B2B Connection

Information and resources for technology buyers

2023 B2B Buying Disconnect: The Self-Serve Economy Is Prove It or Lose It by Megan Headley
Top eCommerce Strategies for 2023 by Neil Chandavarkar

Customer Engagement Software can help you improve your customer interactions and support performance. These tools enable you to leverage customer data to boost engagement. There are many things you can do with these tools. Here’s a brief summary of the capabilities you can expect:  Optimize customer interactions and campaigns with personalized messaging Improve the customer experience with content tailored to your audience  Provide resources for current and potential customers to explore your brand Track customer journeys across all your channels  Personalized communications with customers through email, chat, or video Native or third-party CRM and data ingestion Not every customer engagement tool will have all of these features and capabilities. If a product solves some of your pain points well you can always complement it with others. In this guide, we go over some important pricing aspects for customer engagement software. We’ll also explore software with free features and Top Rated products on TrustRadius that can help you improve business outcomes.         For more information on customer engagement platforms, see our definitional piece below: Customer Engagement Pricing Overview CEP pricing can vary a lot. It will depend on platform capabilities, feature set, selected billing cycle, and the number of users or logins. […]

With almost $900 billion in US sales, eCommerce enables businesses to market their products online. If you have an online business, eCommerce strategies can help you maximize your potential. The goal is to optimize performance for your brands and products within the very competitive eCommerce market. An effective eCommerce marketing strategy can help you boost revenue and expand your market share. Here are some of the best strategies to consider for eCommerce success in 2023.      Do Your eCommerce Research Before even getting started, you’ll need to do some in-depth market research into the niche you want to move into. After determining which products to sell, competitors should be identified and studied. Competitive Intelligence Tools can help you benchmark and track prevailing prices in the market.  Vendors like SimilarWeb and Owler are great sources of information on competitors and market trends. After calculating your fixed and variable costs, you’ll be able to estimate how much to charge for each product that’s sold in your online store. Use your findings to build a solid marketing plan that gives you a roadmap to get your business started on the right foot.   Choose the Right eCommerce Platform    eCommerce Platforms are ideal for small businesses […]

eCommerce software is ideal for business owners that want to set up and manage an online store. If you have a small business with more limited resources, a free plan gives you critical tools that won’t eat away at your margins. Picking the right eCommerce platform is an essential step in any business plan for an online store. For more on these platforms, check out our definitional post below. Free plans are a great way to test eCommerce features before you commit to a premium package. Choosing the wrong tools can completely disrupt your workflow. Here are some of the best free software options for your eCommerce business heading into 2023.  Best Free eCommerce Platforms in 2022 The software providers below offer some of the best free eCommerce features to set up and manage an online business.  Key features to keep in mind when selecting the best free solution include: A website builder with templates Web hosting Custom themes Shopping cart software  SEO features Social media marketing Number of free product listings Data governance and security SSL certificate Email marketing Campaign management tools Landing page creation Mobile compatibility Payment processing Usage and transaction fees Customer support Integrations with third-party software   […]

Having an online presence is essential for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a small business or a retail giant, eCommerce can help you expand your horizons and improve business outcomes. eCommerce Platforms are best for small businesses and medium-sized companies. The tools and resources provided by vendors in this space can help you reach a wide audience with limited technical know-how. This software can also help level the playing field, allowing your online business to compete against larger players.   What is an eCommerce Platform? eCommerce Platforms enable you to market your products on the internet, even with limited resources to start. They allow you to create a website to display the products you want to sell. Aside from your online storefront, you can also process orders, manage your inventory, and receive payments.  There are 3 types of eCommerce software that business owners can use for web hosting to sell online.  On-premise Open source SaaS cloud-based platforms To build your site on-premise, you’ll need an IT department with developers or third-party contractors to design and maintain it. This option provides greater flexibility and a more unique user experience. Due to greater technical challenges, it tends to be limited to larger […]

If you are looking for a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that can bridge workflow gaps for you, then Salesforce Customer 360 has you covered. Customer 360 is a popular CRM that gives you impressive reach and visibility into the way your customers relate to your product. Salesforce Customer 360 can help you put your best foot forward with current and potential customers. What is Salesforce Customer 360? Salesforce Customer 360 is a complete and powerful CRM system that offers sales and service tools. It handles customer data, tracks leads, and streamlines workflows. It will help increase productivity, simplify workflows, and manage tasks effectively. The heart of Customer 360 is the Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud bundles. They give your team everything they need to deliver excellent service to customers. Each cloud product integrates together seamlessly, and all tools can be accessed from your dashboard or the 360 mobile app.   Salesforce goes over its major goals and core values with Customer 360 in this video. The Sales cloud specializes in streamlining the sales process. It offers sales engagement and insight tools to help grow your business. You’ll be able to detect unique leads and create segmented profiles from them. […]

