Despite its slightly misleading name, SalesBinder is not simply for sales people. It’s online inventory management software that provides you with all the basic tools you need to manage not just your inventory but your customers, invoices, suppliers, and purchase orders. It also lets you record sales prospects and estimates, and then automatically convert them to customers and invoices. Along with its built-in management features, SalesBinder also functions, thanks to a generous API (Application Programming Interface), as a platform for integrating your other online business software so that you can sync all your data in real time.
At the same time, SalesBinder lives up to the “sales” part of its name with integral features such as Prospect Lists, Sales Opportunities, and Estimates. Of course, you don’t need to use these features if you prefer to handle sales-related tasks in other ways. But it’s good to know they’re here, and hey, as long as they are, this is a good opportunity to integrate more of your business in one place, so why not use them?
SalesBinder is a product of Krave Media Group, a Vancouver-based Web development company that also created website design and building services Reaktion Interactive and WebKrave. Krave’s background and expertise show in the simple, clean design of the SalesBinder interface. The software gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t. A small business with limited needs can pick up with the software and do just fine right out of the box, while medium- or larger-sized businesses can also customize things with just about any kind of integrations and plug-ins they need to get things done. In other words, it’s not necessarily “all-in-one” software from the get-go, but it’s scalable enough so that with a little setup (or a lot), it can be, depending on the requirements for your business.
Check out the review below to see if SalesBinder might be right for you.
SalesBinder has four pricing plans, including its free version:
- Forever Free
- $0 per month
- 100 records
- 1 user account
- Access to all features
- Limited email support
- $19 per month
- 5,000 records
- 5 user accounts
- Access to all features
- Phone and email support
- $49 per month
- 25,000 records
- 25 user accounts
- Access to all features
- Phone and email support
- $99 per month
- 100,000 records
- 50 user accounts
- Access to all features
- Phone and email support
If that looks pretty inexpensive, note that all pricing is given in Canadian dollars, so for American businesses the monthly cost is actually even a bit less than you think. The Gold plan, for example, at current exchange rates is only about 90 bucks U.S. That’s a pretty good deal compared to some other inventory software providers.
One thing to note when comparing pricing with competing services, however, is that SalesBinder handles things a little differently. Wondering what those “records” are in the lists above? Each customer, supplier, prospect, inventory item, estimate, invoice and purchase order counts as one record. Those can add up pretty fast.
Given this fact, it’s easy to see that the free version won’t last you long before you hit the 100-record limit and is really meant as more of a test account rather than something you can realistically use for your business. For larger businesses that need a more robust, extensive version than what’s available in the above packages, there are custom plans available.
You can sign up for a 30-day free trial of any plan, no credit card required, so there’s no risk of being charged if you don’t actually want to continue using the account.
Web-Based or Locally Installed:
SalesBinder is entirely cloud-based, so there’s nothing to download or install.
Hardware and Software Requirements:
All that’s required is Internet access and a Web browser. SalesBinder recommends the newest versions of Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. You can also use Internet Explorer 8 and above, but the software doesn’t look as nice.
Ease of Use:
Except for a few little quirks, I found SalesBinder pretty easy to use. The interface is not intimidating at all, as some software can be at first glance. You feel like you know what everything is and what you’re supposed to do with it. Each activity is done in a central pane, with a left sidebar giving you access to the main areas: Accounts, Inventory, Orders, and Reports, as well as the Dashboard. Within each area there are large buttons at the top of the screen for the main functions. The buttons and links feel solid, if that makes any sense, like you know they’re going to work. That may sound silly, but with some software I’ve used, I’ve clicked on a button and nothing seems to happen, or I have to hit it twice to get it to do what I want, or the page takes what seems like a small eternity to load. So having some faith in your clicking is definitely not to be taken for granted.
- Dashboard: On first logging into your account, you’re greeted with a dashboard that’s clean and well laid out, so it’s easy to see everything. The right sidebar gives you your total records so that you know how much of your allotted amount you have left, as well as a summary of how many of each type of record (customers, suppliers, inventory items, etc.) you have in your account. An activity feed displays the latest actions completed, along with which users did them and when. Here you’ll also find a summary of other key information, such as your latest sales leads and the top unpaid invoices.
