Salesforce takes forever to set up! It’s very complex, so if your company has 4 people, you’ll be better off using something like Pipedrive, Base, or Streak. Those all work fine when you’re really small. But when you have more than 2 sales folks, you’ll have to move to something more serious, and Salesforce is the industry standard. When you have ability to hire someone to set it up for you, that’s when you should bring it on.
MixRank is a really great tool! You can go and look at either app store or website statistics. And you can get SDKs, as well as people’s profiles at companies.
Clearbit for Salesforce is a great plugin you should get if you’re using Salesforce. If someone signs up with an email, it’ll grab all of their information, like their Twitter handle and their LinkedIn profile, and show you all of that information, all inside of Salesforce. Our team loves it!
We use Outreach for inbound sales to email people that sign up for our service. You can easily set sequences for emails, and analytics for those emails. You can see how they move through the pipeline, starting from when they sign up. You can set up a sequence of 5-7 emails, and then set it and forget it.
MightySignal is a new company that is still pretty small but is similar to MixRank. Their data seems to be a little more up to date, and they have a few extra features. We use a combination of MixRank and MightySignal for our sales team.
We’ve tried every tool for customer service, and Freshdesk was the best for our needs. There are a bunch of these companies out there, like Zendesk and Desk.com, but Freshdesk is by far the best! We really value a high-tech, high-touch, customer-first mentality when it comes to customer service. We want to make all of our customers feel like they are reaching a real person right away when they reach out to support. The worst thing about Zendesk and Desk.com is that your customers get an autoresponder that clearly looks like it’s not from a real human. Freshdesk is easy to use, and makes it look like your responses, even autoresponders, are coming directly from someone’s Gmail account. There’s no “support ticket created” look to the emails. They’re really phenomenal, and we don’t know where we’d be without them!
We used to use Dropbox, but Google Drive (and Google Apps in general) is amazing. Mentally, it was hard to switch from Dropbox to Google Drive, but in the end, it was a no-brainer. You can easily edit documents collaboratively, and in real-time. And everything is in the cloud. Dropbox is still relying on static files. Some features of Google Drive aren’t as robust as Microsoft Office, but real-time collaboration is 10x more important to us.
We use Box for highly-sensitive files since it’s more secure than Google Drive and because it isn’t as easy to accidentally share a file or folder with your whole company.
We use Concur for invoice processing and employee reimbursements. It’s similar to Salesforce on the sales side, where it can take months to set up, and you have to take the time to train people to use it. It’s definitely not for a small company with 10 employees; it’s better suited for companies that have 35+ employees.
We wish we had known about Sequoia Benefits early on. They act as your benefits broker, and can get you a better deal on benefits than just doing it yourself. Smaller companies should use Zenefits, but when you reach 50+ employees, you’ll have people that care a lot more about their benefits. We’re just starting to talk to them now.
We started with Zenefits from day one. Zenefits is especially great for early stage companies, but once you reach about 50 employees, you’ll need something more. But, until you reach 50 employees, Zenefits is spot-on. It’s free, or they only charge you a very small amount to get set up. It’s easy to on-board, and everything is all in one place. Before you have an HR person, you need something as automated as possible, and Zenefits is great for that. But we’re switching to Namely now. It’s less known than Zenefits, but has actually been around longer. It’s a bigger company, and better suited for companies with 50-100+ employees. We’re switching to them now because they give you dedicated account managers, along with a more robust system. With Namely, there’s a $4,000 setup fee, so there’s no chance, and no reason, you’d use them when your company is just 2 people. But now that we are a bigger company and cost is not the main concern, we need things to just work, without bugs, and Namely fits the bill for us.
There’s really no good source for market compensation data other than Advanced-HR. There used to be a chart on Wealthfront where you could put in a job title and it’d spit out data, but that chart is long gone. Advanced-HR has stepped up and taken its place. It’s technically free, but you have to upload your company’s information to get the compensation data for about 2,000 startups. You can filter by job type, level, geography, etc., and Advanced-HR spits out compensation data like base pay, variables like bonus pay, and even equity amounts. It is amazing! And no one knows about it! It’s a great little secret, but I do want to share it because it will only get more powerful, and accurate, as more data is added. Advanced-HR can help your company stop making offers outside of ranges. We would’ve used this for employee number 10 and up had we known about it earlier.
Greenhouse is pretty good. There are still lots of features and reporting that they need to build out, and it’s still a little buggy. But overall, we believe it is the best ATS.
Candidates from Hired are higher quality than ones from AngelList, but not as high quality as self-sourced candidates. We’ve hired about 2-3 people from Hired. And now they’ve added sales and marketing candidates, so it’s not just for engineering hires anymore, which makes it much more powerful.
When we started, Zenefits didn’t have payroll, so we had to use Gusto. They have great onboarding, a wonderful UI, and it’s great when you’re a small company. But for us, at our stage, we’re really looking to consolidate, so we’re moving payroll to Namely. Once you get to a similar 50+ employee size, Namely is probably a better fit.
We use Asana all the time. We haven’t implemented JIRA yet, but I’ve heard great things about it. And we used Trello when we had about 4 people, but it didn’t scale well for us because of the increasing complexity of our projects and team.