SMB Software and Service Providers

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

SMB Software and Service Providers - Marketing

Hubspot, Infusionsoft, and MailChimp are the top three marketing software or service providers used by SMBs based on the average monthly visitors in the past six months.

Below you will find a deep dive of my methodology and findings.

METHODOLOGY AND finDings

There are numerous marketing automation tools and service providers out there, thus, deciphering the top 2 or 3 requires a rigorous benchmarking mechanism. In this regard, I could not find an explicit report that ranks the top three marketing automation tools or providers for SMBs based on quantitative data. Most lists rank them based on popularity, ease of use and understanding, budget, simple automation, etc.

Therefore, to answer your request, first, I examined a couple of reports about the top marketing automation tools for SMB's by leading business magazines such as Forbes, the Entrepreneur and OnlineFinance. From these websites, I found quite a number of tools and software providers ranked among the top. While the information provided was not enough to fully answer your request, I decided to examine those that focus more on SMBs, and then benchmarked them against monthly user engagement in order to provide a ranking. For this endeavor, I used SimilarWeb to find the average total monthly visitors for each website.

Below is an overview of each site's average monthly usage and engagement traffic.

Infusionsoft 48,560,000 visitors
MailChimp 43,670,000 visitors
Hubspot 30,560,000 visitors

[1] Infusionsoft

According to their ‘About Us’ page, infusionsoft, unlike any other software company, solely focuses on small businesses. They claim to accelerate SMBs growth through technology, sales and marketing strategy, and a community of marketing experts. Their integrated sales and marketing tools fuse marketing automation, CRM, payments solutions and e-commerce with a wide range of apps, integrations and partners. According to SimilarWeb, in the past six months, infusionsoft has had an average of 48,560,000 monthly visitors.

[2] Mailchimp

According to their site, MailChimp is a leading global marketing automation platform supporting millions of customers (small e-commerce shops to giant online retailers) to find and engage their customers and grow their brand. MailChimp integrates with other powerful solutions such as Google analytics to track results for every campaign, instapage for collecting leads from landing pages, WordPress for leveraging content management system (CMS), etc. SimilarWeb notes that MailChimp has had a monthly average of 43,670,000 visitors in the past six months.

[3] HUBSPOT

Hubspot is a leading all-in-one inbound marketing and sales platform helping businesses (small and large) attract customers, convert leads, and close customers. With over 41,500 customers globally, Hubspot features an Ad software, social media software, SEO software, content optimization system, and blog software for increasing traffic. It also includes tools for connecting, closing and managing leads. The company has worked with many SMBs such as Brightgauge, Spinweb, Penguin Strategies, Element Three, Cogentys, etc. According to SimilarWeb, Hubspot has had in the past six months an average of 30,560,000 monthly visitors.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, Hubspot, Infusionsoft, and MailChimp are the top three marketing software or service providers used by SMBs based on the average monthly visitors in the past six months.
Part
02
of eight
Part
02

SMB Software and Service Providers - Financial Management

The top three financial management software for small and medium businesses (SMBs) according to Capterra market scores are QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Accounting by Wave. These three products are the most popular accounting software for SMBs. Below you will find my methodology and an overview of each product.

Methodology

To begin searching for the top financial management software, I first attempted to locate products that were labeled for "financial management" use. However, this was unsuccessful, as these products are almost universally known as accounting software. Once I determined that accounting software is the same as financial management software, I used Capterra's market ratings to establish the top three products on the market according to popularity. Capterra, a well-respected software review website, measures the popularity of products by assigning each a "market score." The market score is calculated on a 100 point scale, and "is comprised of three parts: 40% total number of customers, 40% total number of users, and 20% social score, including Capterra reviews and social media followers."

This score revealed that QuickBooks and FreshBooks are far and away the most popular financial management products on the market today, with market scores of 94 and 90 respectively. Accounting by Wave is a distant third, with a market score of 74. Once the top three software products were established, I went about finding information from Capterra and the products' websites to provide brief overviews of each item.

