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The Supply Chain Is Evolving. Are You Evolving With It?

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Supply chain management is an art that’s constantly evolving, thanks to new insights, new approaches, and most importantly, new technologies. It’s hard to predict when and how those changes will manifest, but the best companies aren’t ones that can perfectly predict the future-they’re the ones that understand that the supply chain changes, and are willing to adapt to those changes as they unfold.

So why are so many companies reluctant to adopt a framework that allows them to evolve with the supply chain? And what changes can you implement in your own company to keep up with those changes?

How the Supply Chain Has Evolved So Far

First, it pays to acknowledge how far the supply chain has come, both to estimate just how quickly the supply chain can change, and to understand how well-prepared companies could have benefited from faster transitions along the way. For a good 40 years, industries relied on spreadsheets and macros to keep track of all their transactions. After technology allowed for real-time data collection and storage, businesses started adopting more thorough business intelligence tools. Over the course of a decade, tracking platforms became mobile and far more sophisticated, capable of integrating with more software platforms and producing more in-depth reports. Today, we’re seeing an overhaul thanks to collaborative analytics, predictive analytics, and IoT-which allows real-time asset tracking and far more productive employees.

Why Companies Pick and Hold a Solution

But instead of rapidly integrating new technologies as they become available, most companies pick a solution and stick with it as long as possible, sometimes outright ignoring years-old technology that would technically be an improvement just so they can keep their current systems in place.

Why is this the case?

  • Lack of predictability. First, it’s notoriously hard to predict how the supply chain is going to develop from here. We can generally assume that new devices, new software, and other capabilities will emerge, but what those devices and software will look like is much more of a gamble. Without a clear roadmap for how the future is going to look, companies feel forced to make decisions based solely on what’s available in the present (or the very near future). This leads to many systems that can’t possibly be relevant in the distant future, and will likely be obsolete in a matter of years.
  • Costs of training and adoption. Next, integrating a new high-tech supply chain management system is costly, both in terms of time and money. If your company tore down and rebuilt its supply chain management system every time there was a new upgrade available, you’d go bankrupt in a matter of years. Employees need some degree of consistency in order to perform well, and if they’re constantly getting trained on new equipment and new apps, they’ll never be able to operate at peak productivity.
  • Status quo bias. Supply chain managers are also frequently afflicted with status quo bias, which makes them see their current system as more valuable and practical than it really is. When a system works decently, managers may see no reason to commit a new upgrade; as a simplistic example, imagine you had a money machine that printed out a fresh $1 bill every morning. You’d probably be satisfied with this, and wouldn’t invest much mental energy imagining how to upgrade it – even if a handful of changes could make it print 2 $1 bills every morning instead.

The Better Approach

So what would be the better approach? Most companies can’t afford to scrap their systems and replace them every time some new technology arises. Instead, the better approach is a gradual one, and one that anticipates the changes in technology to come in the future-even knowing that those changes may be unpredictable.

Your first step is adopting solutions from companies that are known to evolve with the times; adopting a cloud platform that issues new versions on a regular basis is much better than purchasing a one-time management system and hoping it stays relevant for years to come. You can also pick a system that allows for more flexible external integrations; that way, you can upgrade the devices and other apps you use in conjunction with the system on a rotating basis, never dropping the money on a full system overhaul, but iteratively keeping your approach up to date.

There’s no “right” way to keep up with the supply chain, but with the knowledge that the supply chain isn’t going to stop evolving anytime soon, the onus is on you to remain flexible, and keep adapting as those changes roll out. Invest the time and budget necessary to keep your systems reasonably up to date, and keep your frameworks flexible enough to accommodate new changes.

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The 4 Benefits of Outsourced IT Services


The global outsourced service market is valued at approximately $85.6 billion. Two-thirds of this market is devoted to outsourced IT services.

While it’s evident that companies are spending hugely on IT outsourcing, does it really work for all companies?

What about the risks and costs involved?

If you’re still unsure about outsourced IT services, here are four facts that’ll lead you to the right direction.

1. Outsourced IT Professionals are Experts and Always Available

While an in-house IT team may know the ins and outs of your company, they may not be well-versed with new technological trends.

An IT specialist knows the ins and outs of the latest business technologies. Top IT companies usually provide a professional team, and not a “one-man-band”. Thus, by outsourcing IT, you’ll be harnessing the collective expertise of several specialists.

Additionally, most IT firms offer dedicated 24/7 support plans for uninterrupted operations. In comparison, an in-house team is only available on a “nine-to-five” basis. Some of the members may also go on holidays several times a year.

2. Outsourcing IT is Cost-Effective

While cost may not be the main advantage of outsourcing, it’s an important deciding factor. This is especially true for start-ups businesses on a tight budget.

