Business-to-business (B2B) software allows you to automate and streamline your offerings and services, whether for marketing, sales or lead generation, so you can save on time contribution and improve your return on investment. With a variety of functions available, including specific B2B services, such as digital document signing, web conferencing and email, you can find options that will simplify the workflow for both you and your employees. Business-to-business software options, like HubSpot, Adobe Connect and Infusionsoft, exist to streamline your business offerings and processes. To learn more, read our latest articles on business-to-business software.
Business-to-Business Software: What to Look For
With a variety of features and functions to choose from, it's important to look for B2B software that suits the needs of your company and your clients. Because features, volume and available amenities, such as live help or on-the-job training, can vary a great deal, deciding what you need and want from your product can help you narrow down the options.
Features & Functions
You most likely need specific features and functions for your business plan, so you have to find the B2B software that fills those requirements. While options include marketing automation, lead generation, sales, telephony and management, you have to choose a niche and then choose the specific option that offers the most for your business. For example, choosing marketing automation software that works with your existing analytics and programs is considerably more convenient than choosing one that requires you to set everything up again.
Volume Capacity & Users
Most B2B software options work with multiple users or support guest logins to allow your employees the access they need. If you have a specific number of people who have to access the software, then you have to make sure that the software supports that number of users. You should also check to ensure that it works at the volume needed by your business. Some business-to-business software is scalable, allowing you to pay for what you need, but some options have a maximum reach, volume or number of accounts.
It is important that you or anyone who uses the software knows how to use it properly and to its fullest effect, or you may be wasting money. Some business-to-business software companies charge for training while others offer it free, and some do not offer it at all. If the company does not include training with their software, double check to make sure that learning resources are available.
Live support is important when you are running a business and don't have time to figure out software issues that could be costing you money by the minute. If you are running a large marketing program and your software isn't working, then you need live support to help you fix it. While some companies only offer email or a knowledgebase, this type of support is not suitable unless the software fulfills a nonvital role in your company.
Many business-to-business software options are available to assist your business with its workflow and processes. Deciding what you want and need out of B2B software allows you to choose the right option for your business.
Act-On offers business-to-business (B2B) marketing software for complete inbound marketing management and optimization, allowing a small team to manage any size of business. While an all-in-one solution for multiple services, it offers very limited templates for emails and landing page creation, doesn't allow batch imports for emails and offers limited reporting with no way to download daily revenue attribution or impact reports.
The business-to-business software from Act-On offers basic all-in-one inbound marketing services with email management, social media management, webinars, landing page creation and web traffic analytics. The software also has capabilities for SEO optimization and management, Google AdWords integration, lead management, lead scoring, and reports for under 1,000 up to more than one million contacts per month.
While scalable, you do get a limited number of Act-On API (Application Programming Interfaces) calls per day before you are charged an additional fee. You also have to deal with limited users and only 500 active keywords, and for anything above that, you have to pay more. However, other than that, the pricing scheme is relatively simple with no extra fees for basic usage. You do have to pay a fee for training, which is important because of the complex nature of the software, but after that there are no hidden fees.
You can integrate the B2B software directly into your existing CMS to work with your website for creating landing pages, integrate it with your email for sending and managing email and use it to log into social media. From there you can create and manage PPC, SEO and SMM (Social Media Marketing) programs with lead generation tracking to ensure that your programs are profitable. With multiple campaign setup options, you can split test your campaigns.
Revenue and impact reports are available, but not daily. You can also see reports on performance and leads generated, but the software does not have options for daily report downloading. Individual user tracking means that you can track every single lead from prospect to sale. You can set up and send emails and set up landing pages directly from the B2B software. However, the templates are basic, do not support advanced graphics and you might prefer to use something else.
Limited template and report downloading are disadvantages, but if you need general inbound marketing management, Act-On's B2B marketing software is a viable solution for small to enterprise-sized businesses.
Adobe Connect Review
Adobe Connect is a web conferencing platform with scalable offerings based on use, number of uses and the length of the web call. This business-to-business (B2B) software does take a long time to download and costs a monthly service fee, but it makes up for these drawbacks with versatile scalability and a variety of features.
