saas lgIf you run a business and don’t know about Software as a Service (SaaS), you’re missing out on potential growth. Here are the top 11 essential SaaS tools that you need.

With 85 percent of businesses planning on investing in SaaS over the next five years, it's becoming clear that these services will run the companies of tomorrow.

“A large number of small businesses are opting for SaaS to automate everyday tasks and optimize important workflows. It’s not difficult to understand why. The best thing about SaaS is that it makes it easier for companies to add and access information whenever and wherever they want.

“What also works in favor of SaaS is the flexibility small businesses get out of using it. Instead of investing in expensive IT infrastructure, small companies need to just pay for an ongoing subscription. For cash-strapped businesses, this translates into savings,” says Shubhomita Bose in her Small Business Trends article.

What is SaaS? Basically, it means software that runs on remote servers but looks and feels like it runs on your computer. (More SaaS basics.)

[quotesright]The key thing is, you don’t have to bother with software updates, etc. and implementation is usually both quick and very scalable as your needs grow.[/quotesright]

The question is, what software do you choose? There are a lot of options out there, and you have a limited budget. This post will show you 11 of the top choices for you to choose from.

1. Slack

Do you still primarily use email to communicate through your company?

Slack is a great alternative that provides you an open communication platform to talk with your team.

Slack works through the use of channels that you create. You use the channel feature to develop spaces for projects, departments, and management.

Centralizing your communications removes a lot of email threads and puts everything in an easy to use searchable format. Further, Slack integrates with a lot of third-party apps, some of which you’re probably already using.

2. Asana

If you are having trouble keeping your projects organized or are just looking to digitize everything to make things easier, Asana is just up your alley.

Asana is a project management tool for team collaboration. It allows the creation of multiple projects, assigning project tasks, setting deadlines, and nesting your project in whatever way you need.

You can use multiple visualizations of your project to get the overview you need. It supports Kanban, timelines, and calendar boards.

3. Buffer

If you use social media in your business in any way, you need a way to manage your activity.

Buffer gives this to you by allowing you to manage all your social media presence in one place.

With this tool, you no longer need to log into each account to post your status updates. You can post and schedule your content from one interface. Scheduling this saves you and your staff time managing multiple accounts.

4. Salesforce

Tracking leads, having a sales funnel, and maintaining your existing customers is essential if you want to stay in business.

Salesforce provides you this capability in one place. It is a CRM software that allows you to track all your business contacts.

Not only does it track them, but you can also distinguish between leads and customers. The leads can be pushed through a sales process in the software to convert them into paying customers.

Another feature of Salesforce tracks your customer's interactions and needs. This feature allows you to stay on top of things to give your customers the service they deserve.

Salesforce Too Complicated or Expensive?

Smaller firms may not require all the features the big packages like Salesforce offer but still need a high performance CRM to help their sales teams manage customer relationships.  Pipedrive could be exactly what you are looking for with low cost, simple setup, ease of use, minimal administration but with an array of features that close sales and give owners and sales managers the financial and tracking information they need.

5. GoToMeeting

Do you hold a lot of meetings?

Nobody likes meetings, but sometimes you can't get around them. GoToMeeting allows your meetings to take place over the web so you can bring in people from anywhere.

Customers, remote workers, and employees out of town on business no longer need to be physically present to be part of company meetings.

They also provide a mobile app that allows you to meet on the road without being in front of a computer.

Other excellent choices in this category are Zoom and Bluejeans.

6. ZenDesk

If you serve customers, then you need a way to handle their requests.

Zendesk offers you a customer ticket portal where you can house your customer requests. Your customer service agents are then assigned to customer tickets to solve customer issues.

A ticketing system allows you to easily assign and manage work, so nothing gets left behind.

7. ProProfs Knowledge Base

Do you have a method to find information at your company?

Without a way to organize and share knowledge, it can be hard to find information promptly. Having a knowledge base available allows you to centralize company knowledge for everyone.

ProProfs Knowledge Base allows you to do this by creating wiki pages for company information that is searchable in a database.

Instead of tracking down the one or two people who have what you need, you only need to run a simple search to find it.

8. BambooHR

HR can be one of the most complicated things to manage in business.

Luckily, with SaaS tools that process has become much more straightforward.

BambooHR is a service that provides you an all-in-one portal to manage everything HR related. With this service, you are provided with an employee directory which lets you manage your employee vacations, complaints, new hires, and everything else that you would need to handle manually.

Another innovative feature provided by this service is performance management. [quotesright]With this, you can track metrics to see how your staff is performing and if they are hitting their goals.[/quotesright]

9. Aircall

For any customer-centric organization being able to route calls quickly and reliably is essential. Aircall provides you this service.

The Aircall phone system will allow you to manage your phone traffic in real time and distribute calls to the team members that can handle them. It provides tracking to record time on calls and includes integration with other SaaS products to keep your customer information up to date.

10. Toggl

Hourly billing can be tough to track, so having a way to record your time is essential in a business that works on an hourly basis.

Toggl provides this by providing timesheet reports you can use to pay your employees and send to your customers. It is a transparent way to report time to make sure everyone is in the loop and satisfied.

11. Freshbooks

Freshbooks is one of the leaders in online accounting.

This software provides one place to handle all your accounting needs. You can track income and expenses, invoice your customers, and take payments.

The reporting tools Freshbooks provides will allow you to easily keep track of your money to keep cash flow under control and keep track of everything you need for tax season.

Find More of The Best SaaS (And Other Business Software) Tools Today

SaaS tools are coming out left and right, but you can find the leaders of the pack by looking a little closer. By investing in these products today, you are investing in making your business more productive for the future.

Are some of above solutions too complicated or don’t meet your needs? To fine out what other software solutions are available and how users rate them, visit Captera Software Reviews; millions of people find the best business software solutions there.

Are you looking for more ways to grow? Read our articles on growth strategies that can help improve your bottom line.