Tech tools, apps, and gadgets may not be everything to a business, but they certainly do help it along its way. When you already have your core focus and drive in place, some helpful expedients can be handy for getting you to your destination and staying one step ahead of your competition.

Having the right tools can help to save time, cut costs, and improve efficiency, scalability, and productivity. Technology moves quickly, so it’s important to keep up with every latest advancement or you’ll be outperformed by rivals. With that in mind, here is a quick roundup of the top tools on the market that will help your business move forward and excel.

1. Chatbots

It would be difficult for any Internet user not to notice the increased presence of chatbots over the last decade, and there are good reasons for this. Chatbots can provide instant answers to customers around the clock; they are personalized; and thanks to AI and machine learning technology, they are increasingly more capable. They can improve customer engagement, scalability, and lead generation, while also reducing costs.

According to Insider Intelligence, 40% of internet users around the world prefer interacting with chatbots rather than virtual agents (the former is a software program, and the latter is a human working to assist various online issues). This is due to the fact that chatbots can handle simple queries quickly and are improving their capabilities. As more people are welcoming the use of chatbots, they are becoming an important tool for marketing purposes. It’s no surprise that the chatbot market is growing at an annual rate of 29.7%.

Leading chatbot providers include Drift, Tidio, and Ada, and some include additional services like customer relationship management (CRM).

tool with sliders on laptop

2. Social media automation

Worldwide, people spend an average of 147 minutes per day on social media, which amounts to just under two and a half hours of their attention. This is an important consideration in any marketing strategy. But using various social media platforms with a view to promoting your brand is a time-consuming business, so it’s a good idea to use a tool that can automate different tasks like posting, scheduling, and analytics.

If you are looking for a marketing tool that can ace social media, RelateSocial may be a good place to start. It can take on the automation of posting and calendar tasks, keyword tracking, and performance monitoring, and it also produces analytics reports.

3. Email automation

As a useful technique for generating leads, saving time, retaining customers, and monitoring marketing campaigns (among other things), email automation is a reliable contributor to business growth.

With this tool you can connect with particular customers at exactly the right time, which is not an easy task to manage manually. It allows you to make a meaningful connection that is personalized to each of your customers, responding directly to their interests. They usually include templates for various email types, and they can be used for generating regular newsletters with valuable content for your customers.

The best tools should be able to generate and send emails based on the activity and behavior of individual users, interpret email statistics, and analyze effectiveness. They should also be able to understand buyer personas and integrate with other platforms, like CRM or e-commerce.

Some of the best tools for email automation include Drip, Sendinblue, Mailjet, and Convertkit.

internal messaging tool

4. Internal messaging

We probably all use instant messaging for keeping up with friends and family on a daily basis, but what’s the best way of bringing this to the office? Internal messaging is extremely useful for communicating with colleagues and sharing media, both on a one-to-one basis, or as a group. This is helpful when you’re working remotely, but it’s also much faster when you’re all in the same building.

Each internal messaging tool may offer a slightly different range of features, security, customization, and pricing, so it’s best to look at each carefully before you commit. Hot contenders include Slack, Microsoft Teams, Twist, and Flock.

5. Inventory management

For certain business types, staying on top of stock and orders is central to operations. So it makes sense that a software application that can track, monitor, and analyze transactions, shipping, orders, and warehousing will improve efficiency.

Some inventory management software applications are better suited to businesses in specific fields and of different sizes. Orderhive and Ordero are best for e-commerce, Upserve is well suited to restaurants, and Megaventory for manufacturing. And Zoho Inventory is a free option that may be a good choice for small businesses.

6. Customer relationship management

In the modern business world, customers are usually spoilt for choice when looking for any particular service. Often what makes the biggest difference in their final decision when considering various options, is the efficiency and friendliness that they encounter. And this is why CRM has become so important in recent years.

CRM software stores and manages all of your customers, contacts, sales information, and every interaction that you have with them. This operates across every communication channel, including phone, email, live chat, and social media, and stores it all in one place.

The best CRM software should be easy to use and customizable, it should offer clear reports and third-party integrations. Some of the best picks include Salesforce, ZohoCRM, Freshsales, and Zendesk.

workflow illustration

7. Workflow automation

Workflows are business processes that are made up of multiple tasks, which usually involve people, systems, or information. When low-level tasks can be automated, staff are free to focus on tasks that require more creative or strategic thought. With workflow automation tools, businesses are able to easily manage complicated processes that could otherwise be repetitive and time-consuming. This could be across different departments, such as finance, marketing, or IT.

Workflow automation tools increase productivity and optimize the use of resources. They often have a visual interface where the user can build workflows using drag-and-drop, flowchart, or form tools to build workflows. This means users may not need to have any coding or technical abilities.

Workflow automation tools are also known as low-code or no-code automation platforms. Some of these include Nintex, ProcessMaker, Kissflow, and Integrify.

Tools of the future

These are some excellent digital solutions, but it will never be enough to simply implement them and expect immediate growth. Strategy is crucial in any digital transformation, but with that said, some of these tools can really work transformative wonders. Of course, it’s important to be careful in your selection and then use your new tools to the best possible effect, reviewing, modifying, and updating when need be.

In today’s competitive business markets, you need to keep pace with technological advancements in order to stay ahead. These tools listed above are just one way you can do just that. And you can find out more about how mobile apps can help your business in this blog.