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 Sales

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 […]

If there’s anything people in the world of small business like, it’s time and money. Bad scheduling processes are costing you both. Over half of employers spend two hours each week creating a work schedule. Some even spend up to twelve. Missed shifts also cost employers $7,500 every year. If those wastes sound unacceptable to you, check out these employee scheduling software packages. What Does Employee Scheduling Software Do? Employee scheduling software streamlines and automates the process of shift scheduling. The right tool typically replaces handwritten schedules or spreadsheets. Such software typically has many features to increase the ease of creating and adjusting schedules. Some of the basic features include Drag-and-Drop Scheduling  The scheduling solution streamlines the process of creating staff schedules. It is conceptually the same as what you would do by hand or with a spreadsheet, only a lot more user-friendly. Simply drag and drop employees into the appropriate hour slots. Then make sure that there are enough employees of the right types for each time period.  Shift Swapping Employees have stuff come up all the time. Illness, family emergencies, or other scheduling conflicts can wreak havoc on your schedule. Employee scheduling software makes it easy to handle […]

Do you know what you will never get back? Your time; it’s a precious resource that you need to delegate wisely. If you properly manage your work hours then your free time can receive the value it deserves for a perfect work-life balance. Time tracking tools can offer the control to manage your time and bill clients for the exact hours you give them. Time management is a consultant’s best friend.  What is Time Tracking Software? A time tracking tool can be used for client and project management to ensure your time is well spent. This can mean staying on top of billable hours, creating time reports for invoicing clients, and using project management tools, and other time management features. Time tracking software can be especially helpful for tracking remote work outside of offices. Your time tracking solution can be versatile. It could track billable time or it could track project progress with due dates and alerts. Other time trackers let you manually track hours; others are automated. Freelancer consultants can manage billable and non-billable hours in real-time, and consulting firms can manage employee time for payroll and productivity. One ingenious way to use a time tracker is to consider […]

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 […]

Every organization knows the feeling of trying to find better, more efficient ways of creating their product or service. Agile development is a relatively young workflow methodology. At the start of the millennium, software devs pioneered the development of agile, and here we are. Since its inception, agile has seen incredible adoption across the business world, especially in tech sectors. For your organization, you will want to understand the benefits and drawbacks. As a result, we explored crucial statistics in adoption, implementation, challenges, performance, and pandemic response. We also examined the most important trends, exploring the attributes that make agile poised to succeed in the future.  For a quick refresher on the difference between agile and waterfall, or to simply learn more about each, click the link below: Essential Agile Statistics for 2022 and Beyond It is essential to understand current data and trends in agile development given how fast such methods evolve. Whether you are looking to adopt this method or are a long-term advocate, this information is invaluable. To serve that need, here are the most important agile development statistics and trends you need to know about.  Agile Adoption Snapshot 94% of companies in the software sector report […]

Creating a new password is one of the most common things you’re prompted to do on the internet. It’s also one of the things that makes you most vulnerable to hackers. 80% of hacking-related data breaches involve reused passwords. Despite this, employees reuse passwords for business accounts an average of 13 times per person. Without a solution for remembering complex passwords, your business’ data is at risk. One such solution is password managers, which store all your passwords in one place. This makes it easier to use strong, unique passwords for each account, which will in turn help protect your business from hackers. How Do Password Managers Work? At their most basic, password managers store all your login credentials for any online accounts you have in an encrypted database. This encrypted database is protected by a master password. Make sure you remember your master password when you set up a new password manager – this is your new key to the internet! Password managers will also autogenerate secure passwords for new accounts and apps. You can set your own requirements for these autogenerated passwords so they suit your needs. This includes setting the length and whether or not they include […]

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 […]

Social media analytics is a series of digital marketing tools that allow you to see how users interact with your social media channels. You can use these tools to gather a wide variety of insights from your social pages. KPIs include engagement metrics, user demographics, follower growth, and much more.  These tools show you how your target audience is interacting with your brands across all social media networks where you have a presence. Analysis of social media data can be vital info used to boost your social media presence and raise brand awareness. Businesses and influencers rely on this software to track the performance of their social media accounts. Social Media Analytics is also essential when it comes to developing an effective social media strategy.   What TrustRadius Research Says: Pricing for Social Media Analytics software will depend on the following factors: Feature capabilities Add-ons Number of users Monthly or yearly payment options Number of brands or profiles you want to track Users of basic plans can expect dashboard visualization for their reach and engagement. Competitive analysis and analytics reporting are usually available on a more limited scale for fewer users.  If you’re using a social media management tool, scheduling and […]

When you’re drowning in clients and menial tasks piling up, who do you call? Well, no one. There isn’t a hotline for managing business workloads. If there was, they would direct you to software designed to help manage your sales, clients, growth, and everything in between. One of those powerful software options is CRM. It can help even niche industries like business consultants.  What Is a CRM Software? CRM stands for customer relationship management software. It can optimize workflows for most B2C (and even B2B) companies. They’re often used for future growth, and daily tasks all while bringing employees closer. The software is often designed for marketers, salespeople, and customer support teams. Many CRMs have marketing features like email marketing automation or ad management. Other CRMs have features for sales teams like lead management. Most CRMs have some form of customer service functionality like live chat, chatbots, and ticketing across media channels.  If you have a business that requires building and maintaining client relationships a CRM will be a great asset. Companies that focus more on marketing or customer service will also be able to find a CRM that best fits their use case. CRM software is incredibly diverse. They […]

