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Six software picks to better your business right now

Could your business use a software upgrade this year? Probably, especially since few businesses stay on top of software audits and management. Regardless of business size or revenue, it’s very common for a business to arbitrarily choose a software solution and stick with it indefinitely. Can you recall who chose the software you’re using or why? Many times, a particular employee picks software because they’re familiar with it, it was highly ranked (but not necessarily for your industry), or it just happened to be the first solution that popped up in a Google search.

Your software, like any tool, is only useful if it was created specifically for the needs you have. It also requires users who are trained in optimizing it. If software is outdated, simply not suited for your business, or has such a steep learning curve and complexity that everyone’s shying away from it, it’s not the right software for you or your company.

Consider these top software picks to better your business in 2017:

1. Customer relationship management software. Also known as CRM software, it’s designed to make relationships with your customers clearer, more transparent, more efficient and easily accessible. From gathering and analyzing data to keeping a flawless purchase history in order to inform future customer suggestions, it’s like having a personal assistant for every sales rep. It also keeps all information updated in real-time, so you never have to scramble for data when you need it.

2. Inventory and warehouse management software. SystemID provides a comprehensive solution for your business that relies on accurate information about what you have on hand, what you need to replenish, and what to prepare for seasonal trends in purchases. By optimizing this information, you’ll be able to maintain the best product availability to satisfy customers and maximize your profitability. SystemID’s equipment and software give you greater control and provide a way to also minimize the risk of theft or loss.

3. Customer service automation software. If your phones are ringing off the hook, your company has grown to a size where having one or even a team of dedicated call representatives isn’t feasible anymore. Everyone is wary when adopting a customer service automation software system, traumatized by personal experience of getting caught up in a web of pressing various numbers to “get a human.” However, high-quality solutions are designed to make calls faster and more convenient for all, including customers and employees.

4. Social media analytics. Do you depend heavily on social media for connecting with customers and building your brand? Each platform offers analytics tools, but for the business that’s thigh-deep in a variety of platforms, you don’t have time to hop from software to software. Choose a software solution that gathers all your social media data and presents the numbers in an easy-to-scan report that you can customize.

5. E-mail marketing software and apps. Don’t let some headlines fool you—email is far from dead when it comes to business outreach. In fact, for some businesses and industries, reaching customers via email is their heart and soul. If that’s you, make sure your emails are sent at the right time of day, to the right customers, and displayed beautiful via responsive design and mobile readiness. Making sure email lists are updated in real-time, that you’re taking advantage of when people are most likely to open emails, and that your emails are designed to be intriguing and attractive are all musts when relying on this staple of a marketing approach. Fortunately, there’s a bevy of top-ranked e-mail marketing solutions out there to make your job easier.

6. Invoicing and payments. Due understands that more customers prefer to receive digital invoices and pay online or via mobile for their products and services. To satisfy this need and enhance the overall customer’s experience, you can deliver customized and branded invoices to their email so they can securely click and pay immediately. You will be able to track what’s owed and received while automating a significant part of what can be a time-consuming, yet very necessary, process in your business. Even better is the fact that Due encourages you to take on those global customers with the ability to invoice and accept payment in multiple languages and currencies.

Choosing the right software is like choosing the right employee, and it’ll take some research and experimentation to get the right fit. Also like hiring an employee, there will be onboarding and likely an initial investment. Don’t leave this important choice to chance. Check the reviews, and get it right the first time for a flawless transition.

This is a YourStory community post, written by one of our readers.The images and content in this post belong to their respective owners. If you feel that any content posted here is a violation of your copyright, please write to us at mystory@yourstory.com and we will take it down. There has been no commercial exchange by YourStory for the publication of this article.

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Stories by Hicks Crawford