Effective customer engagement is essential for any business. Large enterprises have more resources than smaller companies but need to engage their audience on a larger scale. Strong, positive engagement strategies can keep existing customers happy and help you attract new ones. We’ll explore the features and strategies your enterprise should consider for customer engagement. We’ll also review some of the most popular customer engagement tools for enterprises. The tools we cover are: Adobe Experience Manager Braze Iterable Salesforce Salesforce Experience Cloud Salesforce Service Cloud SAP Service Cloud To learn more about the importance of customer engagement for your enterprise, check out our definitional piece:  Customer Engagement Features for Enterprises In our post on Customer Engagement Software for Small Businesses, we went over the main benefits you can expect from these platforms. For a small business, features like apps, loyalty programs, contact centers, or live chat may be the icing on the cake. If you’re an enterprise, these capabilities become indispensable for engaging customers. Customer Engagement Platforms are essential when it comes to building a customer engagement strategy. Promoting Customer Loyalty Enterprises need to always look for new ways to keep their most loyal customers satisfied and maximize customer retention. In […]

The hardest part of choosing a CRM is knowing what to look for and consider. It’s surprisingly easy to go through the whole selection process and buy the wrong software (many reviewers have said as much). You need to start your search with the right questions to make the correct choice. Companies often forget about team input, review sentiment, and research the vendor’s reputation. One of the most common errors buyers make is not reading the terms of service (TOS) before buying. Below, we explore all the main factors to consider in the decision-making process. What is a CRM? Customer relationship management (CRM) software solution provides small businesses and major enterprises with services to improve workflows. CRM tools can streamline major business processes like customer support, marketing campaigns, and lead management for sales teams. CRM solutions can also provide organizational tools to stay on top of tasks, and automation functionality to expedite menial manual tasks.  Zoho is a very popular cloud-based platform that offers a variety of applications for improving real-time business needs. They also offer a software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM provider and below we included their introduction CRM systems for beginners. What are the Benefits of Using CRM Software? CRM […]

Successful customer engagement is essential for any business that wants to survive and grow.   It doesn’t matter how big your business is. Your marketing strategy should include a roadmap to optimize your customer interactions. This applies to both existing customers and potential customers.  By developing a clear strategy for customer engagement, you can put a plan in motion to attract new customers and build brand loyalty with your current customer base. For more on the benefits of engaging with your customers and the tools that can help you do this, check out our recent blog post: Effective Customer Engagement Strategies There have never been more ways for companies to interact with their target audience. In the age of digital marketing and instant communications, customer expectations are also greater than ever. Here are some of the best customer engagement strategies for your business to put into practice today.   Get to Know Your Customers To engage customers effectively, you need to know who they are. This includes their wants, needs, preferences, and pain points. Do some market research to find out what your target audience is looking for and how you can provide this.  Marketing intelligence tools can help you stay up […]

Engagement is an indispensable step in the customer lifecycle. Businesses of all sizes need to engage customers on a wide scale to meet their business goals. Whether you’re a local business or a tech startup looking to grow, customer engagement will help you attract customers and keep them around. There are many tools on the market that can make the process easier. In this post, we’ll go over some of the best customer engagement product options for small businesses.  To learn more about what to look for in a customer engagement platform, check out our last post below:  Benefits of Customer Engagement Software for Small Businesses Customer Engagement Platforms can help you build customer loyalty and engage new customers. The tools you choose should improve your customer interactions. Buyers should get the impression that they know everything they need to make a sound buying decision, and that you’ll always be there to assist them.  Customer engagement tools can also help you target and re-target based on customer behavior. This includes preferred networks and even the time of day they tend to browse. This will help you make the most of your budget by focusing your ad spend on prospects that […]

Customer relationship management (CRM) may be the most common business software on the market. They can help you with brand awareness, boost sales, and keep customers happy. All-in-one tools like these are so popular some probably wonder if they’re overrated and it’s actually a good question. We go into the pros and cons of this powerful business software and offer up good CRM options for beginners.  What Is a CRM Software Solution? Customer relationship management software help teams with marketing, sales, and customer service. Features like lead and contact management help you keep track of clients. Integrated Marketing features help you reach more potential customers in your target audience and retain them by providing a high-quality customer experience. This software often comes with team collaboration features designed to help improve internal workflow and projects. CRM software is essentially virtual assistants that manage the most important aspects of your business by helping you stay productive. Many have automation features so you don’t have to be bogged down by manual tasks. CRM solutions sound pretty amazing, but they can make you wonder if they’re really that great. What are the general pros & cons of the software? What are the Pros of […]