Quickbooks

Capterra Market Score: 94/100
Number of Customers: 6,400,000
Number of Users: 9,600,000
Capterra Reviews: 149 (Overall rating of 4.5/5 stars)
Facebook Likes: 220,748
LinkedIn Followers: 122,089
Twitter Followers: 37,600

Features:
"Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable
Billing & Invoicing
Cash Management
Collections
Fixed Asset Management
Bank Reconciliation
Expense Tracking
Check Printing
Compensation Management
Direct Deposit
Multi-State
W-2 Preparation"

Pricing:
Self-Employed/Freelancer: $3/month
Simple Start: $15/month
Essentials: $35/month
Plus: $50/month

QuickBooks by Intuit is the "leading accounting software for small business." It allows companies to manage their finances using a licensed version or an online version. The online version includes free support and upgrades. In addition to the features listed on Capterra, companies that use QuickBooks, depending on the plan they choose, are also able to track miles, maximize tax deductions, run reports, send estimates, tracks sales and sales tax, track time, track inventory, and manage 1099 employees. The site also offers free tutorials and webinars to teach bookkeepers how to use the product. Please note that although I have listed all features mentioned on both Capterra and the QuickBooks website, there are likely more features available. However, the company requires interested parties to contact them for details.

Freshbooks

Capterra Market Score: 90/100
Number of Customers: 5,000,000
Number of Users: 10,000,000
Capterra Reviews: 108 (Overall rating of 4.5/5 stars)
Facebook Likes: 53,315
LinkedIn Followers: 7,250
Twitter Followers: 30,100

Features:
"Time Tracking
Project Management
Credit Card Acceptance
Customized Invoices
Payment Reminders
Automatic Late Fees
Recurring Invoices
Due Dates
Deposits
Received Invoices
Discounts
Multi-Currency Billing
Multi-Language Invoices
Automatic Tax Calculations
Receipt Attachments
Remembered Vendors
Daily Time Breakdowns
Bill for Tracked Hours
Team Time Tracking
Log Hours
Timer
File Sharing
Team Collaboration
Project Due Dates
Automatic Payment Recording
Client Relationship Feed
Internal Notes
Google Apps Add-on
Mobile Apps"

Pricing:

FreshBooks is cloud-based accounting software that automates "daily accounting activities." It was founded in 2003 as an alternative to Microsof Word and Excel. The company began with four employees and has now grown to 200. There are paying companies in more than 100 countries. FreshBooks is specifically designed for service-based businesses such as designers, marketing agencies, plumbers, lawyers, and architects. Since it was started by a designer, the product has been created expressly for service-oriented SMBs.

Accounting by Wave

Capterra Market Score: 74/100
Number of Customers: 1,700,000
Number of Users: 4,250,000
Capterra Reviews: 32 (Overall rating of 4/5 stars)
Facebook Likes: 11,539
LinkedIn Followers: 2,647
Twitter Followers: 10,500

Features:
"Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable
Bank Reconciliation
Billing & Invoicing
Cash Management
Collections
CPA Firms
Expense Tracking
General Ledger
Multi-Currency
Payroll Management
Revenue Recognition
Spend Management
Tax Management"
"Built-in Invoicing
Receipt Scanning
Integrations
At-A-Glance Dashboard
Comparative Reporting
Guest Collaboration
Journal Transactions
Customizable
Invoice View Notifications
Automatic Tax Calculations
Online Payments
Credit Card Payments
Recurring Billing
Employee Self-Service Portal
Payroll Reminders
Automatic Data Backup"

Pricing:
Accounting Software is 100% free
Payroll: $35/month + $4/employee (CA, FL, NY, TX, IL, WA)
$20/month + $4/employee (all other states)
Credit Card Processing: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
Bank Payment Processing: 1% per transaction

Of the three financial management software companies profiled here, Wave Accounting is the only one that offers "100% free real double-entry accounting for small businesses." It is cloud-based software that allows company owners to access it anywhere, at anytime. In addition, "Wave eliminates data entry and puts the financial reports [companies] need at [their] fingertips." Moreover, SMBs and micro-businesses all over the world can use Wave Accounting to access lending, improve cash flow, pay their employees, prepare taxes, and get paid.

