Building a successful startup can be a challenging task without the right resources. Considering that many young companies start off on a budget, and slowly build their way to the top with a careful investment, it is no surprise that many of them are struggling to keep up with the huge departments of other companies.
Especially in the Business-to-Business world, where clients require a longer sales cycle and are worth more value, it is extremely important to distribute resources correctly. For this reason, I will show the must-have tools that each B2B startup should use in order to gain maximum efficiency.
Factorial – automate the HR department of your B2B startup
If you are a startup, you probably don’t have an entire HR department to take care of everything that happens in the office.
FactorialHR is a fully free tool that simplifies the management of holidays, absences, sick leaves, and long-distance work days of your B2B startup. You can use it directly to request an absence, or if you are a manager – to accept it or reject it. On top of that, Factorial allows you to safely upload and store documents like salaries, contracts and IDs directly on the cloud so you can access them anytime.
Price: 100% free!
2. Slack – create a digital workspace for you and your teammates
Are you still using e-mail, Skype, or worse – WhatsApp, to communicate with your colleagues and discuss important matters? If the answer is YES, you desperately need a tool to improve your communication and stop wasting time on sending endless e-mails.
Slack is undoubtedly one of the best tools for B2B startups. It is a cloud-based tool that simplifies communication, organizes conversations through channels and groups, and lets you send direct messages to your colleagues. Some of its features include instant messaging, desktop notifications, task management, file sharing, tagging, and the best of all – it’s perfectly mobile-friendly!
Price: It is free! The Premium plans start from 6.25 EUR per active user per month, and are billed annually. Additional information on Slack.
3. Asana – track and manage your team projects efficiently
How well do you keep track of your projects? In a B2B startup environment, it is easy to get excited with a lot of projects, and take forever to finish them because you are not distributing time and resources efficiently.
Asana is a great tool that helps you create projects, distribute tasks to your team members, share attachments, set due dates, and write down comments for your colleagues to see. It helps you visualize your goals, break them down into specific milestones, and see how well you are doing with your time management! Maybe you will find out that you could have completed a lot of your projects in less time if you had organized your team efficiently.
Price: The basic version is free. The Premium versions start from $9.99 per member per month, and are billed annually. Additional information on Asana.
4. KWFinder – when Keyword Planner just isn’t enough
Search Engine Optimization is extremely important for every B2B startup, especially when you are just starting to build your organic positioning. However, sometimes AdWords’ Keyword Planner just isn’t enough for a profound SEO research.
KWFinder is a keyword analysis and research tool perfect for B2B startup companies that want to enhance their SEO strategy. It helps you find long-tail keywords, discover hidden keywords that your competitors might be missing, obtain search volume and metrics, obtain Google SERP analysis, monitor your progress, and even perform local SEO. It is a great and extremely complete tool when it comes to Search Engine Optimization, and provides a lot of features that not many other tools offer.
Price: Unfortunately, this one is not free, but they have! The prices start from 26 EUR per month, but it comes with 3 other tools – SERPChecker, SERPWatcher, and LinkMiner. Considering the variety of features it offers, the price is definitely worth it for any aspiring startup. Additional information on KWFinder.
5. Hootsuite – manage all your social media accounts in half the time
As a B2B startup, you will inevitably need to manage at least 2 social accounts, just like any customer-oriented company. The majority of your potential clients probably live on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and even Facebook – so you will need a tool to save you time and make account managing easier.
Hootsuite is a Social Media Marketing tool that allows you to schedule your posts and publish them all at once across different social platforms, track and prove social Return on Investment through comprehensive reporting, as well as find and filter conversations related to your company. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on your social media positioning, this tool makes things much easier!
Price: There is a free plan that comes with a limitation of 1 user, 3 social profiles and 30 scheduled messages. The Premium plans start from 19 EUR per month.
Note: If you are willing to invest more on Social Media Marketing, Sprout Social is a great alternative that you might wanna check.
6. HubSpot – Manage the customer relationships of your B2B startup efficiently
In a company with B2B orientation, where the customers are other companies and each client has much more value than in B2C, a Customer Relationship Management tool is a must.
HubSpot is a leading platform for Inbound Marketing that helps you automate a lot of Marketing and Sales processes. With their CRM tool, you can keep and manage all your contacts in one place, track interactions and conversations, schedule e-mails and appointments, and manage your entire sales funnel from a single, visual dashboard,
Price: Their CRM is completely free! And if you want to experience all Marketing Automation features of the company, the prices start from 46 EUR per month. Another great CRM alternative is Salesforce, but it is significantly more expensive.
7. Google Analytics – explore and analyze your web traffic
Although Google Analytics is a tool that many digital companies can’t live without, it is surprising how many small businesses are unaware of its benefits – so I had to mention it on the list.
Google Analytics is a powerful web analytics tool that helps you track and analyze the traffic that comes to your website. It collects data by tracking users coming from organic search, paid search, referrals, e-mail campaigns and direct search, and compiles it into meaningful reports that help you understand your visitors’ behavior.
Price: It is completely free! How awesome is that?
8. MailChimp – the complete E-mail Marketing Automation platform
If you are still sending e-mails the old-fashioned way, it is probably taking you a lot more time than it is supposed to take. Thankfully, there are ways to change that!
MailChimp is an E-mail Marketing Automation tool that helps you create beautifully personalized e-mails and newsletters, launch segmented campaigns to your subscribers, create and manage contact lists, set automated e-mails, analyze audience engagement, and a lot more. By automating the majority of the e-mail processes, this tool is extremely helpful for saving time and interacting with your contacts.
Congratulations! You are now packed with the essential tools to boost your B2B startup efficiently even if you are on a budget. Good luck!