- Navigation: Given the simple layout I mentioned above, moving around the site is pretty intuitive. You don’t really need a tutorial video to figure things out and get going. Along with the top buttons to perform the main actions in each section, the right sidebar gives you a look at key information about that record or record type, as well as helpful hints and tips about how to do things, with links where appropriate.
- Loading time: In almost all cases I found the response time to clicking just about any action to be very quick and snappy, with almost no lag time. This is pretty impressive for Web-based software; it almost felt like a native desktop application at times.
Customer Service and Technical Support:
SalesBinder can be reached by both email or phone and claims its support is “second to none.” That’s debatable, of course. When I emailed them with a question, I received a cheerful and helpful email reply, although it took about 24 hours to get it, and I’m in the company’s time zone.
There’s also a knowledge base where you can search for answers in a variety of categories, including detailed API documentation for those who want to integrate third-party apps with their account. There aren’t a ton of articles in the other categories, but the ones that are there are clear and include helpful screenshots.
- Email: email@example.com
- 1.604.408.0814 (local/international)
- 1.866.932.5728 (toll-free)
- Knowledge Base
- Live Support Hours: 9:30am to 5pm PST, Monday-Friday
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
There’s not much to be found online in the way of negative feedback on SalesBinder, but then again, the pickings for positive reviews are pretty slim, too. So, here’s my own take:
- Item variations: The method for adding variations (variants) for inventory items is a little confusing and awkward. First you have to create generic attributes, things like size and color. Then you have to associate the attributes to a specific item. Only then can you enter specific values (small, medium, blue, green) as they apply to that inventory item. It took me a long time to figure out the difference between attributes and variations, as it’s not very clearly explained. First I tried adding attributes, but then they didn’t show up attached to the item anywhere. I had to get some assistance from Support before it became a little clearer, but even then it seemed a little convoluted. Why can’t I just add a variation as I’m creating the inventory item? Should it be this hard?
- Lack of direct integration: While the open API is great to have, it does require you to have some significant programming experience, or hire someone who does, in order to integrate your SalesBinder account with any online e-commerce platforms (Shopify, Magento, Etsy, etc.), accounting software like Xero, and any other third-party apps you use. It would be nice to see more direct integration capabilities in the software, where you can just enter your account info for the other app and have it automatically sync with your SalesBinder data. This is something that many other online inventory software vendors feature, and which users really appreciate.
- Records: Because SalesBinder accounts are based on the number of records and each invoice, P.O., estimate, inventory item, customer, prospect and supplier counts as one record, you could find yourself limited by that factor depending on how much business you’re doing. Of course, the record limits are pretty generous, especially for the Silver and Gold plans – 100,000 records is probably going to hold you for quite a while – and you are always reminded on the dashboard of how many records you have left. But some users might feel like that number is always in the back of their minds as the records keep piling up.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
Here’s what a few people had to say about SalesBinder:
Sales Binder had everything I was looking for in an inventory management system. I run a resale booth and needed a product to keep track of all my vintage items that I have for sale. I love the ability to add pictures, add unique items, and the support team is great to work with and respond quickly. I highly recommend for the entrepreneur or small business owner! – Estreitta Martin De Kluetz
Keep the good work guys, I have been using your services since 2 days ago, after comparing your services to other services, yours is the best. And for the price, I am very happy. … Sales Binder is awesome. Thank you. – Missy Jacie J
This is probably the best Software I have seen and used. It’s great and good value for [the] money … at present I will use the free, and then upgrade as I grow my business. – Sadiq
- Inventory Management
- Add unique or quantity inventory items
- Add custom fields for different products
- Add custom fields for different categories
- Multiple locations and zones
- Create item attributes and variations (size, color, etc.)
- Import and export inventory
- Low stock level alerts by product
- Create custom units of measure
- Link products together to create packages
- Additional expenses for specific items
- Up to 5 hi-res photos for each item
- Customer/Account Management
- Built-in CRM functionality
- Store all your customer data in one place
- Add multiple contacts for each customer
- Add detailed, searchable notes to customer accounts
- Sales prospects
- Sales opportunities lists from customers and prospects
- Easily create and email estimates
- Convert estimates to invoices with one click
- Prospects converted to customers automatically when you issue an invoice
- Purchase Orders
- Customize with company logo, contact info, etc.