Conclusion

Based on Capterra's market scores, QuickBooks is the most popular financial management software available today, closely followed by FreshBooks. Wave Accounting, although a distant third in popularity, is the only free option of the three products profiled here.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

SMB Software and Service Providers - Legal

THE PREVALENCE OF LEGAL CASE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE PROGRAMS FOR SMB FIRMS

A survey performed by the American Bar Association in 2015 reported that 72% of solo practitioners and small law firms confirmed the use of online document storage in their practices. Ease of use and accessibility from multiple locations were noted as the leading benefits by 67% of solo and 78% of small-firm practitioners. In addition, 47% of survey respondents participating in the 8th Annual Law Department Operations Survey, conducted by the Blickstein Group, claim accessing their electronic billing systems every week.

METHODOLOGY

In order two ascertain the top three legal software and service providers for SMB firms, data was extrapolated from ranking listings based on criteria established from reputable sources in the software, finance, and legal sectors. Sources utilized include FinancesOnline, SoftwareAdvice and the American Bar Association. Criteria for selection include analysis by experts in the industry, reviews, and inclusion in multiple lists. Factors such as overall performance, ease of use, and customer support were common denominators for selection by all three ranking lists.
1. Practice Panther
2. Clio
3. MyCase

COMMONLY OFFERED FEATURES

Legal software platforms can be categorized into two segments, case management and practice management. Most software programs contain both segments, however each is designed to assist in managing the firm from either a service or business perspective.
Features common to legal case management software applications include case management, contact management or legal CRM, and document management. These features keep all details of a case organized and accessible from start to finish.

Practice management features are designed to streamline the business operations of the firm. The applications focus on scheduling appointments, verifying court dockets and rules to automatically calendar court dates, and managing the office calendar. Time tracking and billing features record billable time and create client invoices. Accounting features manage escrow, trust, and payroll accounts in addition to tracking receivables and creating financial reports.

OVERVIEW OF PRACTICE PANTHER

Practice Panther ranked first in both SofwareAdvice and FinancesOnline. Practice Panther boasts five-star ratings in overall performance, ease of use, and customer support. Its case management features specialize in many civil areas, such as financial law, wills and trusts, personal injury, litigation, divorce and many more. Criminal law applications are also included in its case management features. 85% of reviewers recommended this application for SMB firms.
Practice Panther was founded in the premise of creating the easiest law practice management software. Features included in their program include CRM and contact management, billing and time tracking, communications portals including chat and mobile apps, and integration into QuickBooks. Their goal is to make their platform so easy to operate that virtually no training is required.
Practice Panther is also taking its software into the global arena, in 2016 it launched a translation engine capable of supporting any language worldwide. It currently offers language and currency translations in Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Russian.

OVERVIEW OF CLIO

According to SoftwareAdvice Reviewers’ Choice, Clio received four and one-half stars in overall scoring, ease of use, and customer support, and was recommended by 84% of reviewers. Ranked second by FinancesOnline, Clio claims to exclusively integrate with Fastcase allowing for quick and easy access to an extensive national law library.
Although Clio is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, services are provided in 80 different countries and has a strong presence in the U.S. Built specifically for the legal profession, Clio offers a cloud-based platform, that is both mobile and user-friendly. The software program offers features in both case and practice management with streamlined billing, one-click time tracking, and up to 39% faster and secure processing of credit cards with industry-low processing rates. In addition, Clio integrates with over 50 popular applications including Gmail, Outlook, DropBox, and Google Drive.

OVERVIEW OF MYCASE

MyCase Received four and one-half stars from SoftwareAdvice in overall performance and was recommended by 88% of reviewers for SMB law firms. It specifically targets the solo and small firm with specific software, however, reviewers also recommend its cloud-based software for medium firms. It is known as an all-in-one application, which is affordable and easy to use.
MyCase’s focus is communication and organization via an integrated client portal to facilitate the transfer of information between attorney and client. Both Android and iPhone apps are also available, allowing access to client and case information. Document management and assembly features minimize filing times allowing more time to be spent working on the case. Practice Management features include simple and easy time and billing functions, free eChecks, and payment plan scheduling.

CONCLUSION

To wrap up, the top three legal software service providers based on expert analysis, industry reviews, and recommendations from reputable sites, such as The American Bar Association, SoftwareAdvice, and FinancesOnline are Practice Panther, Clio, and MyCase. These software service platforms were also selected according to overall performance, ease of use, and customer support.

