Secrets revealed: An inside look into the PandaDoc tech stack

Productivity 6 min read

Secrets revealed: An inside look into the PandaDoc tech stack

In the sales industry, we’re all natural “people persons.” We were born to build and nurture relationships.

And since this skill is innate to us, we can lean on one another for references, introductions, and help when we need it.

Recently a few employees at PandaDoc came to me asking if we have a slide deck or one-pager on our tech stack or the tools each department uses to be successful in their day to day tasks. Most are curious to know how we’ve been able to reach $15M in ARR in just five short years. Oh, and how we won SalesLoft’s Lofty Award for best use of technology at Rainmaker 2019.

A high-level overview of the tools we use here at PandaDoc

Marketing_tech_stack_at_PandaDoc

Our Head of Sales, Mike Paladino’s mantra, when networking with other sales professionals, is

“Steal, steal, steal, anything that works. I love divulging our secret sauce – if you think it can work for you, go for it.”

So here you have it, folks, an inside look into how the machine runs at PandaDoc. In this post, we’ll showcase our tech stack and want our audience to steal what’s working for us from prospecting to close.

Capturing the lead’s attention

In a recent webinar, our Head of Sales, Mike Paladino talked with Sujan Patel of Mailshake, and they discussed the biggest mistakes that stop sales teams from closing the deal. One of those mistakes is not qualifying your prospect correctly.

At PandaDoc, our Marketing and Sales business is primarily inbound driven. Our website is our source of truth. Most of our leads “buy” right away by either starting a trial or requesting a demo.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are genuinely sales-ready. So we use a few tools and resources to nurture those leads to get them to convert faster and make them more sales-ready.

First up is Drift. We use Drift to help engage leads and visitors with conversational marketing to answer their questions, deliver the resources they need, and ultimately get them to take a meeting with one of our sales reps.

Other tools we use to capture attention:  

  • G2 helps us to not only provide social proof for our other marketing nurture campaigns but also do paid programs to capture leads right when they are the warmest – after reading one of our glowing reviews.
  • BrightTALK allows us to share our webinars live and on-demand with millions of members in the BrightTALK community. They offer specific communities like Sales, Marketing, and Leadership, so we can target those who are looking to consume our thought-leadership content.

Of course, there are a few more things that need to happen after we capture leads and visitors. We use HubSpot to score them, Clearbit to enrich them, and Full Circle to make sure they are attributed to the right marketing channels and activities.

Passing the baton to sales

It’s no secret that PandaDoc is a huge advocate for using a CRM. There are a ton of options out there, but we use Salesforce and find that a good chunk of our customers use Pipedrive.

A huge perk of Salesforce is that there are many other apps and plugins you can use on top of it to perform or complete tasks. It works well and integrates nicely with the rest of the tools in our tech stack.

Now that we’ve covered how we capture and make our leads sales ready, now it’s time for human interaction. For that, we turn to SalesLoft.

Using SalesLoft automation rules, the lead is automatically loaded into the correct cadence. This saves our reps a ton of time and minimizes the chance of error when working with a wide variety of lead sources.

For those who aren’t familiar, cadences are a series of structured emails, calls, research, video, direct mail, etc. that allow a rep to maximize their engagement with a prospect. Combining cadences and automation rules enables us to segment and personalize at scale based on company size, industry, persona, or any other demographics we determine.

By connecting numerous tools within its App Ecosystem, SalesLoft allows our reps to prospect in one place. Using the Linkedin Navigator, Crystal, or Owler integrations, a rep saves time by seeing the latest news, competitors, or personality of the prospect. This information makes all the difference in our sales process.

Our favorite SalesLoft integration has to be the one with Vidyard. PandaDoc also integrates with Vidyard meaning the content we use in Salesloft can also be utilized in our proposals.

All of SalesLoft’s features have allowed us to grow our ACV by ~35% without increasing our time to close.

Another critical buyer enablement tool we use is Chili Piper (they’re a PandaDoc customer too!), which we discovered through SalesLoft’s App Ecosystem. Chili Piper gives us the ability to package and pass meetings across the sales team. This creates a seamless hand-off ensuring the best customer experience.   

