These days, your tech stack is more valuable to your business than many of the tools and resources that you use. Naturally, that means that you want to maximize the value of the partnerships that you make when choosing software vendors, SaaS providers, and other products and services that you use within your business. Strategic partnerships are an essential element in business growth.
Software is now an essential part of your business. It’s no longer a “perk” or a cool feature that you can add to outpace the competition. Fortunately, it’s also a lot more accessible and affordable than ever before, so you should be able to find all the right tools (and partnerships) without killing your budget. Here are some tips.
Strategy is all about making the most of what you have or use. Therefore, your best bet is to find the fewest software tools that can do the most for your business. Take a brand like Salesforce or HubSpot, for example, who both have multiple software solutions for their customers, including everything from CRMs to marketing tools and so much more.
You can even find platforms like Zapier, where you can integrate and combine your software, even if it’s not organically designed to work together. This can make it easier for you to do more with whatever software you use and get more for your money at the same time.
(For example, when you partner with Smith.ai, you can get support for outreach campaigns, along with plenty of other solutions, for one low cost. More on that later.)
This can be valuable to your reputation and professional image. It can also help position you as an authority within your industry. Although you won’t always find dedicated industry solutions for each and every tech need, there’s a lot more out there than you might think. Even just choosing the leading CRM for your industry or picking an analytics platform that focuses on your specific type of business is a step in the right direction here.
Look for people and businesses that you can partner with, but make sure that those partnerships are necessary and mutually beneficial. There’s no reason just to rack up a list of “partners” for bragging rights when you don’t actually gain anything from them, or vice versa.
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how can you find it? This is why it’s so important for you to have a plan before you start looking for software solutions (or anything else for your business). Create a set of goals and expectations for each software tool that you need. Then, use that list to help you sort through the options and find the best partnerships.
Partner with those who have similar goals and values. Look for companies that are committed to the same types of efforts as you or that focus on the same elements. This will ensure that your partnerships are effective and capable of doing what you need. It will also avoid wasting time on connections that might not be a perfect fit.
Salesforce has been the leading sales CRM for almost a decade. HubSpot and Semrush are the place(s) to go for SEO insights and tools. You don’t necessarily have to choose these brands, or any specific companies at all, per se. What matters is choosing software companies and solutions that come from reputable sources. You want to invest in the best of the best for your business, after all.
When you’re narrowing down the software solutions you’ll use, check out things like reviews, testimonials, and even search rankings. Do a simple search for whatever software you seek and see what brands come up first or get the best ratings. Thanks to the wealth of firsthand and third-party reviews online, it’s not hard to find the best partnerships with the best companies.
This is a strategic move that saves you a lot of time, money, and resources. If you build lifelong relationships with your software partners, you won’t have to source new ones every time your needs change or a new issue develops. Part of this comes from choosing robust, dynamic partners that have more to offer than just one software tool or platform. The other part comes in being able to forecast your future needs and potential demands that may affect these partnerships down the road.
Changing partners also disrupts your workflows and may require a change to your processes, strategies, and goals. It should only be done when necessary, which is usually simple since the tech world is full of scalable solutions today.
There are a host of free software tools and resources out there today that your business can benefit from. Of course, not everything free is effective, nor is every good software solution going to have a free version. Strategic thinking comes in being able to designate between which tools you can get from free sources and which software you really need to invest in to achieve your goals and deliver the level of service your customers expect.
Feel free to ask vendors about free trials, demos, and other ways that you can save when you’re trying to figure out who belongs in your tech stack for good. You might even get a better offer for an ongoing relationship than what the pricing page says if you just ask—it isn’t a guarantee, but knowing that cost is a concern can make your potential partners reconsider.
In addition to software tools, you can also find teams that help with all types of tasks and routine duties, and that have software that can help you even further. For example, when you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you can get a dedicated team to support your outreach campaigns, along with assistance for lead intake and appointment scheduling. We can even act as your 24/7 answering service so you never miss a lead while you’re building your business partnerships.