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Items filtered by date: January 2021
Sunday, 17 January 2021 16:47

CRM software for small businesses

Relationships between people form the key to any business, whether a multi-million dollar multinational mega-corporation or a small mom-and-pop. Businesses grow as those relationships develop, and today, there are powerful software packages to help you do just that. Known as Customer Relationship Management Software, or CRM, these Software as a Service (SaaS) packages aim to streamline every aspect of client management. No matter how small, if your company is looking to grow and expand, you may find that CRM provides a path forward.


What is CRM software

Only in existence for the past few decades, CRM software allows a company to analyze and manage its approach with past, present, and future clients. With a goal of overall customer growth, CRM software supplies companies with a cohesive, understandable way forward. Today’s CRM can also be used in tandem with social media, providing the necessary data to underpin advertising efforts and outreach opportunities. What do I need in my CRM software?


What should a small business look for in any potential CRM? What should a CRM software for small businesses provide?

Sales Reporting

Sales reporting is more than just a glorified version of the month’s receipts. A good sales report lets you track sales vs. inventory, monitor and improve your product design, and plan promotions and advertising efforts. Some CRM packages even offer Point of Sale systems as well, integrating the CRM directly with your shops and giving you even more data on current and potential sales.

Contact Organization

Your customers are already giving you their business; while you do need to keep customer retention in mind, the way forward for most companies requires outreach. Both customer retention and attracting new customers relies heavily on communication and advertising and reaching out to individuals that you otherwise might have missed.


That’s why the contact organization provided by your CRM software for small businesses comes in. The earliest CRM software was essentially a giant Rolodex, tracking contact information and little else. Today’s CRM does that same task, but with vastly more information. From email addresses to phone numbers, websites, and social media profiles, CRM provides a one-stop location for customer contact information.


Customer Segmentation

Lastly, customer segmentation offers you as a business owner the opportunity to break down who your customers are and how to focus on them. By determining what your customers like, where they’re located, and other information, you can better cater to their needs and in return receive repeat and new clients which leads to better growth.


So whats the best CRM Software for Small Businesses

Now that you know what CRM software for small businesses are and what they do, here are some of the best crm software for small businesses packages out there on the market today:


Capsule CRM

One of the older CRMs out on the market, Capsule is popular because of it’s simple and easy to understand pipeline. Usable on both web and mobile with a five group interface, Capsule only lacks information in reporting and functionality of campaigns.


Pipeliner CRM

If you’re looking to customize your sales pipeline, Pipeliner CRM is here for you. An all-in-one program, it can be customized to Mailchimp and other helpful third party apps. It does offer a real-time visual on tracking sales and necessary integrations with social networks.


Sugar CRM

Best for small businesses, Sugar allows for customization and automation, making your job even easier. If your brand needs to improve from previous experience, Sugar helps you provide a consistent experience, so your customers will always be guaranteed consistency.



Recently revamped for a new era, FreshSales offers AI-intelligence, plenty of built-in and automated programs, and the ability to find sales leads easily. With a clean and simple interface, FreshSales emphasized online consumer engagement. If you’re looking to learn more about your customers, FreshSales is extremely helpful.



Created for people who want automated programs with minimal fuss, Salesflare is predominantly based on automation freeing you up for more sales. It also offers the ability to see who contacted which customer, which leads to a unified team mindset. Overall, SalesFlare is excellent for growth and those who want to spend more time interacting with the consumer, whether you’re a medium or small business.



Lastly, offering a personalized experience along with organization, Pipedrive caters specifically to small businesses. With the ability to offer a consistent and helpful experience every time, Pipedrive really emphasises the personal touch, which is evident in their email campaigns, and email and text templates. Additionally, an organized pipeline helps keep everything in place and in turn pushes the business growth forward.

Many small business owners have discovered that crm software for small businesses are an absolute necessity to help them stay on track. CRM allows small businesses to harvest and track a vast amount of information, giving them a growth pipeline that otherwise would require a large team of employees to create and manage.

CRM lets small businesses punch above their weight when it comes to data and client relations. Look around and decide which CRM is best for your small business.




Published in Web Applications

There’s every indication that the pandemic is changing the nature of cybersecurity. Online threats are evolving to match our new remote-work paradigm, with 91% of businesses reporting an increase in cyberattacks during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Hackers are getting more and more sophisticated and targeted in their attacks. Many of these cyber threats have been around for a while, but they are becoming harder for the average user to detect. Beware of these four common types of cyber threats – and learn what you can do to prevent them. 

Advanced phishing attacks

Phishing takes place when a hacker tricks an individual into handing over information or exposing sensitive data using a link (with hidden malware) or a false email. These types of security threats are quite common, but in recent months they are becoming even more advanced. 

