TrueCore

November 30, 2022

How We Help Leverage New Technology for Small Business Startups (Our Top 3 Picks!)

At Chameleon, we are all about creating a smooth, efficient experience for our team members and clients—which is why we constantly emphasize the importance of technology for small business success!

Perhaps that’s why small business startups rely on tech more and more with every passing year. They understand that they risk falling behind if they don’t implement the right systems and set up their team for success from day one.

Chameleon recognizes this and works with clients (especially startups) to incorporate time-saving, efficiency-boosting technology. While you’ll need many essential apps and tools in your tech stack, we’re focusing on the top three to prioritize:

Sure, none of these are new solutions—but if you’re just getting started, you may be wondering what tools and apps to invest in first and how to maximize them. And technology for small businesses is continually evolving with new functions that could expand your company’s capabilities and efficiencies.

So, how can technology help small businesses? Read on to find out!

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

Did you think only big, established businesses need a CRM platform? Think again! This should be at the top of your list when considering new technology for your small business. A CRM is crucial for a lean team to efficiently manage sales and cash flow.

Build & Manage Strong Customer Relationships

A quality CRM makes it easy to organize prospects and customers. The platform stores critical insights and data about each individual, including personal details, contact records, and purchase history, which is accessible to everyone in your organization.
As a necessary piece of technology for small businesses, a CRM helps your team turn prospects into customers, and first-time buyers into repeat business. It empowers them to deliver a personalized customer experience, build strong relationships, and close more deals.

Employee using a CRM and talking to a customer on the phone

Sell Better, Sell More

When everyone in your small business has relevant information about every lead and client, everyone will be set up for success!

Marketing will have the necessary data to create messaging targeted to your different buyer personas’ needs…

Sales will have insights to effectively qualify (or disqualify) prospects, follow up with them promptly, and monitor deals in progress…

And customer service will have accurate data to better assist customers and help you improve products, services, processes, and resources. Plus, today’s cloud-based CRM platforms can integrate with social media to reach more of your target customers on their preferred channels. 

It’s another way your small business can elevate its customer service and improve marketing efforts!

Your CRM Can Grow With You

The best CRMs have scalable functions that allow them to grow with your small business. So you can start with something affordable that fits your basic needs and add on apps and features down the road as those needs evolve. 

You won’t have to worry about changing software or providers, adjusting your sales and customer service processes, or training staff on new tech. You don’t even have to install, manage, or update software because the CRM is cloud-based!

Keep Your Cash Flow in Check

As a startup, you want to get your numbers organized from the start. A CRM tracks sales opportunities and revenue goals to help your team understand where to focus their efforts and take moneymaking action. And most CRMs integrate with popular accounting platforms like QuickBooks.

Many CRM platforms are available, but we typically recommend Salesforce, Pipedrive, or LeadMaster. Remember, it’s not so much about what platform you use—it’s about:

In the realm of technology for small business owners, CRMs don’t have to be costly—when chosen well and used appropriately, they should actually help you grow and become more profitable!

Business owner holding a phone and looking at how technology can help small businesses

Chat Inside and Outside of Your Company

We’ve mentioned our love of virtual chat previously. Besides being ultra-convenient for our team’s communication, this vital technology for small businesses is handy for clients, too.

Benefits of Collaborative Chat

Whether your team is fully remote, in the office, or a hybrid, a virtual chat app is necessary. You can use tools like Teams or Slack (our favorite!) to make it easy for colleagues to:

Plus, tools like Slack integrate with other apps, including polls, feedback, project management, marketing platforms, and sales tools, to name a few. You can use it to build workflows and efficiencies.

Many B2B service providers also use chat apps to collaborate with clients on projects. This makes them accessible to their clients and enables them to share files, ideas, and feedback quickly.

Benefits of Live Chat

Do you have a live chat option on your website or social platforms? If not, you’re missing a significant opportunity. Research shows that consumers want digital customer service:

When you make it easier for all kinds of customers to get in touch with you, you will:

Implementing a live chat option on your site and socials is becoming a must-have for capturing prospective new business and fostering customer loyalty. Yet many haven’t adopted a chat function as part of their customer service! So prioritize this on your list of tools for small businesses to set yours apart.

A customer benefiting from B2B marketing tech using live chat on her phone

VoIP: Voice Over Internet Protocol

Last but not least on our list of technology solutions for small businesses is VoIP! VoIP is a phone system that uses wireless internet instead of traditional hardwired phone lines. It supports voice and video calls. You can set it up via your Wi-Fi, if you have a strong signal, or using Ethernet cables.

So, why is VoIP the best business phone option?

Easy to Set Up & Scale

Technology for small businesses is becoming lighter, faster, and cleaner, even when it comes to phones. Who wants a closet with a bunch of wires and cords running all over it?

VoIP doesn’t require a lot of equipment. These software-based IP phone systems can work on any internet-enabled device, from smartphones to laptops.  Adding new users as your business grows is easy and doesn’t require new hardware or phone lines.  Employees simply use their own devices.

Superior Features & Quality

Additionally, VoIP provides better call quality than traditional phones. Many services offer convenient features, like setting business hours, instant messaging, and voicemail forwarding to email.

Affordable

Regular phone service providers continue to raise prices significantly every year because it’s becoming increasingly expensive to maintain these outdated systems and technology. 

Since VoIP routes phone calls through your internet connection, you’ll avoid exorbitant fees. Your monthly cost is typically based on the number of users and call volume. When you need to add new users, it’s usually a slight increase to your plan.

Flexible & Convenient

With work-from-home and worldwide business on the rise, companies of all sizes need flexible communication methods. VoIP allows your entire team to connect and hop on the phone and video calls no matter where they are. It works on office phones, smartphones, and computers, so people can join the meeting however they need to.

Chameleon also recommends VoIP to our clients so we can seamlessly become a virtual extension of their organization. When outsourcing inside sales and marketing, you must present a cohesive, professional brand to prospects and clients. VoIP enables us to build trust and confidence, deliver stellar customer experiences, and avoid confusion.

Final Thoughts on Technology for Small Business

When starting out, you might use barebones tools and systems like spreadsheets and email to manage customers, collaboration, and communication—but they won’t work well for long. Building a solid tech stack that improves your team’s productivity will, in turn, help you grow.

Chameleon recommends all startups begin with these top three pieces of technology for small businesses and build from there. It’s not so much about the specific platform you choose but ensuring it offers all the functionality to streamline your operations! We love guiding clients toward the best solutions for their organization’s needs, which we do by educating them on tech that fosters efficiencies and future success.
Check out our blog on more of our tried-and-true B2B marketing tech, or contact Chameleon today to learn how we can help you select the right tools for your small business startup!