The two hardest parts with hand-offs are who the meeting should be passed to, and educating the new rep on what is going on, so the conversation does not lose momentum.

Chili Piper solves the who, and SalesLoft’s Meeting Intelligence takes care of the education. Meeting Intelligence records our Zoom calls and tags keywords, allowing reps to better prep for calls by watching what happened, thus enabling a smooth transition between teams.

Since PandaDoc has three separate offices and remote reps tools like SalesLoft and Chili Piper bridge the gap. Their comprehensive integrations with Salesforce makes it easy for us to communicate, collaborate, and report on our team’s efforts. This visibility empowers our managers and ensures alignment across all of our locations.

Forecast: 100% chance of revenue

Proper forecasting is imperative if we want to keep a healthy pipeline. Therefore we use DataHug to keep us on track. DataHug gives our Sales Managers insight into healthy and unhealthy deals, which allows the entire sales team and leadership team to predict the growth of PandaDoc better.

DataHug allows our sales leadership team a straightforward process for reps to rollup their forecast in real time. The tool gives our reps better predictability behind hitting their sales targets.

DataHug does a great job accomplishing a few things for our sales team:

  • Summarizes the forecasting conversation between manager and rep without having to dive too deep into Salesforce.
  • Quickly allows reps to update their opportunities (automatically syncing to Salesforce) so they can move on to other activities like more calls and executing more demos.
  • Promotes healthy sales enablement by assigning deals a score to better guide sales reps focus on the right sales activities.
  • Provides trend analysis to help reps who are struggling and successful reps manage their pipeline more effectively.

There’s another great resource we use along with DataHug for accurate forecasting… PandaDoc! We’ll likely dedicate an entire blog post to how PandaDoc uses PandaDoc, but our dashboard gives our entire sales team insight into the bottom of our sales cycle and the part that is toughest to track – the proposal.

We can track every proposal in the sales cycle and see which proposals have been opened, viewed, interacted with, and even completed. It allows us to be more accurate with forecasting because we can see which deals might be “stuck.”

Getting paid and battling churn

Now that we’ve captured the lead, nurtured them, passed them off to sales, and closed them with our winning proposal software, it’s time to turn that customer into a PandaDoc evangelist.

Post-close via PandaDoc, provisioning of accounts and users takes place in Recurly. Recurly is excellent because it integrates with the other tools in our tech stack (like Salesforce) so that our Billing and Finance teams can make sure we get paid no matter what plan our customer chose.

We still offer monthly subscription-based plans, so Recurly helps us to organize our solo individual users and our larger customers in one place.

Once an account has been created and onboarded, our CSM team manages our customers with ChurnZero. The ChurnZero platform helps us to fight churn (obviously), expand current customer accounts, and increase product adoption. In short, it is extremely helpful in optimizing the customer experience.

We even use ChurnZero before a customer is assigned to a CSM. Throughout our entire customer journey, we integrate ChurnZero with our CRM, Zendesk, and more to give us a holistic view of our customer health.

When looking for a tool like ChurnZero, we knew how important it was to invest in understanding and communicating with our customers with the right message at the right time. This investment has paid dividends in the form of dollars and appreciation from our customer-facing teams.

A reliable tech stack starts with teamwork

No matter what size company you are or how big or little budget you have, you should always remember that when starting to build your tech stack that you must start with alignment.

Specifically, team alignment. When you discover a tool or web application for one team, think about how the decision will impact other groups within the business. Everyone always wants to work smarter not harder, so when selecting solutions, be confident that you’re making the jobs of your colleagues easier and that our investment will be worth it for the longest period possible.

Bethany Fagan

Bethany Fagan Content Marketing Manager at PandaDoc

Bethany is the Content Marketing Manager at PandaDoc. She has over 10 years in the sales and marketing industry and loves crafting new stories and discovering new distribution channels. Outside of the office, she spends her time reading, working out at Orangetheory or trying a new Brooklyn brewery with her husband and two French Bulldogs, Tater Tot and Pork Chop.

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