In entrepreneurship, the key to building a successful business all comes down to your ability to enable and empower your team members to do their best work. If you’re like other early-stage entrepreneurs and first-time startup founders, you’re faced with the unique challenge that comes with needing to build a profitable, sustainable business while also having to invest time and resources into growing and nurturing your very own team from the ground up for the very first time.
To beat the odds and survive your first two, five, and even 10 years as a new business, you can’t just focus on one area and not the other. In other words, you could put all the time and energy you have into building fantastic products and services that help you attract and retain customers, but without the support of a solid team to help you scale your efforts and build a sustainable business, you’ll never make it in the long run. In this blog post, we’re going to save the topic of building great products and services for another time and focus instead on providing you with a list of productivity tools that you can use to empower and nurture your growing startup team.
Here are 40 productivity tools worth investing in as your team and business both continue to grow:
Tools for Your Sales Team
- Yesware This tool allows your sales team to track who opens and clicks on your emails, whether they opened on desktop or mobile, and keep track of the status of the messages they send to prospects. Yesware also provides the functionality to schedule emails to send at a later time, to receive reminders to follow up on important emails and hot leads, and the ability to use mail merge to send personalized messages to a large list of emails at once. Pricing starts at $12 PER USER/MONTH
- LeadChat This tool allows your sales team to insert conversion-driven live chat directly onto your site with minimal help from your development team. With Leadchat installed on your site, you never have to worry about missing out on interested prospects. The tool connects you with a team of conversion experts who stand ready to engage with your website visitors whenever they need help or have a question about your services or products. You work directly with an account representative who makes it their mission to learn everything they can about your business, the common objections your prospects have, and how to overcome them in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Pricing starts at $99 PER MONTH
- Outreach This tool makes it easy for your sales team to keep track of communication across multiple channels. Outreach can also help your sales team build personalized drip sequences, send replies at the perfect time, and monitor engagement in order to take advantage of leads when they’re most valuable. The tool automatically ranks leads in order of importance based on who is most engaged, who is available to talk, and where they are in the sales funnel. Pricing: DEMO REQUIRED
- App Data Room This tool allows you to quickly and easily create customized mobile sales apps for your sales team. App Data Room gives you the option of building the app yourself by uploading your logo and adding content, or working with their team of developers to develop the right app for your business. Once your app is set up, your sales team members can quickly access it for sales presentations, information sheets, case studies, customer testimonials, and any other relevant information that they might want to use to close deals. Pricing starts at $25 PER USER/MONTH
- Slybroadcast With its patented voice mail delivery technology, this tool allows your sales team to send pre-recorded voicemails directly to the voicemail boxes of prospects. With Slybroadcast, you don’t have to worry about catching prospects at the wrong time or talking to them in real-time. Instead, you can craft the right message for your audience, skip the live phone call, and have your message show up right in the voicemail inbox of anyone on your list. You also get powerful analytics about how many voicemails were successfully delivered and how many people listened to your message. Pricing starts at 100 deliveries for $10
Tools for Your Marketing Team
- Asana This tool can save your marketing team time and boost efficiency by allowing team members to manage projects from one place. Asana is a project management tool that your marketing team can use to track project progress, set deadlines and to-do lists, have conversations with one another, and integrate with a handful of other marketing tools for even more productivity. Pricing starts at free!
- Canva Canva saves your marketing team time by allowing them to quickly and easily create powerfully compelling visuals for blog posts, social media updates, slide decks, and other marketing collateral. This tool includes a handful of templates, backgrounds, images, and icons that you can customize and edit in order to match the look and feel of your own brand. Images can be conveniently exported directly to your desktop and used in a matter of seconds. Pricing starts at $9.95 PER MONTH (for Canva For Work)
- CoSchedule This tool allows your marketing team to build and manage editorial blogging calendars right from within Wordpress. With CoSchedule, the person managing your blogging efforts can plan, write, schedule, publish, and share content all from one place. It eliminates the need to go back and forth between multiple Word docs, emails, Google calendars, and other tools that you might be used to using when it comes to managing blog post publishing for your startup. Pricing starts at $60 PER MONTH
- Buffer This tool saves your social media marketing manager time by allowing them to easily schedule social media updates for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Buffer also just launched a tool called Respond that allows you to keep track of and engage with any messages you get from prospects, clients, and followers on Twitter. Pricing starts at free!