Hiring an in-house IT team may seem like a more affordable option for many. But if you factor in some volatile costs, outsourcing will prove to be the cheaper option. These costs may include software licenses, maintenance costs, hardware expenses, and cloud service subscriptions.

What’s more, outsourcing allows you to have a more consistent budget.

3. Outsourced IT Services Offer Better Security

Different businesses face different kinds of cybersecurity threats. An in-house team is more likely to make a few security mistakes. This can put your crucial business data at risk.

Hackers will use black hat and social engineering tactics to steal your data. Since IT companies have dealt with many cyber-attacks, there are familiar with these techniques. This puts them in a better position to protect your business against digital threats.

They’ll also use infrastructure that’s compliant with state cyber laws. For instance, if you’re in Houston, IT companies like Marimon IT Solutions, SITSL, and Preactive IT Solutions are well-versed with the do’s and don’ts of cybersecurity in the state.

4. Outsourcing IT Promotes Resource Optimization

Outsourcing IT services will help free your employees to do what they do best. For instance, if your in-house IT team specializes in building mobile apps, you’ll be wasting their potential if you assign them unfamiliar tasks such as repairing hardware problems. And that’s where an outsourced team comes in.

Outsourcing IT will also allow you to pay attention to other sectors of your business.

Leverage the Benefits of Outsourced IT Services

The main purpose of hiring outsourced IT services is to eliminate the stress that comes with managing your business’ IT system. A good IT company will help you grow and give you a competitive advantage. More importantly, your day-to-day business activities will run smoothly.

For more IT security insights for your business, check out this quick guide.

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3 Benefits of IOT for workforce productivity


In the past, one of the many snags firms faced in making informed decisions was in timely communication. After all, technology wasn’t as evolved as it is today. Project managers, in particular, felt the pinch of imprecise data, delayed responses, decisions being overruled and their teams’ contributions getting overlooked.

Things have thankfully changed, with the Internet of Things (IoT). An IoT network is quite simply, a web of connected devices that captures, processes and stores information. It further centralizes this data, thus saving precious hours in finding the right and relevant information. After all, when you know where and how things are filed away, your workload becomes considerably lighter, letting you multitask while remaining deadline-driven.

One of the reasons IoT enjoys immense popularity is that the host of sensors, barcodes and algorithms within the network render it robust from unlawful data tampering. This way, you’re assured stays safe, and correct. What’s more, when it comes to managing remote teams, a connected workplace makes it easier to coordinate facetime and facilitate team collaborations. Let’s see how and where the benefits of IoT start to show up!

1. Assigns skilled staff to the right projects

No artificial intelligence application works correctly without the right human-driven capabilities, which explains why the search for competent workers never truly ends. But how would you know the work you assign your staff are making use of the right skills?

The answer lies in a resource management tool, which profiles your existing workforce by their availability, capabilities, location and experience. This is critical to feasible projects, because you need to confirm two things before saying yes to new work;

  1. You have the right quality and quantity of staff and
  2. That they have the bandwidth and knowledge to take it up.

The speciality of a resource tracking and planning software is that it syncs electronic employee records into an IoT network, giving you the upper hand in deciding the right fit for work, in terms of the type and quantity of competent staff.

This way, you optimize schedules such that your staff get to be productive without feeling overwhelmed or undervalued. There is the notion that staff who put in more hours or stay back late are more productive but nothing could be further from the truth. What renders true workforce efficiency is a workload smoothened out using an IoT connected network. Besides giving team-based views and acute insights into project demands, an IoT network  gets both sides of the workforce equation right, guaranteeing uncompromised work quality for upcoming projects.

2. Unifies conversations for informed judgment calls

Excellent communication skills is a non-negotiable at work. In fact, communicating and making informed decisions is a package deal when you’re a seasoned manager.  For one, a project is backed financially which requires you to keep investors and clients informed of business activities at all times. And for another, you need to keep both your customers and employees engaged.

This is where the Internet of things come in. While retail stores worldwide are already relying on it to react and respond to changing consumer needs, an IoT connected workplace internally also gives you the opportunity to empower your employees, who are a vital  organizational asset. For starters, a smart office gets people up and moving, and has the potential to influence how employees perceive each other and their work environment.

An IoT network amped up with instant messaging dashboards, for example, lets team members added to the channel pull up relevant conversations concerning actions, decisions and responses.

It saves time by bringing everybody on to the same page, from work done and changes requested to extensions granted and pending tasks. While water-cooler breaks and hallway conversations is a great talking exercise,  what really keeps the lines of communication open is an online forum that digitizes conversations. This way, tasks stay on track with employees who spend their time on the clock productively.

