10 Technologies Your SaaS Startup Should Use To Grow

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Combine your SaaS business approach with these tools to achieve an explosive growth rate.

In 2011, Marc Andreessen said in a seminal WSJ essay that “software is eating the world“. Today, his statement has proven itself correct. SaaS, or software as a service, companies are taking over large parts of the economy.

The term SaaS is becoming very popular in the tech industry nowadays, and not without reason. It might sound complicated initially, but you’ll be surprised to realize that people are using many SaaS products every day without even realizing it. From your email server to the app streaming your favorite songs, SaaS is shaping our lives.

The rise of technology is the reason behind this rapid development. Today, anyone and everyone can develop software on a limited budget. And with more than 3.5 billion people having access to the internet, it is easier to reach out to the targeted audience.

While technological advancement has fueled software development, it is actually the subscription model – followed by most SaaS businesses – which is the secret to its thriving success. SaaS-based companies follow a subscription-based model for their products which is delivered using cloud storage. This subscription-based model ensures that a SaaS company reaches profitability over a certain period of time and must constantly provide value. On the other hand, clients prefer the monthly payment method because it tends to fit their budgets much more easily. This is how investors can also easily predict each month’s recurring revenue, making it a win-win situation for both parties.

But if you want your SaaS business to grow consistently, you should embrace some essential SaaS tools and products that will make the journey easier for you. Here is a list of some of our favorite technologies that will do wonders for your growing SaaS startup:

#1 Web & App Development

First and foremost, a SaaS startup will have a hard time surviving without an app development team. A well designed and flawlessly working app can help grow your business, retain customers and convert new ones much more effectively.

#2 Sales, Customer Support & Marketing: Intercom

Intercom is one of the most important tools that a SaaS startup can use to its advantage. Everyone on the team can use it for various purposes like sending automated in-app messages, bulk email campaigns, personalized announcements, and customer support and feedback.

Intercom is installed within a few seconds and it starts showing results from the very first day. It also offers direct customer contact and serves as a basic version of a CRM tool. You can also A/B test your messages and compare their performance.

Overall, Intercom is a great tool that can help companies out with product management, marketing, design and core startup issues. This customer communication platform is becoming a staple amongst most SaaS ventures because it helps in building a better brand image and drive quality leads.

#3 SEO Audit Tool: RoboAuditor

Did you know that Google makes one or two changes to their core ranking algorithms almost every day? This means that there are more than 300-400 changes per year. If you won’t consider Google’s evolution, your website’s search ranking and ultimately, your sales, will be affected. This is why, if you want to grow your SaaS startup, you should improve your website’s SEO rankings and customer outreach – opt for regular SEO audits.

RoboAuditor is a simple tool that scans your website with just a couple of clicks. It conducts a detailed and comprehensive SEO audit which also provides you with an actionable strategy to maximize your website’s online visibility. Following are some of the key benefits of an SEO audit:

  • An overall analysis of your website’s strengths and weaknesses to develop a strong SEO strategy
  • Analyze both on-page and off-page factors affecting your search positions
  • A complete SEO audit report, including competitive scorecard, backlink report, and future site

#4 Product & Business: Chartio

A growing startup is always on the hunt for answers backed by solid facts and statistics. For example, what is the company’s most profitable marketing channel? How many users were we able to retain after a week? Are people using our new feature to invite their employees? And the list goes on.

Usually, we fail to find a detailed answer to these questions through a single platform. Multiple tools like Google Analytics, Salesforce, Intercom or the internal database are often used multiple times a day.

But, even then the numbers and analysis can be mind-boggling. Chartio creates eye-catching charts and figures, simplifying raw data. When the answers are presented in a visual form, it is easier to read the underlying patterns and form a decision.

Chartio is an efficient business intelligence tool that a startup can use to explore their business data in real-time. It is really easy to install and has a simple drag and drop interface, where you can write and share your SQL queries.

This tool enables you to create customized dashboards and relevant visualizations such as bar charts, line charts, and area bar charts that can be shared with your entire team and even your customers – it becomes easier for a SaaS startup to track critical business data and make better decisions after going through real-time businesses analytics.

#5 Development: Github

The next tool we’re going to add to our list of favorites can be a lifesaver for those who write codes on a daily basis.

A code repository, like Github, can save developers a lot of time, but with a plethora of code repositories emerging almost daily, it is difficult to find a reliable one. Github is one of the best out there, and it will become your software development assistant within no time.

Github is a host site for open source code projects. It is actually the first tool you’ll need to install to run your SaaS startup.
So, don’t be afraid to invest in it because you’ll be using it almost daily to write new code, review improvements, and centralize other quality management tools, like CircleCI, that can be integrated with it.

Github is a must-have technology if you are planning to launch a SaaS startup.

#6 Sales: Salesmate

You can’t expect your SaaS startup to grow if you are not closing enough sales. The best companies equip their sales teams with the best technology. While there are countless other options available today, Salesmate is a popular choice for growing SaaS businesses.

You can track your sales activity and present a sales performance report manually too, but as your SaaS startup expands, you will eventually have to migrate to Salesmate.

