According to the data gathered by Siftery, a tool that tracks and suggests software used by businesses, top companies today use an average of 37 different tools or software platforms to run their day-to-day operations.
That is an amazing fact to consider, especially when compared to how few tools businesses used just a handful of years ago.
The reality is, it takes a lot of products and services to run a growing startup, let alone a large organization (which use an average of nearly 90 different tools according to Siftery).
Honestly, it’s kind of hard to imagine what it was like to run a business before the convenience of SaaS products, or even before just software for that matter.
With the need for so many services, it’s often times that many of these products are fighting against each other for the same budgets.
In order to stay within the stack, you need to provide unquestionable value at a bare minimum.
But even then, you’re still up against all of the other tools in the arsenal when budgets don’t grow as fast as the teams around them (or worse, get cut) because value isn’t the only deciding factor.
Customers need to see the value in your product AND maintain a high sentiment towards your brand to justify a coveted and protected position within their toolset.
This doesn’t just begin and end with the decision maker either. This permeates down to everyone who uses your product, including the general users (who have more influence than you think).
If you can deliver on your value proposition, as well as ensure your customers continue to have a high sentiment and loyalty towards your brand (by … ahem, measuring and acting on your NPS data), you will assuredly surpass your indirect competition and avoid unnecessary churn.
As a software company ourselves, we make every operational, product, marketing, and sales decision around this belief. And, we support our growth with tools that do the same.
With that in mind, here are 45 tools that we use (and proudly advocate) to run and grow Promoter.io:
Accounting & Finance
Baremetrics makes sense of all our Stripe and manual invoice data into easily consumable metrics for our SaaS business (MRR, ARR, LTV, Churn, etc). We also use their “Recover” feature for dunning management so it’s a breeze for customers to keep their payment methods up-to-date. Don’t run a business without this kind of dashboard.
Expensify removes almost all the most painful parts of submitting expense requests. Gone are the days of expense report hell. Yeehaw!
While Baremetrics (more on this tool below) gives us the proper metrics from Stripe, Flightpath makes sense of it all into a long-term model that we can use to inform strategic decisions from hiring to product investment.
I hate QuickBooks invoices so we use Freshbooks for this exclusively. Sure you can make simple invoices in a number of ways but tracking them can become a pain, and Freshbooks makes them beautiful in the process. Your larger enterprise (or international) customers will appreciate it.
While I’m not a fan of their invoices, you have to keep the books somewhere. QuickBooks works well enough and is deeply integrated with many other tools, so we’ve stuck with them.
Our go-to payment processor. It’s simple to use and is very secure … almost to a fault. Which is good in their case.
You have to have that 800 number, right? While we don’t receive a ton of calls, we love having our phone number out there to engage with customers and prospects who prefer this method of contact. Business tends to happen a lot faster through the phone as well, which is never a bad thing. Grasshopper makes it a breeze to handle these calls and route them appropriately, or take a message when necessary.
While there is some overlap with tools like Intercom, we have found that it doesn’t fully replace a true purpose built customer support solution, which is where Groove really shines. When we need to handle cases that aren’t quickly resolved, we move them to Groove.
This tool can selectively record the sessions of our users and has come in handy on many an occasion for resolving user support issues and for improving user experience.
Our primary tool for daily customer support and interaction, used to help customers while they’re in the app, address immediate concerns and push out effective notifications. We also push our NPS data into Intercom (here’s how you can do the same), which arms us with our customer’s sentiment ahead of our interactions.
A much more fluid “live chat” service compared to others who have recently built solutions in this space. We use this for certain customers and touch points where true real-time interaction makes all the difference.
I think this goes without saying. But yes, our own product is an absolutely essential tool to the success of our business that we use on a daily basis. :)
(The incredibly detailed description above was provided by my Co-Founder & CTO, if you hadn’t already guessed.)
We use Bugsnag for our application exception logging, error tracking and performance metrics.
Encrypt.me (formerly Cloak)
Security is paramount in all we do, down to our individual connections. Encrypt.me (formerly Cloak) has been a great provider with very reliable speeds.
Active protection, access and policy management for all of our infrastructure.
Email on Acid
When you send millions of emails per month to countless email clients, this is a must. Test and render your emails across the most popular clients, apps, and devices.
We use Github for our source code management and to perform code reviews.
(This guy, I tell you.)
A great domain management platform with “cheap” rates, for when you need to register every possible variation of your brand or product name :)
Rackspace is a highly reliable managed hosting/cloud provider who we use to host failover services outside of AWS along with some other non-performance impacting pieces of infrastructure. Best not to keep all of your eggs in one basket, dare I say.
