All businesses are different, and this includes their organizational needs and processes. As the world has become more digitized, enterprises have increasingly turned to software to handle the demands of modern business. In days gone by, all software applications had to be purchased with a license and housed on-premise, on central servers or on desktop computers. It was costly, clunky and required technical know-how, especially when things went wrong. However, over the last decade, digital innovation has led to the rise of Software as a Service (SAAS) and businesses of all sizes are racing to adopt the tech to improve their efficiency, flexibility and security, while saving money and time.
What is SAAS?
SAAS is a cloud-based service where instead of holding your software, systems and data on an in-house server or computer, you access applications hosted by a service provider via an internet browser. A huge range of apps are available, covering everything a business could possibly ever need, from communication and sales to data storage and customer service. If you’re not using SAAS in your venture, chances are you’ll be left behind. A quick look online and you’ll easily find the right saas products for your needs. Here are 5 examples to whet your appetite.
The future is digital and there is no going back. Whatever the business might be, if it doesn’t have a website, it is a matter of time before it becomes extinct. In the digital era, your website is the shop window where customers go to look. If you don’t have a website; or think that what you do have isn’t fit for purpose, then SAAS website builder software is for you. You might think a powerful, compelling and truly commercial site is something only big businesses can have, but apps like Wix allow small enterprises to create professional-looking sites with minimal technical knowledge. Drag and drop brilliant templates, customize your content to your needs and make your site look amazing, no matter what device is used to view it.
Accounting & Finance
You can’t run any business without accounting, billing, invoicing, budgeting and forecasting. Getting it right and avoiding simple yet costly mistakes takes time and eats into your resources. SAAS accounting platforms can automate many processes and handle all aspects of financial management. Due dates and late payments can be tracked with ease and you can generate quick and accurate analytical reports on your finances at any time. Better knowledge leads to better financial decisions. Freshbooks is a fantastic accounting app ideal for small business owners. The design is user-friendly and simple to navigate and with the mobile app, you can do your accounting wherever you may be.
If you’re not communicating your message effectively to your consumers, your competitors will probably take advantage. SAAS marketing software allows you to create and manage engaging campaigns generating profitable returns. Repetitive but necessary tasks are again automated and apps can handle data collection, content distribution, lead nurturing and conversion. If you want to generate analytical reports on your marketing, many apps handle that too. Hubspot Marketing is an excellent multi-functional app where you can design, format and publish content which is informed by your data, helping to convert visitors into customers. Maintaining a social media presence on multiple channels is a vital part of small business marketing these days, Buffer is a great way of managing everything from a single point. It also has great analytics while help you get the very best from your content.
SAAS sales software can organize and automate your sales process, helping you target better, sell quicker and more efficiently. Sales data is centralized and accessible. Performance can be evaluated with leads and conversions logged and monitored. Inventory is easily managed, while workflow is streamlined, improving teamwork. Salesforce CRM is a hugely popular platform that allows businesses to manage activity and get those all-important deals closed. Key features include contact management, lead management, sales forecasting and strategy. Again, a mobile app allows for remote working. Another important piece of the sales process is sales enablement. A sales enablement platform will help you onboard your sales team faster and get more sellers selling like your best sales person – at scale. Are your teams all on message? Is your team pitch practicing? Do you have a way to monitor leading indicators and correlate sales to see what’s working? If not you need enablement software.
A priority for businesses of all sizes is to ensure that customer queries and complaints are dealt with promptly in the most effective way. With a recent report showing 93% of consumers read online reviews before buying, the manner in which you handle customer communication can make or break your business. Intercom is a very useful SAAS solution for personalizing and enhancing your interactions with your customers, on your website, mobile apps and email. It tracks your customers on a live, self-updating database and allows you to get feedback from your users via email and in-app messages. Problems are quickly identified, helping you to provide the best customer experience.