Insights | Sales

The 2017 Startup Sales Stack Report

July 01, 2019
14888110011488556302 Screen Shot 2017 02 21 at 12 45 59 PM png png

I’m pleased to announce the 3rd annual Startup Sales Stack Report! Please check it out below and on SlideShare. This report is meant to serve as a guiding framework for anyone evaluating sales solutions. Whether sales, marketing, customer success or management, if you’re thinking of using or buying software to optimize customer acquisition or management processes with software, this report should be relevant. I hope it will also be insightful for any parties interested in learning more about the sales & marketing automation software landscapes, from investors to advisors to prospective employees.

For those new to the Startup Sales Stack report, let me bring you up to speed on why we compile this piece in the first place. The Bowery Capital team thinks about the startup sales stack on a daily basis from three separate angles. First, sales software is core to our portfolio support platform: we work closely with every one of our founders to build an optimal enterprise sales infrastructure from the ground up. Second, it factors heavily into our diligence process: sales tools are critical to keeping acquisition costs low and sales cycles short, and we always evaluate how a startup has (or plans to) leverage them as they go to market. Third, the sales stack is an area of potential investment for Bowery Capital: we focus exclusively on enterprise software and sales automation has become a sub-sector in its own right over the last 5 years. Our team, therefore, has developed a unique view on the startup sales stack and we are exposed to innovative new solutions continually. As a result, we thought it would be helpful to aggregate our team’s and founders’ learnings into a piece that other startup stakeholders can use as they seek to build out or strengthen their own sales stacks. In 2015, I released the second edition of the report: the Ultimate Guide to Startup Sales Tools. This third edition represents an upgraded and expanded report that we hope will serve as a good framework for evaluating sales solutions at any company.

This year, we once again revamped the categories to better reflect the growing variety of solutions available. I hope the resulting 20 categories herein will provide a good taxonomy for the ongoing evaluation of this market: Calling, Collateral Management, Competitive Intel, Live Engagement, Content Sharing, Contracts & Billing, CRM, Customer Success, Data Enrichment, Data Automation, Email Intel, Lead Gen, Lead Intel, Lead Engagement, Marketing Alignment, Outreach Management, Predictive Analytics, Sales Ops & BI, Social Sales, and Development. Within each of these 20 categories, we have chosen an average of ~10 different solutions that we feel are a good mix of established companies and emerging startup solutions in the space, making for a catalog of about 220 profiles in total. This is expanded from previous years as we continue to see many new and emerging sales tools come into the mix every year. To that end, I created a visual landscape of all these tools, which we hope to continually add to over time as way to keep track of this fast growing and fragmented market.

I’m happy to announce that G2 Crowd joins us as a data partner in this year’s report. With G2’s help, we can ensure accurate user review info across all these categories. If you aren’t familiar with G2 Crowd, it’s an amazing resource for software review data and is particularly strong in Sales Automation; you’ll find links out to them in nearly every profile in the report.

In advance of this year’s version, we also conducted a Sales Stack Survey to add buying & usage trends to my analysis. The survey captured feedback from over 100 SaaS startups, asking each which sales tools they use / like the most and which tools they see as most impactful business-wise. We feel the inclusion of these buying trends (summarized in the report) will be helpful to determining which sales tools might be best suited for your company, and also an interesting indicator for trends in the Sales Automation market.

It’s important to note here that the list of tools in this Sales Stack Report isn’t exhaustive; we had to leave out some great solutions that are also worth considering. Though we worked hard to cover the full landscape, the truth is that each of these 20 categories could probably be expanded into a 100-page guide in its own right. But we believe this year’s 2017 update of the Ultimate Guide To Startup Sales Tools will provide a great starting point for any early-stage founder, salesperson or startup stakeholder looking to take their sales infrastructure to the next level.

Lastly, we welcome any feedback or suggestions for the next go-around. Feel we misrepresented a product feature or pricing structure? Are we missing your favorite tool or startup? We would greatly appreciate if you could please submit all of your comments and feedback directly via this TypeForm (as opposed to Twitter, LinkedIn or Email) so that we can easily aggregate and use them to improve the report for future years.

Thanks and we hope you enjoy!