The Indie Stack: The Ultimate Sales Software Stack for Your Startup
The dawn of all-in-one platforms isn’t happening anytime soon. But if you’re game for a more flexible approach to your sales toolbox, the Indie Stack will definitely catch your attention.
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s because the idea is pretty new. But the whole concept behind the stack is to give you an alternative to using all-in-one platforms that seem convenient at first but then lack flexibility. And “that one feature” you’ve requested never made it to the product’s roadmap.
So, what’s the deal with the Indie Stack?
What the Heck is the Indie Stack?
Alright, so when I think of the Indie Stack, I think of taking really high-quality pieces of sales tech that work well together with their native integrations. Each piece of software complements the other one to serve your individual purpose. Right now, we have five tools: Close, SavvyCal, SignWell, Reform, and Fathom.
The term “Indie” is just an umbrella for a bunch of independent companies that are specialized in just one area and constantly improve their products. This stack isn’t only high-quality because of the modern technology that backs it up. It’s also about skilled teams behind the tools that offer great onboarding and support along the way.
All-in-one solutions like HubSpot are convenient to buy, but it’s not the way to buy tech these days. At the end of the day, this “mammoth” will not fulfill the needs of each of your teams—they need to access specialized tools that can be easily bolted together.
As Harris Kenny, Founder of Intro CRM, says:
“There's a tension between having a single tool that has everything built into it, but it's limited. Or selecting the best possible tools, and they don't work together. We're solving this problem with the Indie stack. "
“It’s a project, or really a collaboration, between several different independent software companies that are combining the best possible tools with native integrations so they all work together really seamlessly.”
This stack will do a couple of things for you:
First, it will save you the hassle of searching for a toolset that will suit your sales team (we’ve already done the heavy lifting for you.) Second, you’ll be able to better capture leads, engage with them, keep everything under control, and finally, sign contracts with those leads almost automatically.
Wondering how that kind of stack “stacks” against all-in-one platforms?
Tools Stack vs All-in-One Tools: Why the Indie Stack Makes Sense for Your Team
Let’s face it. Being a sales lead in a small biz or a startup means making all those decisions about the tools your team will use.
And in many cases, you may think you have just two options. Either go for the all-in-one option like HubSpot, face limitations, and address them with additional integrations. Or, figure out for yourself how to glue together different tools. When going for the latter option, you can’t be sure how solid the integration is (until you actually get your hands dirty.)
Well, the Indie Stack is your third option. The tools here aren't random choices. Having things built to connect together, with the intent of working well together, allows you to have this really good, clean, seamless workflow that will help your team produce better results.
Harris from Intro CRM adds that: “It’s not an either-or. It’s this emerging option where independent companies that each focus on one specific task can say, ‘Hey, we can make it really easy to go from a prospecting conversation to a meeting, to sending you a contract, first signature, and then recording that call and making the sales team better.’”
So think of the Indie Stack as a lever that lets your sales team start the revenue engine and maintain that engine in the long run.
The Best Indie Stack for Startup and SMB Sales
Here’s the first take on the shape of the Indie stack (but we’ll be adding more options in the future!)
Alright, let’s talk about your central hub for all things sales. As you need to move fast, have everything under control, juggle different prospects’ conversations, and manage them, ease of use is key. And Close gives you this—it’s just built for salespeople and SMB owners like you to have everything in one place.
I personally think the CRM software should never get in your way. And as you’re busy folk, the tool should help you start conversations with prospects and give you all the context so you know how to develop the deal further.
“The CRM should simplify your workflow,” says Harris Kenny. “You don’t want to have a mountain of tasks that you have to click through and a million different fields that you have to manually update and click between tabs to make sure that you've got the right field each time. Close together with the integrations gives you just this—you can toggle between a power dialer, send a follow-up email workflow, send SMS, schedule meetings, get form fills, and record calls. You can’t put a price on that accessibility.”
As you see, you can just work on improving your sales efficiency simply because you don’t have to juggle ten different tools—you just sync everything within your Close account easily.
- Startup Plan: $99 per month for three users
- Professional Plan: $299 per month for three users
- Enterprise Plan: $699 per month for five users
So let’s talk about SavvyCal. It’s actually a necessary tool for scheduling meetings with prospects. Whether that’s cold outreach or inbound, you have to be able to schedule with them. And then to maintain that relationship and develop it, there's gonna be several meetings before the deal is closed.
So the whole process has to be easy and has to offer a good experience for you as the sales rep and the person that’s actually scheduling. We see that SavvyCal fits into that position. Folks can hop on a call together in the easiest way possible.