It might sound like a big investment, but implementing and integrating a CRM tool is the best thing you can do to increase your sales and enhance customer relationships.

If you want to save some funds, you can use its built-in features. You can always switch to the hardcore customization options once your business is mature enough.

By installing Salesmate, you can track every minute related to your sales. From phone calls to emails, everything is present on a single platform and all the details are just a click away.

This enables your sales team to access any relevant information immediately and helps them engage more effectively with prospective customers. Salesforce allows you to

  • Accelerate sales through pipeline management, making it easier to track deals and activities
  • Stay updated about prospects’ attention through sales email tracking
  • Increase productivity through deal management, sales automation, data entry automation and contact management
  • Gain visibility by providing sales forecasting options
  • Stay in touch with your team on the go through the mobile compatible version
  • Keep your data safe and confidential because it is stored and transmitted with the latest security and encryption technologies.

You can also integrate it with popular apps like Google Drive, Slack, MailChimp and many others to enable smooth communication between the sales and marketing teams.

#7 Productivity: Slack

Even though Slack was launched just a couple of years ago, the app has shown immense growth in a short period of time.
When it was launched in February 2014, it had around 15,000 daily users. By February 2015, Slack’s daily active users had grown to 500,000 and are still growing at a rapid rate. It now boasts more than tens of thousands of new users every week.

Not only that, Slack users are sending more than 300 million messages every month and users are engaged with this app for more than 2 hours daily. TechCrunch also wrote about Slack’s rapid growth and referred to it as “insane, with daily user count up 3.5X in a year”.

So, if you haven’t already started using it, you’re probably losing out on one of the most powerful communication tools of this decade. All over the world, SaaS companies are relying on Slack as the platform has made it easier for teams all over the world to collaborate, as long as there’s an active internet connection available.

It also automatically indexes and archives all shared content, hence reducing the need for internal emails. The best thing about using Slack is that it integrates well with most of the other web services that you may already be using daily.

Integrate it with GitHub to keep yourself updated with code check-ins from the development team or with HelpScout to keep a check on support ticket submissions in real time. The benefits of using Slack are countless!

#8 Social Media Management: HootSuite

There are more than 3.17 billion people who use the internet daily. Out of these users, 2.3 billion are active on social media. So, if you still haven’t tapped this market, you can’t expect your SaaS startup to grow.

Tools like HootSuite have made it easy to create and maintain an effective social media presence. It is one of the most comprehensive social media management tools available out there, and most businesses use it daily to stay on top of their SMM game.

By using HootSuite, you can schedule posts on all social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, and Instagram accounts. Plus, you can also engage with your followers using Hootsuite. Track all your mentions and comments instantly and reply to them without the hassle of logging in from separate social media accounts. You can even hire a digital marketing agency to take the load off your shoulders.

#9 Analysis & Insight Traction: Google Analytics

“Growing your business without tracking your marketing performance is like driving with both hands over your eyes.”
Hiten Shah, Co-founder of KISSmetrics

If you want your marketing efforts to bring real results, keep the above-mentioned words in mind. You can’t go without Google Analytics if you want your SaaS startup to grow in the right direction.

Monitor your analytics regularly and analyze which articles are being viewed most to understand user preferences. Google Analytics is a perfect tool to study your audience’s growth graph. Use its ‘goals’ feature to monitor conversions from the main website, landing page, and blog posts. All in all, it’s a one-stop solution for all your analytics’ needs.

#10 Testing: Accelq

Gone are the days when software was manually tested. Agile testing is the latest and most advanced testing methodology on the market. The continuous testing methodology used in automated testing tools has made it an instant hit with SaaS startup and reduces the chances of software errors.

Accelq is one the best cloud-based continuous testing platforms on the market. Its state of the art built-in features like codeless natural language automation where you can simply write your test logic in English and it will do the rest is what makes it unique. The tool also offers API test management, comprehensive verification and supports a wide array of services like SOAP, JMS, REST etc.

So, switch to an automated testing tool if you haven’t already. Chances are that if you follow the agile testing methodology, you are more likely to achieve ‘launch success’.

These are some of the tools that SaaS startups can’t live without. We are big supporters of other SaaS providers, irrespective of their size. So, if you have any other tools that we didn’t mention, let us know in the comments below.

Before we sign off, we’d like to share a snippet from Neeraj Agarwal‘s recent talk. When people asked him, “What does it take to build a high-growth SaaS company?” He replied, “Triple, triple, double, double, double (T2D3) is the secret behind any successful SaaS startup”.

Ray Hein Co-founder of Propel summarizes the growth of SaaS startups perfectly:

“Startups are hard work, no doubt. Expanding your network through many paths, including participating in a well-run incubator or accelerator program, will improve your probability of success. Don’t be afraid to tap on many folks along the way and learn from their experiences. Most people will go out of their way to help you in ways you can’t imagine. If you haven’t figured it out yet, being an entrepreneur, running a startup, along with the odds of failure versus success, make you the exact definition of an underdog. And most people will always root for the underdog to win.”

Combine your SaaS business approach with these tools to achieve an explosive growth rate.



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