Microsoft’s recent survey of business leaders in four countries found that phishing threats are currently the biggest risk to security. Since March, 90% of those polled said that phishing attacks have impacted their organization, and 28% admitted that attackers had successfully phished their users. Recently, phishing emails have targeted enterprises to capture personal data and financial information using one of the following tactics

  • Posing as a provider of information about COVID-19 vaccines, PPE, and other health and sanitation supplies
  • Creating false “portals” for business owners to apply for government assistance and stimulus funds during the economic shutdown
  • Using download links for platforms and tools that help remote teams communicate, such as video conferencing 
  • Posing as “critical update” downloads for enterprise collaboration solutions, such as Microsoft OneDrive, and social media applications
  • Targeting IT service providers that ask for payment in order to provide tech support. 

Phishing is so effective because it can be very hard to recognize and targets individual people, rather than IT vulnerabilities. Yet, they are still ways to lower your risk of phishing. 

How to prevent phishing: The best chance to prevent phishing attacks is to educate your teams on what to look for in a phishing message. Poor spelling and grammar, as well as an email address that doesn’t match the user, are telling signs of a phishing message. If an offer seems too good to be true, it is a good sign you’re being scammed.  In addition to user education, you can add multi-factor authentication and other interventions to stop phishing messages from getting through. “Spam filters with sandboxing and DNS filtering are also essential security layers because they keep malicious emails from entering the network, and protect the user if they fall for the phishing attempt and end up clicking on a malicious hyperlink,” said one security expert told ZDNet.


Ransomware is a type of security threat that encrypts a victim’s files so they can’t access their information. The hacker then asks for a ransom – usually payment – to restore access and decrypt the user’s data. 

Perhaps the most notorious recent example of a ransomware attack is that of Garmin. In July, Garmin – a navigation and fitness wearables company – was hit by a ransomware attack that downed service for virtually every Garmin customer.  “Hackers deployed the ransomware tool WastedLocker, which encrypts key data on a company’s digital infrastructure,” reported Cyber Security Hub. “In the case of Garmin, website functions, customer support, and user applications were all affected. Unlike typical ransomware software, WastedLocker does not steal identifying information and hold it for ransom. Instead, it renders programs useless until decrypted.” Garmin reportedly paid $10 million for the decryption key to resume services after four days of outages. 

Garmin isn’t alone, however. There’s been a seven-fold increase in ransomware attacks this year targeting companies of all sizes. So, what can your organization do to protect itself?

How to prevent ransomware: First and foremost, it’s important to make sure your security protocols are kept airtight – and apply security patches as quickly as possible to prevent hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities. A tool like Nightfall can make it easier to maintain a strong defense, with AI monitoring your network for any issues. Multi-factor authentication can also prevent hackers from getting too far into your system. And, you should regularly back up your system so if a ransomware attack does happen, you’ll be able to recover some data. 

Password-based cyberattacks

password-based cyberattack is one that targets users who have the same password for multiple sites. Research from the World Economic Forum found that 4 out of 5 global data breaches are caused by weak/stolen passwords. 

There are several different ways a hacker can infiltrate your system using a password-based cyberattack. The most common method is known as a brute force attack. This attack uses a computer program to try to login to a user’s account by trying all possible password combinations, starting with the most common and easiest to guess options – for instance, “1234” or “abcde”.  Sensitive data like passwords, credentials and secrets are in constant danger of exposure, especially as more companies conduct the majority of their business in the cloud. The highly collaborative and always-on nature of cloud services make it hard to enforce good password practices. Therefore, organizations need data loss prevention (DLP) to secure essential data from being exposed. 

How to prevent a password-based attack: make it easy for users and security teams alike to circumvent the risk of password attacks by implementing password-free authentication methods. This is a type of authentication that requires a user to confirm their identity during the login process through a separate channel. This extra step can also protect your workspace in case there’s any account compromised or if a device gets stolen. 

IoT and smart medical devices 

The internet of things makes life a lot easier – and also more open to bad actors. Connected devices are an increasingly popular target for cyber threats. In 2019, cyberattacks on IoT devices increased by 300%, according to one report. This includes attacks on everything from laptops and webcams to smart homes (like Google Nest), smart watches, routers, and other home appliances. 

Our personal devices aren’t the only things that are vulnerable. The Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University reported, “As more devices are connected to hospital and clinic networks, patient data and information will be increasingly vulnerable. Even more concerning is the risk of remote compromise of a device directly connected to a patient. An attacker could theoretically increase or decrease dosages, send electrical signals to a patient or disable vital sign monitoring.” Healthcare providers must also contend with protecting patient data. As many healthcare providers shift to remote work, they become an attractive target for hackers. Protected health information (PHI) must be kept safe during all cloud-based activities – yet many SaaS providers, including Slack, are not HIPAA-compliant right out of the box.

How to prevent IoT attacks: IoT attacks are sophisticated, and the best ways to protect your devices are to use strong passwords and keep your software up to date. Experts also suggest keeping your devices unlinked from social media Along with protecting your devices, look for a DLP partner who can protect your patient data while working on SaaS and IaaS platforms. Check out our coverage of instituting and maintaining HIPAA compliance on Slack and schedule a meeting below to learn more about how tools like Nightfall DLP play a role in keeping PHI safe.



Published in Web Applications