Our stack, after trying more than 100 different services

When companies look for services and tools to help them solve day-to-day problems, there is no shortage of offerings in the SaaS landscape. While the number of SaaS tools increased during the past few years, the adoption rate and usage of SaaS tools increased as well – and this is exactly what makes Cluedin a very relevant and critical part of every companies’ toolset.

If you have been reading the blog series, you will know that we purposely caused ‘cloud tool chaos’ to make sure that Cluedin was able to turn the mess into something powerful. Through this experience, we have tried well over 100 different services and have boiled down our stack into a refined and supercharged set of accelerators.

At Cluedin, we embrace the idea of having the right tool for the job. This implies that if a tool has a certain feature in it, and that feature is better in another tool, we will also use that other tool and use Cluedin to tie both systems together. By being able to tie systems together, companies can create more usefull and effective stacks. In this blog post, we will cover our sales stack to explain how we combined the tools we believe fit our needs without missing the opportunity to share valuable data across the tools.

The heart of the sales stack is the CRM. For this, we tried about 10 different CRMs. Big CRMs such as Salesforce and Dynamics were immediately removed from the list due to their complex user interfaces and lack of usability. In the end, the choice was obvious for us. We chose HubSpot because of its ability to nail the business value, while making it seamless to set up. The only downside of HubSpot was its integrations, yet this was not really a problem for Cluedin, as we are specializing in integrations.

Next enters analytics, user tracking, behavior tracking, and more. For this we chose Google Analytics for the website and MixPanel for the Cluedin application. Despite the tools can achieve quite similar things, MixPanel focuses more on user-behavior and learning from what users do. Afterwards, HotJar was coupled in order to capture heatmaps. When it came to connecting the data that came from the analytics, we only had to plug the tools into Cluedin to create a unified view of all the data.

Our backend engineering stack was next. For project management, we ended up with PivotalTracker. This allows us to properly forecast our release dates considering that we have been using it for two years and now the analytics has enough data to properly know when we will deliver our new versions based on our history. For code, we are using GitHub and for bug tracking we use ZenDesk. Once again, all of these tools are made compatible through Cluedin implying that related things are automatically synced and connected.

For marketing, this is where it starts to explode with the amount of tools that we use – and keep in mind that we are still relatively new as a business. We use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and more to handle the different channels and we use MailChimp as our email provider, with SendGrid managing our in-application messaging. Furthermore, we use HootSuite to schedule our marketing campaigns and HubSpot for marketing automation. Not surprisingly, the different tools are connected in Cluedin to create an overview of the several activities.

Of course, there are several other parts to our sales stack that are not mentioned here e.g. accounting and invoicing systems, however, the point of this blog post should be clear. When a business really starts to set up the proper tooling, then suddenly it might have 30-40 different SaaS tools that most likely are incompatible. In this connection, think of Cluedin as the mesh that ties all the different systems together and turn them into a hyper-connected platform.

 

Team Cluedin

Tim Ward

Founder, Developer and Loudest Employee at CluedIn.