- AdRoll This tool helps boost productivity when it comes to creating and launching effective advertising campaigns aimed at attracting and converting new customers online. AdRoll is a powerful advertising tool that you can use to create retargeting ads for the web, mobile, and on social media sites. The platform offers access to over 500 ad exchanges, including native inventory like Apple iAd, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Pricing: DEMO REQUIRED
Tools for Your Product/Development Team
- Jira This is a project management tool specifically built and geared toward agile development teams. Jira allows your development team to boost productivity by making it easy for them to build and customize scrum boards, Kanban boards, integrate with other development tools, and keep track of projects as they progress from idea to completion. Pricing starting at $10 PER MONTH
- Github This tool allows your team to collaborate, have conversations about, and make changes to code. Github can also be used to protect projects, host and secure code, manage permission levels for various team members, share work, integrate with others tools, and get access to important data and insights related to ongoing projects. Pricing starts at $9 PER USER/MONTH
- Slack This is a powerful messaging app used by thousands of businesses and companies of all sizes all around the world. It’s a great platform to leverage when you need to communicate and collaborate with remote employees. Your development team can boost productivity by using Slack along with the other tools they use to push updates and new projects to production. Slack also makes it possible for your development team to add bots to group chats, which can also boost productivity among team members. Finally, development teams can create custom integrations through the open API. Pricing starts at free!
- RescueTime RescueTime is a simple app that can help your developers understand how their using their time during the day, what their biggest online distractions are, and how to boost productivity. The app tracks time spent on websites and apps, sends automatic notifications so you know how much time you’ve spent on a particular activity, and even allows users to block distracting websites for periods of time during the workday. Pricing starts at free!
- Trello This is a great tool for your developers to leverage in order to track their own individual progress on certain projects. It can also be used as a project management tool for your team if you decide to not use a tool like Jira. Trello leverages the Kanban system to create a simplified way to view and manage ongoing projects from start to finish. Developers can use Trello to set deadlines, communicate with others if needed, create to-do lists, attach and store files, and connect with other apps. Pricing: Starts at free!
Tools for Your Support Team
- Intercom This tool simplifies the communication your support and success teams ultimately have with your customers. Intercom boosts productivity by allowing your support team to chat live with customers and interested prospects through live chat on your website, in email, and in your app (if applicable). Intercom is also used to onboard new customers and re-capture customers who have churned or gone dark recently. As a manager, you can see conversations in real-time, access conversation archives, and collaborate behind the scenes when your employees need an extra hand. Pricing starting at $49 PER MONTH
- Elevio This tool acts as a 24/7 support concierge for your website. Elevio pulls in data from a number of other sources—your help desk, your blog, your release notes, and more in order to provide visitors with the relevant information they’re looking for at the exact moment when they need it. The tool also makes it easy for visitors to engage with your support team through forms, live chat, and support ticket requests. To learn more about how you can leverage it for your startup, click here. Pricing starting at $41 PER MONTH
- Ilos Video This tool helps your support team boost productivity by allowing them to easily record, share, and store videos on the cloud. It allows your support team to quickly develop helpful, personalized videos that directly address the problems or questions your customers need help with. Pricing: DEMO REQUIRED
- RingCentral This tool allows you to create phone system for your business in the cloud. With RingCentral, you can assign phone numbers to each of your employees and allow them to answer and respond to calls from the convenience of their own computers. This can be especially beneficial for startups looking to save costs on phone equipment, or for startups with widely dispersed remote teams. The platform is fairly robust, so spend some time reviewing features to decide if it’s the right tool for your team. Pricing starting at $24 PER USER/MONTH
- X.ai This tool helps your support team spend less time scheduling demo calls or product/service-related calls with customers who need help. X.ai is an artifical intelligence assistant that collaborates directly with you and the person requesting a meeting with you. Click here to see how it works. Pricing starts at free!
Tools for Your Executive Team
21. Lattice As an executive, it’s important to stay productive and efficient when it comes to setting and tracking company-wide and team-specific goals. Lattice is a tool that streamlines the entire process by allowing you to set personal, team, and company goals. The app makes it easy for you as a manager or executive to see the bigger picture and get updates on goals in a matter of a few seconds. Pricing starting at $10 PER MONTH
22. TINYPulse This is another tool that allows you as the manager or head of the company to get an accurate pulse from your employees. TINYPulse is a tool that you can use to anonymously survey the employees at your company in order to identify successes, opportunities, and problem areas. Surveys are sent via email, questions can be customized week-to-week, and employees have the opportunity to provide you with essential feedback without having to fear any sort of repercussions. Pricing starting at $5 PER USER/MONTH
23. Promoter.io Promoter.io is similar to TINYPulse, but it helps you keep a pulse on customers instead. This tool allows you to save time collecting essential feedback from customers by inviting them to fill out an NPS or Net Promoter Score survey about your business. An NPS survey essentially asks customers how likely they would be to recommend your business to a friend. The tool allows you to send surveys to different lists, reminders to people who don’t respond right away, and makes it easy for you to set recurring surveys at various time intervals throughout the year. Responses are compiled and calculated in order to give you a quick snapshot at the reputation of your business and happiness of your customers. Pricing starting at $50 PER MONTH
24. Do This tool helps you as the executive run more effective meeting with your team members. Do makes it easy for users to set meeting agendas, share them with coworkers, upload files, and take private notes. You also get powerful insights that paint a picture of how productive or costly your meetings are throughout the year and give you actionable recommendations on how to boost productivity at your company. Pricing starting at $10 PER USER/MONTH
25. Zirtual Zirtual can provide you with a virtual assistant to help you complete the tasks that you don’t have time for or shouldn’t be spending time on. Your Zirtual assistant can help you with business tasks such as writing copy, scheduling meetings, responding to emails, and booking flights, and they can also help you with personal tasks like sending gifts, managing expense reports, and making purchases on your behalf. Pricing starting at $398 PER MONTH
Tools for Your Office / Administrative Team
26. Zenefits Zenefits is an all-in-one HR platform that can help streamline the tedious back-office tasks your office/admin team has to deal with each month. Zenefits offers tools for payroll, benefits, tracking time, recruiting and onboarding employees (employee talent management), compliance, and management. All employee information is stored within one easy-to-access dashboard. Pricing is free!