3. Generates accurate effort estimates for project hours

One of the benefits of an IoT network is that it lets you estimate and forecast the supply of employees to foreseeable demand.

The booked versus actuals report is a feature typical of a resource planning tool. It weighs the number of planned hours for work against the actual hours your staff took or would take, to complete it. The intelligence within this report concerns your employees’ billable hours and the efforts invested. You can subsequently adjust your estimates such that

  1. If actual hours exceed originally planned hours, you can find and deploy better qualified staff in the future.
  2. If planned hours turn out to be more than actual hours, you can maximize all hours billed by your staff.

The advantage of embedding this within an IoT connected workplace is that you aren’t forced into a trade-off between skilled staff and complex work. In fact, your ability to generate precise effort and cost estimates actually strengthens, enabling you to stick to the budget when exploring newer work prospects.

The smart office today

A smart office makes it easy to stay organized and time-efficient. For one, it connects technology, people and the environment. Not only do you equip your workforce with the tools that boost their productivity but also give them flexible work options such as remote work and part-time hours.

After all, the option to work from home not only brings down stress levels but also lets remote teams maintain a healthy work-life balance, giving them one more reason to be productive. Corporate offices today are even benefiting from smart assistance, reduced energy bills and increased security,  paving the way to a conducive, flexible and agile work environment .

Thanks, Aakash Gupta, who has several articles on workforce efficiency and enterprise resource management to his credit and you can find him on LinkedIn.

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4 Online Threats to Your Business to Be Aware Of


Cybercrime has changed criminal activity. No longer are heists solely performed by rogues attempting to break into a building for money or jewelry.

Nowadays, business theft is likely to come in the form of a cyber attack, with a hacker attempting to gain access to their target’s funds or data via a cyber-portal, which they can often do with ease.

Sadly, malicious cyber attacks are a genuine threat to companies of all sizes and in every industry. To ensure your business never becomes a cybercriminal’s latest victim, here are the four online threats to your business to be aware of.

1. Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are one of the most common data security issues many companies face, and they can grant a cybercriminal with access to:

  • Usernames
  • Account passwords
  • Credit card information

Hackers will commonly pass themselves off as a legitimate source to fool their victims and encourage them to provide sensitive data.

The best defense against a phishing scam is cybersecurity training. Your employees often pose the biggest risk to your business when it comes to this hacking tactic, which is why you must educate your staff on the signs of a potential threat and introduce strict cybersecurity policies for them to follow.

2. Docker Exploitation

Many organizations have invested in container authorization tools to deploy their applications successfully.

While these tools are ultimately improving the working lives for many DevOps engineers, they could pose a serious cybersecurity risk if left vulnerable, as a hacker could remotely execute a code on a server and gain full control of a production container cluster.

Thankfully, there are ways to detect and prevent Docker exploits with StackRox, as they will test the product against realistic vulnerabilities using algorithmic-based automatic anomaly detection, without the need to configure complex, unreliable rules.

3. Session Hijacking

As millions of online consumers communicate with companies on different servers located across the globe, cybercriminals can potentially listen to a conversation before stealing sensitive data. To do so, they might embark on SQL injections or man-in-the-middle attacks.

Businesses must, therefore, implement various measures to secure future communications and protect both their safety and their customers’ data.

For example, they could incorporate cryptographic protocols, such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) to create safe and secure communications between a company’s servers and their client web browsers.

4. Ransomware

Ransomware is a powerful type of malware that attempts to gain access to a computer, before locking out a user and demanding money in exchange for the recovery key to regain access to a network and data.

It is becoming a popular option with cybercriminals due to the invention of cryptocurrency, which can prevent law enforcement from tracking a payment.

The 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack is a prime example of the power of the malware, as it led to the infection of approximately 300,000 computers across the world in 150 countries, with the total damages reportedly reaching billions of dollars.

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Top 20 Best CRM Software in 2019 for Small Business And Startups


Competition is getting fiercer in the global market. Companies are trying to put their best foot forward for surpassing their competitors. In this highly competitive environment attracting and retaining customers has become a challenging task. Which is why most of the companies are taking the help of a CRM tool to serve the customers in the best possible way.

CRM industry has seen exponential growth in the last few years. New players are constantly entering this market and trying to establish a strong foothold in the industry. Therefore, you’ll see a long list of CRM vendors while searching online. You’ll find everything from expensive tools with dozens of plans to customizable solutions with excellent features. From these ample options available, you need to filter and find the best for your organization.

Tough job- isn’t it?

Fright not, to help you I have listed the best CRM software for 2019. Businesses of all sizes have used these tools.

We will go through the pros, cons and prices of each CRM tool to make the right decision. See which tools are tailored for the enterprises and which you should be using for your small business or startup.