Many invoicing software are built with larger organizations and financial professionals in mind with features that a small business doesn’t need to use or pay for. Small business owners should consider price, ease of use, integration with other software, and specialized features that would be beneficial to their specific use case. Invoicing is a service that is often included in general accounting software. If you’re looking for general accounting options, consider reading our blog post on the best free accounting software for small businesses. If you’re totally new to the process of invoicing and billing, check out this helpful guide that covers the basics. Overview of Small Business Invoicing Of the numerous options available for small business invoicing, this blog will discuss the top five options both paid and free. If you are looking for a totally free option consider reading our blog post on the best free invoicing options available.  Software Name trScore Price Free Trial Unique Features QuickBooks Online 8.2/10 Variable Based on Number of Users, Starting at $25/Month Yes Email or Chat With Customer Support, Accounting Tools Zoho Invoice 9.8/10 Free N/A Multi-Currency Invoicing, Invoice Templates FreshBooks 8.2/10 Variable Based on Number of Clients, Starting at $15/Month […]

Finding POS software is a great resource for online and in-person businesses of any size. Some have extra features to help you grow, and others have the perfect hardware for your store and employees. The process of shopping for the right one can be confusing and draining.  There are processing fees, along with a subscription with monthly fees. You want to find the best POS systems, but they often blend together and cost a lot. You need a payment processing system that doesn’t cost half your budget. Point of sale systems can come with more than transaction processing. Most platforms offer hardware and integrations like payroll and inventory management. Many of these systems are cost-efficient and have useful integrations to save money elsewhere. POS Software Available Best POS Systems Square POS Shopify POS Toast POS Lightspeed POS Clover POS POS Nation Plans Free, Plus ($6/Month), Premium (Request) Separate set for Online Only – Free, Professional ($12/Month), Performance ($26/Month), Premium ($7z/Month) Shopify POS Lite ($29/Month), Shopify POS Pro ($89/Month) Pay-as-You-Go (From $0/Month), Essentials (From $165/Month), Growth (From $272 /Month) Lean ($69 /Month), Standard ($119 /Month), Advanced (&199 USD /Month), Enterprise (Request) No Hardware (&9.95/Month) *All other plans depend on which software […]

Sezzle is a payment platform like Klarna and Afterpay. They allow you to split up one transaction into 4 interest-free installment plans. Apps like these allow shoppers to spend more on items they would save up for, and instead pay later in smaller payments.  As customers purchase directly from the company website, they will find it easy to spend more while online because of the convenience. Companies can benefit greatly from that combination of ease and convenience. The concept is similar to some credit cards where if you make the full payment when it’s due so you don’t incur interest.  Sezzle is a platform that’s grown exponentially and is happy to brag about it. The company decided to make a commitment to the environment while showing how much they’re growing. In 2021, they began planting a tree for every new user. They’re at over one million trees. How To Use Sezzle First-time users must make a Sezzle account, and then you can select Sezzle at the time of the transaction, but only at a Sezzle integrated store. Currently, Sezzle does not offer any in-store integrations, only online checkout.  When You Make an Account Sezzle does run a credit check, but […]

Ecommerce solutions help business owners create their online stores. With the right platform, users can showcase their products and attract more sales. Small businesses should consider the ease of use and price of each platform. Although the products mentioned in this piece share the same purpose, they work best in different circumstances. This piece will give you an overview of the popular eCommerce platforms for small businesses.  Affordable Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses Shopify – Web Hosting Shopify is a popular and versatile platform for small businesses. It is extremely user-friendly and offers a wide spread of features. You can customize every aspect of your store with HTML and CSS. Users host their websites on Shopify and have access to a complete blogging platform.  Shopify integrates with over one hundred payment gateways, making it extremely convenient for merchants and customers. You have the option to set up free shipping and determine the price point at which it applies. Shopify is unique because it includes abandoned checkout recovery for all of its subscription levels. It also offers a free SSL certificate, which is designed to protect transaction and credit card information. This platform is essential for conducting business online. Shopify is […]

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can revolutionize how your organization deals with its customers. Many of these game-changing tools are available for free.  Of course, free software has limitations on how many users or features you are allowed, so it’s worth looking into the paid plans. But if you can satisfy your needs with the free software, then you’ve saved a chunk of your budget. Every CRM use case is unique, which means you could find the free software that best fits you.  If you’re actually new to free CRM systems or need a better background, Zoho CRM has a great video explaining how they work. CRM Software  Price  trScore Special Features  Use Case  HubSpot CRM Free – Unlimited Users  8.3/10  Email Marketing, Social Media Engagement, Mobile App for android and iOS, Customization, Single Sign-on, G Suite, Microsoft Office, Third-Party Integrations Small, to medium, and even large businesses. Ideal for remote companies.  Zoho CRM Free – For 3 Users  8.1/10  Email Authentication, Advanced Filters, Page Customization, Mobile App for android and ios, G Suite, Microsoft Office Freelancers growing their enterprise.  Freshdesk CRM Free – Unlimited users 8.4/10  Ticket Creation and Submission, Ticket Response, Help Desk, Customer Portal  Small schools or […]

