I have learnt that understanding the needs of your customers and the market is key to building a strong foundation for your start-up. Here are my recommendations for the most useful tool per category:
CRM/ Sales funnel management
The intelligent sales CRM built to automate most of your sales funnel.
Salesflare automatically populates your address book with the data it gets from your company database, email signatures, and social media sources.
It’s a tracker and logbook for all interactions of leads towards you, handed to you on a silver platter in an automated timeline.
From the data it gathers, Salesflare will send out to-do reminders on specific leads, so no deal can fall through the cracks anymore.
Salesflare works wherever you work: desktop, mobile or just from your Gmail where it gives you everything you need from an integrated sidebar.
You can make it work together with over 700 apps via Zapier. Popular integrations include Slack, Stripe, Mailchimp and Trello.
Web/ mobile analytics: user tracking
Kissmetrics generates precise customer behaviour data metrics that is bound to give Google Analytics a run for their money.
While Google Analytics attributes each new visit to a new user, Kissmetrics takes it up a notch with its capacity to recognize visits from a particular device as originating from the same user source.
This makes Kissmetrics more efficient than Google Analytics in filtering out potential recurring leads from your website into your sales funnel.
Website usability testing
The remote testing tool that allows your users to experiment with your digital platform at the comfort of your own time and space. You may customize the tasks you desire for the user to perform.
The user’s entire experience — on-screen movements and expressions — while performing the task are captured for your immediate or future perusal.
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The go-to tool to upsurge your search traffic, monitor your niche, and outrank your competitors. Ahrefs reveals the backlinks of every website on the World Wide Web, allowing you to dig deep into the SEO strategy of your competitors.
A top feature is its keyword explorer, which enables you to see the exact keywords your competitors are ranking for in search results. This makes competitor research a piece of cake and helps you determine the keywords to target for maximum reach.
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The go-to tool for rolling out newsletter campaigns that won’t wind up in your target recipient’s spam box. It also tracks and analyses the outreach of your campaign in detail.
Mailchimp offers a variety of easy-to-use newsletter templates, which integrate easily with other tools.
Design tools: graphics
Canva might just be the most user-friendly graphic design tool you’ll ever come across, and best of all: it’s free. It gives you the power to create practically anything — from social media banners, flyers, infographics, to business cards — just by dragging and dropping.
The paid version packs all this power, plus the additional punch of creating brand kits and customisable design templates.
Project and task management
The collaborative tool to keep your team harmonized and on top of its work.
Trello’s user-friendly interface with boards, lists, and cards, enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun and flexible way.
Double the fun with the Slack integration.
Customer engagement/ support
An in-prompt personal messaging function that allows you to chat with and at the same time offer support to the visitors to your website in real-time.
With Intercom, you can activate leads in the early stages of the sales cycle. It also tracks user behaviour.
A low-maintenance solution to stay on top of your users, regardless of their commitment status.
Billing/ online payments and subscriptions management
Dubbed the best software platform for Internet business seller. Stripe’s APIs and functionality helps you build the best product for your users.
It securely stores customer payment information for one-tap purchases on your website or app, while helping you build high-converting payment flows.
It is a holistic solution to any subscription service, on-demand marketplace, ecommerce store, or crowdfunding platform.
Recruiting tools: prospecting and lead generation
Hunter will seek out professional email addresses for you.
Activate your search with a company or domain name and Hunter will work its magic.
Bulk upload email addresses in a .CSV and Hunter will tell you which ones are ‘deliverable’.
Team communication and coordination
Slack functions as a central hub where everything comes together.
You can set up an army of bots to keep you notified of all the happenings in your start-up, or keep the energy level high with the dankest memes and most fire GIFs.
It’s an ever-changing blackboard filled with output of your team’s efforts, from every possible corner of your business.