Let’s ponder over the fundamentals first before getting to the CRM software list of 2019.

The basics

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Yes, it is a quite self-explanatory term. It means a software that helps you in managing and optimizing relationships with your valuable customers. It helps in managing your contacts data up-to-date, tracking interactions with prospects and streamlining the entire sales process.

“Corporations invest in sophisticated CRM, or Customer relationship management, programs to effectively oversee their relationship with their customers at every point during the buying process”- Marc Ostrofsky

Why should small business invest in a CRM?

The more knowledge you have about your customers, the better you can serve them. With a specific CRM for small business you can analyze the customer requirements and understand what they exactly need. CRM solution supports you in the journey of converting leads into sales. It is the best way to gain greater insights into customer behavior, buying trends, customer interaction and potential future requirements of the customers.

With a CRM tool you can:

  • Track deals and identify risk in real-time
  • Find out prospect’s needs and expectations
  • Store all customer data and notes in one place
  • Access vital details of the customer from anywhere
  • Create custom fields to gather specific details about your customers
  • Prioritize high-value opportunities
  • Identify satisfied customers and convert them into brand promoters
  • Automate most of the reductant tasks
  • Spot hot deals and convert them quickly

To explore more benefits of this excellent technology, refer the blog” How businesses benefit from CRM system?”

Statistics about CRM

Here are a few crm statistics that you should know:

  • 91% of companies with 10 or more employees have a CRM system.
  • 64.2% of companies, rate CRM tool as impactful or very impactful.
  • 75% of sales honchos said that a CRM could be a beneficial tool in boosting sales figures.
  • CRM offers an average ROI of $8.71 for every dollar spent.
  • A study by Nucleus Research states that CRM increases sales by 29% and sales forecast accuracy by 42%.

Top CRM tools for 2019

Based on the reviews written on various reviewing sites I have compiled these top 20 CRM software for 2019.

1) Salesforce


Starting with a price of $25/user, Salesforce is easy to setup and can be placed in the cloud so easy to access. It has a wide spectrum of features and can be integrated with thousands of third-party applications. Salesforce is customizable to fit almost every use case and is secured, having granular security options. This CRM tool also caters multiple industries


One of its biggest downfalls is that it requires you to spend extra for advanced features. The tool is also slightly complex and requires specialized resources. The new update changes the tab orders and complicates the dashboard escalating the difficulty level. Finally, the customization toolkits can be challenging to use especially if you’re new to the concept.

Bottom line:

Salesforce is a power-packed solution that shows the quickest way to solve a business problem. However, this high-end CRM can be a little expensive for small businesses; it is an ideal solution for large-scale enterprises.

2. Insightly


Insightly’s price starts from $29/user. It is easy to use and invite new users. Along with this, its neat dashboard can be used for quick lookups and it also offers training videos to familiarize new users with various functionalities. It has excellent lead and pipeline management. Finally, the tool has a strong support team for instant help and provides wide options to import data making migration hassle-free


On the downside, Insightly has limited reporting capabilities and you must pay more to get highly useful features. Moreover, the visual impact is also missing which can effect the effectiveness of the software.

 Bottom line:

Insightly is an intuitive tool tailored for multi-level organizations. It has a broad range of features that helps in managing both marketing and sales. Insightly offers a free version, but that doesn’t consist the vital functionalities needed to ease sales and marketing process.

3. Salesmate



Salesmate is one of the software with lowest prices with $12/user. It is sasy to use and affordable and can be customized sales pipeline fitting unique sales process. Salesmate also eliminates manual work by providing seamless automation. It also has a built-in virtual phone system. It can also be synced with Google apps(G-Suite) and allows user to create unlimited customer reports.

Salesmate has a great mobile apps that is quick and responsive. The app is also well-designed and customizable dashboard. It provides daily reminder for completing tasks on time and is easy for lead nurturing and management. The app is also having excellent tracking and analytics capabilities. The app also provides extensive visibility into each stage of sales pipeline and integrates with a wide spectrum of third-party apps


There aren’t a lot of cons to the salesmate software. The only two are that the outgoing emails sent through system do not create contacts directly and it lacks marketing automation features

Bottom line:

Salesmate is an intelligent CRM software for small business and startups with wide spectrum of vital features to improve your sales process. It amalgamates ease of use with excellent customer relationship management functions. It is affordable and perfectly suits the on-the-go working environment.

4. PipelineDeals


PipelineDeals software starts from $25/user. The software has a simple interface and powerful sales engagement features. Users can also access and add contracts from anywhere. Another feature that sets it apart is that it offers real time deal status update and allows users to set workflows and automate tasks.


The software has limited integrations with third-party applications and lacks click to dial options.

