Every startup is an adventure. It promises even more challenges for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup due to the revenue model’s peculiarities and severe competition in the industry.
Luckily, the market abounds in software that can help emerging companies address those challenges and manage their growth. These tools help with the critical business areas of product development, communication and collaboration, marketing, sales, payment processing, customer support, and tracking SaaS KPIs (key performance indicators).
This post shortlists ten essential SaaS startup software. Whether you are about to enter the game or are an experienced player, you may come across a tool that will help improve your existing processes and boost your business.
Internal Team Communications
You will find Slack in every top-10 of startup software. This cloud-based tool makes communications among the team members more comfortable, transparent, and efficient. Its plentiful customizable notifications, direct messaging, audio and video calls, conversation archives, and file-sharing features facilitate collaboration. Slack has mobile apps for iOS and Android and can be integrated with your Trello or sales CRM to provide your team with automated notifications about the deals. You may even set up a Slack bot for your office Spotify account and manage your music playback from it.
Project Management Software for Startups
In the area of product development and management, three startup tools are recommended:
- Basecamp helps every team member stay on the same page and become more organized and productive. It empowers teams to communicate better with fewer meetings. They can assign tasks, collaborate on projects, track each one’s milestones, manage deadlines and workload, receive notifications, and share files from one platform.
- JIRA’s flexible infrastructure and ease of configuration were designed for Agile technical development teams. The system helps manage the software development and testing cycle, centralizing all tasks and documentation and streamlining the tracking of issues and bugs. Its low cost and cloud-based deployment suit startups perfectly.
- Trello adheres to the kanban system and facilitates task prioritization, project planning, task assignments, and progress tracking. Trello boards may act as your internal product road map, your customer-facing product road map, content marketing planning tool, and more.
Newsletters will be at the core of every SaaS startup’s marketing efforts: emails are a great way to update customers on their news and features. MailChimp is arguably the most effective email marketing service, particularly praised for its ease of use. The software helps create smart marketing campaigns and offers plenty of ready-made and customizable newsletter templates to create appealing emails. It’s free until the company has over 2,000 contacts.
Social networks provide another excellent channel for conveying your product’s message and connecting with the audience. Buffer is one of the best tools to help SaaS startups maintain an active presence across Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. They can centralize multiple platforms, pre-schedule social media posts and presences, and view the analytics of their social media activities.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Salesforce CRM software enables startups to do everything under one roof: partner management, opportunity management, sales data management and forecasting, and marketing automation complete with a contact manager to aggregate the information and assess leads. The contact manager module covers all essential customer information like the company’s history, social status, reputation in the market, and communication details. The reports and dashboard feature facilitates in-depth analysis. Salesforce excels on pipeline reporting and campaign management, and their customer experience management solution also finds out information about the competition and provides deal-tracking functionality.
Baremetrics offers metrics and engagement tools for SaaS businesses. This powerful software allows SaaS startups to follow their Monthly Recurring Revenue, Net Revenue, Average Revenue Per User, Customer Lifetime Value, User Churn, Active Customers, and other critical business metrics. The revealed insights will help the leadership make profitable decisions and plan and strategize for growth years down the road.
Customer support can make or break your SaaS enterprise. The cloud-based Zendesk is arguably the most popular help-desk solution. It’s easy to deploy and implement, integrates with a company’s email, website, and social media, and can handle thousands of tickets daily. Accessible on desktop and mobile devices, it provides a handy and flexible solution for small businesses that have a home-based, freelance support team.
Customer and User Feedback Software
Customer feedback is one of the SaaS KPIs: you will need to continuously collect customer feedback, monitor the customers’ behavior, and get actionable insights for enhancing user experience and increasing conversions.
Hotjar is an all-in-one analytics, conversion rate optimization, and feedback tool that visualizes your users’ behavior and helps understand your customers’ concerns and requirements. The tool’s heat maps and screen recordings will show you where your site visitors are facing issues, the site areas popular with users, and what catches their eye. Features like conversion funnels, creation and distribution of surveys, and form analysis will provide additional insight into your users’ behavior.
For a SaaS start-up business, software choices largely determine the enterprise’s success or failure. Nowadays, these tools are almost indispensable for day-to-day management, monitoring product and customer success, boosting growth, and strategizing a startup’s future.
This post presents only a drop in the ocean of economically viable and useful software for startups to try. The key to success is to research, pick the ones that meet your business needs best, and use them regularly and for a long time. In that case, they will tremendously improve your business processes, boost the teams’ efficiency and effectiveness, and help the entrepreneurs focus on growth.