Despite what you may have heard, neither push or pull marketing is dead. They are very different methods of creating the same result: higher sales. Understanding the difference between them and how they can work for you can help achieve this marketing goal. Along with this, it is vital to know the tools that can help you implement each approach. All of this information will combine to generate a better end-result for marketing professionals.    Push Marketing Pull Marketing Other Names Old Marketing, Interupption Marketing, Outbound Marketing New Marketing, Inbound marketing Medium and Types TV Ads, Radio Ads, Billboards, Banner Ads, Newspaper and Magazine Folds Blog and Website content, How-tos, Newsletters, Assistance Videos Best for Push Products to a Broad Audience, Interrupt the Customer, Sell Why the Product is Right for ThemTldr:You Find Leads Drawn Clients in, Generate Genuine Interest and Solve Customer NeedsTldr:Leads Come to You Cons Smaller ROI, Expensive and Can Fail to Yield Results, Huge Competition Requires Smart Targeting and Customer Understanding   What Is Push Marketing? The idea of push marketing, as the name suggests, revolves around taking a product to the customer. This is the type of marketing many individuals who are not marketing professionals […]

Understanding the reality and misconceptions of the pricing of call tracking software is vital in helping your organization plan its use of the tool. Call tracking software offers organizations insight into the customer journey and provides valuable information to sales and marketing teams. This makes this a highly sought-after tool for many different types of organizations. Everyone can agree that getting software for free is better than paying, but is this possible in this software category?  Does “Free” Call Tracking Exist? The most important question: Can you actually get this type of tool for free? Short answer: Not really. TrustRadius has many pieces outlining free software options. Sometimes, it can be just as important to share where software can not be used for free. There are a few options out there, but they will have one of the following limitations: They are part of a larger software suite They are very limited in user limit/call numbers, and pay per minute  They are open-source, and very unpolished Most call tracking software has payment models structured around how much one uses the product. Most also offer free trials, but these are often 14 days, and rarely go beyond 30. With these criteria established, […]

Consumers consider different factors and weigh their options before making a purchase. (Especially large and expensive ones.) This is even more pronounced in the B2B world. Business technology purchases are often more expensive than B2C purchases. And they are closely tied to the return on investment (ROI) of the business.  As a tech marketer, it’s critical to understand the journey your buyers take. Which steps do they take? What do they care about most in each phase of the buyer’s journey? And how can you best support them as they narrow down the list of products they’re considering?  Answering these questions will help you forge stronger relationships with your buyers.  What Is The Buyer’s Journey in B2B? Before detailing each stage of the buyer’s journey, here’s a quick explanation of what it is.  The buyer’s journey starts when the buyer realizes they have a problem and need a software solution. The middle part of their journey is about researching, evaluating, and comparing different options. The final stage of their journey is selecting a product to purchase and enter negotiations with the vendor. In summary, there are three main stages of the buyer’s journey.  There are also a few important things […]

No matter your organization’s size or industry, getting paid is probably one of the most important components. Invoicing software creates transparency and convenience for both you and your client. However, many smaller businesses and freelancers want a no-cost option for generating invoices since it is such a routine process for them. For those that can balance features with limitations for their use case, this is a realistic goal. Below are some of the best free invoice software, and who they are best suited for. The software covered in this list are: Zoho Invoice Reliabills InvoiceNinja Paypal Wave Zoho Invoice – Best Invoicing For Individuals For freelancers and other independent workers, Zoho Invoice will offer a professional, polished product. There are two major limitations of this software. The first: Zoho Invoice is free for only one user. The second limitation is that you can only invoice up to 5 customers.  If you can work within these restrictions, you will gain access to a strong host of features. The 5 customer limitation does not mean you can not rebill those 5. You will be able to create recurring invoices. These can be automated and have built-in reminders. Estimates can be created and […]

There are many different levels of shopping cart software, offering varying degrees of complexity. You may need a simple page for a few products. Others may want inventory management and a full online store as in an eCommerce platform. Free shopping cart software will often have limitations restricting functionality or scope. Another potential option is going for open-source software. Working within criteria that do not harm your use case is the best way to get shopping cart software at no cost to you. The shopping cart software covered in this piece are: WooCommerce Ecwid Magento Loaded Commerce Square eCommerce Which Shopping Cart Software is Right For You? Below are the 5 best free shopping cart software and eCommerce platforms. Each is very different and will be suited to different types of users.  WooCommerce- eCommerce Solution for WordPress Users WooCommerce is the perfect, easy-to-use choice for those who use the popular website building platform, WordPress. This extension offers a simple way to create a functional store within your company website. With this tool, you’ll be able to accept a variety of payment options and quickly set up a store page. The extension supports many integrations for payment acceptance, marketing, and social […]