Bottom line-

PipelineDeals is a well-designed tool that helps companies in streamlining operation and standardizing processes. It easy to set up and use. PipelineDeals helps businesses of all types in effectively managing and maintaining strong customer relationships.

5. Hubspot


Hubspot starts from $50/user (for marketing hub & sales hub – $400 for service hub). It eliminates manual work by providing seamless automation and automatically logs every interaction. The software also provides educational support and allows users to schedule interaction with contacts. It integrates with various applications and platforms and has excellent tracking and analytics capabilities.


Hubspot needs a 12-month contract to work. It doesn’t have A/B testing is the basic or pro package. While HubSpot does offer a wide range of tools, most of them are free on other platforms

Bottom line-

Hubspot is renowned for its marketing automation tools. The user can easily generate campaigns and instantly get relevant information about any specific company by just adding the company’s name. It is convenient to use; businesses can find everything they need in one place.

6. Pipedrive

Pipedrive’s price starts from $12.50/user and it provides clear overview of sales. It can be easily integrated with third-party business systems and aids in picking and focusing on the right deal with an organized timeline. The software also offers customization for unique business needs.

Furthermore, all conversations and related information about a contact is stored in centralized repository. The software also allows users to import data and sync emails and provides timely notification about each event. Finally, it is recommended because it enables projection of sales revenue


Pipedrive doesn’t have the necessary features for sales other than pipeline in the basic plan and filtering data becomes cumbersome at times.

Bottom line:

Companies of any size can use Pipedrive. It supports over 100+ apps and integrations. Pipedrive makes work easier and faster. Businesses can easily set up customizable pipelines and manage their leads efficiently.

7. Zoho CRM


Zoho CRM starts from $12/user. It has a wide spectrum of customization options and offers compelling reports and visualizations. It allows users to customize the look and feel of the page. The CRM tracks customer interactions and allows mass updates. It is also easy to create quotes with this software and integrates well with G-Suite apps.


It becomes complicated to integrate the CRM with Zoho’s other suite of software products and additional purchases are essential to make the solution robust.

Bottom line:

Connecting with customers across multiple channels gets easier with Zoho CRM. It is simple yet highly effective CRM. Zoho is fast to deploy. It aids businesses in streaming their marketing, sales and inventory management functions with a bunch of software products.

8. Vtiger


Vtiger’s price starts from $10/user and it loads faster due to less complicated functionalities. Users can create new workflows by setting up conditions, alerts, and actions and can effortlessly create or edit modules with drag-and-drop tools. The software offers open source add-ons for Microsoft Outlook and the vital data is stored in secured data warehouse. Finally, it offers uninterrupted access to data


Vtiger’s installation is a bit tricky and the notifications on mobile app are sometimes delayed

Bottom line:

Vtiger is an open source CRM that aids companies in getting organized and managing sales as well as support for rendering excellent buying experience to their customers. It helps the companies in getting better by providing in-depth analytics.

9. Capsule


Capsule’s price starts from $18/user/month. The software is flexible and easy to get started. It allows users to categorize data using tags and contact lists can be created and used to send group email. Capsule supports integration with leading small business solutions and allows users to track the progress of their tasks and projects


There’s a huge gap between free and professional account and the storage limit needs to be increased. Only limited tools can be integrated and customization can be challenging.

Bottom line:

Capsule CRM gives businesses complete control over their contacts and sales. They can easily keep a tab on their customers and related information using this high-end tool. Capsule is a well built and easy to navigate. There is no long-term lock, users can upgrade and cancel as per their requirement.

10. OnePageCRM


OnepPage CRM’s price starts from $11/user. It captures leads from across the web using web forms and lead clippers and tracks deals in progress. The dashboard provides a neat list of to-do task and is easy to navigate. It also has an excellent interface and extensive learning resources


The CRM doesn’t have an inbuilt calendar though you can sync it with your own. It’s reporting functions are limited and customization options for large-scale organizations. Moreover, there’s no built-in calling.

Bottom line:

OnePage CRM is a cloud-based CRM that allows business to focus on the next step of action with a clean and systematically organized dashboard. All the important information is available in place making it easier for users to keep tab on things that matter for their business.

11) Nimble

Nimble’s price starts from $9/user and it easily filters and segments contacts. The software also aids in enhancing communication and automatically adds business and contact information to the leads based on their email signature. It also allows users to track communication history and progress of various tasks and provides timely reminders. Finally, it also has excellent workflow automation.


There are no sales reporting under basic plan and no pipeline management under basic plan. It lacks email tracking functionality and doesn’t offer built-in calling or third-party integration.

Bottom line:

Nimble is a social CRM that automatically creates and updates relevant information about the prospect or customer. It seamlessly syncs with all the social media channel and give the users the details they need for converting their leads.

