Over the past year, /buzzquake struggled a bit to find the right business operations support software. Like most small businesses, we sought CRM, cloud storage and proposal tools that were intuitive, useful and reasonable in price. After a few false starts that left us frustrated, we finally found software that we have been happy with.
We are still adjusting to a new paradigm where it doesn’t make sense to email an attachment. With Google Drive we can access all of our files from any hotspot. What’s better, we can share a document with a client or colleague without worrying about email attachment size limitations. Plus, no more zipping and unzipping. Best of all, certain files types support real-time collaboration by multiple users. This lets us edit content or modify code with a customer in real time with all changes showing up on everyone’s screen. We don’t know how we would operate without it!
We struggled for the longest time with various CRM (customer relationship management) solutions. Salesforce was too cumbersome and unwieldy for our needs. Other tools lacked essential functions like sales forecasting and pipeline reporting. Finally we gave Base a try and we’re happy to report that it has been perfect for our needs. The screens were intuitive, it seamlessly integrated with multiple email clients and even had a mobile app that allowed us to access our calendar and tasks while on the go. If you have hated Salesforce, you might want to try Base.
Our proposals weren’t horrible without an online tool to support the process, but they weren’t as organized and carefully tracked as they are now. BidSketch allows us to respond to RFPs faster and more professionally. It also allows us to send proposals electronically and track activity related to them. Perhaps best of all, BidSketch can take electronic signatures as acceptance of proposals, which makes inking a deal easier for everyone.
Our biggest frustration at the moment is that Bidsketch and Base are not integrated. We urged both providers to embrace the other and get it together (so to speak). Hopefully they will.
What have been your experiences related to business support software? Do you have a favorite set of tools that you would like to tell us about?