The ability to engage with customers is at the heart of any business. Successful organizations strive to meet customer expectations and provide them with the best user experience possible.This involves offering reliable support across all your communication channels. This is essential to forming a connection with your customer base to grow your business.   Customer Engagement Platforms aim to improve the omnichannel customer journey. They help you identify your customers’ needs by simplifying real-time communications. This software builds bridges with your customers, boosting interest, customer satisfaction, and sales. Engagement leads to brand loyalty and can give you massive returns in the long run.  How Customer Engagement Platforms Work Customer engagement is an emerging concept that combines elements of many established solutions. These include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software  Marketing automation Mobile marketing,  Cross-channel campaign management,  Sales engagement Helpdesk Contact center software.  Customer Engagement Platforms are used by customer success, support, and sales teams. They connect your customer communications from one central platform. Stored sales data and contact information helps streamline personalized interactions with customers. These software can measure how, when, and even why customers are engaging with your brand. Cross-channel capabilities help your reps send out consistent messaging when communicating with […]

Putting a schedule together is nothing more than playing a terribly tedious and tiresome game of Time Tetris, desperately trying to fit all those shifts together. And when the whole finally falls together just perfectly so, two people call out on Wednesday, and the whole thing collapses. Employee scheduling software is the cheat code for this banal game, saving you from having to play it. What Does Employee Scheduling Software Do? Employee scheduling software automates the process of creating a staffing schedule. You first input certain constraints. The constraints can include employee availability, how many of each position you need at a time, hour limits, and even certain skillsets. The software then determines and optimizes a work schedule based on the constraints. Filling in the schedule is only the first part of the battle. Something will inevitably come up in the intervening weeks. Someone will get sick or break their collarbone while mountain biking (real-life story).Now you need somebody else to be there. Employee scheduling software lets employees trade shifts, usually through a centralized system. This prevents the lovely nightmare of calling everybody who isn’t on shift and asking them if they can come in. Basic Features These are features […]

Podcast recording and editing can be done by professionals, amateurs, and everyone in between. No matter the content of your podcast or the reason for making it, free podcast editing software can offer fantastic functionality in a no-cost option. The flexibility of podcasting makes it appealing to both individual hobbyists and professional organizations. Understanding the differences of each of the choices available will help you make the right software choice for your skill level and use case. The best free podcast editing software can put this powerful medium in your hands. Podcast Editing is for Everyone The best podcast editing software is accessible is because of the flexibility of the medium. Unlike video editing, an audio-only medium requires far fewer moving parts. 3D effects, cinematic camera angles, and other skill and tech barriers don’t exist in podcasts.  Even better, if you have a microphone and a quiet place to record, you can produce a professional-sounding product. Many podcast recording software are podcast editing software, eliminating the need for complex suites. Video editing also needs powerful computer hardware, whereas most work laptops can handle audio editing. Whether you are just getting started with podcast editing, or have tons of experience, there are […]

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 […]

The bigger the company the more powerful the software you need to have. Instead of searching for and switching between different software that may not meet your exact requirements, you can build applications specifically for your needs. You don’t have to have an extensive DevOps team because the software can allow complete beginners to create. Low-code development tools can help you create personalized business applications for enormous and diverse departments.  What is Low-Code Development? Low-code development platforms (LCDP) are special software that allows users to perform process automation, work in databases, and build applications without coding. In a traditional development platform, it’s considered a high-code environment because you create and automate using traditional coding or hand-coding.  With low-code, you can speed up the development process and allow those with little coding experience to build and innovate. Low-code software offers a modern graphical user interface (GUI) framework that is essentially the drag-and-drop application most computer literate are used to.  If you’re struggling with understanding the concept of this software, imagine you’re in a foreign country. You need to complete a task but you only know bits and pieces of the language. You likely won’t be able to get as far without […]

IT infrastructure monitoring is critical to the successful operation of any enterprise. Networks are composed of many moving parts that range from devices and servers to databases and data centers. As your network grows you might notice a drastic increase in the number of these moving parts. Keeping track of these devices is essential to the continued success of your organization This introduces the idea of IT infrastructure monitoring solutions. These solutions accurately track the health, availability, performance, and resource utilization information for each component in your network.  We’ve collected the 11 best IT infrastructure monitoring solutions and highlighted the differences and benefits of each. The Top 11 Best IT Infrastructure Monitoring Solutions in 2022 The top 11 best IT infrastructure monitoring solutions for enterprises in 2022 are: Dynatrace  Solarwinds Network Performance Monitoring and SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor  LogicMonitor  New Relic  Nagios Core  AppDynamics  Splunk Infrastructure Monitoring  DataDog  ManageEngine OpManager  Sematext Infrastructure Monitoring  Site24x7 All-in-One Monitoring  What is IT Infrastructure Monitoring? IT infrastructure monitoring is the process of monitoring the performance, availability, and health of network infrastructure components. These components can include any combination of hardware and software used in a network. Typically, these include routers, servers, virtual machines, […]