Part
04
of eight
Part
04

SMB Software and Service Providers - IT Support

Introduction


IT software and services is a fairly wide ranging field as it encompasses basic set up, security, networking, SEO, and other related concepts. The three IT software or services I included in my list include; pfSense, an open source router, security, and packet filtering solution; Bitdefender, a security suite for computers; and Oracle’s SMB cloud suite. I tried to include three different but integral SMB IT services as the category is wider than, say, HR management or accounting software. Router software was included because businesses often require extensive networking solutions that must be reliable and flexible. Security software was included as protecting systems and data is obviously required for businesses of any size. The software listed scales from single users to SMBs to larger businesses. Finally, Oracle is a staple of businesses as they provide important cloud and database solutions.

As mentioned above, IT services and software is a rather large field. I included what I view to be basics and essentials. Networking software and service such as pfSense is essential as is security. However, other areas include search engine optimization, which is useful for any business hoping to be discovered by clients. Backup software and services is also useful to ensure redundancy and to protect data. Operating systems, virtualization (if required), server software or web hosting, et cetera are also notable areas of IT software and services but they’re very specific.

When determining top I took into account the robustness of the software, ease of integration, scalability, number of supported features, security features, availability of add-on packages, cost and consumer reviews.

List of top SMB IT Software

1.

Name: pfSense
Type: Software and Service
What is it?: PfSense is an open source network appliance. The operating system can be installed on a wide range of hardware without requiring any special components. PfSense can function as a LAN or WAN router and comes with robust firewall and packet filtering capabilities. In other words, pfSense can be used as a router facing the internet and providing connectivity as well as switching between LAN devices. PfSense also comes with captive portal software which allows it to only allow internet access to devices with the proper credentials. PfSense can shape traffic to ensure everyone has their fair share of access while clamping down on high bandwidth users. PfSense additionally comes with Intrusion Protection software such as Snort.

Why was it included as a top software?: PfSense is fairly well known as an open source alternative to Cisco routers. For SMB, Cisco products may be too expensive. PfSense supports many features, as listed above, and is free unless users want on demand support or to buy preconfigured boxes. Even then, pfSense is a cheap alternative. PfSense is also more robust and more scalable than many other programs. It supports alot of features including: NAT, VPN, DHCP, DNS Static/default/dynamic routing, Stateful firewall and load balancing.

2.

Name: Bitdefender
Type: Software
What is it?: Bitdefender is a security software suite that performs at the highest levels in independent lab tests. SE Labs emulates real world conditions. Bitdefender scored AAA on its testing suite, which is their highest grade. MRG-Effitas tests security software that can be deployed in banks. They score on a pass or fail basis and Bitdefender is one of the programs that made the cut. Bitdefender includes more than just antivirus and antimalware. The suite includes a password manager and a hardened browser as well, which is important for internet facing business computers.

Why was it included as a top software?: The PC Magazine included it in a list of recommended SMB software. Bitdefender was chosen specifically because it is inexpensive yet works at the highest level of protection. "With a worldwide network of 500 million machines, Bitdefender has the largest security delivery infrastructure on the globe. Performing 11 billion security queries per day, Bitdefender detects, anticipates and takes action to neutralize even the newest dangers anywhere in the world in as little as 3 seconds."

3.

Type: Service
What is it?: Oracle’s cloud platform is designed for SMBs and allows seamless integration of software on premise and on the cloud. The platform works seamlessly with other Oracle cloud applications designed for SMBs such as Oracle EPM (budgeting software), Oracle HCM (HR software), and Oracle ERP (financial software). Oracle states (and other sources corroborate) that cloud computing is integral not only for large businesses but for small businesses as well. SaaS, or Software as a Service, allows for constantly updated software that is handled on the server end and does all of the hard work on the backend as well. This cuts costs for businesses of all sizes and helps SMBs function like large businesses do with powerful software except at a fraction of the cost.
Why was it included as a top software?: Oracle is one of the top companies for database software and cloud computing, and cloud computing is integral for SMBs trying to bridge the gap between them and big businesses. Oracle is also the second largest software company in the world.

Conclusion

IT software is a wide category. The three included software are at the top of their class for SMBs and cover important systems such as security.

Part
05
of eight
Part
05

SMB Software and Service Providers - Collaboration

Utilizing a variety of trade and consumer publications, this research will demonstrate the top three SMB collaboration software programs.

