Filed Under:Agent Broker, Agency Management

17 awesome business tools you need to be using

This is like the Swiss Army knife for your business with tools for researching prospects, CRM systems, address books and more. (Photo: iStock)
This is like the Swiss Army knife for your business with tools for researching prospects, CRM systems, address books and more. (Photo: iStock)

Smart technology is everywhere. If you’re like most business people, you can’t help but feel that there are too many tools out there.

They all sound the same, which leaves you confused, frustrated, and uninterested in changing.

Let’s cut through the clutter.

Here are a few awesome business tools you need to be using:

Business research tools 

These tools help you learn all you can about prospective companies, existing clients, or industry partners:

1. Owler

The team that built the revolutionary Jigsaw e-mail finder platform that Salesforce purchased for hundreds of millions of dollars is at it again with another blockbuster sales research tool.

Instead of researching people, Owler researches companies. It’s easy to find and select which companies you want to follow. Each morning, you get a customized e-mail with everything that happened at that company that you should know about.

This service, which costs many thousands of dollars per year from other companies, is completely free from the Owler team. Drop what you are doing and sign up now.

CRM and address books

These tools help you organize the people you know, the deals you need to close, and the marketing that gets you there:

2. Cloze  

We have used them all — every customery relationship management system on the planet (or so it feels) — and Cloze is by far the best to use if you need to build and maintain relationships with people. It collects, organizes and manages all the people you need to know — right beside your e-mail (and social) inbox. It’s epic.

3. AgileCRM 

It has "CRM" in its name but with features like landing pages, social and web tracking, and smart email campaigns, it’s really the best all-in-one marketing platform on the planet. And it’s 1/10 the cost of Hubspot or Infusionsoft.

Related: 10 top apps for business

Security and password sharing 

These tools help you keep your team safe and secure without emailing usernames and passwords around:

4. LastPass  

Forget your passwords? Share your passwords over email? LastPass saves all your passwords for you and even allows you to set up sharing groups where you can allow family or friends to use your passwords — without them ever seeing what the actual password is.

5. Blur 

It’s the most technical personal security platform out there. It allows you to create disposable credit cards, phone numbers, or e-mail addresses. It saves your passwords for you and notifies you when you might have gotten hacked.

Prospect research 

These tools help you learn all you can about prospects you want to do business sometime soon:

6. AeroLeads  

In a cluttered category of lead and prospect research, AeroLeads has the best combination of capture and results. They claim to verify email address and phone numbers multiple times before they pass it along to you. It works.

7. Capture 

Ever want to zip through a website and vacuum up all the people and email addresses (and other contact information) you find there? Meet Capture by Ringlead. Not only will it capture leads on a website, it verifies the e-mail addresses and exports everything to Salesforce.

Scheduling efficiency 

These tools make it easy to schedule and prepare for awesome meetings:

8. Charlie App 

Connect Charlie to your Google calendar (or Outlook) and it will automatically research everyone you are planning to meet with. An hour before your meeting, you’ll get an e-mail with everything you need to know about those people.

9. Assistant 

At the push of a button, Assistant checks your calendar and suggests up to three days’ worth of availability for meetings. It runs in Gmail, right where you are sending e-mails, so it is fast and a tremendous time saver.

Getting things done

These tools help you plan out what needs to be done and assign responsibilities to the people who need to help you get there:

10. Todoist  

This is the best tool ever created to handle recurring tasks, reminders, and team planning. They have native apps for more than a dozen different environments, so you can take it anywhere and use it anytime.

11. Wrike 

Imagine if Microsoft Sharepoint and Project decided to build an epic productivity platform for today’s generation of Gantt Chart-needing professionals. It’s mobile friendly. And runs in your browser. And it’s free to start using.

Design platforms 

These tools help you ditch Photoshop and make it super easy to create impressive images for social media:

12. DesignFeed 

The hands-down, best ever online tool for creating epic quotes for social media. It is incredibly easy to use, but to make it even easier, you can pick one of their curated designs, swap out the content, and post it live in seconds.

13. Canva 

Drop Photoshop and invest a few of those dollars in Canva. Edit images. Design new ones. Create social media content or designs for business cards or brochures. Share your designs with your team.


These tools make it easy to collaborate with your team, partners, or prospective customers:

14. Appear 

Go to your Appear link and do some video conferencing, or share your screen, without needing to download all those bloated desktop apps. It’s fast. And easy. And free.

15. SpeakEasy 

Instead of waiting on hold for people to join your conference call, SpeakEasy will call you on your cell when the people who need to be on the call actually show up. Saves you time. Saves you from being a chump who uses

Security and miscellaneous 

These tools keep you safe while sharing files or cruising the Internet each day:

16. WhoHasAccess 

Connect it to you Google Drive account with a push of a button and wait for it to tell you who has access to any one of your files. Using the tools you can take back sharing permissions too. It’s a free and awesome way to stay safe.

17. Disconnect  

Download one of their free apps or pay a little more to get unlimited secure and anonymous access to the Internet. Makes web browsing safe while you’re traveling or using Wi-Fi from your local coffee shop.

Try one. Try them or all or bookmark this article for when you are looking for great tools down the road.

Great businesses use smart tools to do more with less. These are just the sort of tools to do that for you.

Related: 16 of the coolest P&C insurer mobile apps

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Originally published on LifeHealthPro. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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