12. Nutshell


Nutshell starts from $19/user/month. It offers extensive integration with advanced third-party apps and allows users to keep track on daily follow-ups. Nutshell offers tutorial to acquaint the users with the platform and allows users to create, search and edit contact data easily.

It also offers unlimited online storage and provides multichannel customer supports and integrates with Microsoft office, G suite and office 365.


The software has limited integrations and multi-language options and there’s no email automation under basic plan. Furthermore, there’s no product training under basic plan and no sales activity report.

Bottom line:

Nutshell is a simple yet impactful CRM that helps businesses in staying organized and keeps them well-informed about sales opportunities in their database. It is a fully customizable solution that has an attractive interface and is quick to set up.


Pros’s price starts from $59/user and one of its biggest benefits is that it automates follow-up process. It also allows users to create custom fields and reduces data-entry. The software automatically logs calls and emails, captures contact data of customers and is built-in VOIP.

Cons:’s price is high as compared to various other competitive CRM for the similar features.

Bottom line: is a CRM designed for an inside sales rep. It improves productivity and helps sales reps in making more calls as well as emails instantly. is very flexible and can be easily tweaked. This cloud-based solution is a perfect fit for small and mid-sized organizations.

14. Copper


Copper’s price starts from $19/user/month (upto 3 users only). It provides all-round view of the business and allows users to create customized reports. The software offers flexible pipeline management tool and the API is extendable via Zapier integration. Copper also works best with G-suite.


There’s lack of customization and it doesn’t offer enough training videos. It also lacks call integrations.

Bottom line:

Copper is a comprehensive tool that eliminates manual entries and increases efficiency. mainly focused on providing G-suite integration, It is an actionable system that allows its users to set multiple targets and gives them complete control over their progress.

15. Zendesk Sell


Zendesk Sell starts from $19/user/month. It allows users to manage and track tasks as well as activities and users can view progress against contacts. It helps sales team in assigning and managing sales quotes and allows users to analyze and measure sales metrics. It also supports mobile application.


It offers limited functionalities and no bulk email functionality. Zendesk Sell Mailchimp integration and Zapier integration. It has no sales forecasting.

Bottom line:

Zendesk Sell is an all-in-one sales solution that aids in generating, nurturing, tracking and converting leads. It provides businesses full visibility into their sales cycle. Sales teams can customize the deals pipeline and use it the way they want.

16. Sugar CRM


Sugar CRM’s price starts from $40/user. The software has an innovative UI and offers wide deployment options. It allows users to instantly create and manage quotes and supports 30+ languages. The software also allows users to analyze and predict sales growth.


Learning Sugarcrm framework is slightly challenging and the framework is vast and time-consuming. There is a lack of native chat functionality and advanced workflows are not covered under basic plan.

Bottom line:

Sugar CRM is an open source platform that is used by several large-scale enterprises. It is a best-in-class solution that offers sales, marketing and supporting capabilities. Sugar CRM helps businesses in driving leads, managing vital data and streamlining sales process.

17.  Freshsales

Freshsales price starts from $15 user/month and it enables projection of sales revenue. It allows users to capture leads and group them based on their engagement with the website. It also allows users to track emails for understanding who clicked and opened the email and allows users to sync email, calendar, and contact tools.

Users can store and retrieve data associated with customer contacts and accounts and view scheduled meetings and appointments in one single view.


It lacks robust reporting and has limited integration. It’s advanced customization not available under basic plan and the calling feature provided through Fresh Caller app.

Bottom line:

Freshsales is a powerful system that fits right into daily workflow of various sales teams. It offers built-in phone as well as email integration and allows companies to score and rank leads. Freshsales provides a 360-degree view into customer’s behavior and notifies sales teams for taking timely actions.

18. Act CRM


Act CRMs, price starts from $35/user/month. It is highly customizable and offers software-based communication tools. It can be Integrated with Excel, Outlook, MS word as well as has an added web page integration module and enables users to monitor and manage their deals. The software displays the probability to close a deal and gives users the flexibility to automate marketing related tasks,


Its Initial set up is complicated and the interface is difficult to navigate. Most of the functionalities are not intuitive and provides marketing automation feature as an add-o and the support is paid.


Act is a high-end CRM that offers ultimate toolset for boosting the growth of a business. It provides impeccable sales and marketing features that connects businesses with lucrative opportunities. Act is solution that can be used by companies in any market.

19. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales


Microsoft Dynamic’s price is $65/user/month and is very user-friendly. It has wide spectrum of applications that supports iOS, Android and Window phone devices. Users can keep contacts updates in an organized system and it enables customization of programs as per unique sales workflow. It also allows users to automate market-related activities.


