Building a tech stack as a SaaS startup is crucial to your early success, but not the easiest task. There are so many solutions to choose from–not to mention the fact that most solutions are pretty pricey–and since most SaaS companies operate on a subscription business model, there’s a good chance your business goals look pretty different from other business models. That’s why we’re creating your cheat sheet to help you build a tech stack that will help you achieve your SaaS business goals (on a startup budget).
The year is 2020. If you don’t offer a chat option on your website...you’re behind. Especially because you’re a tech company! Think about it: what better way to show your prospective customers that you care (and have great customer support) than by giving them a way to easily ask questions via chat? Bonus: chatbots are no longer a thing of the future–they’re here, and they’re accessible for even startups on a tight budget! Drift has a startup plan that offers a major discount on their Pro Plan, which includes the ability to create custom bots.
On a subscription model (especially a freemium one!), first impressions are key. This is why you’ll want to make sure you’re investing in your customer onboarding experience–especially if you’re operating with a low-touch sales model. Go with a solution like Userpilot if you want to overlay to-do lists onto your platform to guide your users through tasks to familiarize themselves with the features, or opt for a solution like Appcues for overlayed walkthroughs.
We won’t bore you, we know you know what a CRM is, and who the big players are (AKA, HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho). But did you know that most major players offer some big discounts for startups? Just make sure you ask specifically for startup or early-stage pricing.
In the same vein as onboarding, in-product support is absolutely crucial for low-touch sales models and software subscriptions. Unless you have a dedicated customer success manager assigned to each of your users, you need robust in-product support. Period. For your customer, this might look like a live chat option (in some cases, you can double dip with your website chat service, as long as they have an open API that can integrate with your product!), an online help desk or knowledge base, or training videos. For your team, it likely includes some kind of ticket and case management capabilities, or at least an integration to your CRM. For an all-in-one solution, look to software like Help Scout or ZenDesk.
Your financials are what will get you funded, and keep you going strong until you’re profitable and beyond. A no-brainer for payroll and keeping track of your actuals is QuickBooks, but equally as important? A solution for your financial projections! The ability to plan for multiple scenarios, compare them to your actuals, pull key metrics and custom reports, and manage contract models and employee compensation changes over time is a task that’s simply too important for an error-prone Excel spreadsheet. Add SaaS Proforma to your tech stack to ensure that your financial projections are accurate, accessible, and adaptable.