METHODOLOGY
There were a variety of different factors that were taken into consideration in order to determine which SMB collaboration software could be considered the "top." Popularity, price, ease of use, and integration were all taken into account before the final top three list was synthesized. Slack is recommended on every collaboration software list. Microsoft followed closely in second place. It appears that in comparisons that Microsoft Office might be easier to use and cheaper while slack offers stronger team engagement and versatility.

TOP SMB COLLABORATION SOFTWARE #1: SLACK
Slack originally came to the forefront in 2015, and has become the most popular collaboration software ever since. Free to use, and affordable for growth, Slack includes native apps for both Apple and Windows-based platforms. Slack integrates with other third-party services (like DropBox), and allows users to organize conversations based on their own preferences. For example, many companies organize their Slack based on departments, or based on individual projects. In addition, Slack offers a drag-and-drop format, which makes it easy for users to share files. Finally, Slack allows users to make certain channels private, as necessary, and has unlimited external integrations.

WHAT MAKES SLACK THE #1 COLLABORATION SOFTWARE?
In addition to being one of the oldest SMB collaboration software options available, Slack is extremely popular amongst the millennial workforce and has become essential in the "gig economy." While it is free to use if you're a worker, it can become costly as your company grows.

TOP SMB COLLABORATION SOFTWARE #2: MICROSOFT PROGRAMS
Microsoft offers a variety of collaboration software programs that make it easy for users to work in real time. For example, Microsoft Teams, which comes as part of the Microsoft Office suite (though it's not compatible with Office 365 Business), provides similar offerings to Slack at a fraction of the price, which makes it the preferred choice for larger-scale SMB businesses, or business with freelancers all over the world. Skype, meanwhile, has proven useful for companies that require video conferencing, either with their employees or with their clients. Finally, Microsoft Sharepoint makes content management easy. Overall, if your SMB needs a variety of apps for a variety of reasons, Microsoft programs are better suited for your needs.

WHAT MAKES MICROSOFT THE #2 COLLABORATION SOFTWARE?
Microsoft is a trusted name in computing, and the variety of apps available makes it perfect for companies that need multi-functional collaboration tools. However, not all employees work on Microsoft platforms.

TOP SMB COLLABORATION SOFTWARE #3: FACEBOOK WORKPLACE
Facebook has a ubiquitous presence in the social media sphere, and now, thanks to Facebook Workplace, the Mark Zuckerberg-led conglomerate is entering the SMB space, as well. Billing itself as the so-called "Slack killer," Facebook Workplace integrates the best elements of Slack (including the dedicated chat channels) and some Microsoft programs (Skype's video conference gets stiff competition from Facebook Workplace's video chat features) with all the things people love (and are addicted to!) on Facebook. Best of all, Facebook Workplace has pre-built integrations with other business apps, including G Suite and Dropbox.

WHAT MAKES FACEBOOK WORKPLACE THE #3 COLLABORATION SOFTWARE?
While Facebook Workplace hasn't quite earned traction in the virtual office-space as yet, Facebook's dominance in the digital space gives this relatively-new SMB collaboration software a distinctive edge.

CONCLUSION
Ultimately, it is up to the individual user to determine which collaboration software programs are best for his/her business. While Slack is the most popular, Microsoft programs provide the most "bang for your buck." Facebook Workplace, meanwhile, is proving to be stiff competition.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

SMB Software and Service Providers - Project Management

The top three project management software programs for SMBs are Basecamp, Trello, and Asana. These three programs can be considered "top" programs because of their consistently high rankings on articles about top ranked project management software. Basecamp was #2, #4, and #4 across reports; Trello was #3, #5, and #2; and Asana was ranked #4, #3, and #3. Interestingly, the #1 project management softwares from these sources were not chosen because their high-ranked positions were not backed up by other reports. A report regarding the best project management software for SMBs recommends Basecamp, Trello, and Asana as the most popular choices.

BASECAMP
Basecamp started in 1999 and is based out of Chicago, Illinois. The key to this program seems to be its simplicity and ease of access coupled with its comprehensive variety of services. Some of Basecamp's features include calendars, scheduling, to-do lists, instant messaging, forums, document management, project templates, task histories, and groups/teams. Basecamp seems to be easy to use, allowing users to jump right in. Regardless of how many projects a SMB is working on, or how many employees it has, Basecamp costs $99/month and that price includes all of Basecamp's features.