Learning the system’s functionalities can be challenging and customization need expert resources. Finally the goal management and territory management not covered under basic plan.

Bottom line:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales is an all-in-one solution that provides integrated solutions for tracking leads, automating processes, generating sales and improving operations. It minimizes duplications and enhances efficiency by integrating with well-known applications like Outlook, Lync, Word and other Microsoft applications.

20 Apptivo

Apptivo’s price starts from $8/user/month and covers major areas of business-like sales, project and invoicing. The email integration makes it easy for users to connect their email boxes renders more transparency into client engagement and enables customizations.


The mobile app has limited functionalities and doesn’t have built-in calling functionality.

Bottom line:

Apptivo is a cloud-based suite that offers modules to businesses for managing contacts, leads, customer service tickets, and overall sales. It is a conglomeration of CRM features, project management tools and invoicing features for small and medium-sized businesses.

Wrapping up

Choosing a CRM is a critical decision for your small business. So, take it wisely. There are many things you need to consider while making this decision. Like the price, features, and requirements. So, I researched and covered the main points in this best CRM software list for 2019.

Discuss with your team and find out their requirement to understand what features your company requires. Based on the need analyzation of your company, explore these CRM tools and select the best fit for your organization.

Thanks blogger, Michelle Joe for your contribution. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524

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What is White Label SEO

SEO white label

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, has become a necessity for businesses. Today, a majority of web traffic comes through sites like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, and it is safe to say that their algorithms and guidelines can make or break a business.

If you do not appear in search, you do not get found. And if you do not get found, you can kiss your business goodbye.

These high-stakes circumstances led some businesses to develop so-called “black label” or “black hat” SEO tactics.

Black Label Tactics

Black label tactics go against the guidelines that the large search engines have set down. For example, most search engines scan pages for certain keywords, and index them for their relevance to a certain topic.

If a user searches for “chicken masala recipe,” the search engine will scrape the page for that string of text and return pages where that string frequently appears.

So, one black label technique, known as ‘keyword stuffing,’ involves littering a page with strings in order to boost its appearance in the search results.

Keyword stuffing

Sometimes website owners add the relevant string to their website thousands of times in a hidden text box, and sometimes they add pages and pages of irrelevant text to their website (as in the example linked above). Either way, keyword stuffing is an attempt to draw traffic by misrepresenting the site’s contents.

Though this practice may induce a sort of SEO sugar rush, where your page jumps up several pages in the search results for a short period of time, search engines tend to get wise to this kind of activity, and a keyword-stuffed site has a high likelihood of getting banned from search results.

So how do you get your site noticed, while ensuring that everything that you do is above board?

White Label SEO

The SEO experts at Link Graph recognize that white label SEO involves multi-pronged approaches.

Recent developments, like Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, the growth AI-enabled web crawlers like Applebot, and voice search like Alexa and Google Home, mean that the context in which people search the web has completely transformed in less than a decade.

Many webmasters are accustomed to search crawlers needing HTML to index their pages, but many pages today are developed with JavaScript, or with front-end JavaScript frameworks such as ReactJS.

JavaScript pages

Users, especially people on mobile sites, expect sites to be dynamic. But if the sites is developed in JavaScript, that means the SEO ranking will be low, right? Wrong!

An example of white label SEO in this instance might be testing said pages with a tool such as Fetch as Google, then adding dynamic URLs.

Because Google is able to index dynamically-generated content, a website owner is often better off integrating such content into their website, knowing it will meet both the expectations of the users and the needs of the search engine.

On one hand, this proliferation of search techniques has been advantageous for internet users overall: spam sites are more heavily regulated, and there is a higher chance of finding a site that is relevant to their search.

On the other hand, webmasters must now contend with more rules than they did before. White label SEO requires the mastery of several rulebooks, as it were, by webmasters interested in adapting to these news circumstances. What does that adaptation entail?

Search Results

For a website owner, that probably means partnering with a company with white label SEO expertise, in order to better search results, and thus better business. It may also mean re-development of some aspects of your website, and ditching some old habits and beliefs.

Change is tough, but it can also be rewarding. For anybody with the appetite to seize opportunities, white label SEO offers a path to success.

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Safety First: 7 Things Startups Need to Know About Protecting Shared Files


In any modern business, your teams will exchange multiple files throughout the day. These files can be as innocuous as funny memes or email exchanges. Yet, they can also contain sensitive company information that hackers work hard to access.

They work so hard because information is more valuable than gold. With it, hackers can influence the way a company makes decisions, or even land it in legal jeopardy. And one of the most common ways they access information is by targeting shared files.