The downloadable B2B software allows you to connect to other users via the web, for live web conferencing between one or more users. The basic plan supports up to 25 participants with up to nine hosts per account, but you can increase the number of hosts with a different plan. Software allows you to instantly communicate across multiple devices including iOS and Android tablets, phones and computers.
Other plans allow you to create webinars and stream to up to 1,000 participants at once. Webinars allow multivideo support and call-ins for guests and co-hosts. Teaching and lesson plans in the business-to-business software allow you to create live and on-demand lessons for up to 200 virtual online students at once. You can also integrate whiteboards and files into the lessons for added versatility and teaching. File support means that you can create curricula, including video and document files, for sharing with the class during the lesson.
Sharing documents, adding co-hosts, screen sharing, online meeting rooms, secure files and file storage are all options to use for customizing your video experience. Mobile responsiveness ensures that videos and files look good on different screen types including phones. You can also integrate audio-only callers who can still view video using the business-to business software.
Branding options allow you to create custom themes and templates for integrating video and webinars directly into your website. This allows you to remove Adobe's branding to add your own for better marketing. The business-to-business software includes a variety of marketing options, including email signups, reminders and last-minute notifications, for ensuring that everyone who signed up knows when the date is. Desktop users can also enter the program with no downloads, which makes this B2B software a good fit if you are using it for clients who might not have Adobe Connect.
A variety of customization options, scalability for small to large businesses and multiple included functions make Adobe Connect's business-to-business software a solution if you need online video conferencing and webinars. While the bulky download and monthly service premiums are drawbacks, Adobe Connect business-to-business software has a lot to offer if you need a web conference solution.
DocuSign offers business-to-business (B2B) software for facilitating and speeding up signing documents and document processing. With features, including court-accepted signatures, digital reminders, and instant document send and receive notifications, this business-to-business software has a lot to offer. But you will have to pay extra for phone identification or RSA ID checks for important or critical documents.
This B2B software works on the concept that paper documents are slow, difficult to process and not always signed on time. It replaces this documentation process with digital copies of the document and digital signatures. Users log into the app, upload or write their signature and then use that signature to sign when they receive a document.
To send a document, you upload the file, mark the places where you need it to be signed, and then email it to the recipients. They get an instant notification and an alert to sign. With added ID verification, they first have to verify that they are who you sent the document to. Once the document is signed, you are notified immediately. You can also see when they view the document, and can make comments and send messages in line with the app in case the document is not correct.
In case the document needs correcting, the B2B eCommerce software allows you to make corrections without re-uploading the file, which means that you will not have to resend it. With no limits on document revisions, you can also work with signees to create a finalized version right in the app. DocuSign B2B software integrates with a variety of CRMs to provide seamless connectivity between your web or cloud service to pull names, addresses and other data for your documents. Templates allow you to brand your documents and then set up options for automated repetitive tasks for frequent items.
While the basic version only allows five signatures per month and one user, other versions allow unlimited signatures and unlimited users, allowing you to get as many signatures as needed on a single document. Security functions mean that the B2B software encrypts and protects your documents so your sensitive information stays safe. It also offers identity verification options at an extra charge if desired.
DocuSign business-to-business software combines saving paper with sped-up processes so that you can save money on paper costs while getting fast, responsive signatures. While not all companies are happy with digital signatures, DocuSign works well for small- to medium-sized businesses that typically handle a lot of signatures and documents, but isn't quite feature-rich enough for big businesses.
With multiple scalable options, marketing management, analytics and optimization for 11 types of marketing funnels and full website and CRM integration, HubSpot's business-to-business (B2B) marketing software integrates almost everything you need into one platform. However, despite monthly fees, you also have to pay for mandatory training when you purchase the software and added charges for most extras like dedicated technical support.
HubSpot offers more than a dozen features for setting up websites, building blogs, managing web content, creating ads, generating leads, managing campaigns, managing social media and using email marketing. The B2B marketing software specifically supports analytics, blogging, calls to action, content managements, email management, SEO, social media, Sidekick and mobile app integration.