TRELLO
Trello was launched in 2011 is a visual organizational tool that SMBs use for task management. Trello uses boards (to signify projects) and then cards (tasks within those projects); users can assign tasks to other users and make real-time updates to the task itself, including an intuitive "drag and drop" feature. Trello's organization system was frequently compared to using white boards and sticky notes, or the KanBan system developed by Toyota, emphasizing its visual nature. While Trello is free to use, it is recommended that SMBs use business-class Trello, which is $9.99/user per month.

ASANA
Asana was founded in 2008 is another organizational tool based on breaking projects into individual tasks and effective team collaboration. It is meant to eliminate the need for email for team communications. Some of Asana's features include the creation and assignment of tasks and projects, commenting on tasks, custom calendars, activity feed, setting goals and priorities, and notifications. It also creates detailed progress reports and allows users to share documents directly within the software. Premium Asana is recommended for SMBs, at a cost of $9.99/user per month.


To wrap it up, Basecamp, Trello, and Asana are three of the most popular products used by SMBs for project management. Basecamp appears to be the most comprehensive service, with Trello being more basic and Asana falling in between. All of the softwares organize projects into smaller tasks, in user-friendly formats, to aid in the efficiency and collaboration of SMBs.


Part
07
of eight
Part
07

SMB Software and Service Providers - Customer Management

To find the top customer relationship management software programs, six CRM lists were compared. Based on the number of mentions in the lists of best CRM software, HubSpot, Zoho, and Pipedrive are the best for SMBs. In this write up, I will cover each of these three programs and explain why they were chosen.

hubspot

HubSpot's mission is to make the world more inbound by transforming business to be more empathetic, human, and personable. They aim to help manage their customers' pipelines and speed up sales. They also pride themselves on top-notch organization and communication abilities.

HubSpot was chosen because it consistently ranked as one of the best CRM programs for companies with 10-1000 employees. It was rated 4.5/5 based on 784 reviews, making one of the few CRM programs with such a high score after so many reviews. HubSpot was also included in a list naming the top 10 CRM software for 2018. It was named the best CRM software for startup companies, because it is simple, yet very effective for new users. In another list of top CRMs, HubSpot was crowned the "undisputed leader" due to its 99% user satisfaction, affordablility, and flexibility. Business News Daily praised HubSpot for its ability to work for very small businesses. It was recognized because it is able to do automatic sales logging, sales pipeline management, and email syncing. There is a free version available as well, which is not the case for many CRM programs.

zoho

When created, Zoho had the goal of servicing small and medium businesses. It has received praise from many CRM software professionals for its ability to do so. Based on 769 reviews, it was scored 4/5 stars. Zoho was also named an editor's choice by PC Mag because it met all the criteria of a top-notch CRM software, such as email tracking, 24 hour support, and workflow automation, along with many useful other tools. The same writer that named HubSpot the top software for startups named Zoho the best free CRM software.

The free version is only available for a company with 10 users or fewer, but it includes tools that many other CRM programs charge for, such as sales and marketing automation, product configuration, reporting, and customer analytics. There is also a mobile version available for Apple and Android devices.

Zoho was listed as the fifth best CRM for small businesses by financesonline.com. It was praised because of its ability to work with small businesses, automate sales workflows, and forecast sales performance. Business News Daily recognized Zoho as the best CRM software for small businesses, because it is intuitive and easy to implement. In 2017, it was recognized as the third best CRM software for small businesses. Zoho is used by over 50,000 businesses, and is customizable and adaptable to the needs of each individual user. Also, they claim to help users see 53% higher conversion rates on sales and a 23.1% higher annualized growth rate.

pipedrive

Pipedrive has received praise for its work with businesses of all sizes, but mostly for its work with SMBs. Pipedrive has over 70,000 customers of all sizes throughout 155 countries. Based on 1,240 reviews, Pipedrive received a 4.5/5 rating, tying it with HubSpot. It has also been widely recognized on lists of best CRM software. It was rated 4/5 by PC Mag, and included in the list of top 10 CRM software in 2018. In the list of top 5 CRM programs for small businesses, Pipedrive came in at #2. In 2016, it won the Best CRM Software Award from financesonline.com. Pipedrive is also known to be "the CRM for small teams with big ambitions." This program was also placed at the top of a list ranking the best small business CRM software in 2017. It was named the best small business CRM software because it can effectively streamline the sales process and therefore make the sales team more productive. According to Pipedrive's website, it is easy to set up and loved by its users.

