Keeping your business running smoothly is no small feat. Between production, marketing, HR, and more, the past few years have been filled with challenges for small businesses. Luckily, technology has come to our rescue with a variety of affordable sales tools designed to streamline our processes and make life as a small business owner just a little bit easier.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level and get your operations streamlined in the process, keep reading for everything you need to know about the best free sales tools out there.
Lead Generation Tools
There’s no doubt; generating leads is the lifeblood of every successful business. When you’re ready to kick your lead generation efforts into high gear, various free sales tools are available to help you hit your targets. Social media, email marketing campaigns, and sales funnel are just a few ways to start collecting more leads faster.
HeySocial, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social are three of the most popular social media management tools on the market. They allow you to schedule posts, track metrics, and monitor interactions, comments, and shares from multiple platforms. Studies show that the sweet spot for social media posts is between two to three posts per day.
Email marketing is another top lead-generation tool that should have a place in your business’s marketing strategy. According to a study, 68% of consumers prefer to receive business communication through email instead of other channels. And with tools like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor, you can start building your subscriber list for free.
MailChimp, the most popular email marketing tool, offers a completely free plan for small businesses. This includes access to a powerful automation toolkit to help you streamline your marketing operations and hit your lead-generation goals.
Lead Routing Software
Once you start collecting leads, the next challenge is figuring out how to route them through your sales process. If you’re not careful, you could actually scare off potential customers by bombarding them with too many emails or sales calls at the wrong time.
Not only can this stunt your growth, but it can also damage your reputation as a company. To solve this problem, you can use free lead routing software available in the market to help you manage your lead routing process.
LeadAngel is a well-known lead routing software solution out there. If you have lots of leads, it can help you assign them to the right team members. You can also use it to create automated lead tasks, so your team can see what needs to be done next.
Marketing Automation Tools
Once you’ve generated some leads and assigned them to your team members, closing the sale is time. However, at this stage, many small businesses find themselves spread too thin and unable to provide the one-on-one attention each lead needs to close.
Tracking metrics, logging data, and trying to stay on top of everything that’s going on in your sales funnel can be overwhelming, to say the least. If you’re feeling a little overworked, marketing automation tools can help you automate certain parts of your business process, leaving you free to spend your time on the tasks that really matter.
One of the most popular marketing automation tools is ActiveCampaign. This software can help you drive more leads, close more sales and provide superior customer service. ActiveCampaign is a full-service marketing company offering free solutions for small businesses.
Sales Tracking Tools
You’ll have to close the sale and collect payment at some point. This can be a tricky process for any business, but it’s especially so for small businesses that lack the robust payment tracking and management systems of larger operations. However, there are quite a few free tools out there that can help you keep track of your sales.
Some even include features like accepting payments and managing your customer service efforts. Salesforce, for example, is a robust sales and marketing platform that allows you to manage your entire operation from a single platform. With Salesforce, you can track your sales leads and opportunities, manage your customers and provide excellent service.
For the most part, Salesforce is a paid service, but there is a free trial that you can use. Salesforce has a lot of functionality, which can be a bit overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with it. If you’re just getting started, try to focus on a few things, and don’t try to do too much at once.
HR and Recruiting Tools
HR and recruiting are two areas of business that often fall by the wayside as companies try to focus on other aspects of their operations. However, successfully recruiting and onboarding new talent is the key to long-term growth. Thankfully, there are free tools that can help you excel at both.
Hire.com is a recruitment solution that allows you to post jobs, manage your candidates, and quickly onboard new employees. This tool is free, although they offer paid plans for more advanced features.
Accounting and Financial Tools
Finally, let’s take a look at the financial side of things. Small business leaders are often forced to wear the CFO hat as well as the CEO hat, which can be a recipe for burnout. Here, accounting tools can be very helpful to easily track your expenses and forecast future cash flows.
If you find yourself struggling to keep up with the numbers, there are several free tools available that can help you stay on top of your finances. For example, Quickbooks is an accounting solution that allows you to manage your finances, track your expenses, and stay on top of your forecast.
There is so much to gain by getting the right sales tools. A little effort put in to find and try the free tools can help your business reach new heights by boosting productivity, improving customer service, and more. The key is to identify the areas where you need help and find the best free sales tools to help solve those problems. Then, when you have the right tools, you can focus on what matters most—growing your business.