The pure number of features offered by this business-to-business software makes it an option if you are trying to integrate all of your marketing into one platform. However, it does mean taking more time to learn it. The mandatory learning course helps with this and ensures that you are fully introduced to the B2B eCommerce software before you try to use it. An included mobile app allows you to receive mobile reports for your website, ad programs and social media, so you don't have to log into a computer to check things. You also get monthly reports with the audits and analytics, which helps you with staying on top of your marketing program.
Marketing tips and advice combine with the analytics and management software to help you with streamlining your inbound marketing. Keyword research and optimization tools help you with PPC and SEO, as well as split testing ads, landing pages and calls to action for improving your long-term sales conversion rates. The business-to-business software has so many features to learn, which is a disadvantage if you want to set it up immediately. However, once you familiarize yourself with the software, you can run all or most of your marketing with a small team of one to five people, depending on the size and needs of your business. Customer demographics and research allow you to create custom profiles and marketing for specific user bases, including different types of businesses, different areas and company size, which allows you to market intelligently with all of your clients.
HubSpot's main offering is that the company integrates all of your digital inbound marketing into one place so that you can manage everything at once. However, with mandatory required training, complicated interfaces and extra charges for more contacts than allowed by the plan you choose, the business-to-business software has some limitations.
Infusionsoft's business-to-business (B2B) marketing software offers scalable services for small- to large-sized businesses, or a maximum of 10,000 contacts and 50,000 emails per month, with marketing and sales automation, management and eCommerce integration. However, not all services are available at every price level. Plus, you have to take mandatory training which does not offer much in the way of customization. There are also some software quirks, such as a lack of customizable and responsive templates, which makes the B2B software better suited for medium- to small-sized businesses.
With features, including contact management, marketing automation, sales automation and eCommerce, depending on which plan you get, you can use Infusionsoft's B2B marketing software for a variety of inbound marketing functions.
Basic contact management features in this business-to-business software help you organize your contacts to view contact information, sales history, lead source, task and appointment history, and website history. The software allows you to create targeted and customized messages and emails based on the client's previous interactions with your business, allowing you to increase your leads. A calendar function makes organizing and scheduling events simple. You can also lead scoring to determine the value of each click to help with prioritization. Gmail and Outlook integration let you work with and in your current email provider.
You can use the B2B software to set up landing pages, but templates and options are limited. Web forms and integration with your email are also options. Web activity monitoring tracks visitors to your landing pages to help you determine how and where your leads are coming from. The B2B software integrates with a number of other apps for adding social tracking as well. Data management means you can import data from a variety of eCommerce platforms and direct imports from CVS files. It also utilizes automatic data cleanup to organize email addresses, remove duplicates and add information where available.
With a variety of functions, multiplatform support and the ability to integrate and upload from your current email, Infusionsoft's B2B software has a lot to offer if you want to manage email, organize your contacts and sales, and create some marketing automation. However, the tool still requires a lot of interaction, and the work and is not autonomous.
Marketo's business-to-business (B2B) software helps you with creating, automating, marketing and launching campaigns to generate leads and user engagement. While feature-rich, the business-to-business software is not compatible with all customer relationship management systems and has a steep learning curve, thanks to its complex analytics and mailing system.
Marketo's B2B lead generation software has a lot to offer with its marketing automation for lead generation and management, email campaign management, analytics, consumer relations management, budgeting and calendar creation. Email management allows you to send out newsletters and updates, with multiple customizable groups for different areas, products, services or even time zones. This allows you to avoid spamming customers with information they do not need, but can result in sending the same message multiple times if you aren't familiar with the software. Calendar and budgeting functions mean that you can decide on spending based on return on investment (ROI) right from the app and communicate your ideas to other users in real-time.
With real-time personalization, the business-to-business software also lets you create and share actions and messages in real-time with both mobile and web users. This allows you to work with your team from anywhere. Because it is feature-rich, the Marketo B2B marketing software has a learning curve. So you should consider paying to have at least one employee, or yourself, trained and certified to use it in order to avoid making mistakes, and so that you get the most from the platform.
