Ever heard of this phrase?! Well, I’m here to introduce a catchy new motto: “Too many software tools make business life a nightmare and make new team members want to cry themselves to sleep.” Catchy, I know!!
I’ve worked in businesses where the decision-making team are like magpies, jumping on every new business tool that comes out and trying to shoehorn their data into it, or make it work for their business even though it doesn’t really help to simplify tasks or improve overall business efficiency at all. These businesses end up with a technological landscape so complex that it takes a member of staff 45 minutes to log into all the platforms they need to use daily. And don’t even mention the possibility of forgetting a password…
Is there a 'Holy Grail' of software tools?
For me, a platform that ‘does it all’, or at least provides multiple tools in one convenient location, is the holy grail of software. A couple of my favourites include Hubspot, which combines a customer relationship management tool with an email marketing platform, social media scheduling tool, helpdesk software, analytics, and a landing page builder (to name but a few) and it's incredibly helpful and flexible.
Another example is ActiveCampaign, another CRM and email marketing tool that allows you to create an integrated live chat for your website, and which can also integrate with the eCommerce platform WooCommerce and therefore combine customer and sales data – a valuable resource if you sell products or services via an online shop. Again, this platform has other features, but it's a great example of how one resource can do multiple things within a business, saving time and reducing the cost of multiple tool subscriptions.
Software integrations can help you streamline
Even if you can’t streamline your tools, it’s worth seeing whether you could get them to talk to one another and share data between themselves, reducing the time spent manually moving data from one platform to another. If you do need tools to speak to one another but they can’t do this natively, a third-party tool like Zapier could prove useful. Zapier moves information between your web apps automatically, helping save you valuable time by reducing the number of manual tasks you need to perform with your business data.
Simple solutions are the best ...
Whether you invest in a single, multifunctional tool or streamline your existing processes, remember that simple solutions are often the best, and the easiest to manage (for you and your team) in the long term.