When employees share files, they are actually creating an opportunity for hackers to snag information. Anything transmitted through the internet can be snagged by someone with enough know-how. It takes diligence and a company-wide emphasis on security to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Keep reading below to learn how to keep shared files safe, so your company stay productive and keep serving its customers.

1. Educate Everyone About File Sharing

Employee education is one of the best investments any business leader can make. When you support your employees as they try to get better at their jobs, you will inevitably make your company more productive. And when you invest in education around cybersecurity or hire a professional for it, you make it safer too.

You can enroll employees in a Lynda course or simply reach to a cybersecurity firm to give employees personal lessons. When employees know how to safely communicate online, you reduce your chance of information leaking. You protect yourself from the severe damage hackers can wreak.

2. Shared Files Should Be Password Protected

Shared files are uniquely vulnerable to hacking attempts since hackers can snag them as they’re being exchanged. Files that are stored on a server or on a personal computer require hackers to penetrate multiple systems before they can access them. Yet, when files are transmitted, hackers just need access to the means with which it’s sent.

That’s why your files should always be protected on some level. You can password-protect basic file formats like PDFs or Word documents. Yet, it’s better if you encrypt your files totally.

With file encryption, even if someone gets their hands on it, they won’t be able to read it. Without the right decryption key, they’ll just have a file filled with random nonsense. And that keeps your company safe.

3. Collaborate Software Can Be Use For Anything

To maximize your security, you should centralize the software your teams use to get work done. Chances are that you have different software for communications, file-sharing, and development. That needs to change.

Most collaboration software put an emphasis on file sharing security, now. After multiple, major companies were hacked, they now understand the need to secure a company’s communications. That means you can chat, share files, or even communicate with clients all from one piece of software.

Not only does that help boost your company’s security, but it also makes it more productive.

4. Ensure Your Cloud Stays Secure

Despite the option to use centralized collaboration tools, most companies still use a cloud. There are many positives to sticking with it: it offers virtually limitless storage as well as easy access. Yet, there is also one significant negative to the cloud.

Hackers know to target the cloud if they hear of a company using it. They know that by hacking a company’s cloud, they will be able to access tomes of extremely sensitive information. All they need is the password to it, and to get they can use phishing attempts or install a trojan virus.

Protecting your cloud is one of the most important things your company should strive to do. Don’t share anything with anyone who doesn’t need access to it. And you should always monitor the activity on your cloud to make sure nothing is ever revealed which shouldn’t be.

5. Sensitive Info Needs Pretty Good Protection

Some companies deal with information that is more sensitive than basic financial details or employee records. For example, media companies may occasionally handle especially vital political information. It’s possible for private companies to handle files which would roil people if ever revealed inappropriately.

Files like that should only ever be transmitted using tools like PGP. The acronym stands for Pretty Good Protection, and it’s earned that name for a reason. The program essentially takes a message and turns it into a series of random numbers and letters.

That way, if someone accesses it, they won’t be able to tell what it’s supposed to tell. The only way to understand the message is by decrypting it with a key that only the intended recipient should have. Using PGP daily will give a noticeable edge against hackers who are used to less-than-secure companies.

6. Record Who Accesses What, And When They Access It

To protect yourself from leaks and from people inappropriately accessing files they shouldn’t, you need to keep good records. Most software automatically logs who accesses files and what times they access it. And most of this information is logged on a file linked to the original file, so it can’t be manipulated.

That way, if you suspect someone may have access to a file who shouldn’t you can’t check the logs. Not only will you be able to tell if a suspicious account accesses a file, but you’ll also be able to tell if someone’s account is behaving suspiciously. With these access logs, you’ll be able to tell if you have a problem and will be able to address it before it gets worse.

7. Be Cautious While Transmitting Files

You can’t trust everybody on the internet. The person you talk to on your messaging program may not actually be your coworker. You can never ever truly tell if someone is who they truly claim to be.

You can take steps to verify that someone is telling the truth. You can reach out to coworkers through other means, such as by email, to make sure you’re both on the same page. You can also request specific details about something before handing over information.

One you transmit a file, it may not be able to be brought back. So, be careful with what you send over since you can never be truly sure if it’s going to the right place.

Information Is More Valuable Than Money

The one thing you should always keep in the back of your mind is that information is more important than money. When hackers try to access your systems, they’re not after your profits. Instead, they want information about your company.

And the most common way they access this information is through shared files. Those files may be inadvertently shared with hackers pretending to be coworkers. They may also be outright stolen by hackers with access to the means with which it’s transmitted.

You can never be absolutely safe on the internet, but you can take steps to protect yourself on it. And the first step is to stay informed; to do that, you should just keep reading here. We stay updated with the latest information about business and technology so you can determine your next step to stay secure!

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