(Yep, CTO again. They’re a really good email relay.)
Adobe Creative Cloud
Let’s be honest. When you get that creative spark, MS paint (R.I.P.) is just not going to cut it. That’s why we rely on the best-of-breed suite of tools that Adobe has to offer, most notably Illustrator and Photoshop.
Carta (formerly eShares)
Excellent cap table and digital certificate management, plus a reliable 409A valuation service. We love it and our investors/advisors do too.
Simple yet extremely powerful task and project management. Great team support as well.
For when you don’t need the full power of Microsoft Office, or easier collaboration :)
Gusto is hands down one of our favorite services. They make payroll, benefits, taxes and reporting an absolute breeze and the team is always super helpful. If you are still doing payroll in house or through a larger firm, give them a look. You won’t regret it.
They’ve made faxing fun again, sort of. :)
Microsoft Office 365
The world grinds to a halt sometimes without true Microsoft Excel. Google Sheets works okay for a lot of use cases, but when it doesn’t, it’s painful.
As a semi-remote team, Slack helps provide powerful team communication/collaboration that keeps everyone on the same page and productive all day long (as long as you don’t have any gif/giphy integrations that is).
Visible makes updating our investors far easier (and more beautiful). Easily capture key performance data and share your story with your stakeholders all in one platform.
Simply put, Zapier is the most powerful platform for connecting our different systems and data together. This single tool powers the the bulk of our back-end workflows and business logic.
Sales & Marketing
Retargeting is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to capture new revenue. And, Adroll is the best tool for doing it (and also our favorite). It’s easy to use, works across multiple channels and has robust options as you advance your campaigns. It’s a staple in our marketing arsenal.
Maintaining an active social presence can be an absolute grind, but well worth the effort. Any tool that makes this job easier, we’ll happily pay for. That’s especially true for Buffer. Not only does it free up our time by scheduling our sharing just once per week, but it gives us better results when doing so.
Every year, the average business person spends the equivalent of 2 days going back and forth attempting to find a day and time that works for meetings. Actually, I just made that up, but it’s probably not far off. Calendly solves that pain. It’s a shareable calendar that allows our customers and prospects to pick the time that works best for them (without the hassle).
In fact, while I have you, if you want a demo of Promoter, book a time here. :)
Clearbit provides “integrated intelligence for every stage of your sales & marketing workflow”, and let me tell you, it’s quite magical. The data we’re able to surface helps us understand our customers and prospects better so we can deliver a superior level of service along with driving up conversion rates.
In spite of what anyone tries to tell you, email is still, hands-down, the most effective way to communicate with your customers in mass (also the best method for NPS, but this isn’t the time or place for that discussion). ConvertKit has got us covered in this department. From weekly newsletters to intelligent on-boarding sequences, this tool has quickly become a must-have.
Actionable analytics from our marketing site and our app which helps us increase conversion from prospects or even for certain features/usage within our app.
Join.me lets our team reliably hold meetings with audio conference lines globally and reliable screen sharing. On a weekly basis, we have dozens of meetings from any given country. There are a lot of fancy features in web conferencing applications, but Join.me has a simple scheduling link to Gmail so our team doesn’t run into any conflicts. Oh, and they’ve got one of the best product jingles ever!
A great sales focused CRM which helps us keep our sales and onboarding pipelines organized. The direct sync with Gmail also makes it easy for the team to see all the conversations with prospects in one place.
When content is a such a huge part of your marketing strategy (which it is for us), it’s critical that you have the right tool to properly promote it. That tool is Sumo. It’s like the swiss army knife of content promotion — lead-gen, sharing, tracking, etc. It’s a must have x10.
With paid acquisition, it’s important to remember that your primary landing page copy won’t necessarily work to convert every audience equally. That’s where Unbounce comes in for us. Creating unique landing pages that match both the audience and the messaging we’re using within our ads has been essential to increasing our conversations and reducing our cost per acquisition (CPA).
Webinars can be a highly effective tool for educating both prospects and current customers when done right, but the tools in this arena have left a lot to be desired in recent years. Trust us, we’ve tried many. WebinarNinja is a fine-tuned and streamlined service built to do this one thing really well, and it’s reinvigorated our efforts around providing great content through this channel.
Powerful video hosting platform with valuable analytics that helps us improve our video content.
Do you know of any good tools or services that we should absolutely check out? Let us know in the comments below!