What is TekStack?
TekStack, a playful reference to “technology stack”, is an all-in-one platform that handles each step of the customer journey. Each of those steps has a corresponding team, set of processes, and tools.
TekStack came out of our founder’s experience growing B2B SaaS companies. James and Marc worked together as executives for a fast-scaling B2B SaaS company. With over 1000 customers, 250 employees in eight offices across 19 time zones; customer information was all over the place and in multiple systems. It was difficult to make data-driven decisions about product investments, or even get a handle on where a customer was in their journey with the company. Over a million dollars each year was invested into tools to run the business; money that could have been directed to more strategic initiatives like marketing, sales, product, or support.
So James and Marc set out to solve this issue and build the perfect all-in-one tool for growing software companies.
What problems is Tekstack trying to solve?
Today’s B2B software companies are driving hard to increase their annual recurring revenue. ARR has become the primary driver for business value. The advanced B2B software company has already begun the process to trade-in their implementation services revenue for ARR as the latter is valued many multiples more than services revenue.
However, a B2B software company based on recurring revenue is confronted with a new set of challenges.
1) Buyers don’t have an unlimited appetite for Professional Services. The days of long-drawn-out projects with an undefined scope are gone. Buyers want a prescriptive, fixed outcome, fixed price experiences that offer instantaneous value with the product they are buying.
2) Buyers are less sticky. If buyers don’t get the value they expect from your offering, it is un-ceremoniously replaced or shelved because they don’t have a significant upfront investment anchoring the relationship.
Most software companies are disproportionately invested in finding customers and are under-invested in areas that are equally important considering this new dynamic, namely areas that include:
· Customer on-boarding
· Customer success
· Revenue operations
· Customer support
This might be true for your business as well, and true of your investment in the technology stack that helps drive your business.
Your company needs to have greater visibility across the entire buyer journey. No one aspect is more or less important than the other, especially with today’s ‘land and expand’ strategy which puts significant emphasis on upselling or cross-sells approaches to growth. How can you expect to upsell a customer that is unhappy with their experience?
TekStack’s mission is to provide this entire capability on a single, all-in-one platform. We power our capability with Microsoft tools that your company likely uses every day.
What are the Components of TekStack?
It starts with a capable CRM platform, managing communication and information related to the companies you interact with. This is tied to MS Outlook for automatic creation and collection of email activities like emails, calls, and appointments. We favor an account-centric approach based on the Sirius Decision’s Demand Unit Waterfall (2017 edition not the now-archaic 2012 edition). Sales cycles are managed with playbooks to ensure sellers follow a prescribed approach and don’t have to hunt around for the perfect follow-up. Built-in quoting to deliver professional and accurate quotes in minutes. A forecasting tool to provide visibility. Won deals become contracts sent through your favorite e-signature tool. Orders generate invoices and subscriptions. Information is passed to accounting. The full transaction lifecycle. Not just for compliance, but to help seller’s productivity as well.
While TekStack can integrate to an existing Marketing Automation platform like HubSpot, we also have one that is native. In B2B Software sales cycles are pretty fluid. Prospective buyers move in and out of buying journeys all the time. This hand-off between sales and marketing becomes tricky to manage, especially if two different tools are doing the work. TekStack’s marketing platform, from partner Click Dimensions, is completely integrated. Sales can easily see which contacts have engaged in marketing programs. Marketing can easily sweep up new contacts into campaigns. Click Dimensions offers all the capabilities needed by a growing B2B SaaS company, at a significantly lower cost than their competitors. As part of our integration, TekStack has pre-configured all the best practice approaches for contact management, social, event, and email marketing.
As outbound selling is becoming increasingly effective for funnel generation, especially with account-based strategies, TekStack’s outbound sequence app increases seller productivity by a factor of 4-5X. It automates outbound emails, provides guidance on follow-up activity, shows the seller how the buyer is engaging. It’s like an Outreach or SalesLoft but is available as part of TekStack licensing at no additional cost, it doesn’t sit in a separate database, and it sends emails natively from Outlook providing the highest send rates.
Subscription Billing & Renewals
Recurring Revenue is actually pretty tricky to manage, and more difficult to analyze. How the subscriptions are invoiced (upfront, monthly, on order, on go-live, or specified date), how revenue is recognized (on order, on go-live, or specified date), how terms are renewed (auto, or with customer approval), how upsell orders are impacted (are they co-termed to the existing renewal date, or are they a new subscription entirely). The output of these transactions generates important metrics like ARR Growth, Net Churn Rate, and Retention. TekStack provides a full subscription management capability and gives your company every ability to manage the renewal process proactively, and analyze information at a granule level. Many companies need to resort to third-party tools like SaaSOptics to manage something that we believe should be an integrated part of the CRM.
