving. The bottom line is that it actively improves customer relationship management (as the name suggests).
- Data analysis and reporting: With these tools’ help, you can boost your analytical efforts actively. You can easily determine your performance, new sales trends, and overall customer behavior. This way, you’re making better data-driven decisions and getting tangible reports.
- Scalability: One additional thing you get from CRM software is that it performs the same if you have 20 customers and if you have 20,000. The thing is that the sooner you introduce it, the sooner you get to reap the benefits.
The bottom line is that this tool helps you understand your audience much better and reach out to them more effectively.
Email automation platform
One of the first things you want to automate is your email marketing. You see, regardless of what other marketing methods you’re using, email marketing is the backbone of your strategy and efforts.
- Time efficiency: With email automation, you can send far more emails than you ever could manually. It’s not even close; the difference is between hundreds and tens of thousands per day. In other words, you get to do so much more daily.
- Follow-up targeting: In e-commerce, there’s nothing more important than the follow-up. This way, you thank people who’ve made the purchase. Even more importantly, you get to retarget those who didn’t make a purchase. There are a lot of great cart abandonment email examples that you can customize or use via an email automation platform.
- A/B testing: The procedure has to be fair to do the right A/B testing. This means that you have to set unbiased perimeters. Comparing the two will never be fair if you’re more efficient at customizing one email than another. With automation, these results will be far more indicative.
- Consistency: We’ve brushed on this in the previous point – with automation, every email is the same. This means you can send a consistent brand message (tone and voice) regardless of the circumstances.
- Better personalization: Even manually, you would have to adjust email templates to the recipient. You will do this so much daily that a slip of mind might become likely. With software, this won’t be as likely to happen.
You stand to gain so much by engaging deeper in email automation; finding the right tool is easier than ever.
Financial planning software
Your enterprise depends on your ability to manage your finances effectively. However, this doesn’t just reflect your current finances. What about the future? What happens when you see an increase in income? How much of this profit will you reinvest, and what will you keep for yourself? What about the cash flow? Getting software to help with financial planning is a great idea for many reasons. Here are a few such reasons.
- Budgeting and tracking expenses: This isn’t this complex or unorthodox, but you’ll be surprised at how many enterprises are “just winging it.” You need to keep track of your incomes and outcomes or even go as far as to automate your account payables. The bottom line is that budgeting and tracking expenses is the bare minimum.
- Tax planning: In many scenarios, taxes are not automatically deducted or paid monthly. You must calculate your tax liability to set aside the necessary funds. Tax-efficient investment allocation will become much easier when you get the software to help you.
- Debt management: While you could (in theory) run a business without debt, this is probably not the optimal way to approach this topic, and it would restrict your growth. Instead, you need a better debt management method, and you can get there with the help of good financial planning software.
- Goal setting: Once you establish financial KPIs, you can set goals based on various projections. You see, forecasting and projection provided by these tools can give you an idea of what’s realistic for your business in the foreseeable future. The most important thing with goals is that they’re attainable (albeit not too easily).
Your finances will determine the success of your enterprise. Make sure always to know what you’re dealing with.
Customer support platform
Customer support is an essential aspect of any organization. Customers need you even past the purchase or when they already use your platform. Responding to this issue correctly can affect your churn rate (lower it), prevent an avoidable refund, and improve the overall reputation of your enterprise. Whether you use AI, human agents, or both, you need a potent platform to help you.
- 24/7 Availability: This is incredibly important. People want you to be there and to respond quickly. Leaving them waiting is unnerving, especially when they have a problem (usually when customer service is contacted). Even more importantly, with the help of AI and NLP (natural language processing), these chatbots are no longer just interactive FAQ pages. They’re much more.
- Multichannel support: A good customer support platform will integrate everything from email and live chat to a ticket response. This allows your customers to pick their poison, drastically increasing the chance of a positive customer support interaction.
- Consistency: With customer support, it comes down to the representative that you have a fortune (or a misfortune) to encounter when you open a ticket. With a platform, even if there’s an actual operator on another end, the interaction is streamlined, and the consistency of interaction grows drastically.
- Efficiency: A good platform is more efficient at resolving these issues. The accuracy rate is higher, and the error margin is lower. It usually comes to whether you’ve fixed the issue or not.
Ultimately, customer support is there to help your enterprise triumph when it’s put to the test. So, finding the right SaaS platform and getting a subscription might be worth it.
Project management tool
Most project management platforms (like Monday, Trello, or Basecamp) operate on a SaaS principle. You subscribe and get a workspace filled with content, projects, boards, etc. Still, why does your business need a project management tool? Here are some reasons:
- Task management: When setting schedules, assigning tasks, and tracking project progress, a project management tool can make your life much easier. Also, most platforms are giving much thought to visual optimization of the platform. For instance, Monday uses color coding for different stages of the project.
- Collaboration: If you want more people to work on the same project, run several projects at the same time, and ensure that you control who gets what kind of access to which file, you just can’t go wrong with a project management tool, this is what it’s designed for. It has a simple communication, visual task representation, and a simple file-sharing principle.
- Version control: Sometimes, it’s about figuring out what went wrong. With a project management tool, every user has an account, and everything they do on a platform leaves a digital footprint. This is why you want people to communicate through these platforms, even when interacting in private chats.
- Scalability: Each platform allows you to add more people, start more boards, and more projects. No matter how much your enterprise grows, you can still add more people.
Simply put, project management tools make your job easier. For a digital workplace, they’re a must, but they’re also quite useful in physical offices.
The right SaaS tool can significantly improve the efficiency of your enterprise
While there are many honorable mentions, with just these five tools, you can change your business so much. You can improve the organization. Prepare your business to scale up (or down) and improve efficiency.
By Srdjan Gombar
Veteran content writer, published author, and amateur boxer. Srdjan is a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and is passionate about technology, pop culture, and self-improvement. His free time he spends reading, watching movies, and playing Super Mario Bros. with his son.