For many professionals, modern data analytics may make them wish they’d paid more attention in middle school math class. Mathematical concepts like “discrete data” and “continuous data” now form the foundation for the business world’s information environments. Decisions about how data is collected, stored, and processed have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences. Most business data is either discrete or continuous. There are also key differences between the two. These distinctions impact how professionals use the data. Understanding the difference between discrete and continuous data, and why the differences matter, can make (or break) your analyses.  What is Discrete Data? Discrete data refers to countable, individualized items. These items are not divisible. Instead, they only exist in set increments or units.  Discrete variables only have a limited number of possible values. In other words, they are finite, with a set number of intervals or categorical values. A key characteristic of discrete data is that it is “countable,” versus being “measurable.”  We often visualize discrete data with bar graphs, histograms, and other non-persistent methods.  Discrete data can encompass a wide range of other data types. For instance, it handles ordinal data, such as sliding scales (i.e. “bad, neutral, good”). It also allows users […]

70% of organizations have experienced project failure at some point over the past year, according to research from KPMG. One likely contributor: lack of standardized project management practices. Only 21% of businesses have put standardized project management (PM) practices and systems in place.  Enter project management software. While these tools can help you manage all aspects of a project lifecycle—they often come with a large price tag. Free project management tools can partly solve this problem. One trade-off for no-cost options is limited functionality and fewer customization options. Open-source project management software outshines free PM tools in this regard. The best open source projects have active, vibrant communities dedicated to helping create software that more than covers the gaps of free offerings from SaaS vendors.  These wonderful people will give you free access to bug fixes, customization options, and feature code. As a result of its highly customizable nature, open-source options are agood fit for small and agile teams looking for a highly customizable solution.  Here are six open-source project management tools worth considering:  OpenProject Gitlab GanttProject Taiga Odoo ZenTao Is Open-Source Project Management Software Right For You?  Is open-source the right type of software for your business? Relying on […]

Finding the right business software is like trying to buy a one size fits all shoe for five different people. The more you look for the right fit the more you realize the diverse needs of your team. An amazing solution for teams that need to tailor their software to specific needs is building their own applications using low-code software.  The rising popularity of low-code development tools is because of this growing demand to create your own business apps without the technical wizardry of professional programmers.  Even if you are a new startup or small company there are free platforms you can get started with right away. What Is Low-Code Development? Low-code in this scenario means less coding or sometimes no required coding. Low-code development environments are graphical user interface that enables anyone to create without a single line of code. Teams build applications, templates, and databases. You can integrate APIs with programming skills. It’s a versatile environment. You should be familiar with this modern development environment. It is a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to design apps by clicking buttons and manipulating your mouse back and forth. For the simplistic low-code/no-code platforms all your need is basic computer literacy.  […]

Power outages, severe storms, and cyberattacks are on the rise. Your risk of data loss or service interruptions from a disaster has never been greater. A disaster recovery plan is your safety net, and disaster recovery software is the anchor for that net. You wouldn’t wait until after you fall to set up a safety net, would you? What is Disaster Recovery? You’ve probably experienced downtime with popular services like Twitter, Reddit, or Slack. When a business is unable to operate as normal, that’s an interruption in business continuity. Disaster recovery software aims to restore business continuity as quickly as possible after a sudden disruption. This time is called the recovery time objective (RTO). When your system goes down, there’s likely to be some amount of data loss as well. This is especially true for hardware-destroying disasters like fires or flooding. The maximum amount of time between the disaster and your most recent data backup is called the recovery point objective (RPO). Your RPO will determine your backup frequency. For example, a 30-minute RPO means you have to have a backup of your entire system every half-hour. Disaster recovery includes a lot of practices, techniques, and types of software. Check […]

Low-code environments offer the chance to build your ideal application with little to no coding experience. Companies can create their own custom calendars, inventory trackers, task management system, or really anything depending on the software. You don’t need to be the genius developer from the MIT stereotype from every 90s movie. The only requirement for low-code tools is you and your team just need to be willing to learn. What Is Low Code? Low-code means less coding is necessary. With low-code platforms, you would only have a few situations where you might need to do hand-coding. Some light research and helpful websites have ready-made code templates available. You can also ask for help on sites like StackOverflow or Reddit. Low-code development platforms (LCDP), also known as low-code application platforms (LCAP), offer frameworks with a graphical user interface (UI). This UI is a common staple in modern software today. You would recognize it as a drag-and-drop interface. With software like LCDPs, non-programmers create enterprise-grade apps. You don’t have to be an expert in frontend or backend programming languages because you don’t need traditional coding to develop custom applications. Low-code platforms are great for citizen developers who don’t have extensive experience in […]