We launched Extreme Inbound in November.
Since our launch, we’ve used a handful of tools and processes to grow our business. Almost every week, we’re implementing a new software or organizational process to ensure that we’re always working smarter. There’s a lot we haven’t figured out yet, but we’re moving fast and iterating the way we do things along the way.
What tools a company chooses to implement rely on how that company is structured; who works with who, what kind of work is being done, what kind of customer is being served. Some companies need customer relationship management systems. Other companies need point-of-sale software. Other companies track inventory or sales touch points or rely on big data. Every company is a little different.
Here are five tools that we’ve used our business, a boutique inbound marketing agency. Hopefully these tools will inspire you to share your own processes, or to think creatively about using software to work more efficiently.
Evernote is a note-taking and archiving service. Your notes and archived media are backed up in the cloud and sync in real-time across all of your devices. I can use Evernote on my iPad, on my phone and on my computer.
At Extreme Inbound, we use Evernote to record prospect and client notes from calls and from in-person meetings. We create separate “notebooks” for each client. We’ll jot things down like who reports to who or where someone went on vacation. We’ll write down upcoming events and next action steps from each meeting.
Evernote has been a great way for us to keep track of conversations we have with qualified leads and clients.
We use Gmail filters to organize our incoming email. Like any marketing agency, we rely heavily on email to communicate with our prospects and clients. We set up a number of filters to help us stay organized.
Administrative emails are automatically tagged. Social media alerts are tagged and bypass the inbox. Emails from clients get routed to client-specific folders. We’ve built canned responses for certain processes. The list goes on.
Do you use Email filtering in your business?
Dropbox is a file-sharing service that, like Evernote, is backed up in the cloud and can be accessed from a number of devices. We use Dropbox to store and to share files.
We keep invoices and contracts in one folder. We keep images and videos in another folder. We keep template documents in a third folder. We create separate folders for each client and can access important notes no matter where we’re located.
Dropbox is our digital filing cabinet.
Rapportive is a free (and fantastically awesome) service that enhances your email. It shows you important information information about your email contacts right from inside your inbox.
You can see their name, if they’re located nearby, marquee information from their LinkedIn profile and more. We use Rapportive to have better relationships with our friends, prospects and clients.
Rapportive is our company’s social CRM.
Apple Preview’s Digital PDF Signature
Like any business, we sign a lot of forms. IRS forms. Contracts and proposals and, depending on the industry, NDAs. Soon after launching our company, we realized that we needed a quicker solution to read over, sign and send back a document.
It only took about 15 minutes of research before I realized I could sign a PDF form directly from my computer. I wrote my signature on a piece of paper, took a picture of it, uploaded it to Apple’s Preview and now can easily tack it on to any document that requires a signature.