- Email as PDFs right from interface
- One-click generation of packing lists
- Set estimates to expire after a certain amount of time
- Profit margin analysis created on the fly as you create an invoice
- Partial payments, returned payments, refunds
- Easily track status of P.O.’s: not sent, sent, received
- Inventory updated automatically based on invoices and P.O.’s
- Create new user accounts easily
- Customize user settings and permissions
- Set optional notifications and custom thresholds for low stock levels
- Support for international languages and currencies
- API integration to connect SalesBinder with your website and third-party software
- Easily generate financial reports based on desired date range
- View gross and net revenue
- View profit and loss totals
- Aged Receivables reports
SalesBinder has three different types of reporting available.
- Financial Reports: These include breakdowns of revenue and inventory, profit analysis, accounts receivable, and net revenue. You can customize the reports by date range and filter inventory by category.
- Aged Receivables: See the gross amounts owed on unpaid invoices, organized by customer and how old they are
- Payments: See payments made during a certain time period, broken out by customer account, date, and invoice. Also shows payment totals.
While they aren’t the slickest-looking reports in the world, they are easy to read and tell you what you need to know. The reporting options feel a bit limited compared to some other inventory software. It would be nice to see more robust options in the future, although what’s available now is probably plenty for any small business to get a good handle on how things are going at a glance.
Integrations and Add-Ons:
SalesBinder doesn’t have much in the way of direct integration with other apps, such as e-commerce platforms and online accounting software. Their approach is more about giving you the basics and allowing you to customize your account as you see fit.
The software has a complete, open API, so you can pretty much make what you want of it. Keep in mind, though, that this isn’t for novices; you’ve got to have someone with some programming expertise work with the API. That said, you can use this to sync your SalesBinder data with any e-commerce sites you may use, such as Shopify and Amazon, or accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks, among other applications. It might take a little work to set up, but this approach also offers you a lot of flexibility.
SalesBinder also offers two open-source, third-party plug-ins:
- WordPress: Compatible with WordPress 3.5 or higher. Lets you display your inventory on your website in real time. Uses WP sidebars, widgets and other templates so you can customize it easily. You can decide which custom field data you want to display and name internal categories differently.
- CakePHP Web App (coming soon): This PHP framework has a built-in search engine, a built-in RSS inventory feed, and a homepage photo slider that uses the inventory photos you put in SalesBinder. It will support multiple SalesBinder accounts and automatically adjust its design for Web browsers on mobile devices.
SalesBinder uses 256-bit SSL to encrypt all data transfers (the same thing most banking websites use), so your information is very secure. Data storage is backed up in real time, as well as every 30 minutes and each day in multiple locations. Chances of losing your data are thus very low.
SalesBinder is online inventory management that also lets you do a lot more, including manage your sales prospects and opportunities, create invoices, estimates and purchase orders, and get instant profit analysis and essential reports, all in a simple, non-intimidating interface that by and large is not hard to figure out or use. It’s a solid product that’s a good option for most small and medium-sized businesses that need to get more organized and streamline their sales and inventory operations, especially considering what you get for a very reasonable monthly price. With custom plans available, larger businesses could also benefit from the software (to wit: SalesBinder says NBC Universal recently started using it).
The software is designed to let you control what parts of it you use and how much you want to customize it. You can use it as a simple inventory management tool, or you can also integrate elements like estimates and sales prospects to make it a more centralized place to coordinate your inventory with the sales side of your business. In a way, it’s more of a do-it-yourself system, as evidenced by its open API that lets you integrate pretty much whatever third-party software you want with it.
That has both its advantage and disadvantages, of course. It’s just a matter of how much you want to take on yourself and whether you prefer software that does a lot of the integration work for you. Flexibility is what SalesBinder is all about, which also means that it’s not going to give you everything you might possibly want right out of the box. It’s a good idea to compare this approach with other inventory software that has direct integration with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify and accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks.
Bottom line: Kudos for SalesBinder’s affordability, simple interface, and options for customization. Things to keep in mind are the somewhat limited reporting options and the fact that it requires some extra work on your part to make it a one-stop shop for all your inventory, sales, and accounting needs.
Check out the free 30-day trial to see if SalesBinder is a good fit for your business.