Professional Service Automation (PSA)
Your delivery organization may be using a PSA, or may be using a number of function-specific tools for time entry, project tracking, and scheduling. Onboarding a customer is too important to leave to a disconnected process. Onboarding needs to be consistent from one customer to the next. For TekStack it starts with enabling sales to quote services as a custom project, or as a productized package; choosing how that project is billed (T&M, Fixed Price, Managed Service). From that point, visibility is provided to the services team so they can forecast what services demands are coming to enable the right hiring or staffing decisions. The services team can also ensure gross margins are being maintained. This is done by templating projects. When projects are contracted, invoicing is fully integrated. The services team can schedule resources. Project Managers can manage plans and delivery. Assigned Resources can enter time or report progress. Managers can balance workloads and predict services revenue recognition (even for fixed-priced projects). Account managers can see how the project is progressing. Customers can log into their portal to see the same.
Help Desk Ticketing
TekStack’s support app handles cases across multiple channels (phone, live agent, email, portal). It can route cases to the right team based on conditions. It integrates to a Knowledge Base for a quick resolution. It handles escalations, SLAs, and entitlements. It can relate cases, track related correspondence. It provides the end customer with a portal to view their case history, upload new documents, amongst other functions.
Retention and customer expansion are critical for B2B SaaS companies. TekStack’s customer success app provides customer success managers with a 360-degree view of the customer. Cases, projects, upcoming renewals, order history, invoice history, payment history, contact history; all from a single pane of glass. Certain events can trigger a change in customer health score which can prompt playbooks to fire off activities or reminders. Renewal management is automated to alleviate manual efforts. Upsells are invoiced correctly to account for pro-rating. TekStack can also integrate telemetry data from your product to capture usage.
TekStack has pre-built key metrics across the entire stack so that customers can spend more time actually using the information than trying to cobble it together from various tools and platforms.
Why did TekStack choose to build on Microsoft?
Simply, Microsoft is the best. It’s amongst the best CRM platforms right up there with Salesforce.com according to Gartner and Forrester. Microsoft is also the best at Unified Communications (over 10x DAU of Slack), and Reporting. Better yet, all this technology actually integrates at the UX, Security, and Data level and is a fraction of the cost of a Salesforce, Slack, Box, Zoom, Tableau combo. Not exaggerating, it’s probably 25% of the cost. We are assuming you have other things to spend money on; like sales, marketing, or product development. If you are using Gmail for Business, we love you but we can’t help you. But if you are using Microsoft 365 (Office 365’s new name), then we might be a great fit for your company.
Why wouldn’t I just buy Salesforce.com?
You could, for sure. But you would also need Pardot, Outreach, Salesforce CPQ, Zendesk, Mavenlink, ChurnZero, SaaSOptics just to reach parity of the breadth and depth that TekStack offers OOTB. Some (but not all) of these licenses would be stacked on the same user which increases costs. After that, you would need to integrate and implement all these tools (more $$$). And then you need to figure out which of these vendors is going to answer your support calls. (more headaches).
Can TekStack be tailored to your needs?
Our goal is to be a prescriptive, fixed price, fixed outcome experience. But that said, all of our implementation packages include hours for tailoring/configuring/customizing to your exact needs. And it’s easy to do with our Power App platform. Most everything is a low code environment. We can train your team to do it, or we can do it for you as part of the implementation, or as your business expands.
How is TekStack implemented?
We use an agile approach to implementation. Yes, it foregoes some formal project management formalities, but we think it’s a better approach because your users are free to give us feedback at any stage of the implementation without consequence to scope creep or change requests. Because we only handle one industry, our team will provide you with best practice approaches to over 100 use cases that B2B SaaS companies need to consider. Imagine having every procedure and process documented in your business? That’s a byproduct of our approach.
Does TekStack include support?
Yes, it’s unlimited. Phone, Email, Portal. No questions asked. No special support levels. Everything is included in our subscription.
How much does TekStack cost?
We are very transparent on our pricing models. Please visit www.tekstack.com/pricing for more information. Our pricing doesn’t require big upfront investments.
If I’m a Microsoft partner can I apply my Dynamics 365 Internal Usage Rights to TekStack?
Yes, absolutely. We can apply your IUR and will knock a few bucks off the monthly pricing. We use a Power Apps license for our software so if you need more users than your IUR provides, you don’t need to outfit full D365 licenses.