27. Google Apps for Work Google apps is another suite of tools that can be leveraged by office and administrative teams to boost productivity and streamline tedious tasks. Within the Google Apps for Work suite exists tools for email, video conferencing, calendar, document sharing and collaboration, spreadsheet management and creation, slide deck creation, and other admin/management functions. Pricing starting at $5 PER USER/MONTH
28. Dropbox Dropbox is the go-to tool that most businesses big and small are using to store and share files across teams, clients, and other relevant parties. The tool offers secure file sharing, varying permission level management options for users, and all the space you need as you work to scale your business. Pricing starting at $15 PER USER/MONTH
29. Hivy Hivy boosts office management productivity by allowing employees and office managers to interact about office requests from the convenience of one system. It eliminates the need for office admins to search through emails and chat logs in order to find requests that were made from employees about restocking supplies, food, and other needs for the office. To learn more about how this tool works, click here. Pricing starting at $26 PER MONTH
30. SnackNation SnackNation can boost productivity by automating the task of shopping for snacks for the office. Snack boxes are expertly curated to meet the needs of your team and delivered directly to your office as often as you need. Pricing varies
Tools for Your Accounting/IT/Finance/Data Team
31. Chartio This tool allows data teams to compile essential business intelligence and reporting data into visually-compelling dashboards that are updated in real-time. Chartio helps you start tracking and visualizing data in no time so you can collaborate with others and identify and react to important business opportunities in less time. This tool is fairly robust and worth exploring in more detail. To do so, click here for a full product tour. Pricing: DEMO REQUIRED
32. Google Analytics Google Analytics is another must-have tool that can help boost productivity and success as your company scales. Google Analytics can give your data team powerful insights into website engagement metrics, conversion metrics, and essential data relating to your audience. Data team members can use Google Analytics to build custom reports and set up event tracking to save time compiling data and searching for the right opportunities. Pricing starts at free!
33. inDinero This tool makes it easy for your accounting team to boost back-office productivity by allowing users to access and manage important financial information from the convenience of one cloud-based platform. inDinero connects accounting professionals at your startup with the people and tools they need to help you keep the doors open, the people happy, and the company growing. In addition to providing access to a community of accounting experts, inDinero gives users access to powerful accounting software that features a custom reporting dashboard, real-time bank account syncs, department impact reporting, revenue stream summaries, and much more. Pricing: DEMO REQUIRED
34. CrashPlan This tool allows IT managers at your startup to save time backing up systems and securing copies of sensitive information in case of an accident or breach. CrashPlan works to continuously back up data at your startup so you never have to worry about losing important information. This is another robust platform worth diving deeper into. To explore all the features offered, click here. Pricing starting at $6 PER USER/MONTH
35. Slidebean Slidebean is a simple slide deck creation tool that can boost productivity for your finance team when it comes time to prepare pitch decks and investor update presentations. With Slidebean, you can make your presentation in minutes by choosing a template, adding your content, and customizing to fit with your brand voice and style. Pricing starting at $26 PER MONTH
Tools for Everyone
36. Evernote Evernote can be a great tool to leverage for boosting individual productivity. Evernote makes it easy for anyone to take notes, create to-do lists, and collaborate with others about ideas and ongoing projects. It’s a cloud-based system, which means you can update and access your data from anywhere. Pricing starts at free!
37. Voxer This tool helps you collaborate and communicate with other team members in real-time through audio, chat messaging, and other rich media. Voxer is a walkie talkie app that promotes real-time communication without having to dial numbers or wait for team members to answer the phone. Messages can be left and responded to whenever it’s most convenient for team members to do so. Pricing starts at free!
38. Zapier Zapier is a powerful way to connect all the different apps you use on a daily basis. The platform leverages zaps, which help you connect any two Zapier-supported apps to each other in order to boost productivity and save time. To learn more about how Zapier works, watch this video. Pricing starts at free!
40. Spotify Finally, Spotify is a streaming music tool that you can use throughout the day to eliminate distractions, focus on work, and get more done. It works on web, mobile, and desktop. The premium version will allow you to listen with no ads, download music and listen offline, get better sound quality, and play any track you want to hear. Pricing starts at free!
What other tools are you using to boost productivity at your startup? Tell us in the comments below.