Updated: Feb 8, 2022
The most successful SaaS products and services start with great ideas positioned perfectly for their market, coupled with a culture of Customer Success. The next step is to put in place a great SaaS tech stack that allows you to take that model and scale it.
To answer the question, ‘What is the best SaaS technology stack to underpin this type of business model?’, we take a look at the tech currently being used by the world’s most innovative and fast-scaling SaaS businesses today.
**Spoiler alert: It starts with the Salesforce platform**
At Precursive, we work with businesses looking to scale, all of whom know that delivering Customer Success to every single one of their customers is critical. We see firsthand how super successful hyper-growth organizations are leveraging tech to scale.
In addition, to make sure we understand the market we serve, every year we collect and then crunch the data from our Customer Onboarding Survey, the industry’s biggest benchmarking exercise. And every year, tech stack is an area that we really zero in on.
It puts us in a great position to report back on the platforms and tools required to launch, keep and grow customers as a SaaS business. And despite the fact that the Customer Success market choice is complex, the industry-leading choices right now present quite a distinct pattern.
In short, what is the best SaaS tech stack for scaling?
When it comes to SaaS stacks, there are three key trends that we're seeing right now.
1) Salesforce is still the top choice of business platform.
Salesforce dominates as the CRM of choice for today's B2B technology-driven business. Larger and fast-growing organizations are still relying on this increasingly mature platform as their technology touchstone.
56% of all respondents to our Customer Onboarding Survey are using Salesforce, a figure that goes up to 86% across the Enterprise and Hyper-growth business segments.
2) Scaling fast? Enhance your SaaS technology stack with a specialist Customer Success Management platform
While Early Stage and SMB business segments are still relying on customizing non-specialist tools like Salesforce to provide for their Customer Success Management needs, the Hyper-growth segment is investing in CSM platforms, with Gainsight as the most popular choice. And what’s more, they are seeing value as a result.
Customer churn can quickly become a problem as your business starts to scale. Incorporating a dedicated CSM platform into your SaaS tech stack helps improve your net retention rate even while your customer base is expanding.
3) Hyper-growth are proportionally the biggest adopters of Best-of-Breed Customer Onboarding tools
Whilst most have been quick to adopt the other key elements of an ideal SaaS stack, it’s the Customer Onboarding category that is still playing catch up. Businesses recognize the need for more automation, management, and metrics, but their journeys more often than not start out with building ad-hoc onboarding capabilities within the Salesforce platform and spreadsheets rather than deploying a specialist onboarding tool.
From the data we're seeing in our 2021 Customer Onboarding Report, it looks like this is about to change. Our prediction is that Customer Onboarding suites are about to tip into the mainstream for scaling SaaS as more businesses understand the true value these tools unlock in their existing Salesforce platform.
Integrating a Customer Onboarding tool into your SaaS tech stack enables your business to reduce onboarding time and improve time-to-value. With this tech, you can map out onboarding playbooks that are customized for particular customer segments or products, then analyze what works best to create repeatable and scalable processes.
In the words of one Head of Onboarding at a scaling SaaS financial transactions business:
"Salesforce is a great CRM and you can do a lot with it. However, Taskfeed (Precursive OBX) is an extension of this and allows us to use Salesforce even better."
And one final thought on SaaS tech stacks -
To come back to my original point, while the most successful SaaS businesses are using a great tech stack to scale, they also have a culture of Customer Success firmly in place:
“I don't underestimate the importance of Gainsight or Salesforce but the right mindset has to be in place to maximize and optimize the tools.”
/ Director Customer Success UK, SAP Concur