“Scheduling that first meeting with someone is a make-or-break moment,” says Harris. “It's so easy to lose that prospect because they're interested, but they're not 100 percent sure. It all comes down to little things like ‘I want to add someone from my team to this call. Is it easy to do that or not?’ SavvyCal has a bunch of features that make that really easy.”
SavvyCal landed in our Indie Stack because it has a powerful integration with Close CRM. You can automatically create and update contacts in Close when your prospect books a call. You can embed SavvyCall directly on your website to get more leads straight to the meeting.
See how to connect Close and SavvyCal below.
- The Free Plan: $0 per user per month
- The Basic Plan: $12 per user per month
- The Premium Plan: $20 per user per month
If you want your team to close more deals, well, you just need that signature on the contract, right? Thus, the easier it is for you to send out the contract, the better. And that’s why we included SignWell, an e-signature tool for legally binding e-signatures and faster document signing, in our stack.
The tool allows you to pull some of that general data from Close CRM and speed up your work around the contract.
It helps you not only with the execution of the contract but automation of the whole process in the CRM—that saves a lot of back-and-forth work. Thanks to a solid integration between SignWell and Close, you can send out contracts within your Close account that automatically update activity in your opportunities. Another cool automation is that when you change status in Close to "deal won," your contract gets sent out.
See exactly how those two play together:
- Free: $0 per month
- Personal: $10 per month
- Business: $30 per month
And off we go to Fathom—an AI Meeting Assistant that records, transcribes, highlights, and summarizes your meetings so you can focus on the conversation. It’s actually an indispensable tool for us at Close. Thanks to Fathom, I’ve gotten in a habit of being present during meetings versus note-taking.
And for you as a salesperson, it’s super important to be present—it helps to build relationships with your prospects, ask better questions and get their key pain points. It’s relevant in any conversation, really, but in sales talks is a game-changer.
You can also use Fathom with your team. Harris gives a great example of this.
“You can use Fathom to coach your team and say: ‘This is the conversation flow for our leading salesperson. These are the questions she’s asking. Let’s try to be more like her and close deals like she closes deals.’ That kind of stuff is possible when you have a tool that loads quickly, loads easily, loads reliably, and allows you just to record.”
Fathom, as you guessed it, also fits great in the stack—all your recordings are pushed directly to your Close account and are automatically synced to the right contact.
Pricing: Starting price $19 per user (no annual obligation)
Additionally, Fathom offers a special offer for Close users—get 20 percent off on the annual Pro Plan for the first year with promo code—CLOSE20.
Reform is simply an intake form builder that will align your team with the marketing team. Thanks to an integration with Close, you get all the submission activities in your Close CRM account whenever someone submits a lead gen form.
Reform syncs all the important information about a person who filled out the form— contact name, company name, and whatever field your form has. So you have all the info that gives you context and a clue about the next steps in the sales process.
“The thing not to miss in such forms is branding,” adds Harris. “Does it look like it's your form, or does it look like some weird blob of HTML that came from somewhere else? Does it load quickly? You know, is it nice? Is it just like crisp lines and well-stylized? That’s all that Reform delivers.”
Reform has a powerful integration with Close, thanks to which you can enjoy:
- Mapping Reform fields to contact, lead, and custom fields in Close
- Gathering new leads, enriching existing ones, or both
- Automatically storing all form submissions in Close for easy querying
- Basic Plan for $15 a month
- Pro Plan for $35 a month
What Setting up the Indie Stack Can Do for Your Business
There are three key benefits of setting up the Indie Stack in your daily sales workflow:
It Saves Your Time
While it’s a cliche that time is money, sometimes you just want to sell, not switch between different tools that may not even play well together. That’s why we give you a “suggested stack”—just like in a high-end restaurant, you get a recommendation of what pairs well with what.
Here, you get the best combination of tools that work well together. You automatically save tons of time as you stay in your Close account and manage everything from one place.
It Better Organizes Your Sales Processes
The Indies Stack is crafted for small businesses and startups at the stage where founders want to delegate more ownership to their salespeople. And here, things can’t get out of control. You need a solid list of tools that let you organize your sales process and close the gaps before scaling. In the future, I believe you’ll be just plugging more tools in, and we’ll help you make it easy.
It Gives You a Lot of Freedom and Flexibility
The Indie Stack gives you interoperability. It’s like with the dev’s microservices architecture—when something goes south, you don’t have to blow up your entire tech stack, but you just adjust one part of it to your needs.
Get Those Five Tools and Start Improving Your Sales Efficiency
Close, SavvyCal, SignWell, Fathom, Reform—the Indie stack is here for you, so you don’t have to duct tape any sort of toolbox on your own and worry about the quality of integrations or deal with API documentation. Grab the suggested sales toolbox that will save you a lot of headaches, especially when scaling your sales team and striving for better efficiency.