In conclusion, CRM programs HubSpot, Zoho, and Pipedrive are three of the top companies for SMBs. All three have received widespread acclaim, and have backed it up by being able to service a great amount of businesses.
Part
08
of eight
Part
08

SMB Software and Service Providers - Employee Management

Three top employee management software programs in the United States that specialize in providing services to small and medium businesses include Kronos Workforce Ready, BambooHR, and Ascentis Software, based on a review of pre-compiled rankings, user reviews, professional recommendations, and industry awards and distinctions. Workforce Ready is a multi-faceted human resources management platform that combines employee workforce management with human capital management functions. BambooHR offers a human resource information system that can manage all aspects of the employee life cycle. Ascentis Software provides web-based integrated human capital management software with "a fanatical dedication to customer service." Below you will find a discussion of our findings.

METHODOLOGY

In order to identify the top three employment management software programs or service providers used by small and medium businesses, my colleagues and I reviewed trusted industry sources to identify a pre-compiled list of highly-rated programs. Having been published in 2018, this list provides the most current recommendations for employee management software programs. Additionally, rankings were achieved through a combination of user ratings from satisfied clients, as well as recommendations from professional advisors in this field. We believe this rating system provides a comprehensive evaluation of the most distinguished employee management software programs.

After constructing a preliminary list of high-quality employee management software programs, we reviewed these software programs in more depth to identify any additional industry recognition, such as awards or favorable media attention from prestigious industry professionals and/or associations, that would allow us to establish the top three software programs in the field. We then verified that each program provides services such as payroll, employee benefits, onboarding, and other key employee management services. Finally, we ensured that each company serves small and medium businesses, and each company has corporate headquarters in the United States.

Kronos Workforce READY

Workforce Ready by Kronos is a multi-faceted human resources management platform. It is the most highly rated employee management software program, when weighing both user ratings and recommendations from industry professionals, and the program was also ranked a leader in the Best HR Management Suites Software category by G2 Crowd in 2017. Workforce Ready combines employee workforce management with human capital management functions, such as employee recruiting, onboarding, payroll, attendance and scheduling (including leave management), and performance management, among other functions. Workforce Ready offers a cloud-based platform, with all employee data maintained in an easy-to-use database. This feature permits a single user interface that is updated in real time, which can launch information and workflows across an entire organization. A mobile application is also available. Kronos boasts that Workforce Ready "helps you manage the entire employee lifecycle — from pre-hire to retire."

BambooHR

BambooHR is a cloud-based American company that specializes in providing human resources software for small and medium businesses across all industries. Based on user ratings and recommendations from industry advisors, it is the second-highest rated employee management software program surveyed. BambooHR is highly regarded in the industry, having received additional recognition as the Best Human Resources Management Software of 2016 from PC Mag, Best SaaS Product for HR or Recruitment from SaaS Awards, and being considered a leader by G2 Crowd in the Human Resources Category. BambooHR offers a number of technological solutions within its human resource information system, which can manage all aspects of the employee life cycle, including applicant tracking capabilities, automation tools, leave management systems, electronic signatures, employee self-onboarding, electronic employee records, performance management software, and customized human resources reports. On a larger scale, the software allows human resources professionals the ability to track organization data, including employee turnover and retention rates. Additionally, while based in the United States, BambooHR is available in multiple languages and manages a number of currencies.

Ascentis Software

Our third most highly-rated program is Ascentis Software, based on user rankings, industry advisor recommendations, and distinctions such as being included on JMP's 2017 Hot 100 List of Software Companies. Ascentis provides web-based integrated human capital management software, specifically for small and medium businesses. Key product offerings include employee hiring and onboarding capabilities, career portals, candidate data analysis, and access to organizational data, such as tracking employee trends with data analytics. Additional services include payroll management, timekeeping solutions, and the ability to submit electronic claims to insurance companies. Ascentis also provides a mobile application, as well as "a fanatical dedication to customer service" and quarterly software updates.

CONCLUSION

In summary, the top three employee management software programs for small and medium businesses in the United States are Kronos Workforce Ready, BambooHR, and Ascentis Software.
Sources
Sources