Built-in integration with popular customer relations management software such as Salesforce, MicrosoftDynamics CRM and SugarCRM allow you to integrate most of your business if you use those systems. However, you may have issues if you do not use a supported CRM and may have to import everything manually.
Scalability allows you to choose options based on your company and your needs and opt to add in marketing tools such as A/B testing, progressive profiling, advanced forms or more CRM integration. You can also choose an option based on your level of users ranging from five to upwards of 1,000, depending on the size of your business.
A variety of features and functions, integration with popular CRMs and a scalable platform make Marketo's B2B marketing software suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. However, the steep learning curve means taking the time to familiarize yourself with the platform before you can use it properly.
Sage One business-to-business (B2B) software and cloud accounting offers solutions for financial reporting, accepting online payments, bill and expense tracking, time tracking and collaboration on projects. However, with limited integration options, no payroll nor inventory management, this B2B eCommerce software works well for startups, freelancers and small businesses but not so well with established companies.
A variety of features, including cloud access, allows you to log into the Sage One interface from anywhere. From there, you can view reporting, connect your bank account or PayPal account, and send invoices. The downloadable software allows you to connect your bank account for importing payments and data, connect with the cloud for automatically synchronizing your data across devices and view all of your finances at a glance.
A time-tracking function lets you use the B2B software for tracking expenses, as well as hired consultant and freelancer time, by telling you how many hours they worked. A file-sharing function lets you directly share and integrate documents for sharing tasks, instructions, ideas and feedback. This allows you to set up better billing and payments for employees, team, contractors or yourself. However, there is no payroll function for the system.
With a maximum of two administrators with full access, you must choose a small team to help with using the software. You can integrate your team and allow them access to invoicing if desired. You can also invite your accountant to work with them in real time for determining taxes. Invoice functions in the B2B software allow you to quickly send digital invoices with online payment options for credit cards and PayPal, allowing you to speed up payment options and receive funds directly to your bank or PayPal account. This function is useful for small and micro businesses that do not have services for accepting credit cards.
Automated reporting allows you to receive regular reports based on your bank data. Once organized, you can see expenses and bills as well as income at a glance to see what you have, what you have to do and your profit margin. You can also use SageOne's B2B software to generate a number of additional reports such as balance sheets, profit and loss sheets, invoice listings and monthly statements.
With a number of features for invoicing and account organization, Sage One B2B software offers a solution for small businesses in need of help with accounting and invoicing. However, the lack of payroll and inventory management limits its uses for large business.
ThriveHive offers automated and guided marketing with features including automated marketing reports, a training platform, lead tracking and website analytics. However, the lack of multiple services and website design included with the startup fee makes ThriveHive business-to-business software an ideal fit for small businesses looking to expand to the web.
Scalable plans allow you to choose a ThriveHive B2B software option that works for your business level and income. The basic option allows you to set up a marketing optimized website including your own domain with blogging, SEO, web analytics, call to action options, telephone tracking and a number of different layouts for creating custom websites.
The second plan offers a marketing platform which integrates the website options with a contact manager for up to 500 contacts for email marketing as well as social media scheduling and tracking. You can also track up to three phone lines at once instead of just one. This allows you to track incoming calls from emails, website and newsletter promotion, so that you can see where your leads are coming from. Email management allows you to track contacts, send emails to contact groups, send out newsletters and track leads and clicks generated from each email.
Website analytics include cookies, which track return visits to your website for three weeks, or until the visitor clears his or her browser. The B2B software also allows you to integrate SEO tactics into your website pages and then track clicks and calls generated from those pages. However, it does not feature click-to-call or lead-to-sale tracking. Marketing coach options allow you to get live one-on-one coaching in different sectors for your market, your consumer demographic and business type, in areas you are struggling with. You can also choose to add managed advertising to your business-to-business software, which adds on a certified advertisement expert to help you with managing PPC ads on the web. This feature is better for medium-sized businesses with a substantial marketing budget.
While useful for small businesses and startups that want to improve or create their presence on the web, ThriveHive's B2B software does not have enough features or the capacity to make it a suitable fit for large businesses. Instead, it works well for getting your website off the ground, improving your knowledge and implementation of marketing, and using email and social media to generate sales.
WordStream business-to-business (B2B) software features a number of automated marketing services for medium- to large-sized businesses. These services include PPC software, call tracking, help with landing pages, lead generation, keyword tools and research. However, because it's automated, the results aren't as accurate or as valuable as research and tasks performed by a marketing expert.
With a variety of features, WordStream's business-to-business software handles most of the processes and research surrounding Google AdWords and Bing Ads accounts. This allows you to set up marketing pages, research keywords and data, analyze your current analytics, optimize your pages and ads, and improve lead generation through site and ad optimization.
The monthly billing plan is scalable to your size of business and average spending amount per month, which allows you to pay for the services and scale you need. You can also upgrade any program with additional live consulting from a Google AdWords certified professional. A 20-minute work week program attempts to fit all of your manual duties into a short amount of time by optimizing processes and giving you a to-do list that you can fit into 20 minutes. This allows you to spend enough time to get things done, while still letting the B2B software do most of the work.
During setup, you run an analyzer, which tells you what you have to change, and then helps you with keyword research for PPC, landing pages and bid suggestions. Over time, you get continuous keyword suggestions, optimization suggestions, bid management, negative and long-tail keyword finders, and call tracking for ensuring that you are generating leads through the program. You can also set up landing pages and manage them through the WordStream B2B marketing software.
Analytics and management functions allow you to view performance, split test ads with multiple ad groups, manage your budget and see clicks and data per keyword. You also get a weekly report, which is not eCommerce quality, as most of WordStream's effort is placed on their 20-minute workweek function. Reporting lacks depth and does not send reports to multiple people or to multiple clients, so it is not the best tool to use for reporting. Importantly, not all of the suggestions given by the tool are up to the same quality as a human audit or analysis, but most are still usable. You can use the 20-minute workweek function to choose your keywords and tasks from the list of suggestions, and simply avoid those that do not apply.
The wide variety of features, including PPC management and creation tools, make WordStream's B2B marketing software a good fit for creating ads, managing them and generating leads. But with little in the way of reporting and only basic analytics, it doesn't do everything.
Yesware business-to-business (B2B) marketing software integrates with your business Gmail or Outlook inbox to add analytics, email tracking, click to call and sales force integration for email management and lead generation. However, many of the features are Gmail only, and with email only services, the B2B software is not a good fit if you are looking for a full-scale marketing solution.
Gmail and Outlook integration allow you to add additional features and email management to your current business email. While the free version limits you to 100 emails, including responses, which may not be enough for large businesses, the paid plans offer unlimited emails or events, allowing you to communicate and track emails as much as you want.
The B2B lead generation software features personalized templates for making professional emails, personal reports and send later reminders. The software also features Salesforce integration with auto-email sync and calendar sync, teams and multiple team support, plus email and phone support.
These features allow you to use the business-to-business software for writing, sending and scheduling emails. Once sent, you can track when they are opened and when someone uses the click to call. This allows you to split test emails by sending different versions to different users, decide which members of your email list are interested and improve your email headers and calls to action. You also get to see how successful your email program is so that you can improve it, and improve on factors that worked. Because you can track response emails when someone replies, you can also track a generated lead to a closed sale to see where your sale came from.
Team support allows you to create multiple teams and set them up with individual reports, role-based access and team templates for specific emails. This allows you to handle different branches or different factions of your business to get the best results. Yesware allows you to use the program with your Salesforce to integrate emails and receive reports, as well as sync and set up auto-replies for eCommerce, allowing you to track your Salesforce emails to see which improve sales or generate new leads and which do not. An available app allows you to access the B2B software on your Android or iOS phone for checking reports and email data at any time.
With multiple features for email management and integration, Yesware makes a good solution if you are looking to improve your email management and lead generation. However, with only email support and many features that